FileMaker Performance on Apple M1 | Astounding!

When the Apple silicon Macs with M1 chips came out, I read and watched many of the reviews. Most of them had great things to say about the promise of Apple’s new M1 chip…I was impressed. When I finally received my Apple M1 MacBook Pro, and started to use it…I was amazed.

Back in 2020, FileMaker Pro 19.2 wasn’t optimized yet for Apple silicon processors, but ran fine under Rosetta emulation. On my M1 MacBook Pro, it already felt much faster than running FileMaker “natively” on an Intel-based MacBook…I was astonished.

Today, I’m running the just-released Claris FileMaker® 19.3, with native support for Apple’s M1 chip, on a new MacBook Pro. It is, in a word: Astounding!

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Use External Directory AD Group for FileMaker Admin Console Access on macOS

Besides using its own internal accounts, FileMaker Server supports centrally managed authentication using directory systems such as Active Directory. Using these systems can help control access to both FileMaker Server’s admin console and database files.

If you are using directory bound servers already, you’ll often want to add access to a FileMaker Server’s console using directory groups instead of adding in specific users. Previously this was easily done with either Workgroup Manager (no longer supported on macOS), or the Server application (still viable, but just in a vestigial form).

Here I’ll show how you can do the same thing using the dscl command.

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Restoring Backup Files on FileMaker Cloud for AWS

Recently, we had a client who required restoration of FileMaker backup files for their FileMaker Cloud for AWS 1.17–hosted solution. This seemed a simple enough request—we would download their backup files using the FileMaker Cloud for AWS Admin Console and then re-upload them to the server. However, things did not go smoothly as there was seven gigabytes of data to download and the process was too slow for their fast-paced production environment…like half-a-day too slow.
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Introducing Admin FM – the FileMaker Admin API for Zapier

Introducing Admin FM – the Zapier integration for accessing the FileMaker ® Admin API in an easy, customizable way. Built using Node.js, this version of Admin FM is currently a beta version, but it allows you to access most of the functionality that the FileMaker Admin API allows.

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AD-bound macOS systems not authenticating? Restart opendirectoryd

We support quite a few macOS systems that are bound to an AD (Active Directory) domain. Occasionally, one, two, or perhaps several would lose the ability to authenticate users with AD credentials. Often this was with one of the FileMaker Servers, where external authentication was being used for either user access or FMS Admin Console access. I’ve explored ways to fix this, without restarting or disrupting other services.

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Monitor FileMaker Server XML connectivity with AWS

If you have a FileMaker server that you want to ensure high availability, Amazon’s AWS Route 53 service has some functionality that you’ll want to know about. For this post, I’m going to show how you can set up monitoring and alarms for the XML interface on FileMaker Server.

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Test Driving The FileMaker Server 17 Admin Console

Changes in FMS 17 Admin Console and How We’re Adapting

FileMaker Server 17 introduces a new generation of Admin Console, refreshed, fast, and reliable. If you are familiar with the FileMaker Cloud console, you’ll feel right at home in the new FileMaker Server 17 Admin Console. However, the update also brings some of the biggest changes in administrative functionality in years, perhaps ever.

While FileMaker provides an excellent overview of the differences, here I will highlight changes that affect us most here at Beezwax and some adjustments we’re making to compensate.

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Azure AD (Active Directory) Authentication with FileMaker

In addition to the more typical external authentication methods, FileMaker supports client authentication using OAuth accounts from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. In this instance, I needed to set up a FileMaker Cloud server to use a company’s directory accounts, which were hosted at Azure. In order to set this up I hit a couple of minor complications, which I’m going to cover here.

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Working with FileMaker Cloud Backups Using SSH

Recently, I needed to revert a database file hosted on a FileMaker Cloud 16 server. Due to a problem I was having with the Download function however I had to take a different route from the usual method.

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Monitoring FileMaker’s CWP Connectivity

I needed to set up some monitoring for FileMaker Server that made moderately heavy use of the XML interface for Custom Web Publishing (CWP). The server was mostly working well, but was due for a rebuild, or at the least, an upgrade, but the client wanted to squeeze out one more season before we did this.
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Creating Your Own SSL Certificates For FileMaker

Typically, you buy an SSL certificate for a server from a SSL vendor. However, some companies may decide that they want to issue their own SSL certificates. Often this is because the domain is only used internally, and most vendors don’t easily allow (if at all) the signing of server certificates for non-public domains. Additionally, issuing your own certificates can remove complications caused by the certificate verification process used by most vendors, and there are no fees needed for each certificate.

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Removing port 80 and 443 conflict with macOS Server 5

Apple’s macOS Server 5.x has a rather different Apache configuration compared to the core macOS setup or those used in previous versions of Server. In particular, an instance of Apache is used as a proxy to any ‘backend’ copies of Apache. Here’s how to work around this…

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FileMaker Client installers with FileMaker Cloud

If you purchased your FileMaker Cloud server with user connection licenses,  you may well wonder “Where do I get the client software to connect to my server?”.

A fair chance you’ll initially land on the screen below. This seems relevant, but there’s still no indication here how you can download the FileMaker Pro clients you have licenses for.

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Using an AWS Reserved Instance with FileMaker Cloud

We’ll discuss how you can use a one or three year reserved instance for your FileMaker Cloud instance. This can shave 30% or more off your AWS instance charges.

Determine Usage

When you spin up any new AWS based VM you will by default be using an hourly instance. This can be perfect for short-term usage or where your usage may fluctuate frequently.

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Restart interrupted FileMaker Cloud deployment

If you had started a FileMaker Cloud deployment, but lost access, accidentally closed the page, or had some other issue that caused the process to stop, you may be able to restart your deployment easily by going to the AWS Marketplace and checking your history.

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