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FileMaker Hosting with Amazon Web Services

By July 1, 2016 May 11th, 2020 4 Comments

This is part of an ongoing series of AWS related posts. Here is a list of other posts in this series:

Looking for our FileMaker hosting services? Learn more about Soliant.cloud® here.


There is a major benefit to using FileMaker Server in your FileMaker solutions. Let me stress that again…a MAJOR of benefit.

If you are not using FileMaker Pro on its own, using FileMaker Server is usually your next step. It has always been an integral part of the platform, and that is the case now more than ever.

Having a dedicated FileMaker Server allows you to leverage the FileMaker platform to its fullest potential. Server Scheduled scripts, perform script on server functionality, Web Direct and connection access licensing all have an impact on a FileMaker Server. If you want complete control over all these variables, it is best to have your own dedicated server.

Commercial Hosting for FileMaker

FileMaker updated their FAQ for commercial hosting. Read the entire FAQ here.

There are several notable takeaways, here are a few excerpts:

“If I use FileMaker Server for commercial hosting, can I support multiple customers using a single license of FileMaker Server?”

“FileMaker strongly recommends that hosting companies do not support multiple customers at a time using a single license of FileMaker Server. In versions released after FileMaker Server 14, the FileMaker Server End User License Agreement (EULA) requires commercial hosting providers to acquire a dedicated license for each customer, so please plan accordingly.”

That means, in current versions, you need a license FileMaker Server for it and can’t use the license of a hosting provider. If you’re planning on upgrading your version above FileMaker 14 sometime soon, we don’t recommend setting up support for more than one customer.

“Can I license FileMaker Pro in my name for commercial hosting for my end customers?”

“No. FileMaker Pro needs to be licensed by end-user customers who use the FileMaker Pro software. FileMaker Pro licenses prohibit the transfer of the licenses without FileMaker’s consent.”

While the product named is Pro and not Server, you should obtain the license directly from FileMaker. This helps you gain eligibility for future upgrades.

FileMaker Hosting Options

I am confident that many of the reputable FileMaker hosting companies that are around will adapt and continue to provide the excellent service that they currently offer. I have personally worked with several of these over the years and found most to be responsive and provide good service for the costs involved. If you’re interested in learning more about Soliant Consulting’s services, please navigate to our Soliant.cloud page.

You may also choose to create and maintain your own FileMaker Server. Having a robust and well-configured server on your Local Area Network (LAN) is valuable in and of itself. It also makes sense if you only have one office location without much need for web hosting or WAN access.

In a previous post, I wrote a Quick Start Guide about using Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host your FileMaker Server. This is still a great option. In fact, by investing in Infrastructure As A Service (IAAS), you have more options available.

AWS is not your only option, though, as there are competing offerings from other vendors. However, we recommend AWS. Azure is Microsoft’s IAAS offering and looks to be very promising as well, albeit at a higher cost.

Getting Creative with AWS: Load Balancing FileMaker Server

Just for fun, let’s explore what’s possible with AWS to demonstrate how FileMaker Server can be extended. (As a note, using AWS is how we keep Soliant.cloud costs extremely low.)

There are plenty of ways to use these tools together to provide a very customized, robust, highly available and cost-effective solution. In my opinion, this is a game changer for how we look at infrastructure. Because of low associated costs, you can test and explore otherwise prohibitively expensive options.

In much the same way that digital photography changed photography, virtual infrastructure can allow you to model network architecture. Before digital photography, you had to buy expensive film. Before seeing your photos, you had to process the film yourself or send it to a lab. Learning if you used the correct film with your camera settings for the shot you were trying to get was very time-consuming and expensive. With a digital camera, you can adjust settings, take a shot, and review results immediately.

Similarly, instead of purchasing hardware for servers, networking gear, and software licenses, you can test in a virtual lab with immediate feedback. By lowering or eliminating the barriers to entry, learning this skillset is approachable to just about anyone.

Your Custom FileMaker Hosting Solution

Do you have questions about how to set up and customize your FileMaker hosting? Our team is happy to help. Contact us today to kick off the conversation.

References

Mike Duncan

Mike Duncan

Mike is a Senior AWS Cloud Engineer and an AWS Certified Solutions Architect as well as a certified FileMaker Developer. In addition to his work, Mike also enjoys pursuing his art, freelance writing, traveling, and spending time with his family.

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