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FileMaker Server Admin API Update

FileMaker 19.2, the latest release in an ongoing quarterly release cycle from Claris, has arrived. This update includes some significant updates to FileMaker Server, which introduces some newly available updates to the Admin API. Officially introduced in FileMaker Server 18, the Admin API allows you to securely manage and monitor FileMaker Server.

The newly added or updated categories for the Admin API in 19.2 are:

  • Database Server
  • FileMaker Data API
  • License
  • Notifications
  • SSL Certificate
  • FMPlugins

FileMaker Server Admin API Benefits

These updates bring us closer to fully managing a FileMaker Server without logging into the FileMaker Server Admin Console. Additional Admin API calls allow the configuration of certain settings that are not available in the Admin Console. These API calls allow developers to build their own tools to interact with a REST API to manage and configure their FileMaker Servers. To that end, I have updated my own Admin API Tool that is freely available on GitHub.

This native FileMaker application now supports the new and updated Admin API calls and serves as a learning tool to demonstrate how to work with a REST API. It follows along with the documentation for the Admin API and, where applicable, will refer to the HTTP verbs used to interact with the Admin API. This hopefully shows how easy it can be to integrate with a REST API.

Detailed Data API Statistics and Server Metadata

Notable additions to the Admin API with the 19.2 update include the ability to get detailed statistics on Data API usage. Remember, the Data API is a REST API used to integrate FileMaker applications, distinct but similar to the Admin API. The additional data returned provides insight into the Data API usage, including current limits and bandwidth usage.

You can also get Server Metadata to get and update the server name and the server version. Previously, you could only access the version of the server by REST API via the Data API; this only worked if you could access a listing of available files without file authentication. This update allows you to easily manage and monitor server versions, especially if you maintain more than one server.

License Information and SSL Certificate

Other additions include the ability to view important information about your FileMaker licensing. Previously, the license expiration was only shown in the FileMaker Server Admin Console, making it difficult to track if you managed multiple servers. Now, this information can easily be returned and monitored via the Admin API. If needed, you can also update the FileMaker Licensing via Admin API with an updated fmcert file.

Similar to how the fmcert file is sent to the server via Admin API, newly added SSL Certificate calls add the ability to upload and install new certificates. You can also create a new certificate request (CSR) if you need to generate one to request or purchase an SSL Certificate from a Certificate Authority. Note that if you generate a CSR, the resulting files will be available on the server, and that location will be returned via the Admin API.

Notes on PHP

This release also marks deprecation of the inclusion of PHP with FileMaker Server. While PHP is still supported, if installed and configured to run with FileMaker Server, it is no longer installed with FileMaker Server for Window Server. If you require PHP installed, you can follow the support page’s instructions below or run the included PowerShell script with the Admin API Tool. Once installed on the server, the corresponding Admin API calls to manage and configure PHP will still work.

Going forward, it is advisable to move existing PHP scripts and applications to a different server, which has always been an advisable best practice, especially for public-facing web applications.

Saving FileMaker Schedules by Version

The FileMaker Admin API Tool has an important new feature for maintaining schedules on a server. Whenever a change is detected in the JSON returned from listing FileMaker server schedules, it stores as a new record as a version of schedules as they exist on the server. This evaluation occurs every time the GET request to list schedules occurs, where the JSON is compared with the currently cached JSON held in the database. If performing this for the first time, it will automatically store that result as a version.

This functionality allows you to review past server configurations and easily recreate a schedule from a prior version. To access this functionality, select from the value list at the bottom of the Schedules panel from the Admin API Tool to view the schedules saved on the dates shown.

This could also effectively replace the functionality in FileMaker Server Admin Console to save and load server schedules. Since we automatically cache schedules, this information is more readily available without explicitly saving a file from the server.

Next Steps for Your FileMaker Server Admin API

We look forward to continued enhancements and updates to the Admin API and hope to support those going forward. Continued improvement in the platform makes a compelling case for keeping up to date to use these available features. Contact our team if you’re looking for a partner to help leverage these updates in your FileMaker application.

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