This post will help you enable the Web Server Engine on a FileMaker Server. We’ll start off by telling you a bit more about FileMaker Server.
What is FileMaker Server?
It can also be used to perform automated tasks such as backups, generate reports, save information in a PDF, etc. By the way, our first post was on displaying PDF in Preview Mode if you need help on that end.
Anyway, FM GO and FileMaker WebDirect users connecting to the FileMaker Server will be counted as distinct user connections. These user connections need to be purchased from FileMaker Inc. for accessing the database. FileMaker Pro (Client) access is not counted as a user connection.
FileMaker Server has AES 256-bit encryption which can be enabled using FileMaker Pro Advanced (Developer Tool). The FileMaker software also provides a secure sockets layer (SSL) which you can purchase and install separately. Server access through external authentication is via Active Directory/Open Directory.
Here are the details relating to the FileMaker Server along with other important data.
FileMaker Version: FileMaker Server 14
Server: Mac Pro with 20GB RAM and 12 core processor
Deployment: Dual Server deployment – i.e. The Database Server will be hosted on a Master machine and the Web Server will be installed on a client machine. Both these machines will be interlinked within a Local Area Network (LAN).
a. FileMaker Pro – 50 users
b. WebDirect – 400 users
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on to the heart of the problem.
The FileMaker Server Setback
We had installed FileMaker 14 Server with several hosted databases. We have users accessing the databases via desktop using FileMaker Pro and WebDirect.
The Web Server was not enabled. However, the Web Publishing Engine was enabled and was displayed in a greenish color. The issue happened after our System Admin restarted the Apache Server. He executed the following command at the prompt:
sudo apachel -k stop / start
Subsequently, the Web Server was not enabled and was displayed in a grayish color.
The FileMaker Server Solution
We were unable to pinpoint the exact cause of the error right off the bat, but we had to start somewhere.
The first thought that came to our minds was that the issue could be with the Apache Web Server.
We ran this command in the Terminal to restart the Web Server:
admin$ fmsadmin restart HTTPserver
fmsadmin: really restart HTTPserver? (y, n) y
(Ignore the ‘admin$’ part as that is the terminal window prompt on our own system.)
There wasn’t much change though, as the Web Server and SuperContainer were still down. The web page showed nothing at the link. There was no web page, just a broken link.
Next, we tried a graceful start of the FileMaker Web Server:
admin$ /usr/sbin/httpd -k graceful -D FILEMAKER -f /Library/FileMaker Server/HTTPServer/conf/httpd.conf
httpd not running, trying to start
exit code 1
That indicated that the base web services were not running, so we tried this:
admin$ sudo apachectl start
This command starts basic Apache Web Services.
The results were better. Instead of nothing found, a Web Server was working, but the particular web page associated with FileMaker was not present:
http://mywebsite.com/fmi/webd# = Error Not Found
After that, we tried a graceful restart again:
/usr/sbin/httpd -k graceful -D FILEMAKER -f /Library/FileMaker Server/HTTPServer/conf/httpd.conf
We did not receive an error code this time, which is good. Unfortunately, the FileMaker Web Server was still not working.
Finally, we ran this step again:
fmsadmin: really restart HTTPserver? (y, n)
This resulted in the FileMaker Server finally working. Great!
We would call it a miracle but it was really us tinkering with the system and making adjustments based on our findings. Nothing more than science. Either way, feel free to use our solution. It resolved our FileMaker Server problem and we hope it works for you as well.
FileMaker Server Specialists at FMDBSolutions
That was the step-by-step guide to enabling the Web Server on a FileMaker Server. We at FMDBSolutions know all about the FileMaker Server and have done an extensive amount of work related to FileMaker. You can contact us, the custom FileMaker app experts anytime.
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