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Database Deployment


I am currently developing simple database systems for our firm using Filemaker Pro with the end goal of deploying the system over the LAN coupled with some web forms and reports via PHP.

Our organization has a windows server 2003 as a webserver and 2003 for a fileserver which we host our current databases (SQL with ASPX). Our clients are mixed between windows & mac users.

We are switching from SQL/ASPX to Filemaker/PHP because as management we can easily create and deploy simple databases without relying on a full time in-house developer, Also we can create these databases on the Mac, which we are in the process of switching to.

The max number of employees that will be accessing the database will be around 50, but averaging 15-25 daily.

The databases are complete and working great locally on the Mac which they were created on. (5) Clients are currently accessing the databases via Filemaker Pro over the LAN using remote login. We would like to now deploy the database to all staff on a larger scale with:
- Fileserver to Access via FMP remote login (10 clients) Served using FMP server 9
- Webserver to Access via Intranet (10-20 clients) Using PHP


1. Can I successfully run the databases hosting the filemaker files + php webserver using a standard PowerMac G5 that is running OSX Leopard?
2. Do I need to buy OSX server instead?
3. What are the advantages of OSX server vs standard OSX?

I would like to avoid using the windows platform for the database if I can.

All your experts assistance on the above will be greatly appreciated.


Mac OS XFileMaker Pro

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8/22/2022 - Mon

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One big consideration, is authentication. Are you using a domain controller? is it open directory or or active directory.  The new server software is a better implementation of Kerberos that will result in less logins.
Eoin OSullivan

As a web server .. EVERY OSX mac has apache and PHP .. a Mac with leopard will be a perfectly useful web server.
1. YES
2. NO - All versions of OSX have Apache
3. ....

OSX Server is complete overkill for your requirements .. unless you want to manage users and avail of all the file sharing, user management and groupware functions.  None of which have any bearing on your requirements.

Thanks Lesouef, Jvaleds & Eoninosullivan for your comments, these have been extremely helpful to a non-tech person like myself.

Jvaldes, as I'm new to all this stuff can you please clarify domain controlling, open or active directory.

Currently clients access the database files by accessing through Filemaker Pro application via a remote login option which is working fine, and they are authenticated through that by defined user accounts & privileges. There will be no file sharing or anything other than deploying the Filemaker databases for this Mac Server.

The only thing left I need to get working is getting the web part of the application to be online. I can access the Filemaker database on the web using 192.xxx.xxx but would like to transfer to www.websitename.com

How do you transfer the domain name from the directing traffic from the windows 2003 webserver, which is the current state of play, over to the Mac?

Cheers again for the responses.
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William Peck

OK, since you're using fm internal accounts, you can forget about active directory. Basically, that forces fm to use the windows server domain controller accounts instead of fm accounts. Open directory is the Apple equiv roughly.

using a web domain name requires either your server to be public (192.xx.. is a LAN address), or at least to have an entry for it in your local DNS; do you have an internal DNS or are you using an external one like most of the people?
xfering traffic from one web server to another can be done either by changing DNS entries or by redirecting the traffic with a single line javascript at the root level of the win machine.
window.location.replace("http://mac_address:port") ;

Lesouf, I have changed the Mac to now have a what I think is a public IP (202.xxx.xxx) and tried the re-directing thing which works great. However the name is still displays the http://202xxxx/site/index.html.

How do you find out if there in an internal or external DNS? I remember the ex IT guy saying that he registered our domain names with our ISP, if that helps.

Another thing our business is running three different sites, One is our business website, the second is our family charity website and the third is our social golf club website.....so to make it more complicated how would I get the three different domain names to direct to each site on the Mac?

The current windows webserver is hosting all three sites, as Im aware of our ex IT guy showed me that there is an IIS Manager on the windows server where he simply browsed to the location of where the website files where and then the domain would show those files on the web. Is there a function on the Mac where you can browse for the files that will be displayed for each site.


If you domain name is registered, you need to declare a subdomain, http://fmserver.yourdomain.com for instance pointing at the public IP of your server (202.x.x....), but that depends on where is the main web server now: same machine?

In the DNS, the 3 domains must point to the same IP.
Then it's apache's config which will redirect to the right folder depending on what was the URL used by the client browser.
There is a similar way to do this in IIS config by creating a virtual folder, which points to the root level folder of each domain.
In this case, the way to access them is not a subdomain (http://fmserver.yourdomain.com), but a subfolder of the main domain (http://yourdomain.com/fmserver). this latter solution is probably easier as you can change yourself and don't need any DNS declaration.
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A point on your choice of whether to use Mac OSX Server or not.  Advice from Filemaker Inc (in a recent webinar on Filemaker Server) is that although Filemaker Server is certified to run on client versions of Mac OSX, this is meant for development only.  For production use they recommend using OSX Server.


Hmmm... This recommandation is probably not very technical, Filemaker is a wholy owned Apple subsidiary.
Without any tech arguments, I would not buy this.

Well, perhaps because a server is designed to serve multiple users and the OS is setup accordingly, whereas a workstation OS is only really designed to serve one user at a time...
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James Murphy

Ok so here what I did:

1. Installed FileMaker Server on Mac as Master Machine (OK)
2. Installed FileMaker Server on Windows WebServer as Worker Machine (OK)
3. Performed test page with sample data provided (OK)
4. Copied the new webfiles to the Windows Webserver (OK)
5. Using IIS Manager on the Windows Machine, I redirected the web directory from the old site files to the new site files (OK)
6. Tested the url for the site in the web browser (NOT WORKING)

It is so close now....what setting or anything do I need to change to get this website online?

- Note the old site was ASPX with the Default.aspx as the default page, the new site is PHP with index.php as the new site (Do I need to change any settings in IIS manager to account from changing from ASPX to PHP?)


Additional Info:

- When IIS manager is redirected to the new site, browser says "The page cannot be found"
- When directing back to the old site folder location in IIS manager, the old site works fine

normally not, indicating the root folder for the virtual folder + having index.php in default documents should be enough. but I saw many pbs with IIS and Fm server/php.
also check the IUSR_xxxx user has rights on this root folder, this is not handled by the fm php assistant.

The only way I found OK to deploy Fm server + php without any pb, was to reinstall a a full default IIS.
As soon as you do something else after IIS default config before FM php setup, you get into trouble.
And mind you, that's also fm support recommandation!
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Finally got it working! Thanks Lesouef for you help with this.

The final thing that I did was:

1. Go into IIS manager
2. Clicked into the website properties and selected "Home Directory" tab
3. Hit the "Configuration" button
4. Added an ISAPI extension
    - Executable = "C:\Program Files\FileMaker\FileMaker Server\Web Publishing\publishing-engine\php\php5isapi.dll"
    - Extension = .php
5. Now the webserver executes the php code and displays the page

Thanks again for the help

that step 4 should have been done by the fm php install utility.
was IIS up and running when you setup php for fm?
or was it pointing at another php package you had before?

When I looked in the IIS home directory configuration the .php extension was totally missing, therefore had to add it in manually.

Yes, the IIS was running at the time of installation, so that might have been the contributing factor for fm php utility not adding the .php extension in IIS manager.
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Walt Forbes

no, not as far as I know, it must be on. fm installation stops the W3 service automatically, make changes, then restarts it. and .php extension setup is part of the installation too, that's why I did not mention it. I also guess you were admin when installing, so why did it skip that step remains a mystery but I must mention another problem I had: when installing as an administrator not called "administrator" (my own account is not called "administrator" but I belong to the admin group), I got similar problems I got fixed by installing with the "administrator" account. So what's your admin account name?