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FileMaker Hosting Performance for Internet and Intranet

Posted on 2008-06-12
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I have a client who has a central office with about 10 employees and 2 satellite offices with 5 employees each. They are hosting a FileMaker database on their local network for the 10 employees in the main office. They would like to make the database available to their other 2 satellite offices. They are also wanting to make the database accessible for their customers via Custom Web Publishing, which could be anywhere from 10-15 simultaneous "web browser-based" connections throughout the day.

The database functionality is fairly simple, and the scripts are not too complex. However, they would like to make files available to their customers for download (script generated PDFs and other misc files).

I'm recommending that they NOT share out their database from their office since their DSL connection would not be enough bandwidth for this amount of traffic. I'm recommending they host with an outside FileMaker hosting company. Since I've not had too much experience with FileMaker hosting companies, I have a few major questions:

1. Generally speaking, how good are the services (any recommendations...)?

2. A big concern is the performance for the main office. In general, how much slower is it to host through the internet vs. over a local intranet?

3. Does embedding/linking files in the database cause any performance issues for either type of access (FileMaker client and Custom Web Publishing)?

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Question by:baadayakazi
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lesouef earned 500 total points
ID: 21776428
1
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they're probably good, depends where you live, always better to host your files in your country, but it is pricy. As fm hosting is not as common as web hosting, the price is not neglectable.
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this is all linked to the DSL speed. a provider certainly has a good one normally. Using their own line is doable, what's their speed? is a symatric line or not? you would be surprised how it works on a up512k/down2048k line: it is slow to start with, but fm buffers the layouts, so layouts displayed for first time take 5 to 10s to display, then it is almost as quick as on a LAN. Make your own opinion by testing the solution in your own company first.
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No, it won't be a performance issue, but embedding the files is generally not a good idea, makes the database huge for nothing, and increases the risk of data corruption due to external data corruption in embedded elements. Get fm to exports pdf files in a folder published by a web server, and store the path/url to access teh files from outside. only fm users will know the URLs, and if you'd like to improve security, you can place the files in a secure folder requiring a login/passwd access controlled by the web server (.htaccess for apache for instance), or create complex folder names using a random name for the folder names.
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