FileMaker Server

For networking FrameReady

Important Notice

November, 2019

We want to let you know about some changes that have happened to FrameReady support beginning in 2020.

FileMaker has made a change to their platform that we must comply with:

"Peer-To-Peer" non server-based sharing is no longer being supported.

Instead, FileMaker Inc. requires the use of FileMaker Server software to make solutions, such as FrameReady, available for use over a network.

These changes are being driven by our software provider, FileMaker Inc. (Claris International Inc.).

There is no additional initial cost for using the server version of FrameReady but, we are encouraging all of our clients to purchase a server computer in order to host their FrameReady solutions. Our team can recommend a suitable server option and assist with set up of this server.

We will continue to support peer-to-peer clients until April, 2021; however, beginning May 2021, we can only support FrameReady users who have FileMaker Server installed.

Thank you,

The FrameReady Team

What does this change mean?

If you are using FrameReady on more than one computer, then you will need to use FileMaker Server.

  • The FileMaker network technology called "peer-to-peer" has been made obsolete.

  • In order to network two or more computers, the FileMaker Server software must be installed on your Host computer.

  • Your Host computer may need software/hardware upgrades in order to run FileMaker Server. See below for System Requirements.

  • For best performance, FileMaker Server should be run on a dedicated computer reserved for use as a server.

  • We will continue to support peer to peer users until April of 2021. Beginning in May of 2021 we will only support FrameReady users who have FileMaker Server installed.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a server?

    A server is a dedicated computer that provides resources and data (in this case, your FrameReady program) to the other computers on your local network.

    1) The server computer runs FileMaker Server.

    2) The FileMaker Server hosts the FrameReady database files.

    3) The guest computers open FileMaker Pro to use FrameReady.

    The server computer does not need to be a "server grade" computer.

  • Do we have to purchase FileMaker Server software?

    Previously, FileMaker Server was priced at $999 USD.

    We are able to provide FileMaker Server software to licensed FrameReady users, at no additional initial cost, for Mac and Windows.

  • What are the advantages of using FileMaker Server?

    ✔ Stability

    ✔ Performance

    ✔ Automated backups

    ✔ Security

  • Do we need FileMaker Server for one computer and one or more iPads?

    Yes. Using FrameReady on any device (Windows, Mac, iPad) requires an active networking license.

    You do not need FileMaker Server if you only use FrameReady on a single computer.

  • Can we put FrameReady onto a cloud server?

    FrameReady is not built for use in the cloud unless you plan to use terminal services (remote desktop).

    Your local area network (LAN) is typically much faster (10x or more) than a wide area network (WAN) and it is possible that all FrameReady computers will experience slower performance.

    If many computers share your internet connection, then this approach may be a limiting factor.

  • Can any modern computer be used as a server?

    For the most part, yes. FileMaker Server for Mac computers is usable out-of-the-box; we often recommend a Mac Mini for use as your server.

    FileMaker Server for Windows, however, has stricter requirements, such as requiring Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition or Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition in order to run.

    Note: Not all Windows software will run in Windows Server 201x systems.

    Please see: System requirements

  • Can we use an existing server?

    Provided that the existing server meets the System Requirements.

    Note: Windows Server 2012 is no longer supported.

  • Do we have to buy and use Microsoft server Client Access Licenses (CALs)?

    No. While using Terminal Services (remote desktop) used to be the case for using FileMaker Server, users can now directly use FileMaker Pro on their guest computers and no longer rely on remote desktop (terminal) services.

  • Can the server computer also be used to open FrameReady?

    For best performance, FileMaker Server should be run on a dedicated computer reserved for use as a server.

    However, you can use the "Open Remote" feature in FileMaker to open FrameReady, on the server, through the server.

    Note: this is not considered a best practice. Claris, Inc. writes "On a FileMaker Server machine, use of FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Pro Advanced is for testing purposes only."

    If other software causes the server computer to slow down or crash, then it will affect other connected computers (especially if the server computer must be rebooted).

  • Can we open FrameReady from a remote location?

    If you obtain a static IP address for your modem/router and route it to the FileMaker Server by forwarding requests on port 5003 to the server computer, then you can open FrameReady remotely.

    Performance will depend on the quality of the internet connection and the number of devices using it.

    The FrameReady computer needs a Static IP Address (available from your internet service provider) in order for remote, off-site computers to locate and connect to it (because a static IP address does not change, it can be used to make a reliable network connection).

    Additional network and router setup is required to make sure the static IP address is properly routed to the "Host" computer (this connects the static IP address in the outside world with the internal IP address of your host/server computer via port #5003).

    The FrameReady Server computer must be powered on in order for other computers to open FrameReady. It is also recommended to disable system updates, hibernation/power savings, anti-virus software etc.

  • Can we have the scheduled backups to go to my Dropbox or cloud folder?

    In addition to the default backup folder, FileMaker Server allows you to specify a different folder. Network drives are not supported.

  • What if the power goes out then comes back later on?

    Your server computer can be set to automatically reboot when the power is restored. After booting up, the FileMaker Server restarts and automatically checks the integrity of the database files.

  • What needs to be disabled on the server computer to keep it running smoothly?

    We recommend that you inspect and adjust the settings for any anti-virus, hibernation/sleep/power, software updates, etc.

    Turn off indexing (Spotlight) for at least the FMS Data folder and all subfoldres.

    Disable other services such as email, VPN, TimeMachine, etc.

    We also recommend that the server computer not be used as a guest computer/work station, for these same reasons.

Choosing a Server Computer

  • A dedicated computer is recommended for FileMaker Server.

  • It should have a 4-core CPU, 8GB RAM, and 80GB or more hard drive.

  • It does not need to be a "server grade" computer.

Windows or Mac?

  • Windows: FileMaker Server requires the purchase of a special version of Windows: Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2012

    Note: There is a cost to purchase these operating systems. Also, not all software is supported to run on Windows Server 2016 or 2012, e.g. Adobe Photoshop CC.

  • Mac: FileMaker Server requires Big Sur, Catalina, or Mojave.

Because of the purchase price for Microsoft Server, as well that not all Windows software is supported to run on it, we recommend using a recent (2018+) Mac Mini computer. The Mac's operating system is fully capable of running the FileMaker Server software.

Server Requirements

Please note that different versions of FileMaker may supported newer operating system versions.

FileMaker Server Recommended Hardware Supported Operating Systems*

If Mac, then 2018 or newer
A dedicated computer is recommended for FileMaker Server.

4-Core CPU
500+ GB or more hard drive

» FileMaker Server 18 Technical Specifications

- Windows Server 2019 Standard Edition (with Desktop Experience)
- Windows Server 2019 Datacenter (with Desktop Experience)*
- Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition (with Desktop Experience)
- Windows Server 2016 Datacenter (with Desktop Experience)*
*Windows Server Datacenter is compatible with FileMaker Server 19, but has not been fully tested.

Note that Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Standard and Enterprise Editions are no longer supported. Please update your operating system before upgrading to FileMaker Server 17.

CentOS Linux CentOS 7.8
- macOS Big Sur 11.0 (FileMaker Server 19.1.2 minimum)
- macOS Catalina 10.15
- macOS Mojave 10.14

Note: macOS High Sierra 10.13, Sierra 10.12, El Capitan 10.11, and Yosemite 10.10 are not supported.

*Version stated is the minimum requirement. FileMaker Server may work with later operating systems certified by FileMaker, Inc. Operating systems not listed in the table above may also work but have not been tested and are not supported. An Internet connection is required to install FileMaker Server on Windows.

Example Network Diagram using FileMaker Server

  • The FrameReady files are stored only on the server computer.

  • When one of your guest computers requests data, the server sends it out.

Server layout

Process of Setting Up

  • Install FileMaker Server on the server computer.

  • Install FileMaker Pro on the server computer.

  • Configure the server software and network settings.

  • Optionally upgrade your FrameReady to version 11.
    This may require migrating any customizations to your new version.

  • Upload the FrameReady files to the server.

  • Optionally set up a static IP address on the server (so that remote computers can access FrameReady).

  • Open FileMaker Pro on guest computers and then open FrameReady 11.