My Experience Upgrading to FileMaker Server 14

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Upgrading your server is always a hassle. It doesn’t matter whether you’re upgrading the software or changing the hardware; something is bound to go wrong! Okay I might be going over the top a little bit; but thats because if something does go wrong with your server it can result in serious data loss. So I tend to be overly cautious. For this reason I have left my server running FileMaker Server 13 until it was guaranteed there were no bugs with either FileMaker Server or Yosemite. After some um’ing and ah’ing I decided it was time to upgrade!

Over the past month or two I have been upgrading my clients servers to FileMaker Server 14, from the previous FileMaker Server 13. All of these experiences went smoothly; apart from one. After resolving the issue I wanted to write a quick article on it to avoid anyone else having the same problem.

Let me give you a bit of background information first.

My client’s server had the following set up:

  • 18 running databases
  • 5 scheduled scripts
  • Web direct turned ON using default ports
  • XML data turned ON using default ports
  • OBDC turned OFF

So as you can see it is not a huge server. However, as with any company, the data stored on this server is crucial to the businesses operations and they cannot afford long periods of down time. This is not usually a problem as FileMaker are pretty good at making the server upgrade a simple process.

However when upgrading this clients server I encountered a problem that made it impossible to complete the set up wizard when you first install FileMaker Server 14. It was not allowing me to activate the web direct or XML data access.

The reported error was telling me that it could not make a connection to the server and that I had to enter a new IP address or port for the server. This confused me a lot! The IP address for the server was correct and so was the port number; default 80. After a couple of hours of messing around with settings, thinking that I had made a mistake, I decided it was time to call FileMakers technical support to get them to tell me what I had done wrong! However after explaining the issue they weren’t immediately able to identify the cause of the problem. So they talked me through a couple of checks to run in terminal which were both unsuccessful. At this point FileMakers technical guy put me on hold to go and talk to his colleges to see if they had any suggestions.

After a couple of minutes of waiting the technical support guy returned and told me to uninstall FileMaker 14 and to then rename a certain directory within the Library folder. Please note I am doing this on a Mac! I was instructed to change the name of the folder ‘FileMaker Server’ and that the reason for this was that the new install of FileMaker Server 14 might be picking up data/faults from the old FileMaker Server 13 directory.

Upon installing FileMaker Server 14, or any FileMaker Server for that matter, a directory in the library folder is created called ‘FileMaker Server’ which holds all data related to FileMaker Server. However if the install wizard detects a folder named this already, it just adopts the folder rather than create a new one. This was the source of my problem. It seemed that something within the old FileMaker 13 Server setup was creating a problem when I installed the new FileMaker 14 Server. So after uninstalling FileMaker Server 14 I renamed the old folder ‘FileMaker Server Old’.

Then when I installed FileMaker Server 14 for the second time the problem disappeared and I was able to complete the installation process.

My ‘Library’ directory looked like this:

LibraryFolder

When I installed FileMaker Server 14 for the second time the install wizard could not see a folder called ‘FileMaker Server’; so it created a new one. This results in a brand new server set up.

That concludes my problematic experience with FileMaker Server 14. Just for good practice; have a look at my checklist of things to do before upgrading your server software.

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