Archive for December, 2007

Checking FileMaker Server Backups

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

When checking backups for clients that have a FileMaker-based solution, it is imperative that we check the backup mechanisms for FileMaker in addition to Retrospect (or other backup solutions). This article will outline this process.

1) First, we need to refresh the finder so that the dates reported will be correct (you’ll see why this is important in a minute). To do this, you simply need to log out of the account and log back in. Keep in mind that programs like Retrospect will quit on logout. If the computer cannot be logged out due to the fact a program is hosting a service that is in use, there is another way to refresh the Finder’s timestamps. When you create a new folder in a finder window, it should refresh the timestamps. Do this in the folder you are checking, and then delete the newly created folder.

2) Once you have logged back in, we need to find out where the backups are stored. To do this, simply launch FileMaker Server Admin (/Applications/FileMaker Server /FileMaker Server Admin) and connect to the database by typing 127.0.0.1.

3) Once the FileMaker Server Admin is open, click on the “schedule” button at the top. Here you will see the schedule for the backups. Double-click on one scripts and note the file path starting with filemac:/. This is the location of FileMaker’s backups. The default location is:

/Library/FileMaker Server/Data/Backups/

4) Navigate to the listed location in the Finder.

5) Switch to details view (Apple + 2). You should see folders that indicate timed backups. For instance:

0800 1000 1200 1400 etc.

1 – Mon 2 – Tuesday 3 – Wed etc.

This would indicate that the database is being backed up every 2 hours, and on each day of the week.

6) Now, to check the backups, go into one of the folders. Make sure you are in list view (Apple + 2) and look at the timestamps. The last modified timestamp should fall in line with the type of backup you are looking at. If it is a daily, then the items in the folder for the day before should read “Yesterday”.

7) Go through the various backup script folders and verify that the database is backing up properly.

The FileMaker backup system should be checked in addition to the main backup system. The system should be set up so that FileMaker is creating backups, and those backups are being backed up again by the main backup program.

The developers have requested that we check and ensure that these clients also have at least one backup on each weekend day (in the evening). If they do not, go ahead and create one for Saturday and Sunday (10PM is fine as long as it doesn’t conflict with other backups). Add the script by doing the following:

Go to the folder where the backups are located and create a SAT and SUN folder. Make sure ownership is for fmserver (read/write) and group is fmsadmin (read/write). Then go into FileMaker Server Admin and go to schedules. Duplicate the Friday backup and change the file location and timing to meet your new scheduled backup. Name it appropriately.

FileMaker Server 9.0.2 PHP on Windows

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

The version of the PHP API that shipped with FMS 9.0v1 is configured to expire, as did the 8.0 Public Beta of the PHP API. The 9.0v2 updater includes a new version of the stand-alone PHP API that fixes this bug, but the installer does not automatically place it where it needs to go — you have to do so manually. You can find the PHP API Standalone package here:

C:\Program Files\FileMaker\FileMaker Server\Web Publishing\FM_API_for_PHP_Standalone.zip

Just uncompress that and replace the existing PHP API on that machine with it.