Creating and Hosting Prefixed Test Systems

This guide explains how to prepare an alternate version of a customer's aACE system. It is intended for system administrators.

A prefixed test system is typically for user testing, although alternate systems might also be used for development, training, or demonstration purposes. 

This process involves creating server schedules, which will require the management credentials for the customer's system. If you do not have these credentials on hand, contact aACE Software to obtain them before you start this process.  

Create the Prefixed System

  1. Take a backup of the customer's live system.
  2. Prefix the files of the backup system:
    Note: Make sure you can access the FM Tools menu (FM18 > Preferences > General > Use advanced tools).
    1. Open FM18.
    2. In the FM18 menu bar, click Tools > Developer Utilities.
    3. Add a prefix to each file in the backup system:
      1. From the Developer Utilities popup, click Add, then navigate into the backup system folder, select all files, and click Add again.
      2. Rename each file with a prefix to identify the system (e.g. "TEST_", "DEMO_", etc).
        Note: This will modify all the external data source names and file paths, redirecting all the links within the database.
    4. For the Project Folder, click Specify, then create a new folder within the backup system folder titled "Prefixed" and click Choose
    5. Clear the flag to 'Overwrite matching files within the Project Folder'.
    6. Click Create.
  3. Log in to the prefixed system and disable integrations:
    1. Right-click the [prefix]_aACEv5v0.fmp12 file, then select Open With > FileMaker Pro Advanced 18 and login.
    2. At the dialog noting the differing IP addresses, click Yes.
      Note: This message displays to highlight that you are not signing into a live system.
    3. Click OK to enter Programmer Mode. 
    4. At the dialog for each integration that was active in the live system, disable the integrations by typing "Disable..." and click OK.
      Note: Be sure to stretch the dialog window tall enough to view the exact text for disabling.
  4. Disable other schedules that are associated with integrations. (Note: These are in addition to the integrations disabled via the login prompts.)
    1. In the prefixed system, navigate from Menu > System Admin > Preferences > Automation Schedules.
    2. Make sure these schedules are disabled:
      • eCommerce Integration
      • Update Shipments from Integrated Shipping
      • Retrieve Incoming Emails
      • Send Outgoing Emails
    3. Click Commit Updates.
  5. Disable team members who should not have access to the test system:
    1. Navigate from Menu > System Admin > User Groups.
    2. From the Team Member's tab for each user group, clear the User flag for all users not designated to use the system (e.g. to help with testing).
      Exception: Leave the "aace.admin" user active.

Log out of the prefixed system.

Package the System

In the Prefixed folder, compress all the aACE system files:

  • Mac — Select the files, right-click the list, and select Compress # Items
  • PC — Select the files, right-click the list, and select Send To > Compressed (zipped) folder

Rename the compressed file, using this format: "yyyy_mm_dd_[companyName]".

Host the Test System Files

  1. On the desired server's desktop, extract the compressed test system.
  2. Host each of the aACE system files: 
    1. From the Menu Bar, click File > Sharing > Upload to Host.
    2. Click the Change button.
    3. In the Change Folder dialog, expand the Databases option, then click New Folder.
    4. Name the new folder "TEST_aACE5", then click OK
    5. Click the Browse... button.
    6. Navigate to the Downloads folder, locate the uncompressed system files, select them all, and click Open.
      Note: To keep the customer server clean, after the new files are hosted, return to the Downloads folder and delete both the compressed and uncompressed folders.

Create the System Schedules

Create a new set of server schedules to match the live system's schedules. Create these schedules as you would normally, but prefix each schedule title with the system prefix and make sure each schedule points to the [prefix]_aACEv5v0_Scripts file.

Verify Your Work

From the FMS Admin Console, navigate to Databases, then scroll down and verify that the prefixed files are all in place. 

Open FM18, locate the new system and login to test that the system is running.

Coordinate Access with the Customers

Tell the users who will be using the prefixed system how to access it (i.e. using the Show Hosts action or using a launcher that you configure to reference it).