Preparing the Server (FMS 18)

Use the following guidelines to ensure you are ready for installing FMS 18.

Server Specifications

Dedicated Server

Do not use the machine for any other purpose (e.g. email server, remote access, etc). Your aACE server should be used for the sole purpose of hosting aACE and not for any other service that could be hosted on another computer.

If your users will remotely log into a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) machine, then sign into aACE, the RDP machine must not be the server itself. However, for the best results the RDP machine should be in the same facility as the aACE FMS server.

Note: If your aACE server was not previously configured in accordance with these instructions (e.g. the server hosted any FileMaker system other than aACE, offsite backups were installed but not configured properly, additional user accounts existed, etc.), we require that prior to installing FMS 18 you restore the machine back to its factory default state by performing a factory reset.

Multiple Accounts

Do not create multiple user accounts on your server; only install FMS/aACE on a machine with a single administrator account. If there are security or other concerns, virtualization software such as VMware can be used, so long as that computer instance only has FMS running with a single user account.

Note: FMS manages its own communication with the respective clients (i.e. FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and FileMaker WebDirect) and does not utilize any Microsoft or Apple server technologies (e.g. file sharing, network drives, user accounts, etc). As such, turning on any of these services can significantly slow your server.

Technical Specifications

Your server must meet the technical specifications for FMS 18, available on the FileMaker web site.

Backup Requirements for Self-Hosted Systems

If your system is self-hosted, we require at minimum either an offsite backup solution or else a dedicated, physical hard drive mechanism for backups (e.g. RAIDs or USB drive, internal or external). 

Note: If your system is hosted in a cloud (e.g. Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, etc), we do not require dedicated backup drives; these data centers include built-in redundancy.

Mac Mini and Mac Pro Servers

If your aACE server is a Mac Mini or a Mac Pro which is not hooked up to a display (i.e. “headless"), remote access applications such as LogMeIn are likely to have issues displaying the user interface. As a preventative measure, we recommend the use of an HDMI dummy plug. Simply plugging one into your server’s HDMI slot will prevent any problems with displaying the user interface. 

Note: If your aACE server is not a Mac Mini or Mac Pro or is not headless, then the HDMI dummy plug is not required.

Google Cloud Virtual Machines

If your aACE server is a virtual machine hosted on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), you must complete an additional step before screen-sharing applications such as LogMeIn or GoToAssist will function properly: 

  1. From the GCP portal, navigate to Compute Engine > VM Instances, then click on your aACE server virtual machine and click Edit
  2. Under the 'Display device' section, mark the flag Turn on display device.
    Note: This can be done either by shutting down the instance and editing the settings, or while you are creating the new virtual machine. 
  3. Turn on your virtual machine, then access the virtual machine using Microsoft Remote Desktop. 
  4. On the machine, locate the Windows PowerShell application, right-click it, and select Run as Administrator
  5. Enter the following command:
  6. googet install google-compute-engine-driver-gga
  7. At the prompt, agree to install the driver and all dependencies. 
  8. To ensure the change takes effect, restart the virtual machine.

We require that your aACE server be set to the appropriate timezone according to its location, as aACE uses the server's date and time for areas such as logging and the sending of system notices. If your aACE server is a virtual machine hosted on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), you must complete the following step before you will be able to set your server's timezone.

  1. Open the Start menu and search for "Local Security Policy".
  2. In the Local Security Policy dialog, navigate to Security Settings > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment, and double-click the policy named "Change the time zone."
  3. Click "Add User or Group" and then type the name of your server's one and only user account into the "Enter the object names to select" box.
  4. Click "Check Names", "OK", and "OK" once more.
  5. Double-click the policy named "Change the system time" and repeat steps 3 and 4.
  6. Restart your server to allow these changes to take effect.

Default Server Settings

All automatic 'check for updates' features must be disabled. You can find specific instructions on this step here.

In addition, your aACE server must not be allowed to enable its screensaver or sleep mode automatically:

  •  Mac
    • Navigate to System Preferences > Energy Saver, then set both Computer sleep and Display sleep to “Never”.
    • Navigate to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Screen Saver, then set Start after to “Never”.
  •  PC
    • Navigate to Control Panel > Hardware > Power Options > Edit Plan Settings, then set Turn off the display and Put the computer to sleep to “Never”.

Your aACE server must have it's timezone set appropriately according to the actual location of the server. This is required for a number of server-side functions, such as running automation schedules and storing accurate creation and modification times.

  •  Mac
    • Navigate to System Preferences > Date & Time > Time Zone, then select the location of the server on the map.
  •  PC
    • Navigate to Control Panel > Time & Language > Date & Time, then disable Set time zone automatically and select the Time zone that corresponds with the location of the server.

Default Browser

  •  Mac
    • You may leave your default browser set to Safari or download an alternative (i.e. FireFox or Chrome).
  •  PC
    • Mozilla FireFox must be installed and set as the server's default browser before proceeding.

Windows Defender Firewall

  • PC
    • Navigate to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall, then click the Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off button. Check the radio buttons turn off Windows Defender Firewall for both Private network settings  and Public network settings.

Enabling Remote Access to Your aACE System

We require that you enable remote access to your hosted aACE system by the end of the server setup process. The steps in the linked guide do not need to be completed at this point in the process, but we recommend that you review these steps so that you are aware of what will need to be done by your IT specialist further down the line.

Installers, Licenses, and Credentials

 Obtain the following elements prior to the server setup:

  • The login credentials to the server's single user account
    Note: You will need to enter this name and password several times throughout the process.
  • A valid SSL certificate for your server's fully-qualified domain name (e.g. aace.mydomain.com)
    Note: If you have purchased an SSL certificate, but have not yet associated it with your fully-qualified domain name, you will be guided on creating a certificate signing request during a later step.
  • A valid FileMaker 'LicenseCert.fmcert' file
    Note: This contains the key for your FileMaker Server 18 license. Note: If you are familiar with the installation process for FMS 16 or earlier, note that the FMS 18 installation process looks to this file instead of prompting you to enter your license key.
  • Valid FileMaker Pro licenses for all users
  • A basic understanding of the FileMaker Server Command Line Interface (CLI).
    Note: See FileMaker’s help guide on Using the CLI. Most commands required during the server setup will prompt you to enter the Admin Console's username and password. When you obtain these credentials in Step 2, be sure to store them for use later.
  • Remote access with LogMeIn
    Note: In the server’s browser, download the aACEsoft LogMeIn installer. Once you have installed LogMeIn on your server, have aACE Software or your FileMaker developer confirm remote access to the server. 
  • Remote access to your server with a secondary method.
    Note: In addition to LogMeIn, we recommend using GoToAssist — The installer can be provided by aACE Software or your FileMaker developer.
  • FileMaker software installers, including: 
    • FileMaker Server 18
    • FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced
  • Your aACE system, including:
    •  A ZIP archive containing your aACE files
    •  The "management" password to your copy of aACE