This guide explains details of how to get a server ready for installing FileMaker and aACE. It is intended for system administrators.
Use the following guidelines to ensure you are ready for installing FMS 19.
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 19 you restore the machine back to its factory default state by performing a factory reset.
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.
Your aACE server must meet at least our minimum required specifications. To ensure your aACE system runs smoothly for your users, we also recommend optimal specifications.
Our minimum required specifications for an aACE server are as follows:
- 3.0 GHz 6-Core
- 32 GB of RAM
- 500 GB of SSD Storage
- Gigabit Ethernet
Our minimum recommended specifications for an aACE server are as follows:
- 3.2 GHz 6-Core
- 64 GB of RAM or 16 GB of Unified Memory
- 2 TB of SSD Storage
- 10 Gigabit Ethernet
For companies with higher numbers of users and/or multiple disparate locations, additional resources may be required.
For additional details, please see the technical specifications for FMS 19, available on the FileMaker web site.
Network Connection for Self-Hosted Systems
If your system is self-hosted, we strongly recommend that you run an ethernet cable from your router to the server to make use of a wired network connection. Wired connections are generally faster and/or more reliable than wireless (WiFi) connections and should be used at all times if possible. If you are able to give your server a wired network connection, you must ensure that the WiFi setting on your server is disabled to ensure that the server makes use of the wired connection.
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.
Periodic Server Restarts
We recommend that you schedule periodic restarts of your aACE server to take place at least once every 30 days. FileMaker Server sometimes encounters issues with system performance or with the Admin Console interface if the server has not been restarted for a long time. Periodic restarts help prevent such issues.
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 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:
- From the GCP portal, navigate to Compute Engine > VM Instances, then click on your aACE server virtual machine and click Edit.
- 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.
- Turn on your virtual machine, then access the virtual machine using Microsoft Remote Desktop.
- On the machine, locate the Windows PowerShell application, right-click it, and select Run as Administrator.
- Enter the following command:
googet install google-compute-engine-driver-gga
- At the prompt, agree to install the driver and all dependencies.
- 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 system backups and logging. 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.
- Open the Start menu and search for "Local Security Policy".
- 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."
- 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.
- Click "Check Names", "OK", and "OK" once more.
- Double-click the policy named "Change the system time" and repeat steps 3 and 4.
- Restart your server to allow these changes to take effect.
Default Server Settings
Your aACE server must not be allowed to check for automatic updates:
- Mac / PC — Configured the server so all automatic update features are disabled.
Your aACE server must also not be allowed to enable its screensaver or sleep mode automatically:
- 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”.
- 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.
- Navigate to System Preferences > Date & Time > Time Zone, then select the location of the server on the map.
- 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.
- You may leave your default browser set to Safari or download an alternative (i.e. FireFox or Chrome).
- Mozilla FireFox must be installed and set as the server's default browser before proceeding.
Windows Defender Firewall
- 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.
Prepare a tool on the server to help extract large .zip files:
- Mac — Download and install Keka.
Note: Set Keka as the default file archive tool: Hold the Option key, right-click a .zip or .7z file, then select Always Open With > Keka.
- PC — Download and install 7zip.
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. However we recommend that you review them so you are aware of tasks that must be done by your IT specialist further down the line.
Installers, Licenses, and Credentials
Prepare the following elements prior to the server setup:
- 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.
- FileMaker software installers, including:
- FileMaker Server 19
- FileMaker Pro 19
- A valid FileMaker 'LicenseCert.fmcert' file
Note: This contains the key for your FileMaker Server 19 license. If you are familiar with the installation process for FMS 16 or earlier, please note that the FMS 19 installation process looks to this file instead of prompting you to enter your license key.
- Valid FileMaker Pro licenses for all users
- Your aACE system, including:
- A ZIP archive containing your aACE files
- The "management" password to your copy of aACE
- Remote access with LogMeIn
- In the server’s browser, download the aACEsoft LogMeIn installer and run it.
- If the machine name does not clearly identify the server, update the server's display name in LogMeIn. Recommended naming format: <Customer Name> aACE Server <Hosting Service (if applicable)>.
- Have aACE Software or your FileMaker developer test and confirm remote access to the server.
- Remote access to your server with a secondary method (e.g. GoToAssist — Obtain an installer for this recommended tool from aACE Software or your FileMaker developer.)
- 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 basic understanding of the FileMaker Server Command Line Interface (CLI) — See FileMaker’s help guide on Using the CLI.
Note: Most commands required during the server setup will prompt you to enter the Admin Console's username and password. When you obtain these credentials, be sure to store them for later use.