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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions. Not finding your answer? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Getting started with fmcloud.fm hosting

How should I choose my fmcloud.fm hosting?

From the hosting page you can preview the price of your hosting plan. Select the data center near you, adjust the number of users on your license, and select your plan (you can always adjust the number of users or change plan later during the order process).
For a majority of our customers, the criterion that makes one select the Pro plan over the Starter plan is if they need Web Direct. There are other differences, but this is the main one. Our plans are detailed on the hosting page, but don’t hesitate to tell us if you have questions or if you’re in a specific situation.

What services are available with the free fmcloud.fm hosting trial?

On the Order Summary page at the end of the configuration form, you can select Free Trial*. Click it and your server is deployed immediately. Your free trial comes with the full set of services: outsourced backups, upgrades, support… everything, in real conditions. Therefore it is important that you select the correct data center and plan so you have a real-life server just like your production server will be. In fact, your production server will be the same as the trial, but paid 🙂
Don’t worry, if you need to change the plan or the data center, this can be done in minutes at any time.
* this option may not be available if you use a generic e-mail address (gmail, hotmail…) or if you already had a free trial recently. Contact us.

What happens when my trial period is over?

We will send you a notification a few days before, and will shut the server if you don’t reply. Nothing to pay, no credit card info required.

If you want to confirm and upgrade to a paid plan, then we’ll send you a payment request and… welcome to the club! Nothing complicated.

 

FileMaker hosting

How can I be sure that my databases are safely hosted?

Our service meets all the state-of-the-art docker hosting standards.

All security related FileMaker Server features are available and activated (OAuth authentication, Encryption at Rest, SSL/TLS encryption, account lockout…).

We deploy in Tier III-IV data centers, and all outsourced backups are encrypted and accessible through ftps only.

We do not have access to your FileMaker databases (they’re password protected), only you do.

Before you upload a database file onto your fmcloud.fm instance, please read this cheat sheet on securing a file for hosting.

Backups are outsourced daily. In case of a total disaster (data center is destroyed), we’re able to re-deploy your server in minutes.

 

Does the hosting include FileMaker license?

No, hosting plans are BYOL (Bring Your Own License). That said, we can provide licenses, and if you bundle a FileMaker license and a hosting plan, you get a 5% discount on each.

FileMaker Cloud vs fmcloud.fm, what's the difference?

FileMaker Cloud is Claris’ own hosting service, while fmcloud.fm is 1-more-thing’s.

Both platforms are running on Linux, although FileMaker Cloud is running its own version of FileMaker Server on Virtual Machines, and we are running the standard version on a Docker architecture.

In terms of features, we (fmcloud.fm) support ALL FileMaker Server features (Linux version). Deploying on fmcloud.fm is just like having your own on-premise server, but in the cloud, managed by professionals.
Docker architecture has many great advantages. One of them is that we can assign ressources dynamically. The short version of that is: you pay for a small machine and you have a 16-core beast at your disposal.

Only FileMaker Cloud supports Claris ID, but on the other hand you have to have a Claris ID to connect to FileMaker Cloud.

Claris’ FileMaker Cloud does not support all features (for instance plugins are not supported), and some others are restricted (lower restriction on server-side script sessions, number of databases you can install on your instance…)

The pricing is also very different.
You can check out FileMaker Cloud pricing here.

What will change if I migrate from a Windows or macOS server to Linux?

FileMaker Server for Linux has a slightly different feature set than the macOS and Windows versions. It supports OData while others don’t.

  • Only Linux compatible plugins are supported, so if you’re using server-side plugins, make sure that your plugins are available on Linux.
  • Some plugins require a specific install operation on Linux (such as Dacons Mailit for instance). We’ll gladly do this for you (for free).
  • Custom Web Publishing is not supported on Linux (PHP, XML), now is the time to switch to Data API or OData. We can help you with this: we have now transitioned so many projects from PHP to Data API that even complex projects can be migrated in a few hours.

Also, keep in mind that, even though you have access to the admin console and the admin API, there is no graphic interface on our servers. You have no access to the command line tool (except if your have a SBA plan)

If you really need a Windows server, we also have a few configurations available. During the order process, check one of the options “I use a Windows compatible plug-in” or “I need CWP” to see our Windows offering. Our Windows plans are available in some data centers only.

What are the different hosting plans?

Let’s keep things simple. 2 plans.

Starter is sufficient for most of our customers who use FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Go to connect to their server instance. Up to 25 users.

Pro adds the possibility to connect via Web Direct or use ODBC, a custom domain…

As in depth experts of the FileMaker platform we were able to really optimize docker containers for these two types of configurations.

You can switch plan at any time (both ways).

What is Docker about?

Docker is a server architecture that allows us to use less ressources for the operating system and to allocate this power to you dynamically, when you need it.

To sum up, you have access to hardware resources that would cost a lot more if you had to rent it yourself as a virtual machine.

If you want to know more about Docker and FileMaker, Romain Dunand and Fabrice Nordmann gave a video presentation that compares docker to a classic VM.

 

Why do you charge per user and not a flat rate?

fmcloud.fm is a real cloud service. It’s not just a commercial name for a virtual machine.

A virtual machine has a fixed cost, and if you need more resources than the VM has, well, it simply becomes slow and you need to switch to a more expensive VM.

With docker, resources are allocated dynamically. Therefore the more understandable cost unit is a user, this is why all software as a service providers (SAAS) charge per user.

Are you billing monthly or annually?

We bill annually BUT… 🙂

For the sake of simplicity and efficacy, we bill annually, but it doesn’t mean you’re bound to us for a full year. Unless you benefited from our 5% discount on a license + hosting bundle, you can leave at any time, and we will refund you for the unused months on your plan.

When registering for your plan, if you know your server will be deployed for a limited time period, just let us know, so we can send a bill tailored to your situation (you certainly won’t pay for a full year if you need a server for the duration of an event, for instance)

What will happen if I turn on Web Direct on my Starter plan?

With fmcloud.fm you have access to the Admin Console. Therefore, nothing really prevents you from activating a feature that is not included on your plan.

We totally understand that you might need to test a feature.

But we will turn that feature back off soon after and suggest an upgrade to Pro plan. Keep in mind that switching from Starter to Pro and back is a free operation (we simply charge/refund for the difference).

Also, our Pro containers (like a server on a docker host) are really optimized for Web Direct. There is a real performance difference between the two, therefore if you switch plan we will redeploy the server (which, with docker, means just restarting it). It doesn’t take more than a few seconds, and this can happen nightly, at your convenience.

Do I have to account for backups and Operating System when looking at the included storage capacity for my plan?

No! Unlike every other hosting service, the storage we indicate is only for your databases and remote container data. The disk space required for your backups is on us.

Why can't I see the files in the FileMaker Server Admin Console?

Sometimes, although the database files are accessible, and you can connect to them from FileMaker Pro, you still can’t see them in the admin console.

In most cases, this is because you’re using Firefox. Please use a supported browser (Chrome, Edge, Safari). If the problem persists, please contact our support line

Are 3rd party tools like Otto or MirrorSync supported?

Yes! we support 3rd party tools that are compatible with the Linux version of FileMaker Server. You will need your own license though.
A list of plugins and add-ons that support Linux can be found here.

FileMaker licenses

Is it mandatory to purchase a license with fmcloud.fm hosting?

Our hosting plans are BYOL (Bring Your Own License). We can of course provide you with licenses, and you benefit from a 5% discount if you bundle your purchase/renewal of a license and a hosting plan.

You are the owner of your license, you can leave at any time and install your license anywhere.

Users and Concurrencies FileMaker licenses allow you to install on 3 different servers. You can it install it once on your fmcloud.fm production server, order a second server for development (at a flat 5-user rate), and another time on premise for instance. SLA license can be installed on even more instances (one per employee on your license, which is 25 times at least).

On the order form, what am I supposed to do if I don't want to purchase a license?

Because our hosting pricing is based on the number of users on your FileMaker license, we need that information, but of course you don’t have to buy a license with us.

If you already have a license, the easiest way is to insert your serial number, so we can look it up at Claris and get the number of users.

If you don’t have your serial key with you, simply simulate the purchase of a license (the only thing we need to know is the number of users).

At the end of the process, from the order summary page, simply select Free Trial. You don’t have to pay anything or even give your credit card info.

What is the SBA program?

The Software Bundle Agreement is a special contract between Claris and a partner who distributes a vertical solution made with FileMaker. We can help you with these too. If you created a software with FileMaker that you distribute to several clients, there are numbers of reasons to look at this program closely.

Also, on the hosting side, we have a special deal for SBAs

What are Education/Non Profit licenses?

All Claris FileMaker licenses come in two different rates: Corporate and Education/Non Profit. Both are available from our web site.

Annual or Perpetual?

Perpetual licensing allows you to keep using the software even if you stop renewing the maintenance, but it becomes cheaper only after 7 years, and it’s less flexible in terms of users management.

Therefore we always recommend annual licensing (you can also secure a price for several years, up to 5 years!).

To avoid confusion, our order form does not offer perpetual licenses, but you can of course request a quotation from us in the chat below and we will get back to you with our best offer.

 

Oriental languages versions

FileMaker supports natively a great number of languages (English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Swedish, Japanese, Brazilian-Portuguese, Korean and Simplified Chinese), but some languages require specific adaptations (writing from right to left for instance).

Winsoft is a Claris Partner that Claris mandates to create these versions. They are also available directly from our website, at exactly the same price as the standard version.

Partner program

How can I refer a customer and be rewarded?

I'm a Claris Partner with a SBA agreement, I heard you have something for me

Yes, we have great solutions for you. Check out our Become A Partner page.

Can’t find the answer to your question?