Wondering if you all have any tips for cooperating/coordinating with client's IT departments/consultants?
I find myself dead in the water today as my client's IT/networking consultant did some maintenance work on the FM Server last night, leaving it completely out of commission. She sent me an email at 9:30pm telling me that it might need a reboot - which I did not receive until this morning when I logged in, and is now unresponsive.
in general, we are perfectly supported by the custmer's IT as long as we know each other and meet every once in a while, can discuss all around FM (with all it's good AND bad)
If we have no real contact with the IT... it can be more difficult. I take care about that relationship as much as possible...
It is not always easy, I know - but that's my rule of thumb
Providing their IT with a few tips and process instructions when they do work on the server is important.
As long as they know what to expect, and what to do before they do any maintenance, they are often receptive to the assistance.
IT departments love procedures; so write one for the server reboot that includes all the steps including disconnecting clients, closing files, and what to do if these don't work...
That is so frustrating! I sort of do some of our IT (we have a reactive, outsourced company), and occasionally sabotage myself and cause my own frustration.
I second @WimDecorte's approach of working with the department to write procedures. I have sometimes had trouble communicating what FileMaker is and does to some of the techs and engineers who work on our servers. I just sent an email to check in with them about their process asking at least for a day's notice via email or a call so I can schedule with them. I explained the general set up and that I have found it best not to rely on any automatic closing, that is I always close all the files and shut down the FM Server myself before rebooting.
I will have to make some time to write them those instructions in case they ever need to reboot the server in an emergency.
For a couple of clients having a linux server as rpm will make things easier.
Of course you need to provide the IT with documentation and maybe it would be good if the community could build some standard webpage describing installation with all the little quirks and troubleshooting tips.