FileMaker Server 19 - how in all day usage

for years (decades!), we have been slow on updating - don't go to a new version too early...

Times have been changed now.

  • the older one gets, the faster time passes by
  • filemaker wants the latest 2 macOS and the latest 2 versions of fm to interoperate
  • this has been changed now as well: fm19 will only share data with fm18 and newer, no more fm17
  • the servers (all MacMini's) here are on macOS 10.12/fms17. The servers are just and only fm servers - with one exception: One of the Mini's is used ~ 4 times a year by our bookie, the financial software we are using is always somewhat 'late' when it comes to supporting the latest os... fortunately the financial sw is now available for catalina
  • so, if we want to begin using fm19, we need to have those machines updated

We are really lucky to have wonderful customers and wonderful projects - quite some of them. Means: We are short in time...

Due to corona, our daily schedules are somewhat filled with online-meetings, sometimes all day long

So, I decided to move the main servers to a new os and to a fms version that supports fm18 and fm19 - there is a time-gap for this right now... invoices are out, those servers are not on heavy load - and there are 2 long weekends ahead where customers wont work much

I have no glue what the near future brings.. a new version of fm/fms every 4 month, I got a site license here that is only available as a 'renting license' (fba)

Therefore, I decided to 'go catalina' and to 'go fms19'. The release notes for 19 show some issues fixed - but apparently still existing on fms18, I could not find any warnings for fms19 (might be only a few people running fms19, might be that the 'official' forums are that unhandy so nobody will post..., whatever)

Installing/updating catalina is no longer that self-explaining, Apple has 'lost the usability'.
There is a progress-bar that does not really move, all of the sudden, the screen turns black (installation takes some time, I do not look all the time onto that machine...).
Then the system seems to be updated and ready to configure. Best is, that the option for storing some directories on iCloud is no longer 'on' by default - takes always some time to check that out.
Configuring iCloud is a mess, several pwd are asked without any fast message on the screen (You are typing in the iCloud pwd but the system already asks for the pwd of the machine), etc.
Many utilities (chronosync..) will not run without user-actions, etc.
The system is not as crispy as 10.12 on that Mini, but after a day, it's more or less ok.

Installing (the old version of fms was already uninstalled, backups of the data saved and checked) fms19 is easy - besides of a wrong cert (accidentally copied the wrong one..)

Configuring fms takes more time.. there are some tasks one can only enable/disable via command line (we got some inventory lists without pwd...). Schedules as well are somewhat different to define compared to older versions of fms.
I did not import schedules, some of them were outdated, no longer used - so I decided to create that from scratch, using the previous folder hierarchy (created screenshots since the folders will not show...)
All schedules manually tested, working fine

Databases seem to perform well during the first tests, were available on all devices

So far so good - but the next few weeks will tell us more...

Question: Who is already running fms19 today? Experience?

We are not on 19 yet, it requires an update to the OS on our Windows Server. And with COVID-19 shutdowns in New York State, we won’t do that until we can be in the office should anything go sideways.

So far I haven’t seen anything major with 19 that would make me hold off. But would love to hear others’ experience. Typically we wait for the first point release before we install, but there isn’t anything major with 19 so we may not wait if we can do the updates to the client machines.

Is FMS 19 still stuck on Java 8 or has it moved past finally?

Also, is the latest version of Windows Server now supported? The last time I tried that install with FMS 17 it wasn't supported.


fully understood! Fortunately, the servers are located in our house, so direct accessing is not the problem

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Has Java moved past Java 8?

one problem: Can not turn securefilesonly off using the terminal, won't accept root...

I enabled 'root' according to Apple help, can activate root - but fmsadmin says 'permission denied'

Claus Lavendt's 'missing admin tool' for fms 18 works with 19 in this context and I was able to turn that setting off.

As said in the opening post, there are a few files for inventory that are open for every one, null secure info there

So, a B I G Thank You to Claus!

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Yes. Windows Server 2019 is supported. Support for 2012 was dropped.

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I always run at least one FMS on ETS and host my testing files plus my suite of performance test files. 19 has been stable for me. We are not going to deploy them in production probably until late June, just to catch community feedback and do a final round of testing on the released product.

Unlike other releases though we will probably deploy this one without waiting for v2. There actually won't be a v2 in the classic sense. 2020.2 will bring new features and if they hold through to their schedule we can expect that one towards the end of the summer.


A fact that is often overlooked - and mainly because Apple doesn't want to emphasize it too much - is that Catalina is NOT just an upgrade in the OSX chain of OSes. It's a completely new animal under the hood with wide-ranging changes in how it handles all things security and app sandboxing.

It forces companies that make software and platforms to make big decisions: keeping backward compatibility is going to be expensive because much of the code base needs to be different. So most of them cut the tail and just won't offer much in backward compatibility especially not in this day and age of more frequent smaller releases. Unfortunate, but there it is.


Thank You!

I normally go for a new server release very late - but now, with quarter updates and the need of a fms 18 affects us here

The main problem is time... I could swear that I updated at least 2 of the servers, but in fact those machines are still on 10.12 )-:

At the moment, I got 4 machines updated, three to catalina, one older Mini to 10.13, that one will have fms 18 soon

My bad... it was the console credentials - not the sudo. Fmsadmin should work as expected now

I have taken an early plunge with one of the systems I look after and have upgraded from FMS 17 to FMS 19.

There are only around 5 simultaneous users on this system, but all clients get used - Pro, Go and WebDirect, as well as Data API - mostly incoming data from webhooks, as well as some basic forms that 'external' users send in from web pages.

One of the main reasons is that we desperately wanted to get using Card Windows in WebDirect! Also keen to make use of the new Javascript powers - particularly useful in WebDirect which didn't work with using fmp:// URL scheme to trigger FM scripts previously...

So far so good - everything working really well. I did test the system out for the last few weeks on the Preview release so wasn't jumping completely into a black hole.

Anecdotal feedback from the users is that they feel it is 'faster' - so that's good :slight_smile:


Four months have passed since the release of FMS 19. I’d like to reiterate Markus’ question: how is FMS in usage in production systems, in terms of stability and performance?


We're likely to take the plunge and upgrade our busiest SBA server to v19 this coming month on a Windows Server 2019 vm. The server is nearly ready and we're working through upgrading the clients still below FMPA v18.

It has behaved itself on our development server and we also need WD card windows.

The current server is v16, which we've not been able to upgrade due to the amount of development work we had to carry out as a result of the MDI to SDI changes in Windows introduced with v16 (hence it has been a slow process to wean users off FMP 15). We are not fans of server 16, so can't wait to leave it behind.

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here, most of the customer who can update, are on 18 or upgraded to 18. Main reason: The current system is no capable to run 19, followed by the announcement from claris that they will do quarterly updates - but did not ship one until now (and there were some issues with 19 - on our systems for example the slow response in go19 and some layering issues with 19 desktop that will not allow upgrades without manual corrections)

If claris would support more than just v18 and older os than just macOS 10.14, more customers would be on 19. Quite some customers do have maintenance - but not all machines are on 10.14. sigh.

For new, smaller customers, licensing is terrible - the 'free license' (connections) price a catastrophe

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If you are not on 19.1 yet, you may just wait for the next version, which may come soon.

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Things are moving forward here. About a month ago I installed FMS v19.1.2.234 on the dev server.
A week ago I moved a production server to v
Last Friday I moved all clients that connect to this server to FMP v19.3.315.

Progressive backup switched off.
WD switched off.
Clients have MBS v10.4 installed

Both FMPS are since up and running without issues.
Connections from FMP v18 clients to FMS v19 without issues.
Connections from FMP v19 clients toFMS v19 without issues.

So far, no issues encountered in production and development.


We’ve had our (Windows) development server running since the initial release. A light load client server running since March and finally updated or primary SBA server 10 days ago.

We’ve had no negative issues to report. The FMS v16 server that was replaced consistently had FMSE errors, 2 to 3 times a week, requiring constant monitoring and use of the command line to restart the FMSE, whereas the FMS 19 server hasn’t put a foot wrong since its first day of use.

I’m very pleased to be able to report this.


We now have FileMaker Server v19 running on 3 Windows servers, including the one with the highest load, our SBA server.

To date it has run faultlessly and we’ve seen none of the FMSE errors that were a constant problem with FileMaker Server 16 that the main server used to be based on. The server specifications are roughly the same, although v16 ran on a Windows 2012 server, whereas v19 is running on Windows 2016 and 2019 servers.

The new installer (fms_19.2.1.23.exe) that upgrades and retains the configuration has worked fine on all 3 servers as well.