Is it a good idea to have FileMaker and sql express on the same server

I seem to recall reading that FIleMaker recommends not having SQL installed on a FileMaker server but I was not able to find the source. I have a customer asking and would like to give a better answer then I currently can.

As a simple rule: no, not a good idea.

All databases are usually heavy on the disk i/o and you'd be constraining both by putting them together. Also, now you're putting two eggs in the same basket, downtime for one can/will affect the other, and so on.

For best performance and best uptime, dedicate the box to what is crucial. If neither are crucial and are lightweight enough not to have a noticeable impact: have at it.


Thanks for the quick reply. that will help me suggest why it is not a good idea. I am still hoping someone might be able to point me to a source form FileMaker. I have been looking and can't seem to find were I read it.

see the paragraph in bold


Thank you for the link.

It all depends on the client, the budget, the usage and the acceptance of the risks.

I've seen small businesses where FileMaker server runs on the iMac used by staff to do work. And that means the database is down, when someone shuts down that iMac...

You can perfectly do several things on a server, but if you do file sharing and upload big files to a shared folder (hosted on same server as FileMaker), the FileMaker database access for another user may get slower.

Alternative: Use VMWare on that server you have to run several VMs for different tasks. This way the FMS VM can restart without stopping the Microsoft SQL Server VM.


Especially on consumer grade SSDs, there is a risk of burning out that drive by using it for both a workstation and a FileMaker Server.

Reducing usage from 5+ years to under 1 year.

1 Like