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Storing encrypted container data externally and on a different place


Normally if you use FileMaker's feature with encrypted containers, the files are stored right next to the database file. Especially on a server this can limit storage options. Hosting 10 databases on the internal server disk limits you to the size of that disk. All your FM databases use only the space on this disk.

Now you can break the limit and move your encrypted container files to another disk. But how? Well, we use symbolic directory links. That's a feature built into operation systems for decades and supported at very low level. So the key thing is that next to your database file FileMaker puts the RC_Data_FMS file. This is the directory where remote containers store their data. And inside you find a folder for each of your databases using remote containers. And this folder can be replaced with a symbolic link.

So follow this steps:
  1. Be sure you know how to use Terminal and/or command line on Windows. You may want to consult system admin.
  2. Make sure nobody uses the database currently.
  3. Make backup of everything in case you break something.
  4. Copy the folder inside RC_Data_FMS to an other location, e.g. network share or external hard disk.
  5. Rename the old data folder.
  6. on Mac:
    1. Open Terminal.
    2. Use cd command to move into the RC_Data_FMS folder
    3. Use the ln command with the -s option to make a new symbolic link. So enter "ln -s" followed by path to dest path followed by name of new link. All separated with spaces. e.g. in my case: ln -s /Volumes/Ablage1/Test/FMServer_Sample FMServer_Sample
  7. on Windows:
    1. Open command line as admin
    2. Use cd command to move into the RC_Data_FMS folder
    3. Use the mklink command with the /D option to make a new symbolic link. So enter "mklink /D" followed by name of the new folder and followed by name to dest path. All separated with spaces. e.g. in my case: mklink /D FMServer_Sample "\\vmware-host\Shared Folders\Test\FMServer_Sample"
  8. open database and put something in a container. You should see FileMaker add a file to the new location.
  9. Test and see if incremental backup and other server features still work well.
Now there is one issue you may see and that is folder permissions. FileMaker Server (the app) must be allowed to read & write to the folder you specify. On Windows this was easier as permissions were right for me right away. For Mac it's much trickier as normally mounting a network share is mounted for the current user only, not for everyone.
23 12 14 - 13:14
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