FileMaker 13 and Apache

With FileMaker 13’s update comes an unexpected twist for some with regard to web publishing and Apache. For most installations this will be quite straight forward, deploying the web publishing engine and connecting from a remote location. With the Web publishing and web site on separate machines this would be recommended, however saying you are an avid FileMaker user/installer and are upgrading to FileMaker 13 and the way of working pre FileMaker 13 was to deploy the web publishing engine to an installation of Apache which had to be installed and running prior to deploy, and say this installation was also your web site no problem FileMaker would just add the required Virtual Host directives and the two would happily work side by side.
This is what happened when our client upgraded FileMaker 13. After the successful upgrade the web publishing engine was redeployed, and the original Apache installation was then restarted. Upon trying to connect to the web site the client then realised that the required connections to the FileMaker database were not operational.
Our investigation took many turns, from looking at a deployment of a FileMaker 12 installation and comparing that to FileMaker 13, many differences were found one noticeably being that the required configuration changes to Apache were not being done but the FileMaker Admin Console was reporting a success.
What is going on, well you may notice but are not aware that the admin console runs off of localhost on port 16001 what you may not be aware of is that FileMaker now comes shipped with Apache built in and ready to go out of the box. This is were the problems lie.
To recap the situation with the upgrade done and the admin console running we now have two installations of Apache running. This is not a good idea as the first installation will be set up to listen on ports 80 and possible 443. FileMakers installation of Apache upon looking was also listening on theses ports but not actively serving any web sites further investigation uncovered the mystery of the web publishing engine which is now served from FileMakers installation of Apache which is why the link between FileMaker and the web site was down.
Solving this issue required two changes. The first change was to move all the files to the htdocs folder of the FileMaker Apache installation. The second was to stop the previous installation of Apache from running and starting at boot time. In this instance we were dealing with Mac OS X Mavericks, for other installations of Apache the principle is the same you must stop Apache and make sure it doesn’t start at boot time. For Mac OS X do the following
sudo apachectl stop
sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.apache.httpd.plist
On windows this depends on the installation XAMMP or MAMP you would just turn off the servers. If Apache is running as a service then using the Services manager stop apache and set it so that the startup option is manual.

Darren Kayes

Darren is Linear Blue's Chief Operations Officer, ensuring the smooth running of the company and making sure nothing gets in the way of our developers creating top-notch web and database solutions for our clients.

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