FileMaker Pro is a cross-platform relational database application from Claris International, an subsidiary of Apple Inc. It integrates an database engine with a graphical user interface and security features, allowing users to modify the database by dragging new elements into layouts, screens or forms. FileMaker was initially introduced on the market as an MS-DOS based program (in the 80’s), but quickly made the shift to Macintosh. Today, FileMaker Pro is available on prem and as a cloud version (FileMaker Cloud).
A typical deployment will have databases, the FileMaker Server (Advanced) and the FileMaker Pro clients running on end-user devices (app developers). One of the typical characteristics of FileMaker, is that when working in the client, all required data is downloaded to the local client, not just the query results. On the company LAN this typically is no issue, but when these remote & teleworkers are connected via VPN this does consume a lot of bandwidth. As such, VPN isn’t the most optimized mechanism to access FileMaker databases.
Simplified FileMaker Pro setup with VPN-based remote access
Our customers have pointed out that they prefer accessing FileMaker Pro via Awingu. It provides a smoother experience to login via a browser on their device of choice, and mostly, it doesn’t require downloading all data when developing in FileMaker Pro. All data stays in the datacenter, only screen refresh data is shared. Also from a security perspective it adds benefits: only port 443 needs to be used, MFA can be used to securely authenticate, and granular usage controls can prevent unauthorized downloading, copying, printing, … Obviously, giving there is no client to be installed, the support process is a lot easier, and users can really use their devices of choice: a personal iMac, a Chromebook, an iPad,..?
The high-level architecture will look like below. Noting that on the company LAN, users can keep using their FileMaker Pro clients, or, can use the browser to access a published version of the client.
Simplified FileMaker Pro setup with Awingu-based remote access
In this blogpost we highlight the usage of Awingu specifically with FileMaker Pro. There is no limitation to FileMaker Pro as such. Any applications can be made available.