Cannot see hosted database

Why am I unable to see a hosted database?

 There can be several reasons that you can't see hosted databases from your client. It's important to determine if your computer policy settings are hiding the files. Hiding files is a common company practice to ensure file security. If you've previously been able to see hosted files, it can be a result of an operating system or antivirus update. Your IT person is best suited to reviewing your companies security settings. Here's an easy to read article that for Windows users can show how files are hidden so you can work backwards. This article does not cover operating system policy settings.

If you're unable to see your files after your initial installation, review the following.

If in the Launch Center select the Hosts tab or if the File>Open Remote on the FileMaker Menu does not show a shared database that is being hosted over a network:

  1. Within a local network make sure the host and client computers are correctly connected to the network and on the same subnet. Refer to the documentation that came with your computer or ask your network administrator. (First three segments of the IP address are the same)
  2. Host and client computers must use FileMaker 13 or later for IPv6 addresses. Confirm  both the client and the host have an IPv6 address shown.
  3. The file must be open on the host computer and sharing must be enabled. File>Sharing>Share with FileMaker Clients> On
  4. If the client is outside your LAN's firewall or to open a database on a different TCP/IP subnet, on the client in the Hosts dialog box, click Specify Host and enter the external IP address of the host computers network. We strongly recommend that your company have a static IP so that this number doesn't change. Due to masking done by some internet service providers, using sites such as "whats my external IP" does not always give you your correct external IP. 
    • Blocking must be removed from port number 5003 by your network administrator. (FileMaker Pro uses TCP port number 5003 to share databases.) File discovery uses port 5353. Ensure this port is not blocked or being used by another program. Port 5353 is often turned off in corporate environments similar to hiding files is done with the operating system.
  5. Check the date and time for both the server machine and the client machine and make sure they are set correctly.

  6. Windows:

    • Bonjour software is required in order to view hosted databases in the Open Remote File dialog box. Be sure that Bonjour is installed on your system.
    • Make sure you have only one network adapter installed for the protocol you are using. For details, choose Helpmenu > Resource Center, click FileMaker Knowledge Base, and search for keywords Host, Adapter, Network.
    • If you host FileMaker Pro files from a server with two or more network cards, FileMaker Pro broadcasts only from the card with ID 0.
  7. Mac OS:
    • Make sure the FileMaker Pro application has not been moved out of the FileMaker Pro folder.
    • FileMaker Pro network hosts on a different subnet may not appear in the Local Hosts list in the Open Remote File dialog box. Consult your network administrator about the host and client subnet mask settings.
    • If hosting the file on a Mac, please check the permissions on the file so that the group permissions are set to "fmsadmin" with read & write permissions.

An explanation of Step 6:
The server.pem file is a certificate that is created upon installation of FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server. If the time had been set forward by several months for example and the application had then been installed, server.pem would use that date/time as a timestamp for the certificate.

Also see the following Knowledge Base articles for further details on FileMaker networking:

Sharing and Hosting Files
Sharing Databases on a Network
File Hosting Troubleshooting