Clients computers may connect to your Crate Pro database files through a local and / or remote connections. An example is user that has a laptop that connects locally while in the office, but connects remotely when out on the road or at another location. You can set up both a local and remote connection on any one client. 

Terminology: The computer with the Crate Pro files is called the host in peer-to-peer configurations. If your purchase includes FileMaker Server the host computer is called the server .  Your Crate Pro 6 database files are installed on one computer whether its a host or server. All other computers are called clients. FileMaker Server is only installed on your file server. FileMaker Pro  (version 16 and earlier) or FileMaker Pro Advanced (17 and newer) is installed on all clients. Virtual situations are handled differently.

The speed of Crate Pro can be greatly affected by the speed of your network and internet connection. A wired connection over a wireless is generally faster. Also Crate Pro hosted with FileMaker Server better manages your data transfer and will be faster.  This is especially true in the peer-to-peer configuration where the host may be slowed by the user using other resources. Companies using dial-up connections may not be able to connect from outside the local network.

Connecting to Crate Pro from a Client from inside your local network:

  • Inside your local network means that you're on the same subnet
  • Crate Pro must be hosted on the host or server computer 
    • If when opened on the host you see a message "Network Sharing is Turned Off", go to the FileMaker menu and click on File > Sharing > Share with FileMaker clients and select to turn it ON.
    • On server in the FileMaker Admin console select Activity and set the Crate Pro files to 'Normal'
  • Open FileMaker Pro on your client computer > The Launch Center should be visible. Select the Host tab and locate your Host/Server computer 
  • Select the Host and then select your main Crate Pro program file (do not open the Resources or Data Shared file if shown)

FileMaker Pro 15 or 16: If you don't see your  host or server,  click on the at the bottom of the window and enter the IP address of the host or server computer. If after entering the host/server IP you do not see your files, your network or host/server security setting are blocking the ability to see the files.
  • ports 5003 and 5353 must be open and forwarded to the host computer (see Port Forwarding below)
  • Some networks set firewalls so that only approved applications can exchange data from inside to outside the local network. If after configuring your ports you still don't see the hosted files from your client, check your security settings

Connecting from an External Client Connection or over an internet connection:

Connecting from outside is similar to connections inside your local network except you will need your companies external IP(public IP) to manually enter it the first time in your client software. We recommend that you have a static IP address for your network. Otherwise your ISP can change this number at any time without notification and you'll have to change the settings in every client to connect to the new IP address. If you do not have your company's external IP address, contact your internet service provider.

FileMaker Pro 15 and 16:

  • Crate Pro must be hosted on your Host or Server computer. Depending on the number of DAL (concurrent connections) that were purchased, you may need to ensure that there is an 'open' DAL connection. 
    • With a FileMaker Server configuration: Each client computer that connects to the Crate Pro database on the server uses a DAL connection. You will need someone to log out if you reach the limit of available connections.
    • When using FileMaker PRO on a user computer to host your Crate Pro database:  Your host computer uses one DAL when you first log in. If you purchased more computer (CAL) licenses than DAL (concurrent connections), you may need to log out of your host computer so that DAL is available for a client connection. Use the KEYS icon on the top of the window and log out. Do not CLOSE Crate Pro or QUIT FileMaker. This screen releases the DAL being used by the host computer
  •  Open FileMaker Pro on your client. In the Launch Center open the Hosts tab. Click on the + at the bottom of the window and add the external IP of your network. Save it. This should allow you to see your host computer. If you do not see the Crate Pro files check the following:
    • You need your external IP address assigned by your internet service provider.*  See below the methods to locate your external IP. However, as extra security, some ISP's are now 'spoofing' the external IP to provide a greater level of security against malware bots. You may need to call them.

  • If you enter your external ISP and connect but do not see your Crate Pro files: Open ports 5003 and 5353 in your router.  When a client tries to connect from outside your local network it first connects to the router. Ports 5003 and 5353 are specifically assigned to FileMaker Inc.. The open ports allow the connection request to look for FileMaker databases on your network. These ports must be forwarded to the host computer (see Port Forwarding below)
  • You can't connect to your server. This typically means that you have the wrong external IP. Due to security measures, some ISP's are now 'spoofing' your external IP address so malware bots don't access your server. Review the options below or call your ISP. 
    • Some networks set firewalls so that only approved applications can exchange data from inside to outside the local network. If after configuring your ports you still don't see the hosted files from your client, check your security settings

FileMaker Pro 13: To add a remote connection change the "View" to 'Favorite Hosts' the select ADD. In the window that opens enter your internet or external IP. Once you enter your external IP you should see the host computer inside your network and once you select it you will see your Crate Pro files. 

  • ports 5003 and 5353 must be forwarded to the host computer (see Port Forwarding below)
  • Some networks set firewalls so that only approved applications can exchange data from inside to outside the local network. If after configuring your ports you still don't see the hosted files from your client, check your security settings

*For connections outside your local network, a Static IP is strongly recommended:

For those not familiar with static versus non-static IP addresses, a simple explanation: A static IP is like your house address. If someone has your address they can send you something from anywhere in the world.  A non-static IP is like living in an RV and traveling. For persons to send something to you, each time you need to provide an address to your current location.

You may also set up a connection using a host name instead of the IP address, however, updates with Windows and MAC O/S have been know to cause issues with connection to a host name versus the IP address.

How do I locate my external IP? Windows

  1. Click on the Start menu and type cmd. When you see the cmd applications in Start menu panel, click it or just press enter.
  2. A command line window will open. Type ipconfig and press enter.
  3. You'll see a bunch of information, but the line you want to look for is "IPv4 Address." Newer versions of FileMaker may use your IPv6 address (write them both down)
  4. Your external IP may also be found in your router settings (applies to some routers)

You need to set Port Forwarding in your Router

In most cases you don't have to do anything within the router for your local clients to see your Crate Pro database files when you start FileMaker Pro. However, some companies lock or close ports as an additional security measure. A port is like a door which allows you to enter a specific store. If the door is 'locked' for the store you want to enter, you can't get in. FileMaker uses specific ports (doors) to allow your client computers to enter into the 'store' that has your Crate Pro 6 database. If you're going to connect to Crate Pro from outside your local network, you will have to ensure these ports are open.

Login to your router, locate the screen in your router that allows you to set up your ports. You may enter anything in the description fields but set ports 5003 and 5353 to go to the IP address of the host/server of your Crate Pro database. Most routers will pre-enter the first three octaves of your networks internal IP so you only need to enter the last octave, check it as enables and save it.

If you installed FILEMAKER SERVER (this is an recommended but optional purchase), you will also set ports 16000 and 16001 so that you can access and administer the FileMaker Admin Control Panel from any web browser. The FileMaker Admin Control Panel will allow you to set automated backups and gives you many other benefits to ensure your Crate Pro runs fast and clean.

FileMaker Pro 13:  The launch center may not be shown. On the FileMaker PRO menu select File > Open Remote. If you don't see your Crate Pro 6 database then you can type in the address of the host computer in the 'Network File Path' field. Enter  fmnet:/{ip address of the host computer} Note that you or your IT persons may have set internal firewall or blocks which don't allow your local computers to 'see' each other. If this is the case you will need to adjust your internal settings to be able to see your file.