Scheduling Automatic FileMaker Server Tasks - File Maker

One of the greatest advantages that FileMaker Server has over FileMaker Pro is that you can automatically execute tasks such as starting and stopping FileMaker Server, backing up databases, and even running AppleScripts (on Macs) or Command files (under Windows). To set up automatic tasks do the following.

Windows
Go to Start > Programs > FileMaker Server Console and click Task Scheduler in the details window pane. You’ll see the Task Scheduling Assistant, which will walk you through a task setup wizard.

Macintosh
Go to New Schedule under the Schedules window. You’ll see a dialog like this:

Scheduling Automatic FileMaker Server Tasks

Enter the name of the schedule in Schedule Name, then choose the task you would like to perform in the Task field. Next, select the target for your task in “Operate on” and a backup destination if relevant (in “Back up to”), then schedule the days and times when this task will run.

Tasks You Can Automate
Following are the types of tasks you can automate via this dialog.

Back Up Databases
Backs up the hosted databases to a folder you specify. Never try to back up live, hosted databases; you could corrupt them, and you certainly won’t get safe backup copies of your databases. Only back up offline copies of your databases.

On a Mac, this allows you to run an AppleScript that can act on FileMaker Server, specific FileMaker databases, or any other scriptable Mac OS application.

(FileMaker Server comes with a folder full of examples, including the useful Activate FM Server Applet, which keeps FileMaker Server as the foremost application on the computer, dramatically increasing FileMaker Server’s performance.)

Run a Script
In Windows, you can schedule a command (.cmd) file to run. Though not as robust as AppleScript, these files can automate the starting and stopping of FileMaker Server as well as other functions. Step through the Task Scheduler wizard to set this up. You’ll be asked for the location of the .cmd file.

The FileMaker Server Administrator’s Guide details the syntax of command files and available options, but be sure to check out the example command files in the Examples folder of your FileMaker Server folder too. You’ll find an example file there showing how to run a script to recalculate the Today function daily.

Send Message
Allows you to automatically send a message to guests connected to specific shared databases. This is useful for warning guests before a database is about to be paused or stopped for a scheduled backup. For example, you might send a message like: “Please come to a stopping point. In 60 minutes, FileMaker Server will shut down.”

Depending on your platform, the task scheduling dialog/wizard will look a bit different, but the functionality, unless otherwise noted, should be the same.

Browsing Schedules Tasks
When you’re done adding your automated tasks, they’ll appear in the Schedules Window or Schedules List. Clicking a scheduled task enables buttons on the button bar that allow you to delete or duplicate tasks, and so on. Right or CONTROL-clicking items in these windows always brings up helpful contextual menus, which can help you take action on scheduled tasks.

Also, check the Action menu in Window’s FileMaker Server Console when you have a schedule selected for additional action


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