FileMaker Server UNC Paths as Backup Locations

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FileMaker Server supports specifying UNC network paths as backup locations, however it isn’t very well documented. Using a UNC path allows database backups (or specifically scripted backups) to be automatically saved in different physical location. For example if your client has centralised NAS or SAN storage they want backups to reside on you can have FileMaker Server save them there directly.

To specify a UNC path use the following syntax in the path location:

filewin://server/pathtonetworklocation/

FileMaker Server will only accept it as a valid destination if the user you are logged in as currently has access to that network share. With this in mind as soon as you log out the FileMaker process (which runs as a service by default) will no longer have access to the UNC path and backups will start to fail.

To resolve this you have a couple of options. The first one is to share the UNC path to “everyone”. This will allow the FileMaker service to write backups to the location; however anyone with local network access now also has full access to these backups!

filemaker serviceThe second option is to configure the FileMaker service to run as a specific user, a user with r/w access to the UNC path. Launch “Services.msc” on the Windows server and location the “FileMaker Server” service. On the “Log On” tab you can change to “This Account” and specificy the domain account with access to the UNC path. Reboot and test!

Note: If the account password expires, is reset or the account is locked you will no longer be able to start the FileMaker process… you may need to ensure a special “Service Account” with custom policies is used for this purpose. Beware!

If you have any questions or queries feel free to contact us

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