Claris FileMaker 19.6 Server: what’s new

Claris continues to deliver new versions–this is a BIG one. With version 19.6 of FileMaker Server (FMS), you’ll see improvements in performance and security. Some features will seem familiar if you’ve used the Claris FileMaker platform for a while and others are new to everyone. Previously, Claris rebuilt the Admin Console interface and removed the Java-based web-console with the release of FileMaker Server 17. That meant FMS gained some features yet also lost some functionality. We’re excited to see some oldies but goodies reappear.

Security improvements

File filtering is enabled by default

If you want to limit what files show up when a user opens FileMaker, you can filter the list of databases shown based on the FileMaker client account name and password. While the feature isn’t new, FileMaker Server 19.6 enables this feature by default. You can find it under Admin Console > Configuration > FileMaker Clients > Filter Databases.

Administrator roles

Admin roles are back! A feature that existed long ago, you can again provide limited FileMaker Server admin access. With this feature, you can create unique logins and passwords to allow others to administer selected databases, including:

Performing actions on databases

Performing actions on schedules

Backing up databases

Verifying databases

Running scripts

Viewing logs

Note that this feature is only available by way of Admin Console and not CLI or the FileMaker Admin API.

Admin API PKI authentication

If you manage your FileMaker Server through the Admin API, you can now authenticate against a web token instead of a username and password. With a web token, you can choose to give apps access to the FileMaker Admin API without doling out full access admin credentials. Another perk is that you can revoke the token at any point without having to change or delete an existing full-access username and password.

Restrict Admin Console by IP address

In order to better protect access to FileMaker Server, the FileMaker Server Admin Console and FileMaker Admin API include options to restrict access to Admin Console by IP address.

Support for Sign in with Apple

External authentication has become mainstream–think of how often you can log in with your Google or Amazon account on various websites. In addition to Amazon, Google, and Microsoft IDs, you can now use your Apple ID to log into your FileMaker apps. Note that this works with both your email address associated with your Apple ID and Apple’s new “Hide my Email” feature.

Just note this feature requires setup, along with an Apple Developer account, a valid SSL certificate, and SMTP configured on FileMaker Server. Need assistance setting this up on your Ottomatic server? Our team can help.

Create CSR via secondary machine Admin Console

To generate an SSL certificate, you need a CSR. With more complex multi-machine setups, this wasn’t available on worker machines. Now, there’s a “Create CSR” button on the secondary machine Admin Console.


Our team is pumped about Transactions in FileMaker! Proof+Geist built a transactions module and FileMaker Pro now offers built-in script steps that make the process easier than ever. Learn more about transactions from the Proof+Geist blog post:

Improved performance

Faster operations

This new version of FileMaker Server uses hardware accelerator Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) for Intel processors and Neon for ARM64 processors.

Clone only backup option

With Clone Only backups, you can get a backup of your file without data. You can create a Clone Only backup with the fmsadmin command line tool, the Admin API, and Backup schedules.

Improvements to Data APIs

Custom Web Publishing with XML added to Ubuntu 20.04

Custom Web Publishing with XML has been added to FileMaker Server for Ubuntu 20.04.

Data API “dateFormat” parameter for Get/Find requests

If you’re dealing with dates through the FileMaker Data API, you now have more control with the Get a Single Record by ID, Get Records, and Find Records endpoints. There is now an optional dateformats parameter used for formatting date and timestamp fields:

0 — US(also the default if not specified)

1 — current file locale

2— ISO8601

Changes to Data API product info

For the productInfo endpoint via the Data API, the response no longer includes buildDate or version

FileMaker Data API Database Names endpoint guest control

The FileMaker Data API Database Names endpoint requires credentials if you enable both of the following settings:

  1. The Filter Database in Client Applications option under Admin Console > Configuration > FileMaker Clients > Filter Databases
  2. The DenyGuestAndAutoLogin flag, which can be enabled by entering the following command to a Command Line Interface: fmsadmin set serverprefs DenyGuestAndAutoLogin=true

FileMaker Server Admin API changes

Admin API commands for configuring Data API plugins

Get Database and Set Database Filtering

More endpoints! You can now retrieve information about and change the settings for database filtering via the Server Admin API. Here are two new endpoints:

  1. Get Database Filtering Setting: returns the current database filtering setting.
  1. Enable/Disable Database Filtering: enables or disables database filtering in FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, FileMaker WebDirect, and the FileMaker Data API Database Names endpoint.

WebDirect improvements

Nginx Open Source  replaced with Nginx Plus

Ubuntu: Nginx Plus may now be used in place of Nginx Open Source. Nginx Plus may be purchased and used for load balancing with sticky sessions.

Improvements to WebDirect list view

With multi-user solutions, your users will now see less list “flickering” when another client creates, deletes, or edits records.

Improved record lock handling with FileMaker WebDirect

More users can access the same records in FileMaker WebDirect with fewer issues loading records.

CSS caching optimized

WebDirect will benefit from more efficient caching, provided by changes to the Java WebDirect publishing engine.

Miscellaneous changes

Additional database or container folder support

For hosting best practices, FileMaker Server Admin Console and FileMaker Admin API now allow the configuration of a second additional database folder, a second container data folder, and the ability to back up files in a second container data folder.

Data Migration Tool bundled with FileMaker Server

The FileMaker Data Migration Tool is now included with FileMaker Server. The file “FMDataMigration” is located in the same folder as other executables. Otto now uses the installed DataMigration Tool.

More features and security updates

A new “Filter Databases” option has been added to Assisted Install to enable database file filtering upon installation.

FileMaker Server Admin Console is now accessible when the database server process is stopped.

Admin Console now includes an option to “Download All Logs” on the “Logs” page.

FileMaker WebDirect now supports up to 600 concurrent user connections running on Ubuntu Linux.

When database consistency checks fail, the full path of the database is now output to “Event.log”.

Login performance is improved by caching if the guest account is enabled in the file.

Admin Console now includes product updates and notifications on the “Dashboard” page.

Parallel backup file sets are now remembered by FileMaker Server between restarts.

OpenSSL 3.0.7 is supported.

More than 100 bugs are fixed in the FileMaker 19.6.1 platform.

About Ottomatic

Proof+Geist is proud to offer a cloud FileMaker hosting service focusing on speed, optimization, and security. We have 26 data centers worldwide and a network built on low-latency global peers.

Ottomatic is supported by high-performance processors and NVMe disk subsystems, contributing to a better overall performance with FileMaker Server. Other hosting providers might offer metered instances, but Ottomatic removes those limitations. This means you get more performance per dollar than others that meter your CPU, Disk, and Traffic.