For 2014, FileMaker, Inc. has introduced a new concurrent licensing model which has confused many users. The concept behind this licensing is fairly simple. If you use ‘paid’ versions of FileMaker- like FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Pro, or our virtual clients; then there is no additional licensing fees associated with the use of these ‘clients’.
FileMaker now offers two ‘free’ clients: FileMaker Go and FileMaker WebDirect– these clients will require additional licensing costs to FileMaker, Inc. FileMaker Go is a ‘free’ app from the Apple AppStore and WebDirect is a ‘free’ HTML5 version of FileMaker which will allow most users to enjoy a FileMaker-rich experience through a modern web browser. FileMaker calls these ‘optional’ licenses concurrent licenses.
Technically, FileMaker Custom Web Publishing could also be considered a ‘free’ client, but FileMaker, Inc. does not associate any additional licensing fees for PHP and/or XML API access to FileMaker Server. Technically, pages hosted via CWP may be the most affordable method to deliver FileMaker content to a large number of users without any ‘per user’ licensing costs. If you would like to convert FileMaker layouts to PHP, check FM Migrator by DotComSolutions.com.
Below is their explanation of concurrent licensing:
What are FileMaker Server concurrent connections? FileMaker Server concurrent connections are a paid-for add-on to your FileMaker Server that allow your users to access FileMaker solutions on your server from: 1) the FileMaker Go app for iPad or iPhone 2) any device running FileMaker WebDirect in a web browser Do I need to buy any FileMaker Server concurrent connections? Only if you want your users to connect to a FileMaker Server using the FileMaker Go app for iPad or iPhone, or using FileMaker WebDirect in a web browser. Having concurrent connections is an optional extra – if you intend only to use FileMaker Pro to access your server then you do not need to buy any concurrent connections, although it does mean you lose the flexibility to share your data with iPad & iPhone or web browser users. How many FileMaker Server concurrent connections do I need to buy? Concurrent connections differ to FileMaker Pro connections in that you only need to buy as many connections that occur simultaneously from FileMaker Go and/or web browser users. If your users will be connecting at the same time for most of the time then it’s a good bet to buy as many connections as you have users. However, if your users only overlap their usage for 50% of the time then you would only need about 50% of the user number. Each scenario is different, but the good news is that it’s very easy to add more connections to your FileMaker Server online if your initial estimate is too low. What is meant by “concurrent”? When used in the context of FileMaker Server concurrent connections, “concurrent” means how many FileMaker Go or FileMaker WebDirect connections are open on a FileMaker Server at the same time. When connected using FileMaker Webdirect in a browser, does each window or tab count as a connection? Yes, when using FileMaker WebDirect in a browser, each window or tab that is open and connected to a FileMaker Server is counted as a separate, distinct, connection. When estimating how many FileMaker Server concurrent connection to buy, consider how many solutions (or multiple window views onto a solution) might be open at any one time. How many concurrent connections come as standard with FileMaker Server? FileMaker Server only comes as standard with one concurrent connection, designed to allow you to test your solutions for FileMaker Go or FileMaker WebDirect. If you need more than one, you need to purchase additional concurrent connections. What happens if I reach the concurrent connections limit on my FileMaker Server? Once your FileMaker Server reaches the limit of concurrent connections you have purchased (or one if you have not purchased any additional connections) it will refuse any further connections from FileMaker Go or FileMaker WebDirect users. Only once a concurrent connection is freed up (by closing the solution on the user’s device) will a connection then become available for someone else to use. FileMaker Server allows you to set alerts to inform you of when the limit is reached; it is also recorded in the server log. If this happens, it is time to purchase more concurrent connections. How do I purchase FileMaker Server concurrent connections? FileMaker Server concurrent connections are purchased in groups of 5. Buy them as a bundle with your initial purchase of FileMaker Server, or at your renewal time, or any other time instantly through worldcloud. Is there a limit to how many FileMaker Server concurrent connections I can buy? FileMaker Server concurrent connections are available up to a limit of 50 concurrent users. There is a special unrestricted option, for FileMaker Go connections only, that is available by calling worldcloud. Do FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Pro Advanced users count towards the concurrency limit? No, the upper limit for which you have purchased FileMaker Server concurrent connections is not impacted by FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Pro Advanced connections. Only FileMaker Go or FileMaker Webdirect connections count toward the limit. Can I add more FileMaker Server concurrent connections later? Yes, buying additional FileMaker Server concurrent connections is easy and can be done through your preferred purchase location whether it be the FileMaker Store, FileMaker Licensing or your preferred reseller. Existing customers can easily add more concurrent connections through the FileMaker Server Admin Console.
We explain concurrent licensing slightly less technical. If you have an office, with employees and clients; how many parking spaces do you need? The secretary and bookkeeper may use a parking spot almost every day, but other employees may spend very little time in the office, then you have to think how many spaces for clients. When we talk about concurrent licenses, we are asking how many ‘parking spots’ do you need to meet your ‘busiest time’? We do not need to figure out the ‘mix’ of employees and client cars- we just need to know how many spots you need.
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