Optimal installation of gFM-Business ERP software

gFM-Business ERP-Software optimal installierenThe ERP software gFM-Business, which is based on the FileMaker platform, can be used in many different ways. In the simplest variant, the software is used on a single workstation, which is installed automatically on macOS and Windows with the installation program. On the network, the gFM Business ERP system with FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Go on the Apple iPad can be used by multiple users simultaneously.

But even the standalone versions can be set up so that they can be used on several computers. Multi-user licenses can also be installed on a FileMaker web server to allow location-independent access to the database. In this article, you will learn how you can optimally use and install the gFM Business ERP software for your purposes.

gFM-Business Document and System Folder

One of the most important components of gFM-Business is the document folder. All documents created by gFM-Business are saved in this folder if automatic archiving of documents has been activated. The document folder is independent of the location of the databases. On macOS and Windows, every workstation must have access to this folder with which the gFM Business ERP software is to be used.

The installation of gFM-Business contains the following directories:

  • gFM-Business Database Folder – gFM-Business databases contain all data stored in the software and the program logic. With gFM-Business free, Basic and Light, the databases are located in the folder [gFM-Business free] or [gFM-Business Light], which is installed by default under macOS in the program folder of the Mac and under Windows in the document directory of the logged on user. In gFM-Business Professional, the databases are located in the [Databases] directory, which is located within the Main directory of gFM-Business.
  • gFM-Business Document Folder – The gFM-Business Document Folder contains directories for storing documents created in gFM-Business and the system directory required to perform some functions in gFM-Business. The position of the gFM business document folder is variable and is specified separately for each user in the software user management for macOS (upper line) and Windows (lower line). By clicking on the arrow symbol in front of the field, a dialog box for selecting the document folder appears.

Dokumentordner in Benutzerverwaltung

In the single-user version of gFM-Business Professional, the gFM-Business databases are by default located in the [Databases] folder of the gFM-Business folder. If the gFM-Business document folder is to be set up on a network drive for shared use, the [Databases] folder should remain on the local computer for performance reasons. If the document directory is moved to another position or to another drive, the gFM Business ERP software must be informed of this by the setting in the user administration for each user (see above).

Installation on a single workstation

To use the software on a single workstation, gFM-Business is available with the free/Basic version as an invoicing program or with the Light version as ERP software with extended functionality. All of the following notes do not apply to the standalone version of gFM-Business Professional used with FileMaker Pro. In a standard installation of gFM-Business free, Basic and Light, the following components are installed on your hard disk:

Installation on macOS

  • file gFM-Business free/Light in the application folder of your Mac
  • Document folder gFM-Business in the document folder of the logged-in user

Installation under Windows

  • file gFM-Business free/Light in the document folder of the logged on user
  • Document folder within the gFM business folder

Installation on an external medium (hard disk, USB stick)

The single-user versions of gFM-Business can also be installed on an external medium such as a USB stick or an external hard disk for use on multiple devices. The software can be used on any number of computers of the same operating system (Mac or Windows) and transported on the external medium.

To do this, move the folder gFM-Business free/Light to the external medium. Under macOS you will find this folder in the application folder of your Mac, under Windows in the document folder of the logged in user. Under macOS, also move the document folder gFM business to the external medium that you can find in the document folder of the logged on user.

Start the software in future only directly from your external medium (Mac: gFM-Business.app, Windows: gFM-Business.exe). After the first start, set up the document directory for all users in the gFM-Business user administration (see above). In future, all data will be stored exclusively on the external medium.

Network installation with FileMaker Pro

In order to use the gFM Business ERP software in a network, a multi-user license is required with the number of network licenses for simultaneous access to the database. A valid license of FileMaker Pro must be installed on each Mac or Windows computer that is to access the database.

Install FileMaker Pro on Mac or Windows

To use gFM-Business on a network, install gFM-Business on any Mac or Windows workstation that is running the software a license of FileMaker Pro. The easiest way to install is to use the FileMaker installer. If you also want to access the database from an iPad, install FileMaker Go on the iPad, which you can download for free from the App Store.

Copying Databases to the Host Computer

If you want to use gFM business without FileMaker Server with FileMaker Pro on a network, set up peer-to-peer operation. This operating mode can be used with up to five clients in the network. One of your workstations acts as a “server” to share the databases with all other workstations in the network.

First, consider which workstation you want to use as your host computer in the future. If possible, you should select the computer of a user who usually switches on his computer as the first user. If you have chosen a computer, copy the databases belonging to gFM-Business with the extension .fmp12 to this computer.

Enable Peer-to-Peer Sharing

To share databases on the network with FileMaker Pro, you must enable peer-to-peer sharing on the host computer once. First start gFM-Business(.fmp12) with FileMaker Pro. Open a module in gFM-Business, for example customer management. Now select the following menu item from the menu bar:

Tray/File > Sharing > Sharing with FileMaker clients

Peer-to-Peer-Sharing aktivieren
In the [Currently open files] column on the left, select each file displayed one by one and click the [On] option under [Network Sharing] at the top. Then confirm the dialog with the [OK] button. All databases of gFM-Business are now shared in the network for use on other workstations.

Open gFM-Business from a client

On the client workstation, it is sufficient to install FileMaker Pro – the gFM business databases do not need to be copied to the client computers. If gFM Business is shared by a host computer on the network, open the database on the client as follows:

  • Start FileMaker Pro on the client computer
  • Select [File > Open Remote] from the menu bar.
  • Select the host computer in the left column
  • In the right column, select the database [gFM-Business].
  • Confirm the dialog with the button [Open].

gFM Business is then opened by the host computer. The data is not stored on the client computer, but on the host computer that shares the databases on the network.

Network installation with FileMaker Server

If the gFM Business ERP software is to be used on more than five workstations on the network, FileMaker Server is required for sharing on the network. FileMaker Server is available for both macOS and Windows computers. In the first step, install FileMaker Server using the installer provided by FileMaker.

Transferring databases to FileMaker Server

The next step is to transfer the FileMaker databases with the extension .fmp12 to FileMaker Server. This can be done either in FileMaker Pro using the menu bar function [File > Sharing > Upload to FileMaker Server] or manually. If you copy the databases manually to FileMaker Server, place them in the following target directory:

/Library/FileMaker Server/Data/Databases

If you copy the databases manually to the server, you must set the file system permissions of each database on macOS for user Set fmserveruser to [read and write]. To do this, click on any database with the extension .fmp12 in the Finder and select the [Information] function with the right mouse button or press the key combination [cmd-i]. Add the user fmserver user with read and write permissions in the lower area of the info dialog.

Open gFM Business from a Client

If gFM business is shared by a FileMaker Server on the network, open the database on the client as follows:

  • Start FileMaker Pro on the client computer
  • Select [File > Open Remote] from the menu bar.
  • Select the host computer in the left column
  • In the right column, select the database [gFM-Business].
  • Confirm the dialog with the button [Open].

gFM Business is then opened by FileMaker Server. The data is not stored on the client computer, but on the FileMaker Server, which shares the databases on the network.

Installation for location-independent use on the Internet

If you want to access gFM Business from anywhere via the Internet, the following options are available for this purpose:

Share with your own FileMaker Server

Install your own FileMaker server that is shared over the Internet. With this option, FileMaker Server can be located either on the local network or in a data center. If the server is to be located in the local network, please note that the local network has sufficient speed to access the Internet.

Installation of gFM-Business on an Apple iPad

For the local installation of the gFM-Business ERP software with FileMaker Go on an Apple iPad we have developed a separate contribution is written.

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About Author

Markus Schall
Development of FileMaker databases since 1994, modification and extension of FileMaker solutions, conversion of FileMaker databases from .fm, .fp3, .fp5 (FileMaker 2-6) or .fp7 (FileMaker 7-11) to .fmp12 (FileMaker 12-17), interfaces to third-party systems such as online shops, CMS or other databases. Development of individual FileMaker database systems based on the gFM business framework with personal advice from Oldenburg. Operator of the online specialist portal goFileMaker.de, developer of the CRM and merchandise management system gFM-Business. Member of FileMaker Business Alliance, FileMaker Developers Subscription and FMM Expert. Winner of an FMM Award 2011, awarded by the FileMaker Magazine.

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