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Containers and Port 16000 in FileMaker

For those conversant with FileMaker Server setup, we’re quite familiar with port 16000. According to the FileMaker knowledgebase article 10672, port 16000 is used to serve the Admin Console Launch Page. We recently discovered a “new” use for port 16000 that, until now, was undocumented in any KB article.

In our latest upgrade to one of our more complex FileMaker apps, E-Com, we rolled out an anticipated new feature that utilizes the interactive container fields and external secure storage released in FileMaker 12. Right off the bat, the majority of the clients were using the new feature without issues, but there were a few clients reporting that the feature was not working as expected.

These users were able to upload to and download from a container, but were unable to see the file in the interactive container. Of course, we went over every detail: file permissions, field permissions, network settings (both client and server), server settings, FMS settings,... cloud coverage? Did the Mets win last night? Did we remember to cross our fingers before we deployed on that server? We were at a loss. A call to FileMaker support was in order. In my years of working with FileMaker, I have had mixed results working with FileMaker tech support, but in this case they were able to help out.

After going over every detail with the support rep (who was very courteous), the rep decided to ask his fellow reps if they had experienced similar issues. A few minutes later... 

“Is port 16000 open?” 

“Yes.”

“I mean... is port 16000 open from the server to the client (outbound)?”

That’s something that we didn’t think to check, so we did a port scan and, sure enough, port 16000 was not open to the remote users, but was open locally for the FMS Admin Console. We opened up port 16000 to the remote users and, sure enough, that did the trick.

So, if your solution is using interactive containers and users are reporting that they can’t seem to “see the files” interactively, check that port 16000 is open from the server to the users. 
~Joe Ranne