To properly backup your FileMaker databases, the first step is to setup backup schedules in FileMaker Server. The next step is to use best practices with the schedules to make sure your backups are safe. Now you need to enable email notification to keep in you informed whether the backup schedules are running successfully.
To enable email notification, first configure the SMTP settings in FileMaker Server. In the Admin Console, go to Configuration > General Settings > Email Notification. Often, you can use the same settings in your email software (Mac Mail, Outlook, etc.). Below is a description of the most common settings.
- From Address – Enter the email address from which you want the messages to be sent.
- SMTP Server Address – Enter the domain name or IP address of your SMTP mail server.
- SMTP Authentication – Most email servers require authentication (user and password) to send email. Check the checkbox and use the default setting of “Plain Text”.
- Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) – Gmail and several other email hosts require SSL. Checking this checkbox will automatically change the port number.
- User – Enter the username to login to the SMTP server. This is usually the same as the From Address.
- Password – The password to login to the SMTP server. Ask your system administrator if you do not know the password.
Once you have entered the SMTP settings, click the Test SMTP Settings button. FileMaker Server will prompt you to enter the email address to send a “test email”. FMS will then display a dialog to inform you whether the email was sent successfully. The test email should look something like this.
Next, you should enable Notification Settings for the server. This sends email messages when there are general errors (not related to a backup schedule) with FileMaker Server.
- Enable Email Notifications – Check the checkbox to send notifications. (This can be the same email address as the From Address above.)
- Send Email Notifications To – Enter the email address to which to send error messages.
- Security Level – Use the default setting of “Errors only”. The “Warnings or errors” setting will overwhelm your inbox with unnecessary email.
Now, you are ready to setup email notifications for your backup schedules. If you followed the recommendations in the first article, you will use notification for the Daily and Weekly schedules. This will notify you each day if you backups are running successfully without overwhelming your inbox.
In the Admin Console, go to Administration > Schedules and right-click on the Daily schedule. Choose “Edit a schedule” from the contextual menu. Click the Next button for the first four screens in the schedule wizard. On the fifth page, simply check “Send email notification” and enter the “To” address to send notifications for the backup schedule. (FMS will default to the email address from the Notification Settings above.) Click the Finish button.
The schedule will send an email notification whenever the backup executes. The email will describe whether the backup was successful or failed. To test the schedule notification, right click on the schedule and choose “Run a schedule now”. The backup will be performed and then FMS will send the email notification.
Email notification is your first line of defense to ensure your backup schedules are working properly. Setting up the notifications is not enough. You must have the discipline to read the email each day to make there are no errors with your backups. The worst time to find out your backups are not working is when you need a backup copy to recover some data.