Accessing Fichoz – An Overview


Accessing Fichoz – An Overview


Fichoz databases are normally run with the FileMaker dabase package.

You can nevertheless also access most of them without running FileMaker on your device.

This is only a brief overview of the different ways doing so.

More detailed instructions are given in the following texts:


Table of the current text


I. Access without FileMaker

II. Access with FileMaker on public networks

III. Access with FileMaker on local networks

IV. Fichoz access conditions

V. How to get FileMaker package


I. Access without FileMaker


– The files to be accessed must be on-line on a FileMaker server

  • They must be configured for FileMaker Webdirect, the FileMaker tool for Web publishing


– Launch your browser, preferably Google Chrome (the system does not work well with FireFox for reasons we have not been able to assess)


– Go to the address of the FileMaker server, followed by #[File name]



– Access the file

  • Either with a password, if you have one, for write access
  • Either as a guest, for read-only access


– Layouts

  • In order to make up for the limitations of web displays, most Fichoz files, when accessed through Webdirect, display a simplified version of the data
  • Users can toggle to the usual Fichoz display by means of the small purple trigger set on the right side of the CNRS copyright mark, in the higher left corner of the screen


– Recommended uses

  • Most Fichoz functionalities work under Webdirect
  • Nevertheless, due to speed limitations and failing ergonomics, Webdirect must not normally be used to input data, at least for the time being
  • Complex queries in big files may also be somewhat slower than in on-line use


– Warning

  • Most Fichoz implementations are opened to Webdirect
  • A few are not, at the request of one or their authors


II. Access using FileMaker on a public network


– The files to be accessed must be on-line on a FileMaker server

– Every client device must be equipped with FileMaker 14 upward (version 14, 15, 16 and so on).


– Launch FileMaker.

– Activate the File / Open remote command. Make sure that the address of the server has been declared as a parameter of this command

– Make sure that the port 5003 of your local network is open for FileMaker files on the server you are trying to access

  • This point uses to be a problem with institutional wifi-networks (universities, libraries, etc.). You must ask the network manager to open the port. This is a simple and fast operation, but only the manager can do it. Most Fichoz files are stored on the server, managed by the CNRS' best teams. They do not raise any security issue. Try and convince the manager.

– Open the file you are interested in

– Declare your password to write, or enter as guest for read-only access



III. Access with FileMaker on a local network


– It is possible to publish FileMaker files on-line on a local server without using a specific server, under the following conditions:

  • The access is limited to seven client devices
  • The network must be a local network (enterprise, university, etc.). This network may also be made of direct links (cables) connecting computers, through a hub.
  • One of the devices assumes the part of the server.
  • All devices (server and clients) must use a same version of FileMaker (this point may change in the future).


– Implementation

  • All FileMaker files to be set on-line must be stored on the device which makes the part of the server
  • All files to be set on-line files must be opened on this server
  • On the server, the File/Sharing/Share with FileMaker clients/Network settings/Network Sharing parameter must be set on "On" for "All users"
  • Clients must declare the IP of the server as a specific setting for of the FileMaker File/Remote access menu of their device
  • Under such conditions, they can access the concerned files as if they were on a FileMaker server portal


IV. Conditions of access


– Fichoz is a scientific venture

  • Fichoz heavily draws not only from unpublished documents, but also from published scientific literature
  • As far as Fichoz managers know, Fichoz contributors use this information in conformity with the standard scientific practice, quoting sources, selecting and tailoring the information in a different way from that of the source and inserting it in quite another context
  • Fichoz users are bound to comply with these same rules of scientific practice when making use of Fichoz information


– Fichoz is a collective venture

  • Except when an explicit advice is given to the contrary, access and use to Fichoz data are free for fair scientific non-profit uses
  • Fichoz contributors must be aware that the data they input will normally be provided to all other users under the same conditions
  • For any other use, or in case of doubt, consult any member of Fichoz team
  • Any use of Fichoz data must be explicitly quoted as:

CNRS / Fichoz / [Name of the implementation

Example: CNRS / Fichoz / Actoz, #4328


  • The CNRS is the owner of Fichoz structure, programming resources and specific features embodied in the database


– Fichoz is a research database, planned as a help for researches under way

  • This means that some data provided may be provisional and not fully adequate
  • Fichoz users are supposed to be experts and use Fichoz data with a correct amount of judgement
  • Neither Fichoz, nor any person related to Fichoz, can be held responsible for errors in the content of the database


– Selection of users

  • For read-only access, the mere fact of being able to access the database without any unfair tampering with passwords, means, in itself, a licence for using the data with the provisos mentioned here above
  • For write access, consult a member of the team


V. How to get FileMaker package


– FileMaker is no freeware

  • This is the main drawback critics use to point to when assessing Fichoz
  • Using FileMaker for Fichoz databases is nevertheless necessary, because it is the only package, as far as we know, which meets the requirements we expect a fully operational database for scientific uses to fulfil
  • Using FileMaker is, by far, the less expensive solution once the time lost in unnecessary procedures, the salaries of engineers and, worst of all, the biases embedded into the results by the limitations of most other systems have been taken into account


– Buying FileMaker

  • Buying individual copies of the package was a valid option some years ago
  • Buying collective team licences, with a yearly fee, is still an option for teams with an intensive use of local databases


– Using server licences

  • If the database you access is stored on a FileMaker server, may be this server has at his disposal a number of FileMaker licenses you can access on-line while connected to the database
  • In such a configuration, you no longer need to bother with buying FileMaker. You just get a password from the server manager, and every time you connect to the same, you get your FileMaker for free for the duration of the connection
  • This is the case with, the server which hosts most Fichoz databases.  As many as sixty users can connect at the same time. Addresses are periodically changed. To get the current ones, contact one of the system administrators mentioned in the home page of this blog


Jean Pierre Dedieu
CNRS / Framespa (Toulouse) / IAO (Lyon)


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