Using Firebird as the Database Engine

Firebird is an SQL database engine integrated in M-Files.

M-Files uses Firebird as the default vault database engine. If a vault contains several tens of thousands of objects, we recommend using Microsoft SQL Server. If a vault has originally been set up to use Firebird but the number of objects in the vault and the size of the metadata file has since then significantly increased, we recommend migrating the vault database to Microsoft SQL Server.

We recommend that you start planning the migration to Microsoft SQL Server, when the size of the metadata file for a vault reaches 1 GB. For instructions on checking the metadata file size, see Checking the Size of a Firebird Metadata File.

You can apply a registry setting to extend Firebird usability to 2 GB per vault. You can use Firebird also after this limit has been exceeded, but, for performance reasons, Microsoft SQL Server is in this case the recommended database engine.

To open the vault settings for the Firebird engine:

  1. Open M-Files Admin.
  2. In the left-side tree view, expand a connection to M-Files Server.
  3. In the left-side tree view, expand Document Vaults, then right-click the document vault of your choice, and finally select Properties from the context menu.
    Result:The Document Vault Properties dialog is opened.
  4. Open the Advanced tab.
  5. Click Define... under the Use Firebird option to open the settings for the Firebird engine.
    Result:The Firebird settings dialog is opened.
On the Firebird settings dialog, you can do these operations:

Changing the Location of the Vault Data

If necessary, you may change the default location of the vault data, that is, the file data and the metadata of the vault. Note that the vault metadata must be stored on the local drive of the M-Files Server computer. If you wish to store the file data of the vault in a separate location (which can be, for example, a network drive), see Defining A Separate Location for Vault File Data.
Before you begin, take the vault offline for the duration of the operation. For instructions, see Taking a Vault Offline.
To change the location of vault data, complete the following steps:
  1. Open the vault database engine settings.
    The current location of the vault data is shown in the vault database engine settings dialog.
  2. Using File Explorer or any other file manager, copy the FileData and the MetaData folders from their current location to the new location.
  3. Click the ... button to browse for the new file data location.
    Result:The Browse For Folder dialog is opened.
  4. Select the new location for vault data, and then click OK to close the Browse For Folder dialog.
    Note that the selected location should be on the local drive of the M-Files Server computer and it should contain the FileData and MetaData folders.
  5. Click OK to close the vault database engine dialog, and finally click OK to close the Document Vault Properties dialog.
After the operation is complete, bring the vault back online. For instructions, see Bringing a Vault Online.

Defining A Separate Location for Vault File Data

By default, vault file data is stored in the same folder as vault metadata. If necessary, you can define a separate location for the file data of the vault. This enables you to locate your file data on a large network drive or file server. It is, however, recommended to store the metadata and files in the same location.
Before you begin, take the vault offline for the duration of the operation. For instructions, see Taking a Vault Offline.
To define a separate location for file data, complete the following steps:
  1. Open the vault database engine settings.
    The current location of the vault file data is shown in the vault database engine settings dialog.
  2. Using File Explorer or any other file manager, copy the folder FileData from its current location to the new location.
  3. Click the Advanced... button.
    Result:The Advanced dialog is opened.
  4. Enable the Separate location for file data option.
  5. Click the ... button to browse for the new file data location.
    Result:The Browse For Folder dialog is opened.
  6. Select the new location for vault file data, and then click OK to close the Browse For Folder dialog.
    Note that the selected location should contain the FileData folder. The location can also be a UNC path to a network drive.
  7. Optional: Click Set Account for File Data... to select the account that M-Files Server uses for accessing the vault file data. This may be necessary if the local system account does not have permission to access the selected location.
    1. Select the This account option.
    2. In the This account field, specify the account that M-Files Server should use for accessing vault file data in the selected location.
    3. In the Password and Confirm password fields, enter the password of the account.
    4. Click OK to close the Set Account dialog.
  8. Click OK to close the Advanced dialog.
  9. Click OK to close the vault database engine dialog, and finally click OK to close the Document Vault Properties dialog.
After the operation is complete, bring the vault back online. For instructions, see Bringing a Vault Online.