Finding the right filemaker solution
I am new here. Thanks for having me and I look forward to hearing your advice. I am still a novice when it comes to sharing databases. Sorry if this is a repeated topic. If it is, kindly refer me to the right URL.
I am creating a filemaker solution for our company CRM (about 500 clients and 8 employees). I want to have a solution that all of our employees can log into to add customer information. I also have to consider that I want to have access to the data as much as possible, but that we won't always have connectivity to the internet as we are based in Kenya and the internet/electricity is down about once a week. I was thihnking of a few solutions and perhaps you can let me know which of these are possible. I am also trying to see how I can use runtime solutions to minimize the number of licenses we have to buy.
1.) One way would be to always have a local copy stored on each employee computer but sync when the internet comes back. This could create the problem of conflicting records so the employee would only be able to make changes (write) when there was an internet connection. If the internet was down, the employee would only be able to read but not make changes.
2.) Another way would be to have everything online in a browser so that it can only be accessed when there is internet connectivity. Not as good of a solution since we wont have access all of the time.
3.) Another way to do it would be to put a runtime solution in dropbox folder so that anyone can open it. I tried this before with a non-runtime version and it created many conflicted copies, but if there was a way to make sure that didn't happen it could work.
4.) I could install a runtime copy to each employee's computer, but I am not sure that the runtime copies will pull data from the server and in that case each employee's computer would have a different version of the database which is no good. So this could only work if the runtime solution on each employee's computer can access the same database. Is this possible?
5.) The last option I thought of was using filemaker server. But that seems like a much bigger solution than we need, unless filemaker server is required to be able to do option 2.
Kindly advise me. I look forward to your thoughts.