7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 16, 2010 9:15 AM by PointInSpace

    How to share FileMaker Pro database with others



      How to share FileMaker Pro database with others


      Hi all,

        I am new to FileMaker Pro. Before we invest money in this product, we want get some answers. Any help would be appreciated here. Thanks.

        Our scenerio, we have hundreds of excel sheet containing information related to each other. We want to have a centralized database for this and users (no more then 10 people) can access and update the informatio simultaneously. We are thinking convering the excel sheet into the FileMaker Pro database.


      1) As I know, FMP support peer-to-peer sharing, but that is not what we want,since we can wait someone to open the database file as host and use as client.

          that being said, Can we have the created FMP database file on a network shared drive, so that every user can open that file through FMP and update the database simultaneously?


      2) If 1) is not possible, whether we can buy FM Server and use the server to host the database, so that every user can open and update the same database simultaneously?


      3) I am also thinking, since FMP support external database source. Can we convert the excel sheet into a external database, and then every user use FMP to open and update the same external database simultaneously? This way, we can get away with not buying the FM Server.


       Thanks a lot again.

        • 1. Re: How to share FileMaker Pro database with others

          For the number of users you describe, you have two choices unless you publish the database to the web with filemaker server advanced:

          1. Host the file with one copy of Filemaker Pro, then 9 other computers with filemaker pro installed can link at the same time to the same database and share the data.
          2. Host the file with Filemaker Pro Server on a computer that meets the hardware and Operating system requirements which will enable 10 or more users to share the database. Filemaker server has many more advantages besides simply supporting a larger number of users so you may find it worth the extra $$ even if you don't have more than 9 simultaneous users. (Scheduled back ups, scheduled scripts, better performance, much better data security, etc.)

          Some folks avoid buying the extra copies of filemaker by using one copy of Filemaker and Instant Web Publishing. This limits you to 5 simultaneous users, however, and can limit some of your human interface options.


          With regards to your excel spreadsheets, I suggest you plan on importing the data from these sheets into tables in your filemaker pro database. That's generally the easiest way to deal with this kind of information.


          If you haven't already, you might want to download a free trial copy of Filemaker and try it out.

          • 2. Re: How to share FileMaker Pro database with others

            Hi Phil,

              thanks. For the first option you mentioned, as I understand, someone has to open and host the FMP database file as host if other users need to access it. It is not practical for a user to open and host and share the database everytime someone else want to access the same database, right? As I know, the database hosted on a FM server is always open and ready to be accessed by more than one users.

              Also, what about the external database option I mentioned?



            • 3. Re: How to share FileMaker Pro database with others

              For hosting with filemaker Pro, you'd set up a machine to host the file by using it to open the files first, then all your clients would connect just like you would a file hosted by server. It's basically filemaker server in miniature without the added tools and protection of server. I've got a few files here hosted that way though I keep hoping to convince my boss that they really should be added to the other files we host with server.

              • 4. Re: How to share FileMaker Pro database with others

                Hi Phil,

                  So, on the machine, I just open and host the file once, and keep it open forever, and it kind of act as a server in that users can connect to, right? At the same time, no human attention needs to be paid to the host, right?The file will be just open and shared forever?

                • 5. Re: How to share FileMaker Pro database with others
                     Well you might choose to open it at the start of each day and close it each evening. You'll want to make back up copies from time to time.... but that's essentially how it works.
                  • 6. Re: How to share FileMaker Pro database with others
                       Ok, I see. Thanks. I guess we should go with the server.
                    • 7. Re: How to share FileMaker Pro database with others
                         You may want to consider using a 3rd party FileMaker hosting provider as well, such as ourselves:


                      We provide the server hardware, FileMaker Server Advanced licenses, updates, monitoring, etc. - saving you a considerable amount in costs. Additionally, since it is a service you can deduct the cost immediately instead of having to depreciate software + equipment on your taxes. Plans start at $29/month, and we have been doing this for over 11 years now. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions either here or off-list to jmay(at)pointinspace.com.

                      - John May