Then I will need 6 copies of Filemaker Pro Server, so all my employees, is that correct?
You will need 1 copy of FileMaker server and you'll need 1 copy of FileMaker for each user that connects to the database. (5 for your employees and 1 for you.) These must have separate install codes
With you scenario, you could use one more copy of FileMaker Pro in place of server. That will be much less expensive, but it also will lack some nice features--automatic scheduled backups, scheduled scripts, better data security, better performance, so you'll have to evaluate and decide if that makes sense. Fortunately, you can start out with FileMaker Pro as the host and then upgrade to server without having to make any design changes to your database.
There would be no security advantages to using iPads when it comes to keeping the file from being copied. If you control access to your server properly, it will not be easy for employess to acquire an unauthorized copy. You mainly would need to keep the database in a directory for which they do not have access (don't share it) and you put the server in a location to which they do not have access.
So if I have one copy of FileMaker Pro, and 5 copies of FileMaker Go. I could be the adminstrator and have 5 users at minimal cost? Is that right?
It will if you have 5 iOS devices (iPhones or iPads) for your FileMaker GO clients all linked vis WiFi to your computer with FileMaker Pro. You can try this set up with the 30 day free trial of FileMaker to see if it works for you.
A few more questions:
1. On the App store I saw a free version of FileMaker Go and one for about $20, what's the difference?
2. If I have 5 iPads set up for my users with physical plugin keyboards strictly for database entry all on WiFi with FileMaker Go, are there any drawbacks to this versus putting them on Macs or PCs that you can see?
3. Are there any speed differences that a user might encounter using a FileMaker Go on an iPad versus Filemaker on a Mac or PC?
4. How many iPads could I serve as max over WiFi with one copy of File Maker Pro on a Macbook Pro?
The free version is for use with FileMaker 12. The $20 version is for use with FileMaker 11 and older. (strange but true that the newest version is free.)
There are a number of drawbacks inherent to using iOS devices instead of a computer. Computers have more Ram and faster processors. The monitor screen is much larger. Thus, database and layout designs that work with a full up computer may not work well on an iOS device. You typically need to design specifically to the capabilities and limitations of iOS devices to get best results and you'll want to think about how your users will interact with your database.
If someone has to sit at their desk and type in large quantities of data, using an iPad for that would be very frustrating where it would be much simpler to do with a computer and a traditional keyboard and mouse.
Yes, but Apple makes a hardware keyboad for the iPad, so couldn't they use that and tab through fields as well with FileMaker Go?
Sounds like you know more about iPads than I do. But that still leaves you with a much smaller screen. Ultimately, you'll need to decide this for yourself, but if you go with FM GO clients and find that it doesn't work for you, you can always add computers with FileMaker clients to your network as long as you have 9 or fewer simultaneous clients of your FileMaker Pro hosted database.