Thanks Jim, I'm sure there's a way to make it work. I'll just cross my fingers and wait for someone to figure it out.
Shared Filemaker databases in most cases, require the database to be open in Filemaker.
It is recommended, but not required that Filemaker be running on a dedicated server.
You can run it on a user's computer.
The user would open the database, FMP Sharing would be turned on, and the database set for users to just enter data, or change the database.
The shared databases would be visible in FILE > Open Remote
If you enabled Instant Web Publishing, by default, only the computers on your network could access it.
If you wanted remote users to access the database, you would have to change settings on your router.
You'll be waiting a long time. Open Remote specifically links a FileMaker Pro user to either the FileMaker Pro application or the FileMaker Pro Service that has already opened the file.
Opening a FileMaker database from a shared directory is not recommended for very good reasons:
1) if two users try to open the file at the same time, the file can be damaged.
2) if you open the file from the shared directory and use your computer to host the file, performance will be affected--things will run more slowly and a network glitch that interrupts connectivity between your computer and the server can also damage your file.
If you cannot set up a machine to host the file with FileMaker Pro, I suggest that you establish a practice of copying the file to your machine each morning, opening it and then others connect to it via Remote Open. You'd then copy your database back to the server. With a script, save a copy as can save your file back to the server at regular intervals and when the host machine closes the file. The scripted backups can even have distinct, timestamped file names so that you create a series of sequential backups.
I do the same thing you want to do. It sounds like you don't want Host to be ON, because of security reasons. Then each client should be given a password and User name which can be restricted per each Client. You can apply internal security checks like forced password changes and proof questions if you wish.
I simply tell my Mac to start up the Host "cold start" and can schedule that startup. The "cold start" opens all necessary files and waits for a Client to a password activation of his use.