We tried file sharing, but no success. Only one can look at the files at a time.
Sounds like you put the file in a shared folder and tried to access it from two computers at the same time. Not only did this not work for you, it can corrupt the database file if you are unlucky.
Do it this way:
Put the file on the office computer and open it with FileMaker Pro. Go to File | Sharing | FileMaker Network... and turn sharing on. Select this file in the list of open files and specify "all users" in the "Network access to file" section.
Now, with a different install of FileMaker Pro on your lap top and while you can connect to the office machine via the local network, launch FileMaker Pro and use Open Remote to find and open the database file.
Since you are likely to be on the go and away from the office at times, you'll eventually want to configure your internet router with port forwarding so that you can remotely access your databse via a connection to the internet. There are a number of threads here that discuss "port forwarding" a process that can differ with each internet router and whether or not that router has a static or dynamic IP address.
Thank you for your suggestions! I think we are half way there. I still need to check out the port forwarding. It does however look like we need another license. Aargh. I thought I might be able to use just one license since we are such a small operation. Any ideas for start-ups and small businesses...We are two part-timers just trying to communicate easily.
You could set up web access and one of you uses Filemaker and the other access the file using a web-browser. But: the feature set and method of operation is not exactly the same, so you would need to account for that in the design of the file. But if you only want (reasonably) basic features it is one way to solve your problem.
Can you share a bit more about setting up web acess? Is that through my website or the filemaker software? Our files are pretty basic.
One user hosts the FM file, just the way you have now. But the second user logs on to it using a web-browser. Where you initiated 'Filemaker Network Sharing', look again and you will see that you can also, similarly, allow Instant Web Sharing.
If you look for 'Publishing databases on the web' in the Help it is well explained. There are two benefits to you: you don't need to buy a second licence, and it will work inside your office network, and, when you set up the port-forwarding, will work from outside your network as well.
There are limitations to script steps that do not function with a browser. Also, you have to learn to commit any changes, for instance (whereas FM auto-saves), for example. But it is a brilliantly easy way to share files.