You'll need to host the database file from Server or Pro.
An option that you may not have considered is to have a hosting company host the DB for you in order to make the file accessible to all users.
Thanks for the quick response!
When you say "host the database file from ..Pro," are you referring to the method of hosting the file on one computer and having other users open it via the "Open Remote" hosts dialogue window? Can this really not be done if the file is stored on a shared server? (I'm guessing not, but I wanted to confirm).
Lastly, is there some alternative regarding the setup of relational databases that I'm overlooking? I have a "Master Source List," which contains address info for all of our contacts, and I want to connect it to all of our project databases in a manner that allows for a "Source" field in the project databases that is a drop-down box with values populated from the Master Source List, and I want to be able to create a layout in the project databases that is comprised of the Master Source List fields so that users can update the Master Source List without opening it directly. Is this possible?
When you say "host the database file from ..Pro," are you referring to the method of hosting the file on one computer and having other users open it via the "Open Remote" hosts dialogue window?
Yes and putting a file in a shared directory so that multiple users can open the file directly risks damaging the file according to info posted here by TS personnel.
Lastly, is there some alternative...
Not really. "Without opening directly", isn't really the issue. It's a matter of two users not being able to both open the file at the same time whether "directly" or "indirectly". It's still a matter of accessing the same file at the same time.
The only possible work around would be to give each user their own separate copy of the file. For users that need just read only access, that could actually work fairly well. But if you have multiple users updating multiple copies of the same file in multiple ways, merging all those changes back into a single copy to redestribute to them would be a real nightmare of a challenge to do and is what a hosted database is intended to avoid.
unfortunately, I think you've answered my questions.
I definitely don't want separate lists.
So my options appear to be remote hosting or FileMaker Server, correct?
Or hosting it yourself. There are trade offs to evaluate with either option. The simplest, cheapest option is to take a workstation, open the files with FileMaker Pro on it and have everyone else use FileMaker Pro with Open/remote to connect to the files.
Okay. Well, thank you for helping with this!