In a nutshell filemaker Pro is the development platform for the database. It is used to either host the database after you have created it with FM Pro and allow filemaker go iOS clients to access it over the network or Wan as a multi user database. Or you can download the database in it's entirety onto the iiOS device after creating it in FM Pro and use it as a stand alone database on the device using FM Go.
Explore the differences between FM Pro advanced and standard FM Pro before deciding which is more suitable for your needs. In any case you will need a version of FM Pro to do the development of your application as no development or design functionality is available in FMGo.
From a personal perspective I would suggest hosting the file on the FM Pro machine and using the iPad as a client, this arrangement would allow you amend your layouts on the FM Pro host and have them immediately available on the iPad rather than having to synch data and re-upload the amended files to the iPad. When you finalise your database structure and layouts you can always just upload the complete file to the iPad and dispense with the FM Pro host. It's just something to consider during the development stages.
It will work and there is more than one way to set it up. The key original concept to keep in mind is that FileMaker Pro is a database development tool. You use it to create the original database, the tables, relationships, layouts, scripts etc all get developed by you on a windows or mac computer using FileMaker Pro or (preferably) FileMaker Advanced. Once you have created the file, you can use iTunes or Drop Box to copy the file to your iPAd and open it in FileMaker Go. You can also host the file from a computer and use WiFi to connect to the hosted database using FileMaker Go. In this scenario, you see and modify data on your iPad, but the data is transmitted to and saved on the file on the hosted computer. For just a small number of users, you can use FileMaker Pro to host the file and not need to use FileMaker Server.
You may find this thread of interest as you set out to design a database in FileMaker Pro for use on an iPad or iPhone: An Old Dog learns some new tricks...
Thanks... both of those really helped. I'd like to be able to access/update the information on both my MacPro and the iPad so I think running it on the desktop would be best. Question... if I take the iPad home, for example, can I update/add information and sync it once I'm back at the gallery - or do I have to always be on the WiFi network to do that?
There are a couple of options with regard to this.
Filemaker Pro on your Mac Pro has the ability to host your file and provide access to it through the local wifi and if connected to the internet allow remote access in the same way. However this requires the Mac Pro is on and Filemaker Pro running and is set up correctly to do this. It is without doubt the easiest option as all clients are working with the same shared database and records.
The idea of Synching is also possible, there are many 3rd party Filemaker solutions to allow this, but they need to be integrated into your solution.
It is also possible to email the filemaker file to the iPad or the Mac Pro to transfer data between them.
Personally, I am not a fan of synching, eventually someone will make a mistake and something will not be updated or people will not be working off the wrong data. It brings another level of complexity as to who or what device has the master / most current copy of the database.
Synching has it's benefits for people who have no remote access, they can work on a copy of the data, amend it, add records and when they return can synch with the master database.
But if you have internet access in both the gallery and home a far easier solution is to just leave the Mac Pro running in the gallery and bring your iPad home, add / update the information .... job done!.
A cheap, but limited alternative to a "synch" method is to keep separate copies of your file on both devices and then be careful and consistent to copy the files back and forth between systems. This assumes that you are the only person modifying data in the database file.
I use drop box for that purpose to copy several personal use only DB files back and forth between my iPhone and my Laptop. Not only did this avoid purchasing any third party tool, but it keeps a file backed up in my drop box account so that my file is not lost even if both Lap top and iPhone should be destroyed in some catastrophe.
I currently have the .fmp12 file online (using 'Copy' ~ similar to DropBox) so that I can work on the solution either at home or at work. I do have internet access at home and work, so Eoin's method may do the trick. I've pretty much got the DB's where I want them, so my next step is figuring out how to get my iPad to see the file.
To that end, I assume it would be better if I take the .fmp12 file off-line (from 'Copy') and directly on my MacPro. At that point, is there a way to use the file like a stand-alone app, or do I have to always activate it through the FileMaker Pro interface?
Thank you for your posts.
Open the database file using FileMaker Pro. Pull down the File menu and select "Sharing -> Share with FileMaker Clients...". Turn on Network Sharing and just below will display the TCP/IP Address that will allow you to connect from your iPad. After launching FileMaker Go on your iPad, tap Hosts, and if you are on the same Wi-Fi network, you will see your desktop machine, and you can then open the database file. The database file must be open in FileMaker Pro and set for Network Sharing in order to make updates from the iPad.
The other option is to copy the file to your iPad, work with the file on your iPad, close the file and transfer it back to your desktop machine.
Thanks TSGal. I have it working on my iPad now.