Thanks for posting!
With the ability to allow 9 concurrent users with FileMaker Network Sharing (or File > Open Remote) and 5 concurrent users via Instant Web Publishing, FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced alone can handle your configuration (assuming your machine meets system requirements and other applications aren't eating all of the resources :smileyhappy: ).
Your choice for using the FileMaker Server software will come down to a few things:
Any database that is hosted by FileMaker Pro 9 (FileMaker Network Sharing or IWP), needs to be physically opened within the FileMaker Pro 9 application; users will not be able to see any file that is closed or if the application is closed. While you can launch the database under a 'Read Only' log-in for added protection, some people prefer the fact that FileMaker Server runs as services in the background of the machine and that the databases are only accessible through Pro or the web. Also, since you are using Instant Web Publishing, FileMaker Server offers the capability to run SSL.
Are there any particular features within the FileMaker Server/Advanced software that you would like to use for your solution?
Are most of the users simply performing data-entry tasks? Depending on the usage, I would probably recommend that you try hosting via FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced first. At the very least, it would be better to try this configuration and then move to FileMaker Server as opposed to purchasing FileMaker Server too soon and realizing you would have been just as fine with Pro Advanced.
Does anyone else use a similar configuration and have any opinions on Server vs. Pro? I'm sure we'd both love to hear them.
Thanks for the quick response.
The users will only be performing simple data entry.
One final question. In your response you said "Any database that is hosted by FileMaker Pro 9 (FileMaker Network Sharing or IWP), needs to be physically opened within the FileMaker Pro 9 application". I'm assuming if I were using Filemaker Network Sharing, that means I would have to purchase the software and install it on each computer. Is that the case?
That is correct. With FileMaker Network Sharing you have either a copy of FileMaker Pro or Server hosting the databases. The users will access the hosted databases via their own copy of FileMaker Pro installed on their machine.
When hosting a database over the web (with FileMaker Pro as the host it will be Instant Web Publishing), the user does not need to have FileMaker Pro installed on their machine. Instead, they only need to use a web browser ( Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc. ) to access the hosted database. FileMaker Pro allows for 5 concurrent users accessing databases via this method, so you could have 5 of your 9 users accessing a database via IWP.
As for the databases themselves, a hosted database has to be 'opened' in FileMaker Pro. It can not be a closed file sitting on the desktop or in a databases folder.
Let me know if I can clarify anything else for you. I'm definitely happy to help.:smileyhappy: