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Newbie planning questions

Question asked by FredKempf on Jul 25, 2014
Latest reply on Jul 25, 2014 by RickWhitelaw


Newbie planning questions

Your post

     Hi folks,

     I'm relatively new to FMP, but am loving what I've been able to do so far.  I'd like some thoughts on "architecture" and pitfalls to avoid as I get ready to take the next step.

     I'm an attorney in Dallas.  My daughter, also an attorney, works with me, but from Austin.   I want to  open the FMP work I'm doing here, to her.  I have DSL at work, at home, and my daughter has DSL in Austin.  I believe all three lines are "dynamic IP addressing," if that plays into this in any way.  

     What we want is pretty simple at this point: to create shared databases, with strong security, and with solid backup.

     What I'm contemplating, is buying a decently equipped Mac Mini, and FMP server, and installed it in my Dallas office, as a dedicated server.  I'm assuming I would connect via a lan connection to my Time Capsule (3TB) which acts as my backup and file server in our office, and also "controls" my DSL link.  I'm pretty sure I"ll have to do some port assignments (etc.) when I get to that point, but from what I can see, between the FMP documentation and the tech support, I'm guessing I can get through that. 

     We'll order FMP for my daughter's system (an IMac desktop).  Eventually, she'll add an iPad so she can execute contracts when she's out of the office.  For now at least, I don't think we'll need more than the basic "1 connection" for her iPad.  I have one too, and will use it, but it's highly unlikely we'd both be on our iPads at the same time.  So I'm assuming the basic FMP server would be all I need, for now.  Lastly, I currently run FMP 12 on my office system, but I recognize I may need to upgrade to match my daughter's version to pull all this off.


     Now, all that said, as I read through the posts here on the FMP Server list, I'm getting a bit scared.  From my uneducated perspective, I'm seeing a lot of problems about crashes, slow console times, problems with server backups, and things that in general seem to be causing the owners/users to spend a lot of time to get their system to do what they want it do.  I don't have that kind of time, nor great expertise.  I'm not a tech neophyte, but neither am I anything CLOSE to the level of many who post here.   And although I will spend money as needed here, costs are a concern, which is why I'm not trying to "gold plate" anything here.  Still, we could expand in a year or so and add another few attorneys, so when I DO spend money, I'm trying to keep that in mind as well.

     So how concerned should I be about this setup I'm contemplating, and about using FMP server at all?  I was pretty gung ho going into this, but am a bit spooked by what I'm seeing here on the discussion boards.  I'm assuming the FMP13 family is relative new.  Are these mainly "shakedown problems," associated with the updated family of FMP, or are there other things I should be concerned about here?


     Thoughts?   Thanks.