If you can correctly set up port forwarding for your internet router, your contractors should be able to launch FileMaker, select Open Remote, and enter the Ip address of your internet router to gain access to your database as a filemaker client.
You can web search Port Forwarding to get a number of sites that tell you how to set this up for an internet router and port 591 is supposed to be reserved for FileMaker.
Great, thanks for the suggestion. We'll try that. I'm a little worried about security, though. I can't seem to figure out how to create users/pwds, and right now we don't have to authenticate to login from inside the office. How do I create user accounts for our contractors from FileMaker Server?
Easiest is to create them in the file(s)--not the server. In later versions of Filemaker this is a sub-menu off of "manage" in the File Menu. I don't know what they called it, but you should be able to find an option in the File menu that lets you create accounts and passwords. You might try creating a very simple file and experimenting with password settings on it until you are confident that you've got it figured out. If you have multiple files, you'll need to set passwords on each file that are exactly the same so that a user can log into one file and open it and then can access the other files without having to enter additional passwords.
Once you are ready to add passwords to your working file, you might want to save a backup copy without any passwords or set in File Options ( or in preferences, not sure where it is with this older version) to open with the full access password so you have a back up you know you can open even if you accidentally lock yourself out of the file by defining a password you can't seem to enter correctly in order to open the file.
I can find a list of accounts for the whole database, but the only user is administrator, which everyone logs in as. How do I add users to that list?
Is the LDAP route a bad idea? Our server is a Linux server, but I'm assuming we can run the appropriate LDAP services on it... not sure how to point it to our database server, though.
Thanks so much for your ongoing help!
I have no way to answer questions on LDAP and FileMaker Server 7. That's not a version of Server to which I have access nor can I access documentation about whether it supports this the way more recent versions do.
In FileMaker, each account has it's own password. In the password dialog of more recent versions, you can enter a different account name in place of the default user name and then enter the matching password. Presumably this was also true for FileMaker 7.
Wnen you pull up the Access privileges dialog, you should have a create button for creating new accounts and passwords.
Have tried setting up port forwarding using TCP/UDP on our router (even with fixed IP), but we can't seem to connect from outside still.
Open Remote > fmnet:/xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/databasename
Beach ball spins for a while, then says it couldn't connect.
Any other thoughts?
Still can't get port forwarding to work.
We switched to FileMaker Pro 11 on one computer to take advantage of Instant Web Sharing -- which actually works. So weird. We have port forwarding set up through our router, and logging in to xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:591 accesses the Web Sharing interface.
Strangely, though, if you try to 'open remote' on the same address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:591, it's just a spinning beach ball for a while, then says it couldn't access the server.