a Mac mini is always a good choice for running a (FileMaker) server. I would not recommend running FileMaker Server on your personal laptop computer as this makes sharing your databases with other users more difficult. If there are no other user accessing the database you won't need FileMaker Server at all. The Mac mini does not necessarily have to be the server configuration and I would not use Mac OS X Server on that machine as FileMaker Server interferes with some of the services. Accessing a Mac-hosted database from a Windows client (and vice versa) works. Consider setting up FileVault full disk encryption if physical theft cannot be ruled out.
Thank you so much for your reply. I turns out that other programs which are used at the place were the filemaker solution I am creating will run (a doctors office) require a windows environment, so I have been advised to install the fm server at the same server that is hosting other patient records - a windows server.
As for now - I only have a mac - and I am setting up the database on that - hopefully there will be no issues transferring that to a windows fm application?
I would much rather work on a mac - but it seems like there are strong argument here in favour of a pc.
Thank you for your advice on FileVault full disk encryption - security is crucial for this solution.