Thank you for your post.
FileMaker Server has the capability to host to just about as many clients as you would need while FileMaker Pro is limited to 5 clients at a time. It also has Web Capabilities (WebDirect and Custom Web Publishing), SSL capabilities (For security), schedules for backups and scripts, etc. The list goes on. You might look back through the Features here: FileMaker Server Compare Versions | FileMaker Server 14
Also, you posted in the Community Feedback for providing feedback about the FileMaker Community itself. I am going to move this thread to Discussions where you'll gain more reads and advice.
Just as a personal thought on the value of FMServer: Backups! If you are using FM for a small personal database and you are the only user then you can backup the file pretty easily without necessarily needing FMServer. BUT ... if you are working in a multi user environment, or any sort of business environment or any environment where up to date backups are essential - then IMHO FMserver is vital. The backup scheduling capability and the ability of FMServer to take backups while the database is in use without corruption is essential! Worth every cent.
If you need to access your files from a remote location you need FMS. If you have several machines running FMP it's the simplest way to avoid syncing files or copying files from machine to machine and keeping track of the latest version. Peer to peer sharing, while also avoiding these problems, requires the host machine to have FMP open for access by other machines. FMS is the way to go even if you are the only user.
You can have a FileMaker client that serves up to 5 other clients as a host, no need to have the server version for that, just bend the external IP to the client that acts as server (NAT)
IMHO the main advantages:
- automatic backups
- FMS is a service, no need to have an user logged in
- no users are fiddeling around on that client-machine, little risk of crashing FM, duplicating files, messing around with backup files, erc
You need FMS if you want several instances of FM to connect at the same time. For instance if you have three people accessing the same database simultaneously, you need one FMS and three FM (client). If you only want to access the same database from different places but not at the same time, you could store your FM database in the cloud, like Dropbox, and then just run it from where you are.
You also need FMS if you want web-access to the database.
Jonas Möller Nielsen
You need FMS if you want several instances of FM to connect at the same time. For instance if you have three people accessing the same database simultaneously, you need one FMS and three FM (client).
Just as Markus said, one can still use Filemaker Pro to act as a Host for up to 5 other clients. It's called peer-to-peer sharing.
For saving Backup copies at regular intervals, it's not difficult to create an automated routine. Basically a script which uses the "Save a Copy" script-step. This can be set to fire according to an OnTimer setup. Extending this idea, one can maintain a series of backup files.