you need FileMaker Pro (advanced is highly recomended) to develop the solution and Filemaker server to make it available on the web. You might also budget for some training
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Welcome to FileMaker.
None of the FileMaker products, except for FileMaker Cloud, is a service. They are all licensed products. FileMaker Go is free of charge (for iOS devices). WebDirect is not a product; it's a feature of FileMaker Server. FileMaker Pro is the basic client for Mac or Windows. FileMaker Pro for users is the version of FileMaker Pro that only operates when attached to its licensed server (it's part of the FileMaker Licensing for Teams). FileMaker Pro Advanced is the "developer" version of the client that includes some additional features (like the Script Debugger, Data Viewer, Developer tools, etc.)
1. Yes, version 16 can convert .fp7 files to .fmp12. You will likely want to do some overhauling over time to upgrade the interface, take advantage of new features, etc.
2. Web publishing can be achieved in a few different ways. FileMaker Server is required (you can host using a hosting service if you don't want to run your own server). If your audience is small and reasonably well defined, you can use WebDirect. If not, then Custom Web Publishing would be the way to go (via one of the APIs, such as the one for PHP that is supplied with Server, or one of a number of others, including the new Data API).
3. Yes, you will need licensing. To do what you want, you will require at least a license of FileMaker Server and, as coherentkris has noted, a license of FileMaker Pro. You will also need to purchase the necessary number of connections if you plan to use WebDirect (and a concurrent connection license is required if your user base is not fixed).
It's probably worthwhile for you to put in a call to FileMaker Sales and ask one of the consultants what path is recommended based on your specific needs. We'll be happy to answer any specific questions you may have.
Would it be possible to create a database using FM Pro 16 and then use one of FM Hosting providers offering sharing hosting FM Server 14?
yes.. hosting is what they do.
Not 100% sure 16 files will play nice with 14 server but i dont recall reading anything that would indicate problems.
thanks... While hosting FM database on FM SERVER 14 (sharing not dedicated) would it still required to purchase connection licenses in order to use Web Direct?
Just be careful not to use any v16 features that require the server's participation. I can't think of any off the top of my head, but you might run into issues with some of the functions if they attempt to resolve on the server.