For users in the same office, go to one computer, open a browser, and enter as the URL:
fmp://IPAddressOfFileMakerServer/Filename (replace any spaces in filename with +)
Drag the icon left of the URL to the desktop and distribute this as the "opener" file. May want to rename it and change its icon to a FileMaker icon first. If dragging the icon to the desktop doesn't work, try a different browser (some don't support this).
For remote users assuming your server is on a private IP subnet, first you have to port forward port 5003 TCP through your router/firewall to go to the IP address of your FM Server. Then you have to determine the WAN IP Address of your office (go to IPChicken.com). The instructions above to create an opener file will work as well, but you need to use the WAN IP Address instead of the Private IP address of the FM Server.
If the office WAN IP address is not static, you'll need to either buy a static IP address from your internet provider or use dynamic DNS (there are lots of good free ones; I use no-ip.com).
By the way, this all assumes a static IP address for your FMS box. If it isn't static, make it so.
Ann Arbor, MI
Each user will need a copy of FM 12. Those in the local network should be able to use Open Remote, under the file menu, to access the served files. You should see the Server listed under hosts. if it doesn't appear you need to manually enter the IP address of the computer hosting FMS.
It's a bit more complicated for remote users. You can open the ports for FMS on your firewall and map them to the IP address of the server. Then the remote users will specify the WAN IP address. If you go this route make sure they system requires a login to access.The most secure method is to setup a VPN connection for each of the remote uses. this can be done with a software VPN.
Hope this helps..
Pueblo Systems, Inc.
Thanks so much for your answer. My IT guy has just asked to to inquire about access via terminal services?
It works great on Terminal Services. You need to have 1 copy of FMP installed and sufficient volume licenses for the maximum number of users on Terminal Services. I have a Terminal Services server set to open the FileMaker db as soon as a user connects to the Terminal Server so they're not monkeying with other stuff that they don't need.
Using Remote Desktop Services (previously known as Terminal Services) works fine if that is what you need. Most IT guys jump right to this because they have set up a corporate VPN for security purposes and they are unfamiliar with FileMaker's built in security. If there are other software and a reasons to use Terminal Services such as a corporate VPN, then yes, FileMaker works fine with it. However, if FileMaker is the only reason you are considering Terminal Services, keep in mind that FileMaker Server handles a rather robust security (SSL with AES 256 bit key) without the need for Terminal Services. Also, you get to keep the application local which has some advantages. If you are only doing this for FileMaker, then I would stay away from it. If you have set up Terminal Services already for an enterprise VPN and have other apps you need to regularly use on it, then integrating FileMaker into it works great too. It really depends on what your setup is and why you would want to use Terminal Services.
Gordon, you're way of doing this is not the "normal" way most FileMaker users open databases. But I have to educate a bunch of less than stellar computer users and using a shortcut the way you described is by far the easiest for an end user and I use this method a lot. Thanks for taking the time to spell out the details. Please note if you are in previous versions of FileMaker, the URL begins fmp7:// and with FileMaker 12, it has changed to fmp:// which is easier. For example: fmp://192.168.1.3/File+Name or fmp://serverdomain.com/MyDatabase Another note of caution is that not all browser support dragging the URL icon, but I do it in Safari most often and it works great. And to make it look more professional, I add some company logo or appropriate database icon to the short cut.
The primary reason I have clients set up with Terminal Services or any remote control product (VNC, Timbuktu, RDP, etc.) is speed. While FileMaker's WAN performance continues to improve and internet bandwidth continues to widen, there is still a decided speed advantage having a computer on a LAN (the one you're remoting into) perform certain FileMaker operations vs. the same thing over the WAN from a remote site. Especially using databases with some meat on their bones.
I believe, Taylor, this is what you were referring to when you said, "you get to keep the application local which has some advantages."