Hang in there, and I'm sure you can get what you need done.
Can you just use the peer to peer file sharing in Filemaker to do your test? (I believe it's good for 3 to 5 users) You would have to setup your database in your copy of Filemaker on a PC or Mac, and then turn on Filemaker database sharing. From there, you setup your app. to be shareable, and assuming your testers are on the same network, they should be able to connect to your copy of filemaker and your test database.
You may need to open certain ports on your computers firewall or on a company firewall for others to see your machine. Your IT people should be able to assist you with that. I would think this would be your easiest route. Simply haveing disk space on a shared drive is probably not going to help, unless your goal is for each tester to simply grab their own copy of the database. If your using FMGO, you can do that simply by emailing them a copy of the database.
What version of Filemaker are you running? Can you be more specific about how your trying to test your application?
For testing purposes, I would think that you can get by with having the database copied to each of the iOS devices. To do that, first download FMGo (free) onto each of the devices (iPads?) Then plug each device into your computer and work through iTunes to get the database copied to FMGo. Granted you will not have real-time updates of activities, but the purpose of testing is to see if the officers even like the new way of working. If they like it, then you can proceed with the rest. I have helped implement a school where each room has an assigned iPad with an grade/attendance system. Each room has WiFi access to the network where the server resides. The school is running FMS12 but with the new price increase for this in FMS13, I'm not sure they will upgrade. I hope this helps.
Welcome, leeanne! There are remote FMS hosting providers that may allow a 30-day trial (their servers, their FMServer software). I'm sure this is not "free", but it would save you the hassle of setting it all up with your IT.
That is, of course, if they will allow you to use an "outside" hosting, for testing. IF allowed, they may even consider using the outside hosting, if you build plenty of security into your files. It may be the most economical for you.
See what they think about that!
You can find providers on the FMI site. Get recommendations from this list, too.
HI Everyone, thank you so much for your replies. I have tried to get them to open my workstation and have met a brick wall so far. We are a health system so we are subjected to HIPAA guidelines and a whole host of policies and procedures related to privacy and information security. Also, if my pilot program is successfully launched, I will be asked to assist with a similar project for our law enforcement activities which bring another host of regulations. Currently I am running FM12 but I receive upgrades with my licenses, so I have FM 13 available. What I need to be able to show the department is that multiple users can connect, input data, have access to others data and generate those ever important metrics needed to justify our existence. Of course, I know this all capable with the project plan I have proposed but they won't just take my word for it
Like Beverly said..
Try one of these hosting services, I have clients on both and the service is excellent. Easy to manage, get backups, upload files etc.
The way people normally go about this is to get a free trial, demo it for proof-of concept, and then start paying for the service.
The best part is that you don't need to figure out all the in and outs of FM server, Go and the concurrent connections (or pay for them!).
Best of luck
Hudi, leeanne needs to comply with guidelines that may not allow the usage of third party (i.e. external) hosting. The research into these should still be done with the caveat that the hosting providers also can comply with the guidlines (some may). It still may be a cost effective way to test (with bogus data if necessary) while all variables are worked out even if they insist in being in house in the end.