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$64K question.  Hoping for a solution!

Question asked by jjfcpa_1 on Feb 9, 2010
Latest reply on Feb 10, 2010 by kapitaen_1


$64K question.  Hoping for a solution!


I am a practicing CPA and a software developer (25 years).  I create solutions for the accounting professional (CPA's primarily) and most applications used by the accounting profession are inherently multi-client.  That is, each application is capable of maintaining data for multiple clients.  


I have spent the last week or so taking a hard look at Filemaker Pro Advanced.  What I have found is very attractive, especially the interface and design elements.  I also like the built-in data binding.  


However, I have been unable to determine if it is possible to create a solution that would allow the end-user maintain a separate database for each client that they want to maintain data for.  The way this would work is upon starting the application, they would either select an existing database (this could be the "template" database or one they have previously created) or create a new database based on the "template".  Basically, this is close to the way that Filemaker Pro Advanced starts up, except for the option to create a blank database.  Obviously, I don't need or want that one.  All I need is the 2nd two options - select an existing or create from template.


This is very typically in accounting applications, such as, Quickbooks, Proseries (professional version of Turbotax that allows for multi-client processing), Peachtree, etc.


Is there a way to create a runtime solution that allows for multi-client (multi-database) processing?  Keep in mind that it is not practical to put all clients in one database, because this would preclude the accountant from moving the database to his personal laptop and taking it to the field (client's office) with him.


I have posted this question in another FM forum and someone suggested using a container field that would hold the template database, then copied and renamed whenever the user had to create a new database.  My unfamiliarity with FM makes me think this would be very complicated to implement so I'm just wondering if there is any other way to accomplish this.