Manually connecting to a remotely hosted database from FileMaker Pro can be a daunting task for new users, so FileMaker offers a couple of features to simplify this process for both users and developers: Send Link and the FileMaker Quick Start Screen.
Introduced in FileMaker 9, the Send Link option on the File menu will automatically create an email draft in your default email client with a URL link to the currently open hosted database along with a list of requirements that must be met to log in to the database. As long as those requirements are met, the email recipient can simply click on the link in the email body and the database will launch. If you are working on the same network as the hosted database, these requirements shouldn’t be an issue.
Developers can take the URL link one step further by creating a link file that can be distributed to users and saved for future use. The user can store the link file on a desktop, or other preferred location on the hard drive, and simply double-click it to launch the file. To create the link file, simply copy and paste the link from the email body into the address bar in your web browser. Before pressing enter, click and drag the favicon (the small icon at the beginning of the address bar in your browser) to your desktop. A link to the FileMaker file will be automatically created and can be distributed through any appropriate channel. FileMaker link files created on a Windows computer using Internet Explorer will work on both Mac OSX and Windows, but link files created on a Mac using Safari will only work on a Mac.
The Quick Start Screen offers another way to easily reconnect to FileMaker databases. After you have opened a hosted database, it will appear in the Recent Files list on the FileMaker Quick Start Screen when FileMaker Pro 10 is launched. Users can save any of the Recent Files to their Favorites lists by highlighting the file, and then clicking the Add to Favorites button. Hosted databases that are saved as favorites will appear in the Favorite Files (remote) list.
If the Quick Start screen does not appear when FileMaker Pro 10 is launched, select Preferences from the FileMaker Pro menu (Mac) or from the Edit menu (Windows). Check the “Show FileMaker Quick Start Screen” check box and it will appear the next time FileMaker Pro is launched. To access the Quick Start Screen while already working in FileMaker Pro, select the New Database option from the File menu.