What version of FileMaker are you using?
What kind of "remote user"? (Someone on the local network, or someone external to the local network?)
How do they connect to your database? (Web browser, FileMaker client using FileMaker Pro, iPhone or iPad with FileMaker Go...)
You have two different challenges: 1) getting the pictures into your database and 2) making them visible to all users
The first challenge is fairly straight forward.
Import Records | Folder, either selected from the File menu or performed from a script can import all of your images into a container field of separate records. The same import action can also import the filename into a field.
You can then link the tables in relationships by the file name if you set them up to only reference the numeric part of the filename and your product number in your inventory table.
You can define calcualtion fields in both that use GetAsNumber to return a value that is just the numeric portion of these two fields.
The second requires more information.
In FileMaker 12, the external storage option for your container field may be all that you need to make the images visible for all users.
In older verions, the details depend on the questions that I asked at the beginning of this post.
And you may want to investigate a third party product for use with your database known as SuperContainer. It's expensive but offers some valuable options that may not be available to you from Filemaker alone.
Thank you, this is very helpful.
In response to your questions: The file is being hosted via FileMaker Server, a remote user is opening the file in FileMaker Pro through the "Open Remote..." menu option. I am developing in FileMaker 11 but I need the pictures to work with all versions of FileMaker back to 8. Having the pictures work with FileMaker Go and future web integration would be nice but is not necessary.
a remote user is opening the file in FileMaker Pro through the "Open Remote..."
A "remote user" from where? Are they a user on the same network or at a different location?
For users accessing a hosted FileMaker database on the local network, you can view the images in "by reference" container fields if each maps/mounts a drive or "volume" to the shared directory where these image files are stored in exactly the same way and in such a way that the file path stored in the container field is now a valid file path that uses that mapped drive or volume.
For FileMaker Clients not on the local network, they will not be able to view "by reference" images unless they use Remote Desktop or VPN to access the database. For these users, you'd need to use either SuperContainer or you'd not use "by reference" as a storage option for your inserted files, leaving a physical copy of each file in your container fields.