6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 6, 2014 8:41 AM by JoeMugnai

    confused about which product(s) I need - please help

    JoeMugnai

      Title

      confused about which product(s) I need - please help

      Post

           I have been a user of FM Pro for several years. Just took the plunge and upgraded from v9 to v13. 

           In the past, I have used FMP on a single machine at a time. When I needed access from another machine (i.e. laptop) I would simply copy the database to that machine and continue working.

           I have now added a second license of FM Pro and would like to explore other options for sharing data.  Ideally, I would like to have up to 2 people access a database. One user would be on a desktop system and the other would probably be an iPad. 

           Am throughly confused as to which products I would need to do this, or if it is possible.

           Most of the data on the website state "use FM Pro to create..." and lists all different options for sharing. Then it mentions FM Server and FM Go. It seems the server cost is over $1,000 plus a monthly fee. For my 2-person access scenario, that doesn't make sense for me. We could stick with copying the file back and forth.

            

           Using FM Pro, I understand we can have shared access across a network. Both users would need a registered copy of FM Pro. That makes sense and I understand how to do that. Can that database be hosted on an offsite machine? For example, can I host it on my office Mac (not a server, but connected to the internet with a service providing a fixed IP address) and then access it from the copy of FM Pro hosted on my home computer?

           What about FM Go? Can I access the database in the above example from FM Go on my iPad? Do I need to create a solution which is FM Go only? Do I need "FM Server" or have to pay a monthly fee to access that data from my mobile device?

            

           Finally, there is web access. I see that FM Server has "WebDirect" which seems designed for a larger use than I have planned. Does FM Pro have any facility to publish data which can be viewed and edited in a web browser?

            

           I have looked through the website, but can't find straightforward answers to these questions. If there are links or places in the manual that explain this feel free to point me there. The marketing information hints that I should be able to do all or most of the above, but when you look closer it seems that server is required. There also seems to be changes to the capabilities in various FM versions, adding to my confusion.

            

           Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

            

            

            

        • 1. Re: confused about which product(s) I need - please help
          philmodjunk
               

                    Using FM Pro, I understand we can have shared access across a network.

               Correct

               

                    Both users would need a registered copy of FM Pro.

               Not necessarily. You need FileMaker Pro to develop and host the solution, but additional users can connect to the hosted database with an iOS device using only the free FM GO app downloaded from the App store.

               If you host the database with FileMaker Pro, up to four other computers using FileMaker Pro or iOS devices using FM Go can connect to that hosted database.

               

                    Can that database be hosted on an offsite machine?

               This is possible if you correctly set up port forwarding on your internet router to enable this option.

               

                    Do I need to create a solution which is FM Go only?

               No, but layouts designed specifically for iPhone or iPad access are strongly recommended as the smaller screen and touch interface work best on layouts specifically designed for that purpose. Many databases are set up to detect the type of client device (computer, iPhone or iPad) and switch to layouts customized for that device.

               

                    Do I need "FM Server" or have to pay a monthly fee to access that data from my mobile device?

               You do not.

               

                    Does FM Pro have any facility to publish data which can be viewed and edited in a web browser?

               Not with FileMaker Pro 13. Earlier versions of FileMaker Pro used something called Instant Web Publishing for this, but this option is not available in FileMaker 13.

               You didn't mention another FileMaker Product that you should carefully consider: FileMaker Advanced. This product offers a number of enhanced development tools that can save you hours of effort and are useful even to developers new to FileMaker. Just enabling the script debugger and stepping through a problem script one step at a time while watching values change in the data viewer can be a real eye opener.

          • 2. Re: confused about which product(s) I need - please help
            JoeMugnai

                 Thanks for the help. This does clear things up quite a bit.

                 I remember the "instant Web Publishing" and even used it once some time ago.

                 I have set up port forwarded for another shared application, so it should be no problem to do the same for FM. The 5 user limit is more than we need for what I am trying to do, so that should work. The web publishing option would be great to have, but I can work around that with the "Go" option.

                 FM Pro "Advanced" is the version we are using (I didn't make the clear in my original post). Yes, its features have been helpful.

                 We have two licenses for FM Pro Advanced. So the way I see it now:

                 - We can both copies at the same time

                 - We can have these two copies accessing the same database at the same time over the same network, or remotely using port forwarding

                 - Tp have access to the shared database, it must be open jn a running copy of FM. This running copy counts as one of my licenses, even if running on a machine acting as a "server."

                 - A total of five users can connect to this database at once, using any combination of FM Pro, FM Pro Advanced, FM GO

                  

                 Do I have it right?

                 I know FM Pro Advanced allows me to create a runtime version of my database. I have never used this feature in the past. Is is possible to create a "runtime" to run on the "server" machine so I can still use my two licensed copies of FM Pro Advanced on machines operated by humans to access it? I don't mind if the machine acting as a server counts against one of my five connections, I would simply like to allow a person to use the second licensed version to access the data from a regular office computer. For at least one of the solutions we use, iPad/iPhone access is really not practical.

                  

                  

            • 3. Re: confused about which product(s) I need - please help
              philmodjunk

                   One minor quibble. While FileMaker says "5 users", that can be misleading. The machine hosting the database counts as the first user, so up to 4 additional users can connect to this hosted database for a total of 5 users.

              • 4. Re: confused about which product(s) I need - please help
                JoeMugnai

                     That's what I understood (although my last bullet point seems to indicate otherwise). Host counts as one user, leaving four "people" to connect if I am hosting the database on a "server" machine.

                      

                     Is it possible to open the shared database as a "runtime?" Would this reclaim that license so two "people" on other machines can access it via my two licensed copies of FM Pro Advanced?

                • 5. Re: confused about which product(s) I need - please help
                  philmodjunk

                       It is not possible. Runtimes are single user only.

                  • 6. Re: confused about which product(s) I need - please help
                    JoeMugnai

                         That's too bad. Guess we stick with "sneaker-net" for the main usage.

                          

                         Thanks again for the clarifications.