Options for FileMaker hosting
If you’re the only user of your FileMaker database, you’ll probably be happy running FileMaker on your machine and accessing it locally.
However, once you need other people to connect to it, or want to use an iOS device to access the data, you’ll need to think about how to host your database.
If there are only a few users who all work on the same network (say, in the same office) then you might get away with hosting the FileMaker database on an office machine running FileMaker Pro that’s left on all the time. All users will connect to the machine that’s acting as host.
There are some downsides, though. Few businesses can afford to dedicate a single machine to the sole task of database hosting. Therefore the machine that’s hosting will probably be used as a work machine as well - sending emails, browsing the web, doing the accounts and so forth. This means that the machine may be prone to crashes, intermittent problems, viruses, malware and other nasties. As soon as the machine falls over or needs to restart, everyone using the database will be kicked off and be unable to work.
For companies able to dedicate a machine to FileMaker hosting, FileMaker Server may be advisable. FileMaker Server allows multiple databases to be hosted, with multiple users able to connect at once. Databases can be backed up by schedule and new databases added and removed at will.
However, remote access to the databases (that is, access from outside the building) still necessitates the specialist configuration of the router. Plus, even business routers are quite often ADSL, meaning there’ll be data bottlenecks that will slow down some users’ interactions with the database server.
For companies without the IT resources nor the time to commit to FileMaker hosting, a hosted solution might be the ideal solution.
We’re happy to advise on the best way to host a FileMaker database. One size does not necessarily fit all!