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Q&A

Q1:When do you need FileMaker Server for sharing databases?
A1: There is no hard-and-fast rule for this (other than the limit on five concurrent users for FileMaker Pro), but there are some basic considerations. Any large-scale shared database will benefit from FileMaker Server's sophisticated management and diagnostic tools, which go far beyond those in FileMaker Pro. Also, some sharing features (such as ODBC) are implemented only in the Server product.

If you want to run a classic database operation, FileMaker Server is the right choice. Instead of running a copy of FileMaker Pro that allows you to update the shared database, with FileMaker Server the application that shares the database does only that and does not allow access to the data from the server computer (only from the clients).

Q2:Are there design considerations for shared databases?
A2: If you know that a database is going to be shared (and it is probably a good idea to assume that any database might be shared in the future unless you are sure that it will not be), you can design good sharing features into it. Perhaps the most important consideration is to remember that with a shared database it may be closed by the server under the circumstances described in this hour. Properly setting validation rules can set up a foolproof solution that cannot be closed with a database record that is inconsistent. (This can also set up a database that cannot be closed at all when the validation fails, and no one responds to the message.)
Q3:How much of the solution is shared? What happens when the database is sorted?
A3: Only the data is shared. The server does all the processing for each client, and it keeps track of separate sorts, finds, and other states for every user.


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