If you are running FileMaker 7 or FileMaker 8, there’s no excuse for not using FileMaker’s robust and speedy remote access capability. All it takes to get it going is to have a fixed IP address for your FileMaker server (even if it is run from FileMaker Pro not FileMaker Server) and holes in your firewall for 5003, 50003 and 50006.
I’m not a networking expert, but the typical in-house IT guy or gal can handle this with a quick look at the documentation for the device on your network that is running your firewall. If you don’t already have a fixed IP address, you can either get one or use a DNS service for a small monthly fee (less than $10) that will make your dynamic IP address operate like a fixed IP address.
You don’t even need extra copies of FileMaker for home use. Just install the same copy of FileMaker that you use at work on your home machine. Since you can’t be in two places at once, you’ll never have a conflict between your identical installation codes. If you are already using a Powerbook as your main machine, run don’t walk to get this remote access going. It’s way too convenient to miss out on.
You and your employees should set-up your FileMaker database at work as a favorite host so you can easily log-in and get things done when the need arises. Most executives have days when they don’t need to be in the office except for perhaps one little thing. If you’ve got your business data in your office database, you can usually do that one little thing and avoid the commute.
Also, if you’ve got your database set up for remote access, I can log-in and fix things on the spot even if I’m at my local Starbucks having coffee and away from my office. This is an amazing safeguard and convenience. Instead of your sending me your file(s) by email, I can often do a quick fix in 5 or 10 minutes and we are done. Same day, same hour as when the need arises.
My clients are designers. They often travel for press checks, photo shoots or simply meetings with clients in other cities. With remote access set-up, you and your employees can log-in and get very good performance from any broadband connection wired or wireless. Life goes on. Nothing changes. No disruption. Just a lot more convenience.
If you are still using FileMaker 5 or 6, remote access is a good reason to seriously consider an upgrade to FileMaker 8. Already some of my clients operate one database from multiple locations. If you are one of those firms and haven’t upgraded yet, you need to check this out.