Peer-to-peer deployment enables a small number of workers to share a solution, without the cost of setting up and maintaining a dedicated server. You can turn any single-user solution into a peer-to-peer solution simply by turning on FileMaker networking and adding the fmapp extended privilege to one or more privilege sets.
To learn more about extended privileges, see Chapter 12, "Implementing Security," p. 325.
Peer-to-peer deployment is often found in small organizations or departments in which only a handful of users need access to shared data. The database usually physically lives on one persons machine or on a file server. The first person to open the file is known as the host; other users who access it are clients. Provided that they have proper privileges for the file, both the host and clients can modify field definitions, access privileges, scripts, and layouts. Development teams therefore often use peer-to peer sharing during construction of large systems.
Several of the risks of single-user deployments also pertain to peer-to-peer deployments. Files are likely to be backed up sporadically rather than systematically; development standards are frequently nonexistent or not enforced. Solutions that are shared peer-to-peer often fly under the radar of IT departments as well, which might be a good or bad thing depending on your perspective. Its nice for you, as the creator or user of a system, to be in control of your own project, but our experience is that IT departments generally prefer that shared systems be centrally controlled and managed.
Using peer-to-peer sharing, you are restricted to sharing up to 10 databases with up to five concurrent users. If you need to expand beyond these constraints, you need to use FileMaker Server to deploy your solution.
Because the host of a peer-to-peer shared solution is a users workstation, you may face stability and performance concerns. For instance, the users machine may crash, she might need to disconnect clients to reboot her machine, or she may perform actions in other applications that cause slow client performance. FileMaker Server is the remedy to all these problems.
Part I: Getting Started with FileMaker 8
Using FileMaker Pro
Defining and Working with Fields
Working with Layouts
Part II: Developing Solutions with FileMaker
Relational Database Design
Working with Multiple Tables
Working with Relationships
Getting Started with Calculations
Getting Started with Scripting
Getting Started with Reporting
Part III: Developer Techniques
Developing for Multiuser Deployment
Advanced Interface Techniques
Advanced Calculation Techniques
Advanced Scripting Techniques
Advanced Portal Techniques
Debugging and Troubleshooting
Converting Systems from Previous Versions of FileMaker Pro
Part IV: Data Integration and Publishing
Importing Data into FileMaker Pro
Exporting Data from FileMaker
Instant Web Publishing
FileMaker and Web Services
Custom Web Publishing
Part V: Deploying a FileMaker Solution
Deploying and Extending FileMaker
FileMaker Server and Server Advanced
Documenting Your FileMaker Solutions