The most basic way of deploying a solution is as a single-user application. In any organization that uses a lot of FileMaker, there are likely dozens or hundreds of single-user databases scattered on computers throughout the organization. The typical single-user solution is something that a knowledge worker cooked up to meet an ad hoc need. Perhaps its a database for the office football pool or to keep track of gifts from a baby shower. Maybe someone needed a tool to clean up the ugly data sent by a customer. In many cases, the creator of such a database could have met the need with another tool, such as Microsoft Excel, but chose FileMaker Pro instead because of its simplicity and attractive user interface.
Single-user solutions like these are typically not well planned out, nor constructed according to rigorous development standards. These databases usually grow organically, have little or no security, and have sparse or idiosyncratic user interfaces. Single-user databases are typically a developers first foray into the world of FileMaker; these solutions frequently exhibit the evolving skills of the creator.
There are a few risks to be aware of with single-user solutions. First, its unlikely that such solutions have been integrated into a rigorous backup strategy. If you, or users in your organization, store important data in or fulfill important business needs through single-user solutions, be sure to periodically burn a backup on CD or copy it to an external device, or to some networked volume that you e sure is being backed up on a periodic schedule.
Another common risk of single-user deployments is that they may not be suitable for evolution into workgroup- or organization-wide solutions. Its trivial to share the files peer-to-peer, or to move them to a FileMaker Server for hosting, but if a solution was originally designed with only a single user in mind, you may end up with a difficult-to-maintain and/or fragile solution.
For more information on good multiuser design, see Chapter 11, "Developing for Multiuser Deployment," p. 307.
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