Yes, it's possible, but we'd need to know more about your needs to advise further.
Syncronization should only be considered if networking is too slow or not available. If both computers are on the same network, then you should have one open the databases as the host and the other connect to it as a client. FileMaker 5/6 can host up to 10 clients, and FileMaker 7/8 can host up to 5 clients.
Thanks so much.
I am running Filemaker Pro 6. I have an iMac and a Powerbook G4. My PA uses a file daily and edits it on the iMac. I have a copy of that file on my laptop which I also use and edit while travelling. When I return, I connect the two computers via an ethernet router. It is at this point I would like to synchronize the files. I would also like a third copy of the file to be used at another location by a third party which I would like to be able to synchronize - I thought it might be easiest to email this file to me for synchronization on connected computers.
Another thought was to move all three files onto one computer for synchronizing before copying back to the users.
I'm not aware of how the Host and Client sytem works and It may well be that I am looking for a solution in completely the wrong way. Your help is very much appreciated.
If your laptop will have internet access when you're traveling, then you should consider remotely connecting to the hosted database. If your connection is slow, instant web publishing might perform better. But if the laptop is indeed off the network, then syncronization is the way to go.
Here's an old thread that does a pretty good job of explaining the basic process and some of the issues with syncronization:
Thanks for the info and link. Reading that thread, it would seem synchronizing successfully is virtually impossible with Filemaker! SyncDek is an extremely expensive option. Is there a way to make Filemaker aware that clearly a large number of users consider this a serious omission and they should make it a priority to make a plugin?
It makes me think it would be well worth moving to a different DB that can handle it. Any suggestions?
Syncronization is not impossible, but it can be a lot of work. It depends on how smart you want your syncronization rules to be. For example, if two users modify the same record, but different fields, should the syncronization script use the newest record, or somehow merge the two? If you want to merge them, always keeping the newest data on a field-by-field basis, then you'll need to keep a modification log and use that to set the data on a field-by field basis.
I have no way of knowing what FileMaker's plans are, but this is certainly not a common need. Most deployments use networking to share databases, either on a local network or a wide area network. Anyway, I think you'd have the same kind of syncronization issues to work out with any other DBMS.