About setting up container fields
In addition to setting up a container field to store embedded data or a file reference, you can set up a container field to store data externally.
For example, suppose you have a shared Products database that includes a container field for product photos. When a user in one location inserts a file into the container field, the file is transferred to and stored in a directory on the host computer. When users in other locations view database records, the product photo is displayed in their copy of the container field.
By storing container data externally, you can:
Share data easily: Storing data externally also makes sharing a multi-user database easy, because each user works with data that’s stored in one central location. You do not need to configure a shared volume on each local computer to use container fields in a multi-user environment. You can insert files into container fields from your hard drive without having to copy them to a shared volume first.
Perform incremental backups: Only a reference to an external file is stored inside the database, which keeps databases small and facilitates incremental backups. Storing container data externally promotes faster backups, because after an initial backup has been performed, subsequent backups copy only the external files that were added or changed.
Choose how data is stored: Your data remains protected by FileMaker Pro. Container data that's stored externally in secure storage is by default encrypted and can be read by FileMaker Pro using secure storage. Alternatively, you can choose to keep the data in its native format (through open storage), giving you more control over how folders and files are organized in the external file system.
Follow these general steps to set up container fields to store data externally:
Important  Routine backups are strongly recommended for any document stored on a computer. See Maintaining and recovering FileMaker Pro databases.
Note  If you’re developing databases for FileMaker Go, see the FileMaker Go documentation for differences in the behavior of some features.
Related topics 
Using data in container fields
Topics in this section
Setting up container fields to store data externally
Managing external storage of container data
Managing performance with thumbnails
Transferring container data