We have Magento community edition in our office. The DB server is separate ; we would like to connect a single Magento DB to multiple instances on separate machines (within LAN network) Currently each developer has to get a separate DB on his own machine Any suggestions?
The actual Magento configuration of this is not too difficult, the configuration of your network and Database server is also key.
To begin with you need to take care of your networking and security. Ensure your Magento DB server has a consistent IP address and it can accepting connections on the DB port from all other developer machines on your LAN. (Security aside: make sure it doesn't accept connections from anywhere on the internet, that would be dangerous) If you're using MySQL, take this time to set up an individual database for each developer.
Take a look at the Magento CE 1.9.1 system requirements to make sure you have all the requirements on your developers machines. You will need php modules such as curl,gd and mcrypt installed for Magento to run. Once you have your local web host and php environment configured, unzip Magento into the docroot.
Now the easy part: fire up your browser on each developer machine, and point it to the location you installed Magento and the installation procedure should start. When you get to the configuration section shown in the image below. Fill in the IP address and port of your DB server at the location of the purple arrow and the unique database for the developer at the location of the red arrow. Once all your networking and database credentials are all sorted out, you should be on your way.