11 Replies Latest reply on Apr 27, 2010 12:53 PM by jmuse9

    Help me decide on upgrade path



      Help me decide on upgrade path


      BACKGROUND: My FMP development days are long over but I've been using FMP6 for a very long time to run our business. I recently got a new iMac that runs snow leopard. I rarely modify the structure or calcs of my database files anymore--I just add new data and occasionally make a tweak to a report, field or script. So FMP6 works pretty well with Snow Leopard but there are the occasional crashes and I am thinking I need to make a decision about the future of my databases before I get my files all corrupted.


      So I guess my choices are:


      1. Keep FMP6 files as they are and run as legacy system on an older Mac. Runs great on G4 with Tiger and pretty fast too. 


      2. Upgrade to FMP 10. Can I get away with using the non-advanced version of FMP? I don't need analysis tools, just need to modify scripts, formulas, etc. Will all my data and scripts come in fairly easily or is there going to be a lot of trouble-shooting? I don't need another computer project right now just to get the same usability that I already have and money is tight, so I am thinking #1 is better for me but what do you think?


      3. ??? Can't think of another option but maybe there is...like not going all the way to version 10. Maybe a version between 6 and 10 on eBay that will make for easier upgrade of my files and possibly have a better chance with snow leopard? 


      I know it's a decision for me in the end but I am hoping some of you have experienced this situation and have some advice. 

        • 1. Re: Help me decide on upgrade path



          If money is tight, and time is tight as well (Re: "don't need another computer project right now just to get the same usability") I'd vote for #1.


          Note that FMP7, 8, 9 & 10 are all on the same platform (.fp7), so while they are different from each other in several ways...if you choose to go up from the FMP6 you are on, I'd go all the way to FMP10.


          There are some notes from FMP on the knowledge base and some posts on this forum regarding previous {and current}versions and Snow Leopard...again I'd go to FMP10 if a platform change is made at all.  (Search for "Snow Leopard") on this forum.


          My two cents...

          • 2. Re: Help me decide on upgrade path
               Thank you very much. I appreciate the reply. If I do upgrade to 10, will the non-advanced version work for me (some light script and formula editing, add a new layout ocasionaly, etc.)? Don't need to pay extra for analysis tools and such. 
            • 3. Re: Help me decide on upgrade path
                 I would recommend getting one copy of advanced for a few reasons, but mainly the debugger capability.
              • 4. Re: Help me decide on upgrade path
                   I'm not on Advanced...but I wish I was...mainly for script debugger.
                • 5. Re: Help me decide on upgrade path

                  I would make a Copy of the databases in FMP6.

                  I would do a Recover of the databases in FMP6.

                  I would then do a Conversion of the databases in FMP7,8,9,10.

                  I would then do a Recover of the Converted databases in FMP7,8,9,10.

                  I would then make a Copy of the Recovered Converted databases and test. 

                  Is this overkill, probably.

                  I found during a conversion that newer versions of Filemaker are much less tolerant of layout and db corruption.

                  Databases that ran okay (but slowly) in ver 5.5, had major problems in newer versions.

                  The databases were not well cared for, and there was no known good versions to use. 


                  • 6. Re: Help me decide on upgrade path
                       David, thanks again. You've helped me in a related thread so kudos. I am trying to decide still if I need to upgrade past FMP6. Today, I found a weird problem that seemed to solve itself. I had a file that crashed whenever I tried to go the next record. This did not happen with other files so I saved a compressed version of the file. Same result. I made a script that went to next record. Same result. Then, I double-clicked where the record number is in the status bar and and entered the record number. Went to record. No crash. From then on. going to next previous did not crash FMP. Weird and interesting. 
                    • 7. Re: Help me decide on upgrade path

                      I have seen rare occasions where a single Recover will not fix a database.

                      It requires a recover of a recovered file.

                      Rare, but have seen it twice. 

                      Backing up the database before a recover is a good idea.

                      Sometimes save as clone or smaller with a recover afterwards has also worked. 

                      • 8. Re: Help me decide on upgrade path

                        Even a "recovered recovered" file may not be fixed, there simply are no guarantees here.


                        If a recover process identifies problems with your file, your best/safest bet is to either replace the file with an older back up file that passes this "recover test" or to start over and rebuild your file piece by piece.


                        If you choose to do the second option, you can save work/time by importing tables, data and scripts and by copying/pasting layout elements. Since you might accidently bring the corruption over from your damaged file during one of these steps, periodically perform the "recover test" to make sure it still reports "no problems". You can make periodic back up copies of your file during this process so you don't have to start over if it fails this test and a copy of FMP advanced is invaluable here as you can perform searches of data base design reports for keywords like "missing" or "unknown" to see if you have any broken elements in your rebuilt file. Using the debugger to analyze an imported script that isn't working right can also be very helpful.

                        • 9. Re: Help me decide on upgrade path

                          Well, I've been really putting FMP6 through it's paces in snow leopard this last 24 hours and it has not crashed once (knock wood). Everything seems to be working just fine, including modifying scripts and layouts. The only repeatable crash is if I try to locate the user dictionary. Crashes as soon as the menu selection is made. That's OK. I can live without that since I still have spell check. I just have to cycle through the names and words that come up as misspelled instead of adding them to the dictionary.


                          As it stands now, I will stick with FMP6 running on my new iMac/snow leopard. I plan to keep an older machine around running tiger and OS 9 anyway, so if I encounter other problems with snow leopard, plan B will be to keep my files in FMP6 as a legacy system on that older mac running tiger. Plan C will be to upgrade to FMP10, but I doubt I will spend the cash for the advanced edition. In reality, I will not be doing enough scripting and such to justify the advanced.


                          Thanks to all who chimed in with opinions. I am glad to see so many FMP users out there still. I started back in the early 90s and I always thought FMP was one of the coolest programs on the Mac...EVER. Every time I thought there was something that could not be done in FMP, I was proven wrong by someone more clever than myself. And my databases still work to this day. That's eons in digital world time.



                          • 10. Re: Help me decide on upgrade path



                            After months of use, I have found that FMP6 does not play well with Snow Leopard (no surprise but I had built up some hope based on the first week of trials). Basically, the more complicated databases all crash sooner or later. Crashes are often repeatable but I see no pattern. Something will work for a long time and then start to crash FMP6. Often, making a simple change to a script will fix the problem only to develop another problem down the road. I have not updated to FMP10 yet so I am running all critical databases on a G4/Tiger and that works smooth as silk.


                            • 11. Re: Help me decide on upgrade path

                              Thanks for this thread.  I'm working with a new Macbook Pro and 10.6.3 and Filemaker Pro 6.0v4... which worked for a few days, but is now hanging (spinning beachball) whenever I'm working in a complicated relational database.  Time to upgrade.