8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 30, 2011 10:18 AM by YossuBonkers

    How do I extract data from a FMP application?

    YossuBonkers

      Title

      How do I extract data from a FMP application?

      Post

      Please forgive me if this is the wrong place to ask, or if this is a dumb question, but I haven't managed to find a clear answer to this after some searching.

      I have been talking to someone who has an application that was written for him in FMP, but relations with the developer have gone sour, and he wants to terminate their relationship, and have someone else write a new application from scratch.

      The problem is that he has a lot of data tied up in the existing application, and is worried that the developer will try to hold this to ransom.

      So, is there any way we can get the data out of the FMP application without having FMP or the source code for the application?

      Thanks very much for any help you can give.

        • 1. Re: How do I extract data from a FMP application?
          philmodjunk

          It's possible if the developer hasn't locked the file up too tightly.

          Create a new filemaker  file and see if you can use Import Records to import records from the original file. Try using the new table option for the target table. If this works, you have extracted the entire table and it's field definitions from the original file.

          YOu may not have sufficient password permissions to do that however.

          Also try opening the database and using export records from the File menu. This may allow you to export the data in tab, csv, merge or other formats which can then be imported into a new FileMaker file.

          • 2. Re: How do I extract data from a FMP application?
            YossuBonkers

            Thanks for the reply. I don't have a copy of FMP at the moment, but presumably if I download a trial, I would be able to do this? My main concern right now is making sure we can get the data out. What we do with it afterwards is another issue!

            Thanks again.

            • 3. Re: How do I extract data from a FMP application?
              philmodjunk

              There's 30 day free trial that you can download and use for these tests. Of course you don't need the trial copy to test and see if the data can be exported...

              It's possible to lock that file up so that it does not have a full access account and has data export prohibited so you can only make a few tests and see what you get.

              • 4. Re: How do I extract data from a FMP application?
                YossuBonkers

                Thanks, I'll give it a go.

                What dd you mean by "Of course you don't need the trial copy to test and see if the data can be exported"? I don't have a copy of FMP, so how can I test to see if I can export without getting a trial copy?

                Sorry, must have missed something.

                • 5. Re: How do I extract data from a FMP application?
                  philmodjunk

                  This has to be done with the solution file provided by the developer. I assumed that this was a run time database file that does not require installing filemaker to run. If this is the case, you'd open that solution and see what you can do from the File menu.

                  • 6. Re: How do I extract data from a FMP application?
                    YossuBonkers

                    As far as I know, the developer is the only one with the source files, which I assume includes the solution file. The person I am trying to help just has the application installed on a machine, so I assume it will only have what's needed to run the app, not any of the source files.

                    In which case, what do i need to try and extract the data? Sorry if you already answered this, but I'm a bit confused now.

                    Thanks again.

                    • 7. Re: How do I extract data from a FMP application?
                      philmodjunk

                      If the files that contain the data, are not included with what the developer has delivered to your friend, the database won't work.

                      There really aren't any real "source files" in Filemaker as this is a database rather than an application such as you might create with Visual Basic or some such programming language and then compile into object code.

                      When a developer creates a runtime solution using FileMaker Pro Advanced, the system copies all data files, but gives them a new file extension (.USR is the default). It then makes a copy of the FileMaker application installed on that computer and any support files such as dlls that are needed and puts all of this into a new folder. It "cripples" the application file it created so that it can only run the files associated with it when this run time system was created and so it can't be used to create new databases or modify the design of the existing database.

                      Thus, the person you are trying to help will have all the data on his/her computer.

                      The only exception to that is if the person you are trying to help was required to install FileMaker on their machine and then the developer set them up with a file that links to a remote server in order to access the data. That's not possible with a runtime solution, so unless they had to install FileMaker Pro on their computer, you can rule this possibility out.

                      • 8. Re: How do I extract data from a FMP application?
                        YossuBonkers

                        Thanks for the comprehensive answer. I'm faairly sure that they don't have a copy of FMP installed, just the run time files the developer supplied.

                        I'll wait until I get in there and see what happens. Hopefully we can persuade the previous developer to hand over the data nicely, in which case the question is academic anyway!

                        Thanks again.