5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2010 7:55 AM by mrvodka

    Migration of filemaker 3 database to new hardware/os/filermaker10 solution

    SweetSounds

      Title

      Migration of filemaker 3 database to new hardware/os/filermaker10 solution

      Post

      Ok.  Just getting started on migrating a database I created in 1997-1998.  Have lots of questions.

       

      My history: BS in Computer Information Science, 1996 (focus on databases).  Since then, other than minimal upkeep to this database, no work in the field.  I have enjoyed a different life course.  See here if you like: www.SweetSounds.com

      As such, I’m familiar with database design, but way out of touch with the capabilities of today.  This is not a quick migration, I would like to get as much information as possible over the next few months so when I make the change, there will be few problems.

       

      What we’ve been using.  Filemaker 3 database hosted on a powermac 7100/80 (upgraded to 233Mhz J) for 12 years.  Why?  Flawless operation.  I hate fixing things that aren’t broken.  Other than about 10 minor computer crashes over the 12 years and one major one, it always works perfectly.  And after each crash, filemaker has made a 100% recovery each and every time.  The database has about 25 files with many of those containing records in the thousands and many of those records having 10-30 fields each.   The database hosts our retails sales, inventory, hour tracking, installation scheduling and a bunch of other things.   As such, the data has outgrown the processing power of the computer and we need several other upgrades also.

       

      What I must have:

      1)      Access from two desktops which will be in store and connected to our internal network but NOT internet connected and access from my laptop, preferably from anywhere in the world.  My laptop will be internet connected.

      2)      As stable of a solution as possible

      3)      Faster processing than I have now

       

      Other wants:

      1)      Many other things, but let’s focus on the above first.

       

      Things I don’t need right now:

      1)      Publishing any of this on the net.  This will be for internal use only for the foreseeable future.

       

       

      So  first, the basic questions.

      1)      Our store has become almost all PC’s except the one Mac mentioned above and I’m much more proficient on a PC these days than a Mac.  Is Filemaker, and the operating system that it runs on, better to be run off a Mac or PC?  Whichever way I go, I’ll be buying new hardware to host this so I want to get it right the 1st time.  Remember, the two main PC’s or Mac’s that will access this database will NOT be allowed internet access, so keep that in mind.  The laptop that I use to access it will be a PC, but I take good care to keep my laptop free from bugs and other problems.  My first thought was a “business” version of windows seven or even maybe xp on a PC.  I have vista ultimate on my laptop, which isn’t great but it’s already there.  Mostly because I'm more familiar with PC's these days.  My "know everything about mac" days ended with os9.

       

      2)      If I want to access the database from all 3 of these computers, do I need to purchase a separate copy of filemaker for each computer?

       

      3)      I was thinking of purchasing the “advance” version for hosting the database (so I can have lots of flexibility in the future) and the “regular” version for my laptop and the other computer.  Can the two “regular” computers make use of the “advance” features once implemented in the database design?

       

      4)      Am I right in figuring that with the above, I could use up to nine computers to access the database, so I have room for growth over the next 10 years?

       

       

      Once I get some answers to these questions, I will buy some books / reference manuals and educating myself on the new abilities of Filemaker.  You help is appreciated.  If you have any good book recommendations, please mention them also.

      I should also mention, I have a copy of Filermaker 9 on loan from a friend to “play” with.  I’ve already imported my whole database into it without any serious flaws.  I haven’t looked it over with a fine tooth comb, but at first glance, that parts seems to be no problem.  I've looked over the conversion report and no serious errors there either.

       

      Thanks for all the help and I’ll be asking many more questions as this progresses!

        • 1. Re: Migration of filemaker 3 database to new hardware/os/filermaker10 solution
          philmodjunk
            

          I'm only replying to a few of your questions, leaving the rest to any other participants who care to comment...

           

           "If I want to access the database from all 3 of these computers, do I need to purchase a separate copy of filemaker for each computer? "

          Using the simplest approach to sharing your data from a single hosted computer, yes. There is an alternative, which is to use instant web publishing over your local network, but it can limit your interface options in a number of ways.

           

          "I was thinking of purchasing the "advance" version for hosting the database (so I can have lots of flexibility in the future) and the "regular" version for my laptop and the other computer.  Can the two "regular" computers make use of the "advance" features once implemented in the database design?"

          There are two different "advanced" versions: Filemaker Pro advanced and Filemaker server advanced. I believe you are asking about filemaker pro advanced. THere's no advantage to using FMP Advanced to Host the files. It is a very useful version to have for making design changes and/or analyzing an existing database to determine the causes of various problems with your database. It's especially helpful in figuring out why a converted database such as yours doesn't work the way you expect. Any features such as custom menus and or custom functions that you use FMP Advanced to install in the database file should be fully accessible to regular versions of filemaker.

           

          "Am I right in figuring that with the above, I could use up to nine computers to access the database, so I have room for growth over the next 10 years?"

          If you install a licensed copy of filemaker on each computer, yes. If you go the Instant web publishing route you are limited to a smaller number of simultaneous users. Some users do find it advantageous to upgrade to filemaker server even before they reach the max user limit due to the improved capabilities of this software.

          • 2. Re: Migration of filemaker 3 database to new hardware/os/filermaker10 solution
            SweetSounds
              

            Thanks for the info.  Most appreciated.

             

            "If you install a licensed copy of filemaker on each computer, yes. If you go the Instant web publishing route you are limited to a smaller number of simultaneous users. Some users do find it advantageous to upgrade to filemaker server even before they reach the max user limit due to the improved capabilities of this software."

             

            The web access sounds like a viable solution.  You mentioned lowered limits, how are these limits determined? 

             

            I will research this option.  Thanks.

             

            Any good book recomendations for someone w/ my experience / needs?

            • 3. Re: Migration of filemaker 3 database to new hardware/os/filermaker10 solution
              philmodjunk
                 With instant web publishing, you are limited to 5 concurrent users. You'll also find that a number of features in Filemaker either don't work or work differently through web-publishing due to the fact that users are accessing the database through a web browser instead of Filemaker. Thus you have a trade-off: You save $$$ in your initial set up, but have to put in more effort and/or accept certain interface limitations to get things working for you. You can learn more from fellow users if you use the advanced search link to look for threads with Instant Web Publishing or IWP.
              • 4. Re: Migration of filemaker 3 database to new hardware/os/filermaker10 solution
                SweetSounds
                  

                bump....

                 

                any one want to comment on the following:

                 

                So  first, the basic questions.

                1)      Our store has become almost all PC’s except the one Mac mentioned above and I’m much more proficient on a PC these days than a Mac.  Is Filemaker, and the operating system that it runs on, better to be run off a Mac or PC?  Whichever way I go, I’ll be buying new hardware to host this so I want to get it right the 1st time.  Remember, the two main PC’s or Mac’s that will access this database will NOT be allowed internet access, so keep that in mind.  The laptop that I use to access it will be a PC, but I take good care to keep my laptop free from bugs and other problems.  My first thought was a “business” version of windows seven or even maybe xp on a PC.  I have vista ultimate on my laptop, which isn’t great but it’s already there.  Mostly because I'm more familiar with PC's these days.  My "know everything about mac" days ended with os9.

                 

                I should also mention these computers will be strictly limited to being used to access this database.  No internet surfing and really no other appliations other than a word processor.  The plan would be to set them up once, get everything working properly and leave them be for the forseeable future.

                 

                Thanks!

                • 5. Re: Migration of filemaker 3 database to new hardware/os/filermaker10 solution
                  mrvodka
                     Windows can have an annoying flashing issue but other than that fine. I would say that if you already have 2 PCs, then go with a PC. This way you can develop for a PC and dont have to worry about creating a cross platform solution.