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

Question asked by SweetSounds on Jan 3, 2010
Latest reply on Jan 11, 2010 by mrvodka


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


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:

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!