You shouldn't need to import any data. You can convert the files with the data already in the files and thus avoid the need to import any data.
First, you use FileMaker 11 to convert to .fp7 format, then you use Filemaker 12 to convert to .fmp12 format.
For others who might find this thread, here's a download link for a 30 day free trial copy of Filemaker 11 you can use for the first step of the conversion:
I also recommend that you read these two Knowledge Base articles on converting your files:
Converting to .fp7 format: http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/750/kw/converting
Converting to .fmp12 format: http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/10571/kw/converting
Be prepared to invest some time into testing and updating the converted files as there is a good chance that your converted files may not function perfectly. The KB articles cover many, but not all of the possible issues. Feel free to post back here with any issues you encounter that don't seem to have been covered by the KB articles.
Thanks Mr Phil - clean and clear like always.
One thing I forgot to mention, if it matters.
Client has been putting this off awaiting new hardware (PC), which now has no ETA, so they are moving forward to 12 with current machines, which are 32 bit, running Windows XP Enterprise. It is a large network, but the FM databases are used by only a relatively small department of 15 - 20 folks.
Does this change anything, or suggest additional cautions?
It does not. I've used FileMaker 12 on both xp and w7 machines with no trouble. I've previously asked some tech support people via private message if they have any known issues with windows 8 and FIleMaker 12 and they've said no...
I'm reading up on some FMP white papers on this process, and cannot find any beyond FM8 or FM9 under Migration Foundations and Methodologies.
Does FMP support have anything more up to date (or does it need to be?)
As always, your help is appreciated
The links I provided include the info for upgrading from FMP 7 - FMP 11. Perhaps you are expecting that these versions will have a different file format and file extension, but FIleMaker 7 - 11 all uses the .fp7 extension and all use the same file format. All updates in those releases did not require a file format change and thus upgrading from 7 to any newer version up to 11 did not require any file conversion, you simply installed the new version of the application. FileMaker 12 then introduced a new file format and file extension--.fmp12.