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Container field data stored externally may be deleted accidentally when deleting data from a...

Question asked by scottworld on Jan 22, 2013
Latest reply on Jan 22, 2013 by scottworld


Container field data stored externally may be deleted accidentally when deleting data from a duplicated FileMaker Pro file


FileMaker Pro



Operating system version


Description of the issue

There doesn't seem to be a way to successfully duplicate a file on my FileMaker Server that depends on external container files… and duplicate those external container files with it.

I know this isn't a very common scenario, but I want 2 working copies of my file running on the FileMaker Server, but each using their own set external container files. One is going to be used for a bunch of testing, so I just want a complete duplicate of the existing file… along with a duplicate of the external container files.

I actually want to make a COPY of the external container files instead of MOVING/TRANSFERRING the external container files. But FileMaker only gives us the built-in option of "transferring".

If you read the tech info article at , FMI gives us a very important warning that a duplicated file will naturally point to the exact same container files as the original file.

So if you delete a file from a container field in the duplicated database, that file will naturally be deleted from the original database as well. This makes a lot of sense, and I don't want that to happen. So I'd just like 2 different sets of external container files, one set for each file.

But the problem is that FileMaker keeps wanting to "transfer" the data… and even if I manually copy the data int the Finder on my own and re-point to the data within the Container field definition's storage options, FileMaker still isn't satisfied. The "File>Manage Containers…" area still wants to transfer the data, and still thinks of the transfer as incomplete. And when I leave the "Manage Database" area after making any changes to that container field, FileMaker still pops up with a dialog asking me to transfer the data.

I guess this isn't the end of the world… I suppose I could live with FileMaker constantly thinking that it is living in an "incomplete" state, but it seems risky to me to leave it like this. Just one accidental click on that "Transfer" button, and all my files will be moved from my original file to my duplicated file. And then my original file will be in really bad shape, because it's files will all be gone.

Furthermore, FileMaker won't let me edit the path in the "Manage Containers" area, because it says: "This base directory cannot be changed because it is not empty. If you are trying to move a base directory, you should move the files first." And of course, I don't want to move the files… I just want to copy them.