9 Replies Latest reply on Feb 29, 2016 10:26 PM by taylorsharpe

    Upgrading FileMaker


      We are thinking about upgrading from version 8.5 to something more current. What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of doing so?  If we upgrade, how many versions can we skip?  Will there be any data loss?  What are some of the options added to the newer versions that I don't have available on the 8.5?


      Thank you in advance for your help!

        • 1. Re: Upgrading FileMaker

          The yellow stars on this diagram Tony White Designs: FileMaker 14 Code Objects as ERD will help you discover the "FileMaker Code objects" that were introduce in versions beyond 8.5

          There are also lots of newer Script Steps and Functions.

          A whole new world of possibilities awaits you!

          The is no reason for data loss.

          There are also changes to FileMaker Server, FileMaker Go, and FileMaker Web Direct that might be of interest to you.

          Hope that helps.

          Tony White

          • 2. Re: Upgrading FileMaker



            Thank you for your post.


            Newer software is going to be supported by FileMaker's Support Agents over the phone. Currently, FileMaker 12 through 14 software is supported.


            You can actually go directly from FileMaker 8.5 to FileMaker 14 software. Your databases will be converted to the latest format when opened with FileMaker Pro 12, 13, or the latest FileMaker Pro 14. See Knowledge Base Article #10571.


            While data loss should not occur, damaged files can give unpleasant results. Bright side, the conversion makes a copy of your file in the new format. This means you can always revert back to the original file (with original data). You can also test this before purchasing with the Trial.


            For changes between FileMaker 8.5 and FileMaker 14 see FileMaker Pro Version Comparisons and FileMaker Server Version Comparisons.


            I hope this helps!



            FileMaker, Inc.

            • 3. Re: Upgrading FileMaker

              short answer: do it.


              long answer: once you've done it, you have a structure that is not optimized.

              You should investigate every script, every interaction with your users and make it better, using the instruments that are available in the version you embraced. In other words, back to school: read manuals, read the forum, learn what you've been missing.

              But it's 120% worth doing.

              • 4. Re: Upgrading FileMaker

                One major change was the FMP 10 moved the status area from the left side of the screen to the top. This often meant a bit of a re-design to make things fit, but monitors are bigger since then so it might not be such an issue. There are so many more design features like popovers that will make you want to re-design the interface.

                • 5. Re: Upgrading FileMaker

                  well the first impact on clients is changing hardware, which might be the case. It's often the most costly part and many clients/users reason along the line of "if it ain't broke, why touch it". But still they touch it, make an investment, say they go from 21" to 27" iMacs, then expect software to follow, at 0 cost. And my phone rings.

                  • 6. Re: Upgrading FileMaker

                    This blog post is a bit out of date...but still useful from a planning point of view.


                    FileMaker Desktop OS Version Requirements | New York FileMaker Pro Developers' Group


                    Not every version of FileMaker is compatible with every version of OS. Therefore:

                    1. Sometimes you will want to upgrade in 2 steps (FileMaker and then OS...or...OS and then FileMaker)
                    2. You might do both at once
                    3. You might do: new hardware+OS+FM at the same time


                    Good to have a plan ahead of time.


                    Hope that helps.


                    Tony White

                    • 7. Re: Upgrading FileMaker

                      I notice that you didn't mention how this file is hosted, so I will assume it is locally hosted on FileMaker Pro.  FileMaker supports and finds many new converts to FileMaker for its simplicity as an application to create database solutions.  However, as the years go by, it seems FileMaker has slowly focused more attention on hosting on FileMaker Server with clients making network connections to the server.  Among other things, it allows for much more hosting capabilities, not only in terms of FileMaker Pro clients, but things like Web publishing too.  It also makes for better security and backups and other things a real server does a better job of.


                      Expect to see more encouragement to migrate to a server solution.  And it doesn't mean you have to have your own server.  You can host in the cloud either on a dedicated server or shared hosting (which is a whole other conversation going on here).  There are plenty of professionals that can help you get a cloud solution usually less expensively than you can do your own server and licensing.  But that is something to think about.


                      I can't tell you how many new features have come out since FM 8.5, but I think you'll find them exciting and powerful.  I suspect you will run into things that surprise you, so feel free to get on here and post questions and you'll get some good friendly advice from those of us who have already made any mistake you could ever make <grin>!


                      PS:  Security alone is a really good reason for upgrading!

                      • 8. Re: Upgrading FileMaker

                        Taylor Sharpe wrote:


                        I can't tell you how many new features have come out since FM 8.5...


                        A list is here:


                        FileMaker Pro Compare Versions | FileMaker Pro 14

                        • 9. Re: Upgrading FileMaker

                          Thanks for sharing the feature list by version, Vaughan.