If You have full access (means: master-access), You can make sure that no other access-rule (account) has access to layouts and structure - then the most part is secure
You should have the permission from the developer to maintain/develope that solution (there might be already some _written_ stuff for that). In every case, a phone call could be really helpfull/important
1. what are you most worried about - your system in itself or the data it contains?
2. do you have the source code? (the "programs" that make the system work - e.g. he sent you files every month)
3. do you have the data backed up somewhere?
4. who owns the platform/cloud where the system is running? (on paper i mean - not who paid the bills)
5. if you have access to the system on a technical level, the first thing i would do is change the pw
6. even in the best possible scenario, any other developer might have questions for him. worst case (there is no good documentation and the system is "spaghetti code") a new developer will advise you to rebuild the system. whatever the situation - i would make sure you postpone any heated discussion until after your system/data is safe.
7. is he located in the same country as you? (in case of conflict - a letter from a lawyer can do wonders)
8. call his phone with an (for him) unknown #. maybe his phone also disconnected? (ask friend - sorry wrong #)
you must first know all the above before you can decide how best to proceed.
Could he have made it difficult for another developer to work on the file? Yes.
How do you access the file now? Do you use FileMaker Pro advanced?
Tom is correct - with Advanced's possibilities to alter menues etc, it can be impossible to enter layout mode etc.
-> in that case, You need an advanced version of FileMaker and then, You can choose the normal menues
Did You change the passwords via file/...security?
Do you have an agreement with the developer specifying maintenance and support requirements, and specifying who has the intellectual property rights to the system?
Basically there is a security privilege called [Full Access] that can do ANYTHING to a database. It should only be used for development work and your developer should know it. You should have an account with this privilege in case you need to pass the work on to another developer. You should NOT use this privilege group except for development work. In other words, it should not be your normal login.
FileMaker has an entire security guideline to be implemented to control the levels of access and protect the database from hacking, etc. FileMaker can control who can see, edit, delete, create, or not access info all the way down to the field level of every record. So FileMaker has a very robust security. It also has other security features such as SSL encryption between the client and server, Encryption at Rest, and supports directory services like Active Directory and Open Directory.
These security layers are all things a developer should be able to manage and design according to your company's needs. I just hope you have one of the [Full Access] account credentials to give to the new developer or else they may not be able to help you with that solution.
Thanks everyone for your replies.
I have been able to make contact with the developer. He forgot to renew his domain.
Insert sigh of relief here.
He has offered any info i require and our relationship is fine.
This has obviously highlighted my need to secure this up for myself.
To reply to a few comments above;
Taylor Sharpe; yes i need full access, you are right on the money here. Thanks you.
srzuch; I have the rights to the build and its IP. Thanks you .
Markus schneider; My password was only changed with the server who hosts it, nowhere else. Thank you.
big tom; i use filemaker pro to access my file, its hosted online. Thank you.
mz5005; lots of questions to answer. The most important thing I was worried about was not being able to do business if this file went down and i did not have someone else to look after it. Also the data itself. Hosted online. I have exported my clients details who i wish to market to. Do i have the source code? I don't believe so, i simply access this file in its usable form online. I will ask for a copy (is this what i do?) Thank you.