I am a bit puzzled as to why you need such a "mass data dump". What is the purpose to that?
And it would seem a fairly easy thing to set up a series of layouts to use for the export that are not used for any other purpose and thus avoid the issue that you mention where others change the design of the layout to serve other purposes.
my last experience with this was in FM12 or 13. At the time, I could script everything I needed to do except for "Matching Names". I had to do that part manually to ensure that everything lined up. (It allowed me to verify each import, however, without wasting any more time.)
Eh, sorry, I misread your post. You should be able to export data using Phil's suggestion.
The "mass data dump" exports changed records for use in a database running on another machine.I actually did set up the series of layouts you suggest for the purpose of this export. I don't know the cause of the exported fields changing; I'm just speculating since the description of the Export Records script step says that unless you choose the fields in the dialog the script step will export the last set of fields (and field order) used. However, I have 14 tables in my database and don't want to have to manually perform the field selection step up to 14 times. It doesn't make sense to me that you could specify the fields for export in the script step and have that list change outside of modifying the script.
unless you choose the fields in the dialog the script step will export the last set of fields (and field order) used.
That has nothing to do with the layout. That's the last order used when exporting data from that same table--which could have myriad causes. But you can specify the fields in your export record step and these can be retained so I'm a but puzzled as to why you wouldn't set this up via that method.
And the last time that I needed to put another copy of the data on another server, I used a VBScript to copy a back up copy of the file over to the other server each night. That''s a much simpler proposition.
Another option would be to set up Import Records in either a clone of the file or a copy open on the other server to copy all the data into a single file rather than one file per export. This cannot, unfortunately, be run from a server schedule, but it can be automated via a robot file and a utility such as Windows Scheduled Tasks to take place on a regular schedule.
And if you are using FMS 14 or newer, you might research using a progressive backup to set up a "failover server".
Because I'm using the same script step for multiple tables, there isn't an explicit Export Records step for each table. So apparently if another set of fields was exported from a table, that same set of fields will be exported when the script step is run for that table. I use a variable ($TableName) to specify the table to be exported on each pass through the loop. The sequence is:
Go to Layout [$TableName]
Enter Find Mode 
Perform Find 
Export Records [No dialog; "$FileName"]
When I set the parameters in the Export Records script step it simply shows me the last table that was accessed, and doesn't provide an option for choosing the layout the way the Export Records menu command does. I'm using the Go to Layout script step to specify the layout for export.
I'm not using a server. I just have multiple computers and wrote a script to sync up changes made on each machine. The records changed on one machine are exported as FM tables that are imported onto the other machine, and vice versa.
"I just have multiple computers and wrote a script to sync up changes made on each machine. The records changed on one machine are exported as FM tables that are imported onto the other machine, and vice versa."
Good luck with that.
Why not just let them all access the same database at the same time, and remove any need for sync'ing?
("...and wrote a script to sync up changes made on each machine". That is usually *some* task. Respect.)
Just to add a bit of perspective - it sounds like this is what one would need to do when synchronizing unconnected FM Go apps, but with desktops. Using UUID's for primary keys might be useful if you really need to sync unconnected desktops.
And there are 3rd party tools that you can web search--such as but not limited to GoZync that can do this for you.