In Praise of the FileMaker Data Migration Tool

Discussion created by GordonShewach on May 21, 2018
Latest reply on May 21, 2018 by Lemmtech

I have a client who recently got bit by the disappearing-custom-menus-and-value-lists bug (fixed by FMI in 16.0.4, thank you!). Recovery fixed the problem. While I’m skeptical of the conventional wisdom that a recovered file should never be used even if FileMaker reports it as fine, I decided to do a clone of a good known backup followed by import of the production data because this client has 20 years and 7 digits invested in his database — and we have a known good backup that precedes getting hit by the bug.


We decided to wait for FM 17 and the Data Migration Tool for the clone/import and just use the recovered file (been running fine for a month) until then. Now that 17 and the DMT are out, we’ve been testing this tool and I’ve discovered 2 things:


1. All tests of migrated data, primary keys, and value lists were perfect. It’s a big db so we’ll know more once the DMT-ed file is put into production, but testing was perfect.


2. To say the DMT is faster than doing the same thing manually is like saying a race car is faster than walking. The db in question is 25 GB, with 74 tables, 5,600+ fields, and over 16 million records. The hardware used to run the DMT was a Dell PowerEdge R430 running Windows Server 2016 with an 8-drive SSD RAID 10.


Manually importing the 10 largest tables took 12.5 hours. 64 tables still to import and all 74 primary keys still needing an update. Plus the manual double check to make sure no human error occurred.


The DMT did the same thing in 35 minutes. Also tried the DMT on the same files on a 2013 Mac Pro (diaper genie Mac Pro) with PCIe SSD … 24 minutes.


So the question is, how do they do this???


Kudos to FileMaker on an outstanding tool! Saved me a weekend, which is what I would have needed to do the same thing manually with regular babysitting of imports. Well, not really. I would have used RefreshFM which has been a great tool for many years accomplishing the same thing in a more automated fashion.


Also kudos to Productive Computing for releasing a GUI wrapper of the DMT’s command line interface (FM Data Migration Assistant). Easier than grappling with CLI syntax.