6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 1, 2012 11:05 PM by Lemmtech

    FileMaker 5.5 Conversion Gaps


      I have a tutoring client who has a system written several years ago in FileMaker 5.5. A contractor developed some very sophisticated scripts and relationships for the time, but we have encountered a number of problems trying to test the system after all the files have been converted to FileMaker 11. I handled the conversion on my Mac laptop running FM 11 Advanced, but the solution is running on Windows machines that are virtualized and running off of FileMaker Server 11. The majority of the system runs as expected but we have discovered a number of scripts that did not get converted correctly.


      While I have been using FileMaker since version 3, I haven't worked with anything as old as FM 5.5 for at least 10 years. I'm currently using FM 12 Advanced for my own work, and am supporting two tutoring clients using FM 11. Here are my questions:


      1. Is there anything like an Advanced version of FM 5.5 or 6 that we could use for tracing scripts on the production environment?


      2. Is there a document that summarizes the things that don't convert from FM 5.5 to FM 7 (assuming that conversion to FM 11 would have the same problems)?


      3. Are there any tools available for comparing scripts across versions?


      4. Are there any sources of older versions of FileMaker? I have a copy of FM 6 and a license, but no longer have a computer that is old enough to run it, as I think it was a MacOS disc rather than a disc for both Windowns and MacOS.


      5. Might there be bigger things we are missing than missing script steps? I've done conversion of a larger FM 6 system to FM 7 but wrote the original system for the client myself, starting with FM 3. I don't recall glitches at all but the conversion was done at least 10 years ago, maybe more. The client I am supporting is a non-profit with a modest IT department but no FM experience. They also have no budget for a rewrite, and the customer is satisfied with the older system, though they realize it needs to be updated. I don't want to send them on a wild goose chase but do want to help them solve their problems.


      Any memories of conversion problems from FM 6 to FM 7/11 would be appreciated. If we know where to look, we can probably get the system running like it does in production, so they can move to a new architecture. We'll worry about migrating to FM 12 after that.

        • 1. Re: FileMaker 5.5 Conversion Gaps

          John (?) -


          I can't speak specifically to your solution, given that you didn't tell us exactly what problems you're having. However, here's an old Tech Brief covering migration that might help.


          Scripting issues in particular are covered starting on page 56. Things to watch out for: Context, window selection, Open or Open Remote script steps, Go to Related Record, file reference issues. Those are usually the biggies.




          Edit - P. S. Another thing to look for is script steps or calculations that have been commented out. These are indications that the new version can't parse them correctly and they need fixing.

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          • 2. Re: FileMaker 5.5 Conversion Gaps

            There was a FileMaker 6 Advanced, but no special script tools


            FileMaker 9 and up is pretty smart about script conversions. We found most just work


            "Fixing" your scripts may be a bit tedious, but relatively simple, because it's usually the same "fix" over and over, e.g. add or remove a "select current window", at the end of a script that continues in another file. It will work


            You can print all the scripts to PDF for easy review


            FileMaker does offer old Trial Versions, just for conversion






            > Is there anything like an Advanced version of FM 5.5 or 6 that we could use for tracing scripts

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: FileMaker 5.5 Conversion Gaps

              Thanks Mike. I've downloaded the attachment you provided and will share it with my client. I think he got a TechNet membership so he could do the FileMaker Training Series. Once I confirm that, I'll give him a link to this discussion.


              After a brief review of the document, I think we can find a way to work through these issues. The trick will be getting a copy of FM 6 on my laptop and being able to run it under OS X 10.7. I may need to set up an external drive I have so that it boots in 10.5 or 10.6 so I can run 6 and 11 at the same time.


              And yes, it is John.

              • 4. Re: FileMaker 5.5 Conversion Gaps

                Thanks Greg,

                The links you provided are also a step in the right direction. Since the client has FM 5.5, and I may be able to reinstall a version of 6, I think the trial versions won't be needed. The trick might be setting up a bootable external drive on 10.5 or 10.6 so I can run the older version. I don't think that version will run under 10.7.


                And I like the idea of printing all the scripts to PDFs for review. Some of the files have hundreds of scripts but the process will go quicker that way, once the old scripts are available. The tricky part is that when the old scripts call scripts in other files, it only lists the file name, not the script. But we can highlight those and inspect those scripts in 11 to see what was called.



                • 5. Re: FileMaker 5.5 Conversion Gaps

                  Hi John,


                  A tool that I have found valuable for several fp5->fp7 conversions is MetaData Magic from New Millenium Communications (http://www.newmillennium.com/index.php?src=directory&view=products&srctype=display&id=10). You run the fp5 system through it, and it gives you a list of potential isses, based on the various documentation provided by FileMaker plus a lot of real-world experience of migrations. It also has an absolute killer feature: the File Reference Fixer. Versions of FileMaker up to 6 were very haphazard at managing inter-file links, but MetaData Magic can clean that up for you. I have found several times that a conversion without pre-migration file-reference cleanup will require a lot of tedious post-conversion work to eliminate slowdowns and pauses caused by legacy file references.


                  That sounds like a paid ad. It's not. I have a paid-for copy. It's been worth every cent several times over just for the File Reference fixer, let alone everything else it gives you.



                  • 6. Re: FileMaker 5.5 Conversion Gaps

                    Be sure to clean up all your file references so your scripts don't go running off looking for files that don't exist anymore. When ever possible I just rewrote my .fp5 solutions to combine all the files into one and make the code more effcient. I only ran comverted solutions temporarily until I go the system redone. You can run 6.0 under XP if you need to. Good luck.