When you develop FM-applications for third parties, it is not so easy to deploy new releases since FM combines your "application = layouts, scripts, relations,..." together with the Data.
The folowing method simplifies the deployment of new releases:
- Duplicate your file appname.fm12 (application and data) and rename the original to appname_dev.fm12 and the duplicate to appname_data.fm12
- Create an external resource-link in the appname_dev - file and link it to the appname_data.fm12 file.
- Adapt your Database schema: modifying all the internal tables to link them to the "external"-tables in the appname_data.fm12-file -> all the tables will display in italic.
- Test your application opening the appname_dev file as "application"-file , the data will come from the external appname_data-file.
- When all is working fine you can delete all the interal tables in the _dev file and all the scripts en layouts in the _data-file.
- Install both files on the third party environment.
Deploying a new release (layouts and scripts) is now easy and only the _dev file has to be replaced. The data stays in the _data-file and has not to be manipulated.
It is clear when your new release needs an adaptation of the database schema/fields/caluculations these have to be done on the datafile.
When you find this method interesting or when you have an other one, please let me know.
@ Filemaker support: this method will be an interesting option in new FM-releases. It was in my opinion a week point for Filemaker comparing with Microsoft Access that uses a similar kind of method and in this way has an easier release management.
for AMC, Wim