First- innocence before guilt... until the problem is identified susinctly you must assume that two states exist simultaneously... tampering AND malfunction (either by procedure or miscalculation) [the Schroedingers Cat hypothesis of software]. Only after isolating the issue can you determine malfeasence on the part of an operator, and even that would be difficult- maybe it was just an error, or lack of experience that created the problematic scenario. I think solving the issue would be more beneficial to your organization than assigning fault.
First you must supply more information: what version of FMP, what platform, is it a server-client environment, is the file a standalone (created with FMP advanced and not using a client version of FMP), is there password protection in place?
Do you have a User ID with Full Access privilege to the database, maybe something like "Admin" and a password. If you have Full Access, then you can fix any such problems. Also, what version do you have? If it is a Pre-12 version, there are some 3rd part products to hack the database users to reclaim passwords or reset them.
I apologize for not providing all the relevant information when I first posted the question. Here is the information requested.
We are using FileMakerPro 12. Yes we do have a server-client environment where our server is a Windows 2003 server and our clients are Windows 7 machines. I am not sure if the file is a standalone or not. Also I believe the file was created using Filemaker7 as I have seen a lot of older versions of the file with a .fp7 extension, however the current file version is a .fmp12. I am not sure how to check for the password protection as we are not prompted for a password when we try to connect to the database from the desktop shortcut, however when I try to log on to the admin console page it prompts me for username and password to which we obviously do not have access to.
I tried reaching out to the original coder to see if he would give me that info and because he is unhappy about being let go from the company he told me to forget about it.
Please we really need to make some changes to the application.
One way to tell if you have [Full Access] is if you go to FILE and pull down to MANAGE and select DATABASE, it will open with the tables and fields and relationship graph. If the DATABASE selection is grayed out, then you do not have [Full Access]. As far as I know, there are no current hacks for FileMaker 12 to retrieve the passwords like there are with earlier versions. Your choices are to recreate the database or to convince your former employee to give up the password. Maybe a financial inducement will encourage a non-cooperative former employeee to cooperate. But if he doesn't, then your only option is to rebuild the database. Check and see if you're able to export records. Depending on your privilege level, you might be able to do that and that would make rebuilding the database a lot easier.
PS: Is there any chance you are using Active Directory Authentication (or Open Directory)? If so, you can probably see if there is an obviously named Full Access group such as FM-Admin or something like that and you can add your user ID to that group to gain [Full Access].
Not that I'm a big fan of this option (and I view it as a nearly-last resort), but did you have an intellectual property contract with this former employee? If so, legal action might be a possibility. If he signed an agreement that said something to the effect of "anything I create for the company while employed here belongs to the company" (which is quite common), then he's legally obligated to surrender the password.
Resorting to legal action is time-consuming and potentially very expensive - and often not fruitful - so again, I feel it's a last resort. However, you could talk to your company's legal team if you can't recover the data another way.
Also try the filemaker default user of username = admin , password left blank.
My understanding of copyright law is that copyright belongs to the employer for anything created by an employee for the employer's use and benefit. If that applies, no agreement need have been signed by the former employee; he/she is obliged to surrender the password.
I found FileMaker Password Recovery and I was able to get the admin password thru it. Now I am able to export records and also make changes to the existing forms. Thank you all very much for all your responses.
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Now that you've done that. Make sure to implement a security policy before onboarding a new developer.
We always store a massively complex password for the admin user of each file we develop. This password is only known by the owner of the company. Every developer then gets their own full access user account.
This is a very good suggestion and I think we will take your approach so we do not have to go thru all these in the future.
Thank you very much.
Mike's idea is a good one. Also, keep in mind that anyone with full access to a file is a potential sabotage risk. Such a person can potentially delete the "master" account, so keep a copy of the file in escrow where the other developers can't get to it.