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You asked for "thoughts" rather than testing, so... I assume that all client-based processing should work fine with the FMS12/FMP13 to work with new features.
However, you are entering unknown territory. For instance if there is any server-side scripting, that could fall apart, based on the fact that others have reported that even modifying script steps that were in 12 while running 13 has caused some scripting failures. The reported bug was in something as basic as a custom dialog box setting in a script -- opening that script step during script editing in FMP13 caused it to fail to work later in FMP12 even though no 13 features were added to the file.
Testing would be helpful. What I am looking at is an FMP 13 or FM Go 13 client accessing a database hosted on FMS 12. So the client could ( should? ) be restricted to 13. Which of course could be done in the startup script. So in this case, I am not worried about the client going back to FMP 12 or FM Go12. The advantage here is I can work on development of this DB even though my hardware for FMS 13 hasn't arrived.
The big advantage to everyone could be that a DB that doesn't require WebDirect could host the file on FMS 12 at any of the commercial sites and not worry about the licensing and hardware that applies to WebDirect. The user would have to use FMP13 or FM Go 13.
I think WebDirect is going to be really great, but it isn't needed in all cases.
I would also like to hear if anyone has tested development in 13, hosting in 12, and client access in 13.
Love to know which 13 features work and what gotchas there may be.
I haven't done extensive testing but so far I've found that the Perform Script on Server step does not work in this configuration, but Insert from Device (on FM Go 13) does.
There are other things that won't work: any calc evaluation that typically is done by FMS (like ExecuteSQL) could produce unexpected results if it uses 13-specific features.
One of steveromig's comments in another thread said that popovers and such would not would not work. But suppose, some stuff depends on the deployment model. Specifically if the UI file is local or hosted on the server.
I think this was a misstatement. I was able to use a popover when FileMaker go 13 connected to a file that was hosted by FileMaker 12.
There is a lot of good stuff here. Thank you all for your throughts and the results you posted. My experience so far is that the limited feature set I have implemented in 13 with the file served from FMS 12 have worked. By no means has this been exhustive. Mostly simple things like hiding items and using the new themes.
My work in this direction may be coming to an end. The client for this project wants to use WebDirect and my development/office server arrived today. So I am in the process of setting it up. Once up, I'll probably segregate 12 and 13 projects to 12 and 13 FMS.
I still see this as an interesting possibility for FM Go 13 distribution. Still it will require a lot of testing before I release something to a client.
Well I finally found a definitive item that can determine which server to use. I have a database that generates a report. Since the iPad can't do print preview I have the script create a PDF and put the PDF in a Global container field. Then go to a layout that displays the container field. The field displays the first page of the report. If it is multiple pages, the user clicks on the field and selects View from the menu that pops up and they get an interactive PDF view that lets them scroll throug the whole report.
I found that if the database is opened in FM Go 13 and the file is hosted on FMS 12, when the user clicks view button they get a blank screen. If I host the file on FMS 13 and the user clicks the view button the report opens in the viewer.
If the user is using FM Go 12, and clicks the view button either FMS 12 or FMS 13, it displays the report.
I suspect that this could be a bug since it works for FM Go 12 on both servers and ony FMS 13 for FM Go 13.