10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 11, 2014 7:10 PM by CarlSchwarz

    Development platform vs Deployment


      Hi Guys,


      Sorry if this is a basic question, but that's where I am.


      My client is on a Windows environment with a FP4 mailing system. My primary environment is Mac under Maverick. If I develop on Mac will that cause any issues in deployment? Would testing be less reliable? Would you recommend that I rather develop under Win? I can do so, with some small pain, as I have a Win 8 machine that cannot be connected to the web. Which makes the initial FMP installation a bit of a hassle I guess.




        • 1. Re: Development platform vs Deployment

          FP4 mailing system? I hope you don't mean FileMaker Pro version 4??


          I often develop on a Mac for use on both platforms, I find that developing on the Mac is easier and less combersome....


          but what I do, to test Windows deployment, is to have Parallels running Windows on my mac. Runs very well, if you have 8 GB of RAM or more and plenty of hard drive space.

          Parallels is neat, because you can setup multiple OS's on the one computer a flick between them fairly easily.

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          • 2. Re: Development platform vs Deployment

            The only problem I've run into doing this so far is with fonts/text. Windows seems to render some fonts differently. Specifically, I've seen plenty of screens that looked fine on Mac, but then the size of fields and text boxes needed to be slightly enlarged (usually vertically) to show properly on Windows. I suggest just making sure to give your text plenty of breathing room so as not to have to readjust it later.

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            • 3. Re: Development platform vs Deployment

              Yeah its FileMaker Pro 4 with fp3 files.  For the first time in many years I saw a parallel port printer and a manual switch to choose between printers!!! I am quite impressed it all seems to still work on Win 6.


              Thanks for the input guys, seems its doable on the Mac.



              • 4. Re: Development platform vs Deployment

                Ryan mentioned fonts and texts rendering a little differently (affecting page breaks and setups), but colors do also. Macs seem to render colors a little more vibrantly than Windows. This particularly affects gradients (not much of an issue in v4?). Subtle gradients that look great on a Mac may be invisible in Windows, and vice versa. Gradients may look great on Windows, but be over saturated on Macs.


                For what it's worth, I've found Tahoma to be a great cross platform font, in every FMP version.


                Bob Gossom

                • 5. Re: Development platform vs Deployment

                  Geoffc, I would second Peter Windle's suggestion. Get Parallels and test out your development work on windows before you take it to the client. I've worked cross platform for years.  This is the way to go.



                  • 6. Re: Development platform vs Deployment

                    Just a liittle tid-bit of funny information...


                    many years ago, we had a client who sold photos and was wanting to purchase new computers, but needed to support a DOS based accounting package and run the latest FileMaker as well.


                    We recommended buying Macs, FileMaker and "Virtual PC" (an emulator for Power PC based mac) for the DOS side.


                    The client was "bought out" by Microsoft, which meant that Mac computers where "out of the question"...


                    They purchased a whole bunch of new PCs and spend the next 4 days trying to get DOS to run... it did not work. Would have worked a treat inside Virtual PC.



                    • 7. Re: Development platform vs Deployment

                      You will not be able to run FP4 on Mavericks so VirtualPC will be a must.

                      • 8. Re: Development platform vs Deployment

                        I had not intended to. I am surprised it runs on Win 6.  But I did try to export the data, and was not able to. Possibly I did not know what I was doing, as I could not get past the greyed out menu option. But I think I may pay someone to bring the data into a more modern contact system, perhaps the sample app. And then go from there.


                        But I gather VMWare is preferred to Parallels and that Virtual PC wont run on my MacBook Pro.


                        Message was edited by: geoffc

                        • 9. Re: Development platform vs Deployment

                          These old systems just keep on going. Yesterday I was looking at a system running on FMSv5.5


                          Text labels do need extra space for font rendering on Windows. There’s no need to guess how much extra space you need. Typing a space after the text provides enough room for fonts at small sizes (14pt and less). Fonts displayed at larger sizes require two spaces.


                          Arial, Tahoma and Verdana are sans serif fonts with cross platform support. I think Arial is plain ugly on-screen but it prints clearly especially at small sizes. That’s important for reports. Tahoma and Verdana were designed specifically for on-screen use. I don’t think they print to the page as well as Arial. Depending on the type of print output you are generating you may want to use a serif font like Times or Bookman.


                          Using a VM to create a testing environment is a good idea. Parallels and VirtualPC are the commercial offerings. Oracle provides VirtualBox for free, I’ve been using it happily for years.



                          • 10. Re: Development platform vs Deployment

                            Some fonts also exist on one platform and not on the other so check the general look and feel of text.  You may pick a nice font but it will just revert to a plain default on the other platform.