If you buy a current version of FileMaker Server, FileMaker can issue a previous version license. They do this to help people upgrade. You have to contact them by phone. Of course, if you have a current version of the server and FileMaker Pro client, then your need for an old version may go away. Is there a reason to stay on FileMaker 11 other than cost? I personally would recommend upgrading to keep current on security and other standards. Actually, I won't work on old versions for security reasons except to help upgrade them.
Wow, thanks, I did not know that. It is not a cost thing for them. They were quite angry when they converted from .fp5 to .fp7. All their reports...literally thousands of them needed to be updraged. Now, converted from .fp7 to ,fmp12 is a no go. Perhaps, I can convince them over the next year, but by that point, a new file extension might be created. Thanks for the info, I will see what I can do.
FileMaker doesn't change the underlying storage format very often. It went all the way from version 7 through 11 before changing to a new format. And the reasons for making the change were significant from security to capacity to user interface. What your client needs to think about also are the costs of staying with an defunct format. It creates a higher security risk and you will need to do things like make sure it is not on a computer that has access to the internet. Often they will only run on unsupported operating systems, which have many more vulnerabilities than FileMaker (e.g., just look at Windows XP and all its security holes). So make sure they realize there is also a cost with staying with old versions. If their data really does have value, they really should look for a planned migration. It shouldn't be something just dropped on them. You should develop the new versions and test it before migrating them. And there are many benefits in functionality and user interface that you can take advantage of by moving to a new system. But it does boil down to how valuable the data is and what they are willing to pay to convert things.
I am curious by your comment that "All their reports...literally thousands of them needed to be updragged." Converting a FileMaker 11 database to FileMaker 13 is not going to require dragging a bunch of layouts. A proper conversion from fp5 to fp7 would have involved bringing everything into one file and, yes, that meant dragging layouts from many files into one. But that is not an issue in converting a fp7 file to fmp12.
Just remember there are costs, many hidden, in sticking with old versions and it is not the free option people think until they loose data or it gets stolen, etc. Keep in mind that most small businesses that have breached security never evem know their information was stolen.