3 Replies Latest reply on Feb 4, 2012 7:31 PM by maxstar

    Converting From FM 6 to FM 10 Advanced

    maxstar

      Title

      Converting From FM 6 to FM 10 Advanced

      Post

      For years, I have used a FileMaker 6 Solution that consists of about 50 related databases.  I purchased version 10 Advanced when it was first released but am only now needing to convert my old solution to the new format.  I read the Knowledge Base article from version 8.  It was clear about how to process the conversion.  However, rather than having one database with 50 tables, I now have one database connected to 50 external data sources.  It takes a long time to open and runs rather slowly.  

      How can I move the external data sources so that they are all related tables in one database solution?  I read through many posts and can't seem to find a clear answer.  PLEASE HELP!

        • 1. Re: Converting From FM 6 to FM 10 Advanced
          philmodjunk

          You may not want to do that. It can be done but it takes a LOT of meticulous work to merge that many files down into a single multi-table file. It can be done, I've done it twice here, but look before you leap.

          You might first open Manage | external | DataSources and clean out all the junk left behind from how FileMaker 6 managed external data sources. Look for invalid IP addresses (Maybe to a host machine that no longer exists) and refernces that use * as both of these will greatly slow down how fast your system opens. You should be able to remove both of these type of references. Do this for every file in your system. You may find that generating database design reports to track down where specific external data source references are used to be very helpful as you may find that you have multiple, slightly different versions of the same data source reference.

          You might also check out any scripts that are performed automatically when a file opens to make sure that the converted copies are running correctly.

          Don't recall if FileMaker 6 still supported the Today function. If it does and you used it in your database, you now have a script produced during conversion that runs through all your records assigning the value of Get ( CurrentDate ) to them. You should be able to modify your system design so that this script is no longer needed.

          If, after this part of the process is done, you still want to merge your files. (50+ files is a pain and you can trip errors just because you have too many files open...) Do a web search for FMMigrator. I haven't used this product, but if it performs as advertised, it will take a lot of the drudgery out of merging your files.

          If you want to do it all on your own like I did. Here's the basic approach:

          1. First, be prepared to make frequent back up copies so that if you make a mistake and mess things up, you can toss your current file and revert to the previous backup.
          2. Use Import Records, but specify "new table" to import a table and it's data into your merged copy of your file. Since you have advanced, you can also copy and paste "tables" from one file to another, but this only brings over the table definition, the data is left behind.
          3. Now find each table occurrence "box" in manage | database | relationships that refers to the external copy of the same table. Double click them and use the datasource drop down to change them to refer to the newly imported table.
          4. Since you may have calculation fields that may refer to fields in other tables, use the fields tab to inspect all calculation fields in your newly imported table. Any that refer to other tables will likely be enclosed in /* comment */ brackets. You will need to fix the issues that caused this before you can remove the comment brackets and get a functional calculation field. Updating the occurrences to refer to the imported table may be enough of a fix that you can just remove the brackets when found. In other cases, you may have to import additional tables and link them in relationships before you can fix these fields.
          5. You can import scripts and can select all layout objects and paste them onto a blank layout, but doing so can produce script errors and broken field and script references on the new layout. You'll need to inspect both carefully and fix such issues where found. You can minimize this if you recreate any value lists used on the layout, paste a layout's objects, import the scripts, then delete the layout objects and paste them again. This will keep most references to scripts and value lists intact on the layout and references to layouts and value lists intact in your scripts.
          6. Throughout this process, you will need to generate Database Design Reports and do text searches for "missing" and "unknown" to make sure that you've found and dealt with all missing links.
          • 2. Re: Converting From FM 6 to FM 10 Advanced
            maxstar

            I am in the process of making the adjustmenrts mentioned in your post.  Before tackling the larger database, I practiced on a smaller solution that I designed years ago.  That one only had about 8 related Filemaker 6 databases.  Just for practice, I converted this solution twice to make sure that I understood your instructions.  The first attempt went well with some problems.  I then looked at your intructions more carefully.  The second attempt was much easier.  I did have some problems with scripts pointing to layouts on external layouts but I copied the elements from those and pasted them into a blank layout in the updated solution.  

            I just want to say that your instructions are extremely precise.  It seems that you covered just about every problem I encountered in converting that solution to version 10.  I truly thank you, thank you, thank you for the time you took to respond.  You probably saved me about another 6 months of research and trial and testing before I could even think about tackling this project.  Unfortunately, when Filemaker went from Version 6 to 7, they left me behind.  Since I typically only design solutions for my business (Mortgage Banking), I never took the time to update my knowledge of the current approach to relating tables in a single database solution.  I just couldn't understand the concept or figure out why I needed to do that.  My solution was working just fine and it still is.  However, since Apple updated the Mac operating system to Lion, I am being forced to abandon version 6 since I read that it is not compatible.  By the way, I have purchased about 20 copies of version 6 on Ebay for little to nothing since it is so old.  I also use Filemaker Server so that the solution can be accessed by several people on 16 PC computers.  Eventually I will have to upgrade Filemaker Server as well.  But for now, I am just using 10 Advanced.  It's really a great product!  I should have kept up with the changes.  

            I also spent time taking the Filemaker 10 classes on Lynda.com.  Although much of it was very elementary, for the most part the classes were very helpful!  I like this so much that I probably should have went to school for database programming.  It is one of the few things that I love spending time doing.  

            Thanks again for all your help.  You are truly an asset to the Filemaker community!  I will let you know how I make out with my larger project.  

            • 3. Re: Converting From FM 6 to FM 10 Advanced
              maxstar

              I just want to say that  PhilModJunk is absolutely awesome!!!  Everything worked out well.  I am still updating quite a few calcultion fields and scripts but I  am progressing to the end.  

              Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You !!!

              I can't say it enough!!  

              You are the greatest!!

              Tim