FileMaker Wishlist Web/Tech

FM7 Emergency Wishlist – Part 1

FileMaker 7 Conversion Needs to be Fixed

FileMaker 7.0 bears a lot of resemblance to OS X 10.0. When you have a total rewrite like I’ve heard that FileMaker 7 is, you don’t get everything on day one. It just doesn’t happen. My Emergency Wishlist series will focus on the most striking missing features in FileMaker 7.

Without a doubt, the biggest missing is a more robust and full-featured conversion capability. I don’t really care how this is addressed as long as it is addressed.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that when you convert a group of interrelated FileMaker 6 or earlier files, you don’t have the option to put them all in a single file. When you convert 16 files, you get 16 files. Each with one table in it.

A major benefit of FileMaker 7 is that you can have multiple tables in a single file. You can work more efficiently this way for a variety of reasons that I won’t go into here.

There are many other smaller conversion issues that can present problems for you. The worst is that scripts can break or produce disastrous unexpected results like deleting records that should not be deleted. This is such a fearsome possibility, that anyone who reads the Getting Started manual or otherwise finds out that FM7 migration is something to be careful about, puts testing and cataloging possible problems at the top of their migration checklist.

Third parties are working feverishly to provide utilities that will help since there are many information and utility gaps to fill. Things will get better – soon, I hope. My guess is that FileMaker Inc. is also going to help us out at some point in the next months with perhaps a more robust conversion utility or facilities that address specific migration issues.

I’ll be writing here about every major development in terms of information, tools, techniques, tips, warnings and rumors.

My Emergency Wishlist series writing is to acknowledge what’s true. To take note of the most glaring omissions in FileMaker 7 in hopes that these issues will get the attention they deserve in a timely manner. Stay tuned.