Many reports have highlighted the advantages an organization can avail by migrating to the latest version of FileMaker database system. Along with managing and sharing important information with your team, the FileMaker 12 also enables you to easily publish data to the web, generate dynamic and eye-catchy reports, and create custom databases. But the latest version comes with a new database file format conversion. So you have to convert your existing database files to FileMaker 12 to avail the advanced features and functionalities. Custom FileMaker development is needed to modify your existing application in FileMaker. Each user can follow a set of easy steps and instructions to migrate to the updated version of the database system. However, one must concentrate on some key points to make the migration smooth, fast and hassle-free.
Key Points to Keep in Mind while Migrating to FileMaker Database System
1. Convert Your Existing FileMaker Pro Databases: You can avail several advantages by converting your existing databases that are in .fp7 file format to .fmp12 file format. Along with hosting the database on FileMaker Server 12, the upgrade will further allow you to remotely access your data anywhere, anytime through FileMaker Go 12. However, the FileMaker 12 products are not compatible with previous versions of databases and software. So you must understand and follow a set of steps to upgrade your old FileMaker databases to the latest version.
2. Collect All Your Files Locally: Most organizations, nowadays, use multi-file solutions or databases to store their data and documents in different locations. So the files stored on several hard drives and network drives have to be copied into a single directory on the computer, where they have installed the latest version of FileMaker database system. Once you copy all the information to the local drive, it will be easier for you to convert these to FileMaker 12 in a safer and faster environment. At the same time, the local gathering of data will ensure that related files stay connected after being converted to FileMaker 12. If you are planning to convert the files stored on a remote drive, it is a good idea to convert these files separately.
3. Avoid Errors and Problems during the Conversion Process: Sometimes you may see error messages while converting your existing files to FileMaker 12. Most of these errors are related to the files that are currently in use or locked. So you have to close all the files before converting these into FileMaker Pro. It is also important to close the files that are in .fp7 file format to upgrade these easily to the latest version of the database system.
4. Avoid Converting Files in the Original Directory: When you convert your existing file on Microsoft Windows platform, the files will be renamed with an *.FP7 extension. Also, the operating system will adjust the File References to the original files accordingly. Similarly, the Macintosh will rename the files in an unexpected way during the conversion process, if these do not have file extensions. So there are always chances that the converted file references will conflict with your original files. You can easily avoid such filename conflicts, during a batch conversion, simply by saving the existing files in a different folder or location.
5. Clone and Document Your Databases: When you convert your existing database files to FileMaker 12, there are always chances that some problem may arise once the conversion process is over. So you can consider taking print out copy of your scripts and field definitions before starting the conversion process. It is also advisable to run a Database Design Report (DDR) through the FileMaker Developer to document your files properly. You can even consider cloning your databases to eliminate the chances of data loss during the conversion process. The cloning will make it easier for you to remove the files without having any data, and incorporating changes in the databases by eliminating chances of losing any data.
6. Concentrate on Special Settings and Configurations: Once the conversion process is over, there are chances that you have to check certain settings and configuration to identify and fix potential problems. Also, during the conversion process all files are displayed in the order they are being created. So you may have to resort and rearrange the converted files to easily find the required file in future. Often certain scripts do not work exactly with the latest version of FileMaker database. So you have to rewrite or edit the script to boost the performance of your content management system.
When a business decides to migrate to FileMaker 12, it must prepare and implement a comprehensive strategy. Also, the strategy must evaluate all the measures to ensure that the migration to a powerful system is not resulting in any data loss.
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Things you must know before a FileMaker migration