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Upgrade from Filemaker server 9

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Hi All,

As an employee for a small company, i've been asked to investigate the options/costs to upgrade their FileMaker solution.

I'm the system engineer. The current situation is as follows:

  • Intel based Mac server running FileMaker Server version 9
  • MacOS based clients (3 in totaal) running FileMaker Pro

I'm not an FileMaker expert. But by reading the documentation i was able to create 2 proposals. Is it possible to share your advice on this/and if this will work?

  • Option 1 (On-Premise/Server)
    • Buy a Windows Server 2019 + FileMaker Server license (with 5 users)
    • Buy 3 x Filemaker Pro Advanced 18 individual licenses (for 3 clients)
  • Questions/Concerns:
    • Can i migrate Filemaker files from MacOS to Windows?
    • Can i migrate Filemaker version 9 files to version 18 (latest)?


  • Option 2 (On-Premise/No server)
    • Buy 3 x Filemaker Pro Advanced 18 individual licenses (for 3 clients) for MacOS
  • Questions/Concerns:
    • Can i migrate Filemaker version 9 files to Filemaker Pro Advanced 18?
    • The clients need access to all Filemaker files via sharing. Does that mean i can store the files on a networkdrive/NAS ?


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No to Option 2.  It will be the source of much trouble.

Regarding Option 1:  this is a much better approach, except Windows Server 2019 is not a supported OS for FileMaker® Server 18.  Use Server 2012 or 2016.  You can convert the files with a fair degree of ease.



Link for OS requirements by Server version:




Steven H. Blackwell

Platinum Member Emeritus

Edited by Steven H. Blackwell
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I second that #2 is not an option at all.

For your #1 option: you do not have to buy the FM Server plus 5 licenses and then 3 separate FM Pro licenses.  The entry-level license covers 5 users and 3 FMSes plus Go and WebDirect.  These days the licenses cover the whole platform, you don't buy each piece separately.



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I agree with Steven and Wim. Regarding Mac/Windows, no conversion is needed, FileMaker files open on either platform. You may encounter issues with fonts, which is why most of us tend to stick with the common ones like Arial, Verdana, etc. And for converting from FM9 to 18, all you have to do is open the files with 18 and it will handle the conversion. In general you should have no issues.

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