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No more Runtime in 19


Teilo
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So, the time has come. Runtime support is gone in 19.

This puts me in a quandary. At my company, I have a handful of small apps that do nothing but import CSVs and print labels with barcodes on Zebra label printers, or packing slips with pictures for each item. These are one-off special purpose databases. There is no active data management. The scripts clear out the DB and import a fresh CSV on each run.

I have tried making these applications work with Server, to no avail. I doubt anything has changed in 19.

I can understand Claris wanting to move to an online subscription-based model, but the problem is that the server version is not at feature parity with the desktop client for certain essential things I need, like printing to a label printer, or exporting PDFs with images that come from a folder full of PNG files that change on each run.

I have some time, obviously, but version 18 will not run forever, especially if Apple's shenanigans continue. Is Claris listening, or should I just assume that this is a lost cause?

Edited by Teilo
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33 minutes ago, Ocean West said:

Yes, I'm aware of all those options. But here's the deal: Filemaker runtimes have allowed me to roll out small targeted label and report solutions to meet Customer requirements, easily and quickly. In each case, the data originates in other systems. Often it is in the form of distribution grids that Filemaker could not possibly process (not a record-based data model). We have Python routines to do the heavy lifting of depivoting this data into a normalized record-format. These are all one-off jobs. Nothing lives in an ERP or other database system. It's project work.

The only way to retain that resiliency is to purchase a Pro license for each person using these one-off apps. The ROI for that is just not there, and no other alternative in the Filemaker universe is viable.

Unless it has been significantly improved in v19, WebDirect is a non-starter. It has abysmal PDF support, no real Printer support, and still does not let you generate PDFs with images coming from a folder. 

That leaves using the API. This is a non starter. If I'm developing a custom App from scratch, for my particular use case, I have no reason to use Filemaker. To get something out fast, I'd do it in Python, use temp SQLite tables, and some off-the-shelf reporting library. It will still take 10 times longer than spinning up a Runtime app.

We run WebDirect on a local server for other stuff that will continue to work just fine. I really wish Claris would have spent time making WebDirect a truly viable replacement for runtime solutions. I have no problem purchasing more concurrent licenses for Server.

Edited by Teilo
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It's a total pain. I bought FM18 just about a month ago, because I still need runtimes. I wouldn't call it a deprecated feature, it actually doesn't work. Watch here:

 

Edited by stefangs
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5 hours ago, stefangs said:

It's a total pain. I bought FM18 just about a month ago, because I still need runtimes. I wouldn't call it a deprecated feature, it actually doesn't work.

First off, this is a Filemaker 18 issue, so you should probably bring this up in the appropriate forum.

In any case, your issue has nothing to do with Filemaker itself. This is Apple's fault. V18 is not officially compatible with Catalina, and you are running afoul of the new Notarization requirements and the way they interacts with Code Signing. This problem does not exist on Mojave and earlier.

But beside that, a couple of things:

First, trashing the Code Signature folder does not remove any code signatures from the application binary, and macOS knows it. If the binaries themselves have a signed header, this header also needs to be stripped with special tooling.

Second: When you unzip or copy any file to Catalina, regardless of its source (download, thumb drive, zip file, etc.), any resulting applications or libraries will be quarantined by macOS itself. This happens automatically, regardless of whether the app has a code signature. If you right-click, choose Open, and click Open, the app will be de-quarantined and should run. The quarantine flag is an xattr attribute of the application file, and is maintained by the filesystem.

I might also add that in V17, Runtime apps were not code signed at all, and so only needed to be right-clicked, and opened. Those are still working for me on Catalina.

Edited by Teilo
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