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Affordable options to upgrade Filemaker version


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Being forced to upgrade my Filemaker version.  I bought it under the Educational discount just before I retired.  I had to replace my computer this month and now I can't use that version of Filemaker (8.5).  That's fine.  It's an old version and I wanted to upgrade, anyway.  The problem is the price of the current Filemaker version.  I'm not going to pay a thousand or even hundreds of dollars per year for a license to use FIlemaker at home.  When I still worked at the university I used Filemaker extensively, and I was pretty good at it, but I'm using it for a few small databases at home.  I'm looking for affordable alternatives.  Is there a Filemaker lite?  I'd like a one-time affordable payment option rather than an unaffordable ongoing licensing cost.  Suggestions?  What is the last version you could just install and use without paying ongoing licensing fees?  Maybe I could find a used copy on Amazon.  Alternative apps that I could import my FM databases into?  Obviously, a retired, casual home user is not the kind of client they are courting with the current pricing.  It would be sad to have to give up Filemaker after all these years.

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I think I'm out of luck as far as the Educational discount ($325 from Claris).  Since I'm retired, I am not an active student or active teacher or a non-profit using FM for non-profit business, so I don't qualify for the educational discount.  Now my next question is where can I find a list of OS requirements for each of the FM versions.  I think my only affordable option would be to buy an older version, but it would have to be compatible with Big Sur.  Wondering how far back I could go.  I'd probably shoot for something in the middle of that range.

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9 minutes ago, Neanderthal said:

where can I find a list of OS requirements for each of the FM versions

https://support.claris.com/s/article/FileMaker-Pro-operating-system-requirements-all-versions-1503692917754?language=en_US

 

10 minutes ago, Neanderthal said:

I think my only affordable option would be to buy an older version, but it would have to be compatible with Big Sur. 

I believe only the latest version meets that requirement. Note that Filemaker on the Mac platform has a very poor record of surviving OS updates. I don't know how you managed to work with 8.5 until now. 

Also be very careful when buying "used" copies; often it's pirated software.

 

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5 hours ago, comment said:

I don't know how you managed to work with 8.5 until now.

 

 

It is surprising.  I have used 8.5 up through High Sierra.  My old iMac could not be upgraded beyond that OS.  I'm on Big Sur now on my new iMac, and of course 8.5 won't work there.  That OS requirements list does not indicate that FM 8.5 will work beyond Mac OS X 10.4.5 (Tiger).  I think that list shows what OS's were known to be compatible with the particular FM version at the time of release.  The version may have been compatible with several subsequent OS versions after the initial OS's listed at the time of release.  So FM 16 or 17 may still be compatible with Big Sur, 3 or 4 years later, even though Big Sur didn't exist at the time of release and is not included in the list for those versions.  I guess that's what I need to know, which FM versions are still compatible with the latest Mac OS - Big Sur?

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You could always get a VM and install older OS and then use 8.5 on that VM of High Sierra.

Working on doesn't me it's designed to or fully compatible;  your mileage may vary on using older version on new os, it may work but there are things that just won't and could damage your data.

Did you check out the FDS Program?

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19 minutes ago, Neanderthal said:

I have used 8.5 up through High Sierra. 

You must be a very light user. I am running v.11 on High Sierra and it crashes horribly.

 

14 minutes ago, Neanderthal said:

I guess that's what I need to know, which FM versions are still compatible with the latest Mac OS - Big Sur?

Claris had to patch v.19 to 19.1.3 in order to address "compatibility issues" with Big Sur.  
https://support.claris.com/s/article/Software-Update-FileMaker-Pro-19-1-3?language=en_US

 

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3 minutes ago, comment said:

Claris had to patch v.19 to 19.1.3 in order to address "compatibility issues" with Big Sur.

 

Yikes!

24 minutes ago, Ocean West said:

You could always get a VM and install older OS and then use 8.5 on that VM of High Sierra.

Working on doesn't me it's designed to or fully compatible;  your mileage may vary on using older version on new os, it may work but there are things that just won't and could damage your data.

Did you check out the FDS Program?

Yes, light user nowadays, I haven't really pushed the features lately.  I checked the FDS link and I don't think I can pay $100 per year and get my money's worth for the little I do these days.  I don't want to lose what I have in my databases, so I'll probably just export the data and find some other means of working with it.

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Claris is now on an agile development cycle eventually we may not have "version" numbers and we will have quarterly updates to address performance, features, compatibility, bugs each release could include any or all of these goals. They will be updating again shortly as the New M1 chip Macs are out and will most likely want native code for that processor.

 

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