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Updating installed schema


comcents
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I apologize up front for what is undoubtedly an obvious matter to any and all using FM - but since I have about 10 mins experience with FM - and an application I just "inherited" there is one issue that eludes me (With further appolgies - note that documentation, discs, etc. are on the way- but not here yet). How does one up date the schema of an application? With "another" system I'm used to - the Schema and data are in separate files - so one just installs a new "structure" file - and the data continues right along. It's become obvious that in FM - the Schema and data share a common file - so a simple "replacement" is NOT in order - rather it appears that one would copy the new schema to disc, move (copy - export/import) the old data to the new file - and finally delete the old file. Have I got the basic idea - or have I missed something? (Existing application is in FMPro 6.0 split between Windows and Macs on a network - I plan on making the needed changes on a Mac also running FMPro 6.0 - and sending the "updates" via FedEx).

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"Interface" and data do indeed reside in the same file in Filemaker Pro. I would not think in terms of deleteing the old file, in your situation, but instead think of it as migrating users to a new solution. There are various methods for "upgrading" to a new set of solution files, some of them are discussed on this forum. Basically you can export all data from all tables into backup files or you can setup import scripts in your new files to import the old data.

One thing that is helpful is to think of all the files in your Filemaker Pro application as analogous to "tables" in sql. Only in this case each table can also have any number of custom user interfaces which you design.

One highly recommended method is to use a single filemaker file(table) as the "front end" to the application and use layouts in that file with relations to all of the other files. This one front end file may have no actual use in terms of data but simply acts as the user interface to all of the data in the other files. Usually you would setup primary key fields in the interface file which are related to the keys in each of the other files. Otherwise, pick the file(table) which is central to the purpose of your application and design your user interface layouts there.

That's some quick info on Filemaker...

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Thanks for the information... I still haven't received discs / docs - but I have had time to better familiarized myself with what I have (i.e. FMPro 6 + the App). Perhaps I wasn't too clear about what I plan on doing - at least in the short term. The app is working OK - it just needs some additions and some "cleaning up" here and there... which I plan on working on here - then sending the changes to where the system is installed. It has become increasingly clear that when a db is in use - and updates are being made elsewhere - that provisions for "moving the data" forward must be made- rather than "just replacing" the schema as each "update" is implemented. I guess I'm spoiled in having my roots (20 years) in a program in which data and the Schema are separate - and the Schema can be updated without thought of the data (that's not to say that what I've been using is any better or without warts and problems - more issues than I like - one reason I'm looking into "other options" such as FMPro... Thanks again!

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