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Filemaker Pro 7 or Filemaker Developer 7


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First posting - and I am currently evaluating Filemaker Pro 7.

Have been advised that if I wanted to design a database, sell and maintain it for an individual or small business (without a NETWORK) then I should purchase Filemaker Developer 7.

Is that advice correct please, and if so would I be losing some facilities. Something that springs to mind is the Instant Web Publishing. Is that in Developer 7?

Finally, if at some time the small business decided that it wanted to use my solution with Filemaker, but to move from the single machine situation and put it on say 3 or 4 computers which were going to be networked - can this be done using my designed program? Or alternatively would I have to use some different product and build from the ground up, taking into account all the networking considerations as I went along.

If the latter were the case, what would be the situation concerning the current records already on the standalone system. How would they be able to be transferred to the networked situation.

Obviously I am nowhere involved with this at the present stage. However, it is important that I understand benefits and limitations rather quickly because of making a purchase with 3 or 4 weeks.

Very grateful to you all.


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Developer version has a lot of features quite handy, if you have the tasks for them ...but they aren't particular crutial if your solution just needs to be shared by several users on a tcp/ip network.

You should probably be abel to get a better deal by buying a 5 seat package of the ordinary version with the task you here discripe - by doing so will you be smooth sailing within an hour or such ...while redesigning your task for IWP'ing might take a lot more time to accomplish due to IWP grayed out scriptsteps ...that forces you to redesign issues utilizing custom functions instead - which easily could be 40 hours more work on your behalf.

With developer do you have a binder as well that makes runtimes - unfortunately are they stripped their networking abilities ...plus you agree via the licence not to cgi-approach a standalone solution. This makes Dev a handy tool for showcasing a solution say burned on a cd to hand out on trad fairs, but fails to be of any goods for a workgroup.

The ROI of a Dev version does by and large depend on your abilities to sell soultions beyond inhouse developement, allthough the scriptdebugger and the ability to develope custom functions could come in handy in a larger organization where your task might be inhouse developer and the one wearing the proppellar hat ...but if it isn't your sole task ...hessitate.


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UKDave -- welcome to the forum. Although opinions differ, I personally find developer a necessity. Even for a small database, the script debugger and custom funtion ability is useful. As your project grows, there are features to optimize the database which reduce file size and disk transfers.

One other thing, Developer comes with a developer license of server. You might find it more useful to use a server to host your solution at a later date. You can develop and try it out on this server before you shell out the cash for FMserver. You can't use the developer license except for development, but it should be enough to give you a pretty good idea how your solution will work on Server.

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To you all - many thanks. You have given me food for thought. I think you have persuaded me that although I really do not understand much at the moment, nevertheless, Developer is the route to go. Later I will no doubt come to see why.

Just one small niggling point keeps coming back to me however as I accept the need to purchase Developer. This "networking issue".

To take an extract from one helpful posting:

"unfortunately are they stripped their networking abilities ...plus you agree via the licence not to cgi-approach a standalone solution"

and then another from another contributor:

"IWP is in Developer 7. You can share your solution on a network if the users have copies of regular FM7 on their PC's. Of course, you must have the multi-user flag set for that."

To me as a complete layperson it seems that the two extracts run contrary to one another. However I am sure some of you will put me straight on this. You see if you can share a solution on a network, don't you have to prepare the solution in someway with networking tools. And, I imagined that these had been stripped out.

Sorry if this seems like thinking in a far too complicated manner, (a fault of mine I am afraid to say) - whilst I know to "Keep it simple stupid!!" (KISS). Knowing it I still fall prey to that "thinking too deeply" error.

Try to explain to me folks - and in truth the most I can imagine me working with would be say 4 or 5 computers in a small office where they want to share the database information in-house. I suppose if they wanted to place that in-house information on the Internet for customers to access that is totally a different situation and calls for IWP (and realisation that they could only use 5 concurrent sessions) and another day - not this question!! Fully understand....

But on the simple in-house network connections I would really like you to help me on this one - just so I definitely know that this can be achieved using Developer 7.

Thanks again all.


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There are several ways that you can share a FMP solution. FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Developer are essentially the same thing, with Developer having more functions in it, as described above, such as file optimization, runtime binding, and script debugger (amoung others). You do not need to have FMP and FMD on the same machine, but there is no problem if you do.

To share a file, there is you set the file to multi-user. When you have that file open on the host computer, anyone on your network (with the right privileges) with FMP or FMD can access that file. For all intents and purposes, it is opening that file on the client computer. (You should take care to set user access so that the appropriate people have the appropriate access, but that is another topic. ) I believe that you can host up to 10 clients at the same time, but verify that number on the FM website.

You may also share a file via the web. The process is very similar to set up, but the user accesses the file via their web browser. You will notice that the pages might be rendered a little different and some of the built-in functions don't work or work differently. You must script around these when building your solution for the web, but it saves money since you do not need to purchase more then one copy of FM.

A third way to share your files is through FM Server, which comes in several flavors. Basically, it host the files and allows you to share it with more people, either via the web or clients. It is a very efficient way of sharing your databases. Depending on the nature of your solution, you may want to consider it to share your files. That is why I mentioned that developer comes with a development license for FM Server. While it limits the number of users, you can beta test your solution on server to see if you like it hosted better that way.

Finally, you can distribute your database via a stand alone runtime version made from developer. The client computers do not need fm to run it and it looks and feels just like a client copy. You save money since the clients don't need to shell out cash for FM, but the big downside is that it cannot share information accross the network or internet. I doubt this is a feasible option for you.

It is hard to say without seeing your solution, but if I was in your shoes, I would look into purchasing a copy of FMD for your machine and a copy of FMP for the each client machine. There is more cost associated with it, but it is the easiest to get up and running and offers a great deal of flexibility in programming. If money is an issue, look into the IWP as an alternative.


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Thank you so much for giving me a very detailed and extremely helpful response. I am only at the early stage in evaluating Filemaker Pro 7 at the moment. But it seems certain now that I will go ahead and purchase FMD.

As time passes I will let you know my progress or otherwise!!

Once again very many thanks - I am beginning to get a hold on the beginnings of Filemaker.


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