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Uising simoultaniously FM 6 and 8.5


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Ok folks, here a tricky problem:

I have a customer database in FM 6 and one in FM 8.5. Every time that a new customer is created he gets a serialnumber.


If I create a customer in FM8 he gets nr 100 then I crate a customer in FM6 and he should get nr 101. Is it possible to let both FM get the numbers from a unique source and upgrade the source every time a customer is created in one DB or the other?

Ops, almost forgot, both databases are running on different machines with the proper server installed.

Who is the genius that can help with this?

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My customer has a very complex database in FM6. The whole technical department is running on that. We are rebuilding the database in FM 8.5 with in addition a Sales database.

The sales database is ready and they want to implement that now. I want to avoid dubble serialnumbers because of the relations to several documents.

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I don't think there's any reliable method to syncronize the next serial value for your different versions.

You might simply use a different range or prefix the serials with a letter, for the records created in the new version. When the records are merged, you may have a gap in the sequence (which shouldn't matter for a CustomerID), but they should then be unique.

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The obvious answer is to store your serial number external to either version of Filemaker. What to use depends on your programming skills and what platform you are on. Another way, but I think cumbersome and slow, is to export the serial number to a text file each time it is changed and then script serial number update to import the value from that file. Clearly both methods suffer from a potential conflict if both versions of FM attempt to update a serial number at the same moment. It may be that record locking on the text file would stop this. Best would be to use SQL functions of Filemaker as this (should) deal with record locking. Having said that I have very little experience of SQL. If you are on a Mac then Applescript is the probably way to go,


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As a stopgap, have you considered converting the FMP6 database to FMP8 immediately? How about implementing a common table for both systems to grab serial numbers from.

Create a table in your new FMP8 database which contains a single record and a couple of fields, one numeric and one text. Scripts in both databases (should be more or less the same) are set up to do the following:

When a new serial number is needed, get the current value of the numeric field for use with the new record, and then increment the value in the shared table by one for the next record to use. The text field is used as a semaphore which each database sets whilst it is grabbing a serial number from the shared table. If the other database sees the flag set, it backs off for a short period of time and tries again.

Users can continue to use the 'old' database until the new one is ready; you can them merge the old and the new together.

Our experience with converting from FMP5/6 to FMP7/8 has been pretty smooth so far, and we have now migrated five or six databases with minimal maintenance.

Brian Rich


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Thank you all for the suggestions.

I have considered to convert the database, but I am afraid that it will cost me to much time to get al functionality right.

I thought to do the same trough an AppleScript and an Excel file on a shared volume. The AppleScript distributes and increases the serial. But I didn't tried that yet.

It seems a much quicker solution to implement.

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