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Runtime solutions


ChiknNutz

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I posted this in another section, might be the wrong place for it. I just found this section, so thought I would post here. BTW, I am new here. Could be that this has been answered before, and I apologize up-front if so.

I have an Access db that I am considering rewriting in FileMaker 9 Pro. However, after looking at the restrictions imposed with the runtime solution, I'm hesitant to do so. My current application is something that I sell to various entities, whom I don't specifically support in the sense of on-site and such. It is a fairly simple app, but it is a standalone version via the Visual Basic Developer's Extension licensing. Further, it has the ability to print native PDF files from the reports. Although it currently is not set up for network installations, I had planned to implement next. The application also has some 3rd-party security and installation utilities embedded into it.

Based on what I've read, most of these functions I'm looking for simply have been stripped out of the runtime version. The current selling price of my app is less than the cost of FM by itself, so I'm not sure if I can justify a significant cost increase, nor am I convinced that people would be willing to pay the large price that would have to be associated with it AND having to go purchase FM simply to get some of these features back.

I could maybe live w/o PDF support, but would really like support for MS Excel spreadsheets instead, and this too has been removed. So what other export options do I have for users to export data from my application, other than simple TXT files? I'm not familiar with XML yet, but this may be an option, I don't know. Besides that, how else can I export data from the application that can then be used by another application...similar to spreadsheet data?

So, my questions have to do with what other FM developer's are doing about this...do you simply require your customers to buy FM to support your applications? Are there 3rd-party apps to overcome these limitations? Really, I'm not super advanced with MS Access (just a power-dabbler if you will), I simply learned enough to develop a solution that works for my existing client-base, but am looking to improve on what I am currently offering. FM seems to be simpler to use, based on what many say. I have FM 7, but never got the hang of it really, as I had used Access for several years off and on.

Anyway, thanks for any advice you may have.

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Really? I got the notion about MS Excelk direct from the Filemaker site:

"Please note that runtime applications cannot be shared over a network, do not include the ability to create Adobe® PDF or Microsoft® Excel files, and do not include the support for External SQL Data Sources."

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You can *always* export records in a format that Excel can open -- such as CSV or HTML or something. Excel will convert the text file and turn it into a spreadsheet.

This is different from the "Save/Send Records as Excel..." command

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You can *always* export records in a format that Excel can open -- such as CSV or HTML or something. Excel will convert the text file and turn it into a spreadsheet.

This is different from the "Save/Send Records as Excel..." command

OK, so I found out that both are possible.

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Although it currently is not set up for network installations, I had planned to implement next.

Runtimes are not multi-user. So, your installed base would not be able to serve your solution unless you sell them a non-runtime and they buy FM Server and a copy of FM for each workstation. I'm not familiar with the current version of Access, so I don't know if it has similar reqs.

Also, search this forum for issues regarding shipping updates. I've written a commercial app delivered as a runtime, and have incorporated an "Upgrade Wizard." It basically imports data from several of the tables from the old version into the new version. I package the runtime using an installer, since it helps to know where files are installed. I also have a technique that if a search for the old version fails, calls up an open dialog and lets the user select the source old version.

I've avoided plugins, since install is done by a user I'll never meet, not am available to help. So, we've scrapped any PDF functionality.

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