Converting Old FileMaker Databases from FileMaker 5 or 6 to FileMaker 12
October 9, 2013 By Tim Cimbura
We’re finding that there are still several organizations using FileMaker databases that were created many years ago with the old version of FileMaker. A lot has changed over the years. The common file format was call .fp5 Version 5 of FileMaker but this file format lasted through FileMaker version 6. In 2004, FileMaker completely rewrote FileMaker with version 7 and changed the file format to .fp7. Version 7 was good until the release of FileMaker 12 in 2012. The current FileMaker database file format is .fmp12 and we expect that format will last for many more years to come.
Modern versions of Mac OS after 10.6 Snow Leopard, no longer support running FileMaker 6 or earlier…and so this is forcing these databases to be brought into the newer file formats just to be operational.
So, if you have an old format database what do you do?
Straight conversion of the files may be relatively simple, but it doesn’t guarantee the database will retain all the functionality it originally had…and it certainly won’t be optimized for using any of the new features available. Taking advantage on these new features such as multiple tables in one file, new security, and fully relational capabilities is called database migration and can be a much more costly proposition. Many companies invest in creating an entirely new database and only move the data from the old database into the new solution.