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Upgrading with Managed Containers

After beginning to use managed containers in FileMaker 12, we reached the point where we needed to upgrade a database that was currently using managed containers. This database was not using the separation model, so we need to import the existing data into a clone of the new version and then release the new version to the client. We were finding this a bit tricky; importing data when managed containers are involved is not as straightforward as you would think. My initial thought was to leave the “Files”  (storing all the managed containers) folder where it is, import data as usual, then swap the old database file with the new one. This ended up breaking the links to the container fields when I re-hosted the new file. So we performed the following tests and came up with a few different ways to get the containers fields to import without breaking. For each scenario, we tested both open and secure storage container fields.  

Scenario 1: Leave Files Folder in Hosted Location

TEST: Take a copy of the production file out of hosted folder location. Import data into the clone of the development version . Move the clone back to hosted location, replacing the old production version. Don't touch Files folder at all.

RESULT: 

  • Container_Open:  file didn’t import into clone
  • Container_Secure: file didn’t import into clone

 

Scenario 2: Import into Clone in Hosted Location

TEST: Move the production file out of hosted folder location. Move the clone of the development version into the hosted folder location. Run Import into the clone. Don’t touch files folder.

RESULT:

  • Container_Open: Broken paths to files
  • Container_Secure: Broken paths to files

 

Scenario 3: Import into Clone in Hosted Location 2

TEST: Keep the production file out of hosted folder location. Move the clone of the development version into the hosted folder location, renamed differently from production version. Run Import into the clone. Don’t touch files folder. After import is complete, delete old production file and rename clone to production file name.

RESULT:

  • Container_Open: Success.
  • Container_Secure: Success.

 

Scenario 4: Move Production File and Production Containers Folder out of hosted location.

TEST: Move both production file and container folder (Files) out of hosted folder location. Run Import into the clone. Move clone file and clone container folder (Files) back to hosted folder location.

RESULT: 

  • Container_Open: Success.
  • Container_Secure: Success.

Note: When I ran the import, FileMaker generated a new “Files” folder with a new set of container fields. I then moved the “Files” folder back into place on the hosted version and put the new version of the file itself in place.