Converting E-Com to FMv12

In December, we converted E-Com (our database for managing special education student data – used by over 70 school districts in Washington)  to FileMaker v12. The process went quite smoothly. We have not experienced any difficulty in converting files from FileMaker v11 to FileMaker v12, as opposed to converting earlier versions (v6 and older).

We converted the database to take advantage of new features offered by FileMaker v12. Since E-Com uses a third-party plugin, we will switch to using the new “Install Plugin” script step in FileMaker v12. That will allow users to install or update plugins directly from a container field within the file itself, greatly simplifying the plugin deployment process.

We also plan to change document storage to the new external storage method available in FileMaker v12. One difficulty with shared documents in FileMaker v11 is that the external file must be placed in a shared location before it is stored as a reference in the container field in the file. Using “Managed Containers” in FileMaker v12, we are able to specify the storage location of the documents in advance on the server, so a shared location will no longer be a requirement.

We will also be re-working many scripts to take advantage of the new modal window type available in v12 to eliminate workarounds in earlier versions of FileMaker necessitated by the absence of this capability. We have plans to use the Execute SQL script to simplify the relationship graph and make scripting reports more powerful, as well.

Overall, this upgrade will provide a more stable system, with some nice new features for our E-Com users.
~Kate Wheeler

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