Consultants, what is the oldest FileMaker version you like to touch?

As I just got a query to help working on a FileMaker 11 version, I wonder what versions you guys are comfortable to work with?

e.g. if a potential client calls and has an old version, would you insist them to upgrade to a newer version or would you touch an old FileMaker.

we are trying to get all customers on newer FM/FMS (means 19.x at the moment) - but there are some older installations 'out in the wild' and sometimes we need to help, at least as long as those customers are on those old versions.
I believe that we needed a MBS v8 lately, AFAIK that is the oldest version (ok, we got a customer with FM v6 - but that one is out of luck when it comes to MBS)

I always suggest switching to the most up-to-date version but I do not make it a requirement, sometimes there are reasons... and it heavily depends on infrastructure on site etc.

But my preference goes for working with 19 all the way

I, too, attempt to convince my customers to update their licenses. That said, it is mostly a matter of ability for me: Do I have access to the old version of FileMaker, can it run on the development computer and does the customer accept the caveats I give him/her?

I've been working with FileMaker since v3 so I have the experience. I'd miss a lot of the newer tools.

The question is moot for me. The Claris partner agreement requires that clients use current versions (v18 and v19). If they called I have an obligation to upgrade them or decline the job.

Well, I thought more of not wanting to work in old script editor like pre version 14.
Or you may not want to implement a web service before FileMaker got JSON functions.

Going back past v14 is a step off the cliff :smile:

I find it pretty easy to get people on ancient versions to move forward. Often they simply don't know what newer versions provide. The web interactive tools are the biggest selling point.

What a pain the script editor was before V. 14 :sweat:.

well... do some work on a V6...


If it ain't broke don't fix it - this is the approach I take with clients who are infrequent and don't often need stuff done, it's easier to just leave them be than suggest upgrading.

For more frequent development, the suggestion to upgrade is usually more for the benefit of the developer than the end user - again if they're not asking for changes that require a later version, there is no reason from their standpoint (providing their FM licensing is kosher). Developers want to upgrade cos it is easier for them, and faster, to develop with.

So yeah in this case I would be suggesting an upgrade because in the long run it will save them money in the form of developer time, as well as opening up new features they could benefit from.


FileMaker customers that are NOT on the current version have 3 choices (current hardware and budget allowing):

  1. Upgrade to the current version
  2. Work with the version that they are on
  3. Leave the platform

A good strategy is to rapidly and efficiently add value to their situation.

  1. This might involve an immediate upgrade (if there are features they would get that would provide an improved ROI for them)
  2. This might result in a upgrade down the road a bit (added value now + time = future upgrade probability)
  3. This minimizes the chance that they will leave the platform (add so much value that they stay with the platform. This leads to future upgrades)

By all means sell the benefits of an upgrade.

At the same time, do not hold back on what you can provide to add value to where they are.

Add value!


Customers don't understand that there is a cost to move to a new platform, and the cost may be much higher than staying with the current one. There is a post on the Claris Community by a guy name Eric (can't recall the last name) that explains that. I wish I can find it.

My feeling is that the client who wants to stay with an ancient version of FileMaker is going to be more trouble than they are worth. They will have all kinds of other issues with their hardware and other software, either needing up-grading or growing more vulnerable to nefarious-ware.