Migration from FM10


I am tasked with upgrading/migrating a FM 10 Pro installation on a Windows SBS 2008 Server…I know it is not supported any longer. I am a network tech and the client needs to upgrade to Windows 10. May or may not need a server as the firm has downsized from 10 to 3 users.

I will admit I have not searched for this as I am looking for an easy button…Can anyone tell me if the FM10 on the server can be imported to a Windows 10 workstation running the latest version of FM and still be able to host the database for the other two users? Basically do I need to recommend a new server or can it be run on a beefy windows 10 workstation? If that isn’t possible, can it be run completely on a Windows 10 workstation with a single user? Will the FM10 Pro files migrate or is there a process for this?



A quick and straightforward way would be using FMP 10 hosted on a VM as a server.
Provided the solution is still satisfactory as is. Also if the solution is only accessible from within the LAN, that’s fine.

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not sure, if I got all correct

  • filemaker 10 means .fp7 file-format
  • current version of filemaker is 18, .fmp12 file-format

When opening a .fp7 file with the current version of filemaker, the file will be converted automatically to the current version and can be used, more or less as under v10 (might be some issues with specific fonts, maybe some printer re-definitions,)

Then, filemaker 10 can probably be installed under Win 10 (we got filemaker 11 -what is also .fp7- under Win 10, although installed before the last few patches of Win 10…)
So You might be able to run filemaker 10 pro, even if no longer supported - or get a new version and use the converted files.

Filemaker 18 (client) still can be set as a host for less than 5 users (this ‘peer2peer’ method is deprecated…)

Filemaker client is not a service - therefore a user has to be logged in and the db-files must be openend on that client/user (set sharing to ‘on’…)

If You got a ‘master user’ who is working all the time, that user/client can function as the host. We got some installations where this works - and others where it does not, at least not perfect. Backups are one problem (manually or by specific scripting), the client must be running (no sleep), not too much load on the ‘host-client’, etc.

When we upgraded to 15 from server 7 and client 9, we had to first recover the db with the 9 and than open it with 15 which converted it to fmp12. Just saying as I know some people have encountered this.

Yes. If some or all the db-files are somewhat ‘messed up’, this could be the case

Whenever possible, I prefer to go back to the last ‘error-free’ backup and rebuild the file(s) by importing, maybe rebuild the changes (hopefully, there is a change log…). This depends on the db… if its just a helper table, create that from scratch…

That said, we have quite some customers where we ‘lifted’ their old versions, one particular solution has at least one file that was created under V2 - and all of those solutions but one are in daily use. The one with a serious ‘hit’ was in service as well, no problem to store and use data - but opening a structure editor (define databases, etc.) caused that file to crash. We wanted to rebuild that file (it was a solution made by someone else, so it was not our decision).

So, do a recover with a copy, if there are no problems, go ahead. If there are problems, do further investigations (not all listed problems from a recover-run are critical, some might be just ‘messages’)

as described above, there is kind of an “easy Button” in order to convert .fp7-Files into .fmp12-Files by just open your old files with FileMaker Pro ≥ 12 and FM will convert them automatically.
FM12 was also the introduction of CSS-Structure for the appearance of all kinds of Layout- AND Field-Objects.

I recommend to

  • make yourself familiar with the concept of CSS and how to use with FM
  • overhaul every layout with your own Theme & Styles

Any friend with skills with Adobe InDesign OR QuarkXpress with general knowledge about Desktop Publishing would be a great help to get into this.

Why would desktop publishing skills would be useful here? Isn’t more a matter of tech strategy (vm with 10 vs upgraded solution, server or peer to peer…)

Of course if you’re considering the fact that most of those old solutions are in great need of a theme and style clean up and optimization… I have a hunch that the client isn’t looking for beauty but rather be able to update all their office technology and is concerned that their fm solution currently needs Server 2008.

We went through that exact situation. We upgraded all our office tech and i converted (a copy, good point @Markus) to fmpa 15 and put it up on fms 15 on a win 2012 sp2 server.

I also installed fms 16 on windows 10 Enterprise and did some light testing.

It’s really easy to setup a 16 on a LAN and you still have the most complete/easier for novice, admin console.

Might be cheaper to buy a perpetual 18 and do peer to peer if the load isn’t too bad and the machine used is beefed up

It’s not only about the file-upgrade process from .fp7- to .fmp12.
With earlier FM version, this upgrade process would automatically assign the ‘Classic Theme’ to all layouts with all its known rendering issues. With current FM versions, I still doubt the appearance of the GUI won’t meet his expectations and despite the appearance, check and overhaul of layouts might be recommended for best performance.
A desktop publisher has a clear understanding of how to build structures and groups of different types of text.

When migration a .fp7 file to .fmp12, using FMPA v18 for the job, it would still assign the ‘classic’ theme to the migration result file?

No, shouldn’t. I didn’t try but thought I was told that ‘Classic Theme’ was removed with FM15 OR 16?
‘Minimalist’ is an almost neutral Theme to start.

You still get classic, if You open a .fp7 file with fm18

well then, my first recommendation: Change it!
Preferably to the ‘Minimalist’ Theme.

Ouch! :face_with_head_bandage:


  • at the moment, it will run
  • Tony White has a perfect check-list for changing themes (@tonywhitelive)
  • it can be somewhat painful, since there is not much support (dealing with themes in fm is still cumbersome, it’s not very user-friendly)

We are on the works on changing classic to a new theme - if there are only 2 or 3 users…

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FileMaker Themes and Styles

  • Improve the productivity and consistency of your development efforts
  • Improve the speed of your FileMaker solutions
  • Reduce the size of your FileMaker files

FileMaker Classic Theme to Custom Theme


The post linked to above (and the associated video) aim to help people modernize their FileMaker code base with the least amount of effort and the highest ROI.