Runtime Development Notes and Tips - File Maker

Here are some general tips to consider when using the FileMaker Developer Tool features to modify your database solutions.

  • Make a backup: Before you start playing around with your solutions and their databases, always make a backup first in case anything goes wrong.
  • Networking: Remember that runtime solutions are not shareable; they only work for one user at a time at their own workstation. Runtime solutions cannot readily be linked together to share data via ODBC either or via the Web.
  • Bind a runtime on each platform: If you plan to distribute your runtime solution on Macs as well as PCs, you should bind the solution twice: one copy of the solution should be bound on a Mac (Classic or Mac OS X) and the other on a Windows computer. The binding process does not make an executable that “just works” on both platforms automatically (Mac operating systems are very different from Windows ones).
  • Plug-ins: You can use most plug-ins and other such support files with runtime solutions. Simply create the appropriate folder inside the solution folder (where the runtime executable is). The folder should be named “FileMaker Extensions” on Macs and “System” on Windows. Then place the plug-ins inside of this folder. Also make sure to check in with the plug-in’s manufacturer to make sure there aren’t any quirks to note while using the plug-in with a runtime solution, and purchase the correct developer license so that you may legally distribute the plug-in with your solution.
  • Database version: In order to use any FileMaker Developer Tool features on a database, that database must be saved as FileMaker version 5.0 or higher.
  • Navigating in kiosk mode: Remember that in kiosk mode you’ll have to include buttons on screens to navigate records, start finds, quit/exit File-Maker, start an import or anything else that a user should be able to do.
  • Modifying bound runtime databases: Remember that you can open runtime databases with FileMaker Pro, even if you’ve changed their three-letter extension. Just drag them onto the FileMaker Pro application icon and they’ll open up unless the ability to modify the database’s structure has been permanently prevented.
  • Security: Remember to password-protect databases that are part of a runtime to prevent users from getting into the structure or overriding security if you don’t want them to.

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