Basic info for Rucksack Texnology clients and licensees
NOTE: Information on this page is time-sensitive. This page was last updated February 2016 and info was accurate at that time, but things will change sooner or later and this info will become dated.
This support article is addressed specifically to users of Rucksack Texnology FileMaker commercial database solutions. This intended audience includes law offices using Acquittal, publications using CMAssistant. This article assumes that you have an existing database solution and you wish either to (a) upgrade to a new version of the solution, or (b) upgrade your version of FileMaker Pro, or (c) upgrade your computer's operating system, or (d) any or all of the above. Option (d) is important because upgrading one element of your computer system often requires operating others. NOTE: Our custom consulting clients should contact us directly, as upgrading our custom solutions often involves considerations not discussed below.
Upgrading your database solution files We distinguish between "updates" (relatively minor) and "upgrades" (relatively major).
Most of our solutions involve two files: a 'back end' file that contains your data and a 'front end' or app file that contains all of our programming resources. An "update" involves simply a new version of the app or front-end file without requiring a new data file. If you're upgrading from version 7.1.3 of a solution to version 7.1.5 of the same solution, you can archive 7.1.3 and simply put the 7.1.5 file in its place. Nothing else needs to change. Your data file won't need to be touched.
An "upgrade" of a solution is one that involves a new data file. Upgrades are usually handled by us and may involve fees (for relicensing or service). Contact us for the details.
NOTE: Minor updates of our database solutions never require that you upgrade or update anything else. But an upgrade of our solution might require that you also upgrade FileMaker Pro (and that might in turn require upgrading your operating system and/or computer hardware).
Upgrading FileMaker Pro If you want to install and use a new version of FileMaker Pro, you need to know if the new version of FileMaker supports the file format of our existing database. FileMaker Pro releases in the last dozen years or so fall into two 'generations', easily identified by the file-name extension (either .fp7 or .fmp12).
The .fp7 generation: FileMaker Pro versions 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11
The .fmp12 generation: FileMaker Pro versions 12, 13 and 14
If your existing solution files have the .fp7 filename extension, and you are upgrading FileMaker Pro to a version in the same generation, all you need to do is install the new version of FileMaker Pro. For example, if your database files have the filename extension .fp7 and you've been using FileMaker Pro 10, to upgrade to FileMaker Pro 11, all you'd need to do is install FileMaker Pro 11. The files will open and work just as they did before.
But what if you're upgrading across FileMaker generations? For example, you've been using a .fp7 database and you want to upgrade to FileMaker Pro 14 (which uses the .fmp12 filename extension). In this case, your database file will need to be converted to the new file format. In theory (and usually in practice) you should be able to open the old files inside the new version of FileMaker Pro and allow FileMaker Pro to convert the files for you. But if your maintenance contract is current with us, we strongly recommend that you contact us and let us help you. Often a new version of the database will be available and we can upgrade your solution at the same time we convert your files. Even if no new version is available or you do not wish to upgrade the database at this time, we will convert your files to the new format and run diagnostics on your files to confirm that they are healthy. NOTE: Compatibility within a FileMaker generation is only guaranteed one way: forward. That is, a file that worked in FileMaker Pro 12 should open and work without a hitch in FileMaker Pro 13 or 14.But a file that works in FileMaker Pro 14 may or may not work properly in FileMaker Pro 13 or 12, because the file may require FileMaker features that were introduced in version 14. This problem arises mainly when an office is adding a new computer to a network and you're wondering if the new computer can use an older version of FileMaker. In most of our solutions, figuring out if you can open your database in an earlier version of FileMaker Pro is a simple matter of trying. If the solution requires FileMaker Pro 14 and you open it in FileMaker Pro 13, you'll usually see a warning message. But contact us if you're unsure.
Upgrading your hardware or operating system If you wish to upgrade your operating system and/or your computer hardware, you should keep in mind that everything in your system needs to be compatible with everything else. Any given version of FileMaker Pro is compatible with a limited range of operating systems, and the operating systems themselves are compatible with a limited range of computers. Go to FileMaker's website to check for the hardware and operating system specifications of the version of FileMaker you want to run.