Intro Into FileMaker Runtimes

One feature of FileMaker Advanced is to create a runtime version of your FileMaker solution. This feature is available under the tools menu in FileMaker Advanced and does an excellent job of walking your through the entire process.

A FileMaker Runtime creation process means that you can process your solution so that users that DO NOT have copy of FileMaker can use it. I will say that I think this is a great feature of FileMaker Advanced, however do not think these runtime versions have the same set of features as FileMaker Pro.

I will also caution you that although FileMaker makes the creation of runtimes very easy, after the runtime creation, the work really starts. In most cases, you should give serious thought to selling a copy of FileMaker with your solution instead of relying on a runtime version. However, the runtime solution is a great way to make demos of your solution and it probably the best use of this unique FileMaker Advanced feature.

FileMaker does not alter your original solution files during this process. What it does is create copies of your solution files that are bound to a limited FileMaker engine. This is very important because the bound files cannot have their schema edited (such as editing fields, layouts, relationships, scripts, value lists and the like). So if you need to make a change to the bound copies, you need to make the change in the source files and bind a new batch of files. This is important because although the binding process is easy, it still takes some setup to include all the options you want. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone binding a runtime version of their solution and getting it perfect the first time.

A runtime solution will only work with the files that are bound to it. So if your solution have four FileMaker files, they will work great together with they are bound together. They will no work with any file you want to add (unless you bind a new batch of files) and those four files will not work with networked FileMaker files. This also dove tails into the topic that runtime versions are single user only. They will not work on a network.

I know that it sounds like I’m not a fan of the FileMaker runtime creation feature of FileMaker Advanced. That is not true, I’m a big fan. I’m just saying that experience has taught me that the runtime feature is what it is and it is not a replacement for FileMaker client.
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