FileMaker 8 Server And FileMaker 9 Files

From Dwayne Wright
Certified FileMaker 9 Developer

A common question when FileMaker 9 came out is ... “Can I use my FileMaker 8 Server for my FileMaker 9 files or do I need to purchase FileMaker 9 Server now?”.

As with many things of the technical nature, the answers are Yes, No and Maybe. For the official word from FileMaker, check out this web link ...

You may have to scroll down closer to the bottom of the page in order to see the compatibility information. Basically, FileMaker 9 shares a common internal format with FileMaker 7, FileMaker 8 and FileMaker 8.5. So the answer is yes, you can use FileMaker 8 server to host FileMaker 9 files.

Now the “maybe” answer comes down to the new features that are available in FileMaker 9. Some of these features are controlled by the FileMaker client software. So if the FileMaker 9 database is one a FileMaker 8 server but the user is using a copy of FileMaker 9, many of the FileMaker 9 features will work just fine.

Now the “no” answer comes from FileMaker 9 features that require a FileMaker 9 server (server side ESS). Most of these features involve how FileMaker 9 communicates with external data sources.
More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at

© 2008 - Dwayne Wright -

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.