Potential Dangers Of FileMaker Record Exports

From Dwayne Wright PMP
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
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This is one of those sticky topics in which some database stake holders used to have to wrestle with. The ability to export data can be used productively in a variety of situations but there are significant security dangers as well.

I once worked on a project for a company that would not let their sales staff export data. In fact, it took many months in order to allow them to print client records. The industry they were in, had a revolving door in regards to their sales staff. It was not uncommon for an applicant to show a listing of their previous employers clients and mention that he / she would bring them along to our company, if we hired them.

This company had a conflicting attitude in this area. They had no problem hiring these sales reps to get those key contacts but didn’t want those same reps to harvest our companies contacts when they left.

Now this was back in the days of FileMaker 6 and the export records option caused us considerable security problems. There were processes that we needed to accomplish that were key to the export feature such as the copy all records command or batch moving data from one table to the next.

FileMaker has now made this a pretty simple fix for us. We can limit the ability to export records but we can setup a script to run with full access. There is a small check box at the bottom of each script to run with full access privileges. So if you click this check box, the script will run as if the user had no data or layout related restrictions and then go back to the users actual security settings when the script is completed.


FYI... There are other ways to move data between two files than exporting, such as a looping script. It may be slower but in some cases, it may be more secure. In some cases where a database has an extra ordinary number of fields, a looping script may be faster than an import. This is because an import process needs to spend time looking at all the fields in both databases, just to be sure it isn’t missing anything.

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