Creating a Cross-Platform FileMaker Runtime

FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced can only create a runtime for the platform it’s running on. So on my Mac I can only create a Mac runtime, not a Windows one.

I think this is a shortcoming which FileMaker Inc. could have easily fixed, but thankfully after some initial work there’s an easy workaround:
  1. Find a Windows machine with FMPA.
  2. Create a database file. The name of this should be the permanent name of your solution.
  3. Bind it into a runtime. This bindkey will be the permanent key for your solution.
  4. Copy the whole solution directory back to the Mac.
The only file which needs to change between deployments is the database file!
  • This can either be edited directly by opening it from within FMPA, or
  • Create a Mac runtime (with the same name and bindkey) and copy the database file into the Windows directory.
You need to repeat this for each different solution name and/or bindkey.

If your development platform is a PC instead of a Mac, you should be able to swap the above, but I haven’t tested this.

Of course, you should still carry out testing on the opposite platform.

Interestingly FM doesn’t seem to mind working with a ‘bound’ file at all. I copied one out of a runtime, and was ⓐ able to bind it into a different runtime, ⓑ rename it to .fp7 and use as normal, plus ⓒ, as above, you can edit it in situ. This is a great as it means there’s only one copy of the file around.

Note if you own both a PC and Mac, paragraph 1⒟ of the FM license allows you to install it on both (for use only by yourself).