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Last modified August 05 2017, 12:45:34 MEST.

Version History - The Story about FMDiff

Version History

Date VersionRemark (applies for Windows, PPC Mac, and Intel Mac, unless otherwise noted)
2017-08-05 4.0.5 New: Properly show script steps introduced by FileMaker 16.
New: Properly show functions introduced by FileMaker 16.
Fix: Fixed a crash when handling FileMaker 16 files.
Fix: Display new table occurrences for an external base table.
Fix: Fixed crash when decoding script steps.
2017-01-21 4.0.4 New: FMDiff’s reports can be limited to a set of objects.
New: CSS stylesheet can be embedded into report to make sharing of reports easier.
Fix: Improved decoding of script step to fix some minor problems.
Fix: Improved decoding of built-in functions to fix some minor problems.
Fix: Fixed problems concerning command-line invocation.
2016-03-20 4.0.3 New: OS usage information now knows about Windows versions up to 10.
Fix: Some layouts caused decoding problems. All known issues were resolved. Any decoding problem is now listed in the report.
Fix: On Windows FMDiff failed to produce a report for large databases (larger than 500 GB). On OS X a huge amount of memory was used.
Fix: In certain situations FMDiff did not properly colour lines. There was no missing information as the colouring could suggest.
Fix: On Windows FMDiff converted the date and time values returned by the OS wrongly.
2016-03-12 3.0.10 Fix: Corrected formatting problem with file larger than 2GB.
2016-01-31 3.0.9 Fix: Properly display dialog when there is an error.
Fix: Improve display of progress information.
Fix: Handling of network paths on Windows.
Fix: Corrected possible crash when handling layouts.
Fix: Improved handling of relations.
Fix: Corrected some misspelled names.
2015-11-11 4.0.2 Fix: Corrected a problem with generating reports on Windows as well as some other small issues.
2015-08-31 4.0.1 New: Update is now based on Sparkle
Several improvements and fixes.
2015-07-17 4.0.0 New: Reports and user interface available in different languages
New: Display some additional information for some objects
Fix: Lots of improvements to report generation.
2015-07-16 3.0.8 New: Support for FileMaker 14
New: improved display of elapsed time
Fix: Display error when CLI is not available.
Fix: Corrected some misspelled function names.
Fix: Improved stability when reading broken databases.
Fix: Correct handling of Insert File.
Additional improvements and fixes.
2014-11-30 3.0.7 Fix: Eliminated crash with reports in certain situations.
Fix: Improved handling of layout information.
Additional improvements and fixes.
2014-07-28 3.0.6 New: Rewrite of more code using the Scheme language
New: Show parts and triggers for layouts
Fix: Corrected problem with displaying sizes.
Improved handling of layouts across all formats Addition of a total of 1,500 test routines
Optimized for speed
New application icon (due to FileMaker Inc. legal department)
Additional improvements and fixes.
2014-02-22 3.0.5 Fix: Improved structural checking for FileMaker 6 databases.
Fix: Eliminated crash on Windows when generating reports in certain situations.
Additional improvements and fixes.
2014-01-06 3.0.4 New: Breakpoints are now displayed in scripts
New: Improved checking for problems with corrupted data
New: Added checking of object catalogs
New: Improved efficiency of reading databases
Fix: Eliminated false positives for broken base table.
Fix: Improved handling of calculations.
Fix: Streamlined command-line handling.
Additional improvements and fixes.
2013-12-21 3.0.3 New: Compatible with FileMaker 13
Fix: Corrected display of report’s creation date.
Fix: Bug that caused abortion of FMDiff on Windows.
2013-11-30 3.0.2 Fix: Improved handling of file paths.
Fix: Eliminated problem with reporting progress.
Fix: Improve copying of auxiliary report files.
Fix: Streamlined main window on Windows.
Improved handling of memory to improve efficiency.
2013-08-20 3.0.1 Fix: Improve name handling for FileMaker 12 databases.
Fix: Improved interaction with eSellerate.
2013-08-08 3.0.0 New: Compatible with FileMaker 12
New: rewrite most of the code using the Scheme language
Addition of a total of 1,200 test routines
Countless improvements
2011-07-22 2.0.3 Fix: Bug that caused distorted HTML display under certain conditions.
2011-06-03 2.0.2 New: German localization implemented.
New: Added more details to Custom Menu differences.
New: Added error report for a wrong file size.
New: Comparison of a file with itself checks for structural errors.
Fix: Crash with no longer supported script steps in FileMaker Pro 10 and higher (export/import SYLK, DIF, WKS, and BASC).
Fix: Bug that showed wrong or no version for Windows 7 systems.
Fix: Bug that made the license conditions unreadable on Windows 7.
Fix: Fixed a Bug for .fp5 files that showed object names always as "*".
2010-12-03 2.0.1 New: Script differences are color highlighting improved.
New: Value List differences are color highlighted.
New: Layout Graphics with size in pixels.
New: Supporting FileMaker Pro 10 and 11 Scripts and Functions.
Fix: Minor bug fixes.
Change: New File shown in the Right Column of the Report.
Change: Faster Report Generating than in Version 1.
New: New Site Licenses for 3, 5, and 10 Developers.
2010-08-16 2.0.0 New: Macintosh Version 2.0 released.
New: Script differences are color highlighted.
New: Value List differences are color highlighted.
New: Layout Graphics with size in pixels.
New: Supporting FileMaker Pro 10 and 11 Scripts and Functions.
Fix: Minor bug fixes.
Change: New File shown in the Right Column of the Report.
Change: Faster Report Generating than in Version 1.
New: New Site Licenses for 3, 5, and 10 Developers.
2008-07-14 1.3.0 New: Script step details are fully decoded.
Platform specific settings are shown for Print and Print Setup script steps.
New: FMDiff runs as Universal Binary now.
New: Comparison of a file with itself is significantly faster.
Fix: Files are now properly closed after FMDiff has read them (no need to quit FMDiff anymore).
Fix: Some internal changes where made. Now Scripts of any length are listed (instead of some 500 steps before).
Change: Support for OS X 10.3.9 has been dropped, 10.4 now required.
2007-12-05 1.2.1 New: Script Steps are listed by name (no details yet).
New: Relations include changed tables, fields, and predicates.
New: External Data Source names are resolved with folder comparison.
New: Improved Report layout for saving as PDF and printing.
Fix: Buttons and Menus on Windows corrected (was new with 1.2.0).
Fix: .fp5 files do not produce fake error messages (was new with 1.2.0).
2007-11-01 1.2.0 New: Differences in calculations are reported. This includes auto-enter calculations and Custom Functions. Calculations in the report may be pasted into the calculation definition in FileMaker Pro.
New: Relations now have a name constructed from both TOs involved.
New: Errors and Warnings section added. More structural errors checked and reported.
New: Compatible with FileMaker Pro 9, new names adopted.
New: Recover count reported per system (Windows, PPC, Intel).
New: Hash changes in Accounts, Privileges, and Extended Privileges.
New: Report layout redesigned. Document title includes new file name.
Under-the-hood: Extensive preparations for Universal Binary version due soon. Under-the-hood: Extensive preparations for Multi Language version due soon. Under-the-hood: Significant speed improvements (although already the fastest tool anyway).
2007-04-20 1.1.2 New: Structural file errors are shown in the summary report.
New: Error count is shown in the summary list of files.
New: Comparison errors reported in special section.
New: Validity of link to previous block is checked. (The links to the next block are followed anyway.)
New: Report indicates equality of files explicitly.
New: HTML/XML report format automatically stored in preferences.
Fix: Custom report header fields are added (again) to the report.
Fix: Paths with umlaut characters are supported for XML reports.
Fix: Eliminated a crash triggered by comparing un-comparable files.
Fix: Eliminated a crash when an error was found in the first block.
2007-04-05 1.1.1 New: Additional corruption checking (wrong compound element length).
New: Elapsed compare time now provides milliseconds.
New: Report location can now freely be selected.
New: Path and file names with non-ASCII characters supported.
Corrected a bug reporting .fp5 as damaged.
Record modification counts suppressed when no other differences are found.
2007-03-22 1.1.0 New: Processes folders containing any number of files.*
New: Self-comparison of database possible for consistency checks.
New: Command line commands supported.*
New: Total size of folders and compare time reported in summary.*
New: intensive corruption checking.*
New: Reports are always written into "fmdiff" directory.
New: Differences of File References and Relationships reported.
New: Removal and adding of graphics reported.
Added: system names for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003.
Changed: Recover count reported in separate field.
Removed files not shown in FMDiff dialog on startup.
Many minor improvements and bug fixes applied.
(*licensed version only)
2006-10-19 1.0.8 New: Converts all unicode characters in item names correctly.
All characters in the utf-16 range are shown (roughly 65,000). Removed a bug that could cause FMDiff to hang.
New Installer used for the Macintosh platform, .dmg files now open also on Intel based Macs.
2006-09-21 1.0.7 New: List of File References.
Differences of File References are now reported in detail.
New: List of Table Occurrences.
New formatting and structuring of the HTML report
Speed improvement. The old speed is (almost) back. Depending on how many differences are found, a 300 MB file compared to a Clone typically takes one minute.
Corrected a bug that did not display the creation date for files created on Windows correctly.
2006-08-11 1.0.6 New: History of FileMaker file.
What FileMaker versions, what System versions have been used with the file, and how many times the file has been recovered.
Lists differences of used fonts in a file.
Corrected a bug that did not allow to compare files greater than 2.1 GB.
Major rewrite of the internal comparison engine. Some minor bug corrections.
2006-06-01 1.0.5 New: Reports detailed differences on Field Definitions.
Preferences now store window position and last used file paths (old, new, report) for subsequent comparisons.
Fixed a bug in 1.0.4 that only reported field differences in the first table.
2006-02-17 1.0.4 New: Dramatically improved speed of comparison.
Changed label name for Value Lists from Comment to Custom Values.
Corrected a bug that listed some sections twice in a row.
Accelerated "Check for Update..." function.
2006-02-10 1.0.3 Added more error-checking. FMDiff now tells you more about problems with the file structure. If an error message reports an illegal block, that means the file has been truncated somehow and the expected block is missing. This would be a unmistakable sign for corruption in your file.
Removed a bug that under certain circumstances let FMDiff run forever on files that needed File Maintenance (to be performed with FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced), so FMDiff had to be force-quitted. (Under no circumstances this had any influence on the files compared.)
Added a progress dialog with a remaining time estimate and a Cancel button. Handy if you compare really big files (> 100 MB).
2006-01-061.0.2 Minor revision for Windows and Macintosh (no change of version number). Corrections to reporting of FileMaker 6 Fields and Value lists. HTML report now includes links from summaries to the sections. Windows version now contains the eSellerate engine to enable buying without leaving the FMDiff application.
2005-12-311.0.2 First Windows release available
2005-12-161.0.2 Maintenance release (Mac), errors corrected:
Adding or removing a complete Section will be reported.
Files containing characters like ä ö ü è and blanks in the file path or file name can now be used.
The Report Header Fields set via preferences may now contain special characters like ä ö ü è etc.
2005-11-29 1.0.1 beta Maintenance release (Mac), Sections added
2005-11-14 1.0 beta First public release (Mac)


How it all came about

Just at the time when FileMaker 7 was released, FMChecker - which could only handle files up to version 6 - came out. Bad timing! Nevertheless we had gathered a great deal of experience by then, so we decided to head on for FileMaker 7 (and every next version). Since there were other projects for customers going on - to pay the rent - progress was not as fast as we'd wished.

Since most of the work goes into the user interface, we were looking into other possibilities of providing useful information to a broader audience more quickly.

Being involved with large customer solutions, some questions arose more than once during development and deployment:

So a tool to compare two versions was needed. Simply providing another kind of DDR was not enough, since FileMaker Inc. had added many improvements with FileMaker Developer 7 and FileMaker Pro Advanced later.

Yes, one can compare two DDRs. But this is a daunting task. One has the choice to put two reports side by side and try to find the differences - the problems to find, mark, and possibly report the differences are obvious.

The other approach is to compare the XML DDR via software. I've heard from others trying to do so, but in my opinion this is a stony road - at least for the user. Imagine you have to have two DDRs. The one used as reference could be already available but the other has to be generated with FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced.

The drawbacks of an XML compare are these:

The distinguishing feature of our software was always being the fastest ever. The same holds true for FMDiff.

Counting down the days until FMDiff was released

At the FileMaker Developer Conference 2005 in Phoenix, AZ a handful of participants and FileMaker staff were able to take a first glance at FMDiff. The feedback and comments were very exciting and encouraging.

At the German FSA Conference on October 27th 2005 in Frankfurt, we had the opportunity to demonstrate and explain the use and advantages of FMDiff to all participants.

Finally, on November 14th, 2005, the first public release was out.


What's next?

Approximately every few months maintenance versions will be released that fill the gaps and correct possible bugs. You are encouraged to send us your opinion and requests at Contact - Notify Me.


FMDiff is superior in every respect

FMDiff reports details about files that no other tool ever showed before:


Any information about FMDiff and FMVis is subject to change without notice.

© 2005 - 2015 Winfried Huslik †. © 2017 Jürgen Geßwein. All Rights Reserved. FMDiff and FMVis are trademarks of Jürgen Geßwein, Augsburg, Germany. FileMaker is a trademark of FileMaker Inc., Santa Clara, CA, USA. Other trademarks mentioned are property of their respective owners. This web site has not been authorised, sponsored, or otherwise approved by FileMaker, Inc.