Claris FileMaker Data Migration Tool Guide

Use the Claris® FileMaker® data migration command-line tool to migrate all record data and user accounts from a source file in the FileMaker Pro™ 12 format (FMP12) to a target file. This tool can be used in Windows, macOS, or the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

For example, use the data migration tool to:

  • copy test data or live data into a custom app between different stages of the DTAP (Development, Testing, Acceptance, and Production) cycle

  • copy existing data into a new version of a custom app

Advantages of using the data migration tool, instead of importing data, include:

  • you migrate all data at once, instead of importing data from each table separately

  • the data migration tool maps fields between source and target tables automatically, instead of you mapping them manually for importing

  • you can migrate user accounts, custom value lists, and serial numbers, which you can't do when you import data

Terms used in this document:

  • source file: An FMP12 file that contains the data to migrate.

  • clone: A copy of an FMP12 file that contains all the tables, layouts, scripts, and field definitions but none of the data. Use Claris FileMaker Pro to make a clone, but don't open the clone. Opening a clone modifies it so that it won't work with the data migration tool.

  • file to be cloned: A file that includes tables, layouts, scripts, and field definitions to use for the target file. This file can be the same as the source file, or it can be a different file. For example, if you migrate data between different stages of the DTAP cycle, the file to be cloned could be in the testing stage while the data to migrate could be in the production stage.

  • target file: A copy of the clone created by the tool, into which data and user accounts from the source file are migrated.


  • If your source file is hosted by Claris FileMaker Cloud®, you can use the Claris FileMaker Admin API to upload a clone and update the source file while the file is on the host. This may be easier than downloading the source file, using the data migration tool, and uploading the target file, particularly if your file uses a large amount of external container data. See FileMaker Admin API Guide.