Access/SQL with Filemaker question 
Author Message
 Access/SQL with Filemaker question

Is it possible to create an application in Filemaker to mimic one already
created in Access?

Both applications would do this similarly:
- Connect to SQL servers over the Internet using ODBC
- Work Online most of the time but allow choice to download own data in a
file for off-line work (laptop users)

I was able to do this in Access but now I am asked wether I could extend
functionality to the MAC users.
The problem is I know nothing about Filemaker.

Can someone help me with a road-map?
Any similarities between MSAccess and Filemaker?
Does Filemaker have any programming/scripting capabilities like Access?

Thank you for your support




Wed, 05 Nov 2003 00:32:02 GMT
 Access/SQL with Filemaker question


Quote:
> Is it possible to create an application in Filemaker to mimic one already
> created in Access?

Mostly, Yes. Depends on the details. If your app is based on a lot of event-
driven code or interactions with external data, then things get more
difficult. FM has no concept of pointing a form at an external data source.
FM files contain one data table and all the forms and reports for that data
(forms and reports are the same thing in FM and are called "layouts").
Layouts are inextricably bound to the data in the file in which they reside.
You can work with related data in other files (1-1, 1-M, M-M) through a
"portal" mechanism, which equates to Access sub-forms, but this goes only
one level deep.

Quote:
> Does Filemaker have any programming/scripting capabilities like Access?

Scripting, which uses macro-like functions, is supported. This allows most
of the day to day functionality you might require. As someone who works in
both products, the biggest thing you'll miss in FM is the ability to code
against events and being able to use SQL to copy/query/insert etc your data.
FM scripts are button/menu driven (i.e. the user must intervene to fire
them). However, you can buy after-market plugins which allow automated
script firing when a user tabs off a field.

Quote:
> Both applications would do this similarly:
> - Connect to SQL servers over the Internet using ODBC
> - Work Online most of the time but allow choice to download own data in a
> file for off-line work (laptop users)

By default FM5 can only import via ODBC, but again an after-market plug-in
is available to allow 2 way ODBC talk. The new 5.5 version looks like it
might be at least partially 2 way - I haven't seen it myself yet, but the FM
site says it contains a new "Execute SQL" script step. Bear in mind that you
cannot use SQL to manipulate FM data internally - FM is not based on SQL at
all. The supported SQL functionality extends to writing an SQL statement to
import data via ODBC, or writing scripts to get FM field data into SQL
statements for exporting via ODBC, then looping through the records to
repeat for each required row (making and closing connections for each row as
it loops through). You can imagine that this is something of a performance
killer for large recordsets. FM5 ODBC is no speed demon. Dunno if 5.5 has an
improved driver...

FM majors on ease of use for workgroups. Talking to other data sources via
ODBC is a relatively new concept, and is one area where Access is
*considerably* stronger - using SQL natively helps, of course. Bottom line:
you can do it, but it will take some work.

--
Regds, Bob Osola



Wed, 05 Nov 2003 16:05:31 GMT
 
 [ 2 post ] 

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