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Filemaker VS SQL

Posted on 2011-09-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi Experts!!

Just need some advice for a company that is growing globally that needs a database system.

So we currently have filemaker and were growing bigger with bigger needs. Right now i see filemaker as a great "RAD" and cost effective in comparison to other common platforms.

However I think for scalability and accessibility we probably have to move to SQL?

What are your thoughts on FM vs SQL for a company thats expanding globally and turning out to have more processors (more like ERP).

Cheers

Jedi
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Question by:J3D1-KN1G1-1t
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Expert Comment

by:khairil
ID: 36585791
Hi,

MS MSQL is the way you should go. MS SQL is enterprise level database, it have a lot more features and reliability compared to FileMaker. MS SQL offer a lot tools to manage your data, do business intelligent and reporting and also analyzing your data. More over, MS SQL capable of handling very BIG data and process it in shorter time. Of course you have to go detail to know what it is, http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/product-info/whats-new.aspx

However, you do not have to waste your investment on FileMaker, FileMaker still can be use as RAD tools to generate reports. Here is a bit on using FileMaker with external database such MS SQL or MySQL, http://www.filemaker.com/support/technologies/sql.html

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North2Alaska earned 167 total points
ID: 36587036
Yes, FileMaker can be used as a RAD, but the challenge is two fold.  First, FileMaker has interface objects that are not available in a AMP (Apache, MySQL, PHP) type system.  So, sometimes it is extra effort to reproduce these objects (most can be done with Web 2.0 and/or javascript, but it is an extra effort).  The second, FM does things differently, so some things don't translate very well.  For example, Table Occurrences, two way joins, multiple relationships between TOs.  All of these can be reproduced in SQL, but again with an extra effort.

I think the real question in my mind is what resources are available to you. If you already have smart, competent FM people, if you already have a system in place and have software and hardware in place, I would think twice about replacing FM.  It can scale to a degree and web access is part of the package.

On the other hand, if I were starting a brand new project that required the type of things you are talking about, I would go with AMP.  And on the Mac its all there, ready to go, so its easy.
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Assisted Solution

by:dportas
dportas earned 166 total points
ID: 36589853
FileMaker is an application development tool. SQL is a type of DBMS. Those are different things. What exactly do you want to compare? Are you considering switching just the DBMS platform or do you want a new development environment as well?
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Author Comment

by:J3D1-KN1G1-1t
ID: 36778324
Hi guys sorry for the late response got caught up at work......

I realized I have a made a mistake in my question after reading your comments.

My actual question should have been Filemaker vs. SQL with frontend app C#.Net

Thank you for all your responses


Kharil - Our Filemaker is very old it first created about 9-10 years, so fresh new system is currently on the priority list

North2Alaska - Very interesting response, thanks for the insight! we actually don't have
competent FM users instead just have users. The new IT recruit are all SQL familiar.


dportas - I am considering to switch to SQL with front end app to be C#.

So let me ask a question with a question then...

Filemaker vs. SQL with C#.Net ?

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Expert Comment

by:North2Alaska
ID: 36812648
My personal bias is to avoid anything Microsoft as much as possible.  So, I would go with Apache, MySQL and PHP.  This is a great design environment.
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Assisted Solution

by:khairil
khairil earned 167 total points
ID: 36812726
You have few choice here:
1. Continue using FM, which need training for your new recruit to be familiar with FM. It will take a while but can be done.
2. Use C# to connect to FM database using ODBC, different version using different version of ODBC, http://www.filemaker.co.uk/support/technologies/odbc.html
3. Use C# for new system with MS SQL as database backend. At same time, try convert old FM apps to C# application and export data from FM to MS SQL (you may need to allocate some resources for this excercise like extra tools, people)
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