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Using filemaker as a frontend with SQL Server on the backend

Using filemaker as a frontend with SQL Server on the backend

Using filemaker as a frontend with SQL Server on the backend

(OP)
Is it possible or even advised to use FileMaker Pro as a front end application with a SQL Server backend?  In my research thus far, I've gotten mixed responses.

BW

RE: Using filemaker as a frontend with SQL Server on the backend

I'm a strong Filemaker proponent in the right circumstances but it probably isn't the right tool for the situation that you describe.  If you already have a bunch of workstations with Filemaker and you already have SQL server and you're on a tight budget and don't want to buy anything else, then it *may* be an okay solution.   But generally speaking, I'd either go with Filemaker on both the front and back-end or I would choose a front-end that supports SQL natively.

-Striker

RE: Using filemaker as a frontend with SQL Server on the backend

(OP)
Thanks Striker.  Your answer was exactly the type I was looking for.  I'm not a programmer, but rather an analyst.  

I have seen other people on the web recommend using ODBC connections to connect to SQL Server databases, but along with it, there was mention of having to reload the data everytime then.  Do you know anything more about this requirement?

I guess it just seems that having Filemaker on the frontend and SQL Server on the backen is not the best solution.

BW

RE: Using filemaker as a frontend with SQL Server on the backend

If you were to choose to use Filemaker for the front-end the thing you would immediately find to be disturbing is that the only way FM can display data from a SQL database is to import data into standard Filemaker tables first and then use native FM methods to format and arrange the data.  So what you are really doing is copying all of the data into regular FM tables and then just working with it there.  Its more like syncronizing two separate databases than it is like having one as a front-end to the other.

Obviously, if you have very dynamic data, working with duplicate tables can lead to disaster because there can be conflicting information depending on the timing of the sync.

-Striker

RE: Using filemaker as a frontend with SQL Server on the backend

One more thought.  You might take a look at a software package called Servoy.  I have never used it myself but have a read a bit about it.  As I understand it, Servoy is indeed a true a front-end to nearly any SQL compliant database.  Its user interface is much like Filemaker in that it is more intuitive for the user than your typical SQL stuff but because it obscures the SQL interaction by using an interface much like that of Filemaker it gains a lot of respect from FM users.

Servoy also incorporates the use of Javascript for its scripting language which gives the developer more control of the user experience than Filemaker scripting offers.  I have been tempted to start using Servoy myself because it seems attractive in so many ways but I'm reluctant because Servoy's market share is low -- really low.  I don't know if I can afford to invest the time required to become proficient in a software package that nobody uses.

-Striker

RE: Using filemaker as a frontend with SQL Server on the backend

(OP)
Thanks Striker.  Your response, coupled with some other research I did online, impressed my boss.  It appears FM on the front-end with SQL Server on the back-end may not be our best go-to solution.  

BW

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