Filemaker converting to mySQL?? is it possible

in Mac Software edited January 2014
the company I work for has a client that runs everything on filemaker 3 and they are too cheap to update to 6 and get new hardware... and now when you can't get a mac that runs OS 9 here soon they will be screwed. I was wondering if there was a way to make a somewhat same looking interface say in ReaLbasic? is there a way to convert all the data over tho they have from the previous 5-7 years into a new system and keep that data intact? if you're a pro and cheap let me know they'd be interested...



  • Reply 1 of 8
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    This doesn't answer your question but ... projects like this blow me away. How much is it going to cost them to pay someone to do this special interface with database conversion? How much would it cost to buy/maintain an OS 9 box with updated FM?
  • Reply 2 of 8
    kraig911kraig911 Posts: 912member
    Thats the thing I don't know how much it would cost, but the thing is we can't maintain an OS 9 box because we have about 30 sales reps all connecting to an Emac with old systems running system 7... I know in the long run the SQL thing would be cheaper cuz generally SQL is free isn't it? It would be a staggering project tho wouldn't it?
  • Reply 3 of 8
    ghost_user_nameghost_user_name Posts: 22,667member
    I think Scott raises an excellent point. There is a reason why legacy mainframes are still in active use even today.

    I do not know for certain whether or not there is a way to migrate a FMP database to another standard, but I can tell you this much: It isn't going to work right, you're going to have to spend a significant amount of time cleaning it up, and it is most definitely not going to be a pleasurable experience. Furthermore, you still have to write a new front end to the new database.

    You are looking at money for the software to actually perform the conversion, plus labor costs for cleaning up the mess that it is going to make, and finally labor costs for developing a new front end to the data.

    You say maintaining an OS 9 box is not an option, however, your explanation for that makes very little sense. You have thirty reps connecting from System 7 clients to an eMac currently? An eMac is more than adequate to handle the load of thirty clients hammering a FMP system. When did the client purchase the eMac?

    Unless your client has a high bankroll, you're not going to be moving it to a SQL Database. Furthermore, SQL is a standard and not necessarily a specific product. While there are free, open source SQL databases, they have their own limitations and issues. Not to mention that we still have the issue of building an interface for the data so the reps can interact with it.

    You want to buy a system that will run OS 9 with a G3 or G4 in it. You're going to install FMP on it, and you're going to put it in a closet and reboot it when it crashes. This is going to cost you practically no money, and will be exponentially cheaper than the mess you are proposing.

    In closing, before you even think of moving the FMP database to SQL and OS X, do something about those System 7 clients those thirty reps are running. That's just silly...
  • Reply 4 of 8
    kraig911kraig911 Posts: 912member
    Well the thing is that they don't want to spend the money on new equipment entirely, especially new computers... which sux, I mean its not like its loads and loads of data, but they don't want to spend the money to upgrade from filemaker 3 to say version 6 so at least people on new versions can connect to it.... Is it possible for a v3 client to connect to a v6 server? I do'nt know what to tell them, the problem is that its making workflow go verry slow now. Since some of us have newer macs, and I can't go out and find a legal copy of Filemaker 3 very easily. If they bought cheap PC's to connect to a mac server? is that possible. I'm still trying to figure out options really.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    keshkesh Posts: 621member
    No, version 3 clients cannot connect to a version 6 server. You could look around and see if anyone has discounted upgrades to v5.0 or v5.5, as those will.

    You've really got two options here:

    1) Go ahead with the upgrade

    Yes, there are costs involved. But, this is the easiest route. Your current databases can be converted with a few clicks, and the users won't notice much of a difference. Switching to OS X will be more of a shock than the database upgrade.

    2) Write an SQL database from scratch

    In all my experience with Filemaker, I've found that it's near impossible to convert from one program to another. The files are just built too differently. Your best bet in this scenario is to hire someone who can write a new SQL database, and then export your date from FMP to tab-delimited text. Then, have them import the data into the SQL database. It'll be tricky, and they may have to try it a few times to get the data matched up right. But, it's the only way to migrate.

    Hope that helps.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    gizzmonicgizzmonic Posts: 511member
    You might be able to use Lasso to serve up your FMP database over the web, or something.

    One of my friends does that for a living, but I don't know much about it.

    Look in to lasso though, it plays nice with PHP, MySQL, and filemaker.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    othelloothello Posts: 1,053member
    send a PM to Clive (who visits these boards on a regular basis). he is a filemaker *expert*
  • Reply 8 of 8
    othelloothello Posts: 1,053member
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