Thursday, December 22, 2005

Import Microsoft Access tables into Filemaker Pro

(For related comments on FMPro 8, see my review.)

This is pretty obscure. The official documentation, Querying an ODBC data source from FileMaker Pro, isn't all that helpful.

If you're ever stuck with this problem, here are some tips.

First create an OBDC data source pointing to the Microsof Access file you're importing from.
1. In XP's control panel you'll find something called 'Data Sources (ODBC)'.
2. Open it and create a new data source, choose Microsoft Access driver.
3. In the driver dialog name the source then use the Database select dialog to select it.
Now, in FileMaker choose File Open:ODBC source then ...
1. Select the data source you create above.
2. Enter username and password for Windows account.
3. Write SQL (for an entire table just do "select * from table_name"). Yes, that's not very user friendly. FileMaker is not the program it once was.
4. FMPro imports the Access data. In my experiment everything came in as text, except a boolean that was translated to a number. Dates in Access were imported as text. The latter didn't impress me.
Wouldn't it be nice if FMPro could just import from the file directly?

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