I am quite comfortable with MS Access and have developed a complex relational database for my company. However, we have decided to use FileMaker 9 as our database development software, so I have been asked to re-create this same databse in Filemaker. I am finding it difficult, as the simple design of Filemaker takes a lot of the control away from me (i.e. you do not have to create queries or macros to relate/search information) and I am used to working in an SQL format.

My question, for anyone who is familiar with both software, is should I be approaching the design of a FileMaker database differently than if I were creating an Access database. I'm sure if I explored the software more I would have a better understanding of the features and limits of FileMaker, but I need to create this relatively quickly. I am happy to provide more specific information if anyone would care to respond, but I would just like to know how you would approach a relational database differently in both programs.

Thankyou for your time.


9 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by dwikstrom

There is no problem building a complete developer-controlled environment using FileMaker, though thing certainly are different from Access. In FileMaker, the "default" is to let the user do "a lot", notably query very freely. You can either develop scripted queries as a parallel alternative for user-defined queries (to memorize complex queries), or simply prohibit the user from querying by other means than scripts. I'm taking queries as an example, but the same goes for basically any aspect of a database.

This may of course require you to delve more into the details of FileMaker development, but in the long run, it is definitely worth it!

David Wikström
FileMaker 9 Certified Developer
CamelCase data
FileMaker Business Alliance Member
Vancouver, BC, Canada

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