2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 22, 2012 9:46 AM by philmodjunk

    FileMaker vs. MS Access

    Larry_1

      Title

      FileMaker vs. MS Access

      Post

      I'm looking for a database solution and I was going to use FileMaker, or have somebody else use FileMaker to build it for me so I can continue to use my Mac for biz purposes; but now somebody has told me that I should use MS Access because it is more powerful and I can grow with it in ways I will not be able to with FileMaker. But I am loathe to use MS Access since I don't like having to use a PC or go to a Windows partition on my Mac.

      So, I thought I'd ask here. Is FileMaker as powerful and feature rich as MS Access? I know this is a subjective question, sort of like asking which is better a Mac or PC...but still I'm trying to decide between FM or Access and I'm not a programmer, just an ordinary user and I don't know.

        • 1. Re: FileMaker vs. MS Access
          davidanders

          Download the thirty day trial of Filemaker   http://www.filemakertrial.com/

          Make a database using one of the included templates or...
          Download a free template for Filemaker.

          http://www.fmstartingpoint.com/

          http://www.data4life.net/

          This is the Wikipedia page  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FileMaker

          Google "filemaker vs access"
          http://www.google.com/search?q=filemaker+vs+access

           

          David Anders
          The Computer Guy, Seattle

          • 2. Re: FileMaker vs. MS Access
            philmodjunk

            Each product is different in what it does best, but in most cases, you can create what you need in FileMaker more easily than you can in Access. FileMaker also "scales up" more simply than Access. There is no "server versin" of Access. When you need to upgrade to something with a server capability, you have to either design your database all over again or rely on a migration tool (such as what comes with SQL Server) to convert your files into a format suitable for the higher end database application--hoping that the resulting database will work with a reasonable level of efficiency.

            Compare that to just taking your File created with Filemaker Pro and uploading it to FileMaker Server without having to make any modifications to the file...

            The biggest difference between the two systems is that to get anything significant designed requires a basic Knowledge of the query language called SQL. This query language is very powerful and makes possible certain queries that FileMaker either can't do or can't do easily. But this language is also very cryptic to the new user and thus requires a fair amount of study to learn unless you are already familiar with how programming languages work.

            FileMaker, out of the box, doesn't query tables with SQL. It uses more of a "query by example" method that is much more accessible to new users and makes setting up simple searches of your data very simple to do. But there's a point, as you attempt to produce more and more complex queries where SQL will out perform the way FileMaker works--so there is no simple way to say one product is better than the other.