I am using FMP 12, I have looked through the guide...I can't find any information in there that will show me if FMP can "talk" and exchange data in realtime in there (without the Import/Export feature)
The following was taking from chapter 4 from the above guide. Has nothing to do with import / export.
ODBC is an API that enables applications to access data from many database management systems. ODBC gives client applications a common language for interacting with data sources and database services.
All applications that support ODBC recognize a basic subset of SQL (Structured Query Language) statements. SQL lets you use other applications (such as spreadsheets, word processors, and reporting tools) to view, analyze, and modify FileMaker data. See chapter 7, "Supported standards," for the SQL statements, functions, and expressions that the ODBC client driver supports.
Your application can talk directly to a FileMaker database file by using the ODBC client driver. Your SQL statements are delivered to the FileMaker host of the database file and the results of those statements are sent back to you. If you use FileMaker Server Advanced to host a FileMaker database file as a data source, the database file can be located on another machine (the server machine) connected to the network, while your client application is located on your machine (the client machine). This is referred to as a client/server configuration.
APIs are sometimes available from an online service Google Maps and MailChimp for example.
The documentation provided may be adequate, seldom easy for non-experts.
Other Filemaker users may provide more accessible instructions. an example is HomeBase's Mailchimp guides.