8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2010 4:06 PM by DickApplebaum

    Is there a published interface (API) to .fp7 files



      Is there a published interface (API) to .fp7 files


      I would like to interface a FM .fp7 file in an app I write-- I want to create a UI that is not possible with FM layouts.

      Specifically, on the iPhone or iPad, I can write an app that recognizes any file type such as .xls, .csv, etc.   I can setup my app to accept .fp7 files as a source-- but I don't know what or how to access the data contained within the .fp7 file.

      I would like to use a local copy of an FM .fp7 file on an iPhone or iPad:

      -- Issue SQL calls against the data

      -- add/delete/modify the records

      Is there any way to do this now?

      If not, does FM plan to publish an API and allow this in the future?

      The reason I ask:  I have a rather complex app that involves programming on the desktop (Mac and PC) and programming on the mobile device.  I would prefer to have the customers buy FMP and let FMP do the heavy lifting on the Desktop (interface legacy dbs and files, reporting, etc.); have FMP and FMG provide the bridge to mobile devices.

      If I had a .fp7 API, I could concentrate on the specifics and UI of the mobile app.

        • 1. Re: Is there a published interface (API) to .fp7 files

          Dick Applebaum:

          Thank you for your post.

          At this time, the file structure for a FileMaker Pro database file is not available, nor is there an API.

          Please enter your post into our Feature Requests web form at:


          These suggestion entries are monitored and read by members of Development and Product Management where it will be discussed and considered for a future release.

          Although I could easily copy your post and paste it into the web form, there are some additional questions asked that only you can answer.

          FileMaker, Inc.

          • 2. Re: Is there a published interface (API) to .fp7 files

            Just create your UI in what ever you want an hit the FileMaker database via SQL calls back to a central server, or if that is not doable you could cache data like FM Touch does and sync back to the database when they connect to their computer.


            • 3. Re: Is there a published interface (API) to .fp7 files


              I am trying to follow your instructions with mixed success.  I would appreciate an example!  Before I write any code, I usually setup my SQL connections and test the db with a desktop SQL client (I currently use RazorSQL).

              My setup is as follows:

              -- FMP 11 running on an iMac with the db open

              ---- Sharing enabled for:  FileMaker Network; Instant Web Publishing; ODBC/JDBC .

              -- FM Go on iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad WiFi +3G

              -- AirPort Express forwarding ports 80 (Mac Web Sharing); 591, 5003, 2399, 5013, 5353 to iMac running FMP  (

              (I have other Macs, iPhones and iPads, but have not bothered to test them, as everything works on these devices).

              What works:

              -- URL  FM Network WiFi sharing with FM Go to iPhones and iPad
              -- URL MyStaticIP:5003  FM Remote 3G (or WiFi) with FM Go to iPhones and iPad
              -- URL MyStaticIP:591  FM Web sharing via 3G (or Wifi) with FM Go  to iPhones and iPad
              -- URL jdbc:filemaker://   Mac WiFi SQL Client JDBC access to Local FMP database

              What  Doesn't work

              Any of several URLS attempting to JDBC access the Remote FMP database with the SQL Client:

              --  jdbc:filemaker://MyStaticIP
              --  jdbc:filemaker://MyStaticIP/Product 
              --  jdbc:filemaker://MyStaticIP:5003 
              --  jdbc:filemaker://MyStaticIP:5003/Product 



              I am unable to determine what URL I need to use to JDBC Connect to a Remote FM Network database.

              So, I am dead in the water-- I can't begin coding my app until I know what it takes to make the connection.

              I've spent several days searching the docs, and testing various setups-- to no avail.

              Funny thing, back in 1999-2000 I was developing a web site for a customer and was able to interface an SQL client to the customer's remote FM db (AIR it was FM 6 or 7).  Anyway, I prototyped the SQL using the SQL Client, before writing the web app in ColdFusion.

              So, I know it can be done-- I just can't figure out how!

              Any help will be greatly appreciated!


              Dick Applebaum

              • 4. Re: Is there a published interface (API) to .fp7 files

                Have you read http://www.filemaker.com/support/product/docs/fms/fm11_odbc_jdbc_guide_en.pdf and installed the JDBC (fmjdbc.jar) driver? Also make sure you have turned on the the xDBC sharing for the user account you are trying to connect with to the database with.

                We have a pretty large client using this currently without problem (but to an FMS Adv server) so not sure why you can not get it to make the connection.

                Not sure why you are trying the JDBC connection on port 5003, the documentation is clear it uses 2399 


                • 5. Re: Is there a published interface (API) to .fp7 files


                  Yes I had read the JDBC guide, installed the driver, turned-on JDBC sharing-- in my prior post I indicated that I had it working thru JDBC using the Local IP address:

                  Based on your guidance, I reread the JDBC guide.

                  I played with a few variations of the URL to access the FMP db using ODBC and my static Remote IP address.

                  Still, Nothing worked!

                  Frustrated, I downloaded a trial of the FMS Server, uploaded the db, and everything worked!

                  I tested this using 2 different SQL Clients:  RazorSQL, and an old cop[y of ViennaSQL.  The JDBC settings that did not work with FMP, without change, worked with FMS.  

                  Here are some examples of the setup:


                  Driver Class: com.filemaker.jdbc.Driver

                  Driver Location: assumed to be in Java Path

                  JDBC URL:  jdbc:filemaker://myStaticIP/Product?user=Admin&password=pw


                  Driver Class: com.filemaker.jdbc.Driver

                  Driver Location: /Library/Java/Extensions/fmjdbc.jar

                  JDBC URL: jdbc:filemaker://myStaticIP/Product

                  Login:  Admin

                  Password: pw


                  So, either:

                  -- there is a bug in FMP's JDBC implementation

                  -- the FMP JDBC docs are incorrect

                  -- FMP does not support JDBC access to a db from a remote URL

                  FMS is way overkill in price, machine requirements, and DBA requirements for the type of use I am planning.

                  FMP is doable!

                  I have spent many hours over several days trying to get something working that normally would take 30 minutes, max.

                  I am totally frustrated!  It appears that FMP is a not viable solution to custom IOS apps that want to access a remote DB!

                     What do I do now?

                  • 6. Re: Is there a published interface (API) to .fp7 files

                    Guessing there is a bug, best thing to do is call it in to tech support or post on the FileMaker Pro forums to see if TS Gal or another user can verify it there.

                    To be frank though the xDBC support in FileMaker has been known to be buggy, so be careful using it, test throughly.


                    • 7. Re: Is there a published interface (API) to .fp7 files


                      I'll give that a shot in the morning!

                      • 8. Re: Is there a published interface (API) to .fp7 files

                        Well, just to close this out!

                        I contacted support and got a definite answer.

                        Unfortunately it wasn't the answer I wanted to hear.  The email I got from support says that I am prohibited from publishing it or any content of the email message-- so I can't post the answer for others to see.

                        Hopefully, someone from Filemaker Support will read this thread and publish the definite answer, so it goes into the knowledge base.