FileMaker supports imports and exports with most any ODBC connection. However, there are only a limited number of supported connections that can use ESS where you can have a relationship graph table occurrence. The supported data sources for ESS are:
MS SQL Server 2008 R2
MS SQL Server 2012
MS SQL Server 2012 SP1
MySQL 5.6 Community Edition (free)
Oracle 12c R1
Oracle 11g R2
IBM i 7.1 (AS/400) (via Actual Technologies Adapter)
IBM DB2 10.5 (via Actual Technologies Adapter)
PostgreSQL 9.4.4 (via Actual Technologies Adapter)
FYI, I've been moving some clients to the cloud and going with Quick Books Online. If you do this, Todd Geist has a neat API solution for connecting FileMaker to Quickbooks Online and it is called fmQBO. I see this as the wave of the future. More info at: fmQBO Released - FileMaker QuickBooks Online Connector
More info on ESS and FileMaker is at FileMaker Software Deployment, Business Software Solution - FileMaker
Have you used this plug in? Does it allow you to add tables from QB to the relationship graph? From what I can tell, FMBooks Connector is just an interface between the two? Can you build layouts with live QB tables? I ask, because I can't tell if it does this. Maybe what I want to do can be achieved in other ways that I'm not seeing.
Thank you Taylor for the info but I'm confused...can QODBC utilize any of the additional ESS that were added in FM15? I have looked into QBO in the past, but we lose too many features that we need in the desktop version. So for right now, that's not an option.
QODBC is only good for imports and exports. You can select the data source and use QODBC to make the SQL query to import data or export it. But it does not do ESS where you can make a table occurrence in FileMaker's Relationship Graph. I wish it did, that would be convenient. But it doesn't. Companies like Productive Computing help to make the syncing easier for you by having identical tables in FileMaker and syncing them. But it is all just a matter of pushing the data through their API or ODBC connection like you are trying.
Oh boy I really wish QODBC was ESS compliant. It sure would make my job a lot easier. Getting FM to talk to QB's has often been a pain, but something that is often requested by clients.
I'm Actually working on a first new client using Xero Accounting and a Databuzz's FileMaker template to sync the data from the cloud version of Xero. It is a new competitor to Quickbooks and so far seems pretty nice and a less expensive (especially for a lot of users). But let me finish the integration before saying I think it is better than Quickbooks.
Thank you for all of your information. It gives me something to think about.
The frustrating part is that I can link to live QB data in MS Access, which, to me is a program that falls short of FileMaker. I would like to put Access in my rearview mirror soon but this issue is making it difficult.
Please post your Xero review. As a 20+ year user of QuickBooks, I'm interested to know how it compares.
FYI, MS Access is just making SQL Queries to Quickbooks the same way FileMaker makes a SQL query through QODBC. The way Access works is that this is normally how you bring data into reports via SQL calls whereas FileMaker normally brings data into a layout by its table occurrence. This means to bring it into FileMaker means going a second step of bring the SQL data into a table and going through the process of creating the records and indexing them, etc. You can't just have a layout in FileMaker based on a SQL Select statement like you can in Access. The easy solution FM had for these situations with external data sources was to create ESS, which is a great solution. However, it only works with a handful of ODBC drivers that were customized to work with FileMaker as shadow tables. Granted they covered some of the major databases out there, but not small custom ones like Quickbooks. In this circumstance, I would agree that making a report in Access is a easier than in FIleMaker.
I'll be sure to let you know how the Xero integration goes. It is similar to the fmQBO that I also like.
Corresponding with QODBC this week, they have said that at this time I cannot have the 'live connection' I am looking for between QB and FM15. I really like the fairly simple, seamless connection it provides between MS Access and FileMaker. Moving on...
Thanks for your helpful comments Taylor Sharpe and SteveMartino.