You can import from Access over ODBC, but ESS is not supported. Don't know if that answers your need.
Yes. ESS (External SQL Data Sources) does not support access to MS Access.
I think it would be bad for FileMaker to connect to a possibly unreliable back end database. In my experience, Access is not great in a multi-user setting. MS Access is mostly a stepping stone to getting you to purchase MS SQL Server...and it's included with MS Office and so has a large installed base.
I understand the desire to make the transistion easier...but exporting the data tables from MS Access into a new FileMaker solution would be a better plan.
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Mike and Tim...
Tim, I take your point about reliability, and agree that it would be a kludge to have something like what I described as a permanent solution.
My main application is to derive statistics and create reports and charts from an Access-based medical applicaition. I'm just thinking this woudl be easier in FM
A move on the Access side to MS SQL would make both systems able to share the same data. If the database is not too large, MS SQL express edition is free and last time I checked ESS will work with the express edition (mostly a size limited MS SQL). So this should work if you want interoperability between FileMaker and Access.
Just an idea,
>>MS SQL Express...
That was exactly what my next move was going to be.
I think my confusion on this whole issue is that when I've used ODBC, for the most part I've always been able to treat the ODBC tables as part of the database schema of my application. This is the case with Oracle annd FoxPro, and if I remember correctly, FoxPro and Access. So, I had jumped to the conclusion that all ODBC ensures complete interoperability.
In FileMaker, there are two ways to get at foreign data.
1. ODBC import bringing the data into native filemaker tables and using it natively.
2. ESS –External Sequel Source data accessing tables in Oracle, MS SQL or MySql directly, from what I understand it is similar to ADO in Microsoft Speak.
If IWP is to be used others can comment on use of ESS, as I have no experience in IWP.