9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2012 11:37 AM by CarstenLevin

    What type of database is FMP

    KimWood

      I am in discussions with a remote server host company.

       

      He asked the question what type of database is FMP ? is it SQL or something else ? Or is that question even relevant ?

       

      We currently run on our own server, mac based. Will probably do the remote one on Windows server.

       

      Please can someone answer this.

       

      Thanks

      Kim

        • 1. Re: What type of database is FMP
          comment

          KimWood wrote:

           

          He asked the question what type of database is FMP ?  is it SQL or something else ?  Or is that question even relevant ?

           

          It depends on the context of the question. Filemaker is not SQL, but it complies with a limited set of SQL commands.

           

           

          BTW, there are companies specializing in Filemaker hosting.

          • 2. Re: What type of database is FMP
            KimWood

            Thanks Michael.

            • 3. Re: What type of database is FMP
              beverly

              Kim, I think Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filemaker> has some good descriptors:

               

              "FileMaker Pro is a cross-platform relational database application from FileMaker Inc., formerly Claris, a subsidiary of Apple Inc."

              "A defining characteristic of FileMaker is that the database engine is integrated with the forms (screen, layouts, reports, etc.) used to access it."

              "Version 7 introduced the capability of building multiple tables into one document. It is designed to be easy to develop quickly and to make changes on the fly as the data structure is altered."

              "FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Pro Advanced include scripting capabilities and a variety of built-in functions for automation of common tasks and complex calculations. Numerous steps are available for navigation, conditional execution of script steps, editing records, and other utilities."

               

              But I think mostly you need to tell them that the data is in a proprietary storage format, and as such is NOT accessible except by the FileMaker Pro tools and APIs, through plug-ins or by sharing with IWP, ODBC and Custom Web Publishing. The integration of data and interface is what makes it what it is.

               

              Beverly

              • 4. Re: What type of database is FMP
                Lemmtech

                I suggest using a company the specializes in hosting in FileMaker solutions to avoid these types of questions. If they just want to give you a VM in the cloud that you control it doesn't matter what kind of database it is.

                • 5. Re: What type of database is FMP
                  beverly

                  KimWood. Hosting companies typically will give you "shared space" even if they set up a "virtual server". They are responsible for things like backups, power restarts, and protecting against cyber attacks. If they can give you a set up on an existing SQL server, it's to your advantage and theirs. They don't know how to work with FileMaker Server. Since FileMaker Server is unique, the suggestion to look at existing FileMaker Hosting companies is one you should seriously consider.

                   

                  Is there some reason to NOT continue on your own server that necessitates moving? Perhaps that knowledge would help get you better suggestions.

                   

                  Beverly

                  • 6. Re: What type of database is FMP
                    KimWood

                    Hi Beverly.

                     

                    The reason for the move is security and reliability. Our server is largely accessed by clients for whom we store their data. While the data is well backed up, if there is a physical malfunction / theft it could be a day or two before we are up and running again.  Also, in my wisdom, I installed a mac server, which is limiting in administrator support, so I need to change to a windows based server instead.  I like the service offered by the Data centre, which includes physical security, power security and improved internet connectivity through multiple sources.

                     

                    From the earlier comments by Lemmtech and others, I conclude that it does not matter what type of server we are running,  they must provide a shared space where I can install windows server, with certain ports open.

                     

                    I will keep this post updated on progress.

                     

                    Thanks for your input.

                    • 7. Re: What type of database is FMP
                      jormond

                      The importance of having someone that knows FileMaker ( especially Server ) is that they won't hose your files.  Backups are not handled the same.  FileMaker Server needs to be installed and configured, which is fine if you have access to make the install and configuration.

                       

                      You really need to make sure that their "backup" isn't running on your open files. But instead on your saved backups.  The fact that they are asking what kind of db FileMaker is, may be a red-flag for future troubles....namely data corruption.

                      • 8. Re: What type of database is FMP
                        wimdecorte

                        The fact that they are asking what kind of db FileMaker is, may be a red-flag for future troubles....namely data corruption.

                         

                        Make that a huge red flag.  If they have no on-site FileMaker deployment knowledge that it is virtually guaranteed that things will go horribly wrong at some point.

                        • 9. Re: What type of database is FMP
                          CarstenLevin

                          Hi, This quote by Beverly is of course correct

                           

                          "A defining characteristic of FileMaker is that the database engine is integrated with the forms (screen, layouts, reports, etc.) used to access it."

                           

                          But it is probably only one tiny part of the truth.

                           

                          FileMaker 12 is a relational database. And since FileMaker 12 it has been possible to build one file solutions with:

                          - Presentation

                          - Business Logic

                          - Data

                          together in one file.

                           

                          So far so good.

                          But it is not the whole truth.

                           

                          If you are building mission critical solutions, not just ad-hoc systems, I will strongly suggest to use time to consider the architecture of the solution. And FileMaker does indeed support dividing the soluton into different layers, and if it is a strict requirement you can use the 3 part model. But remember that this model is also a consequense of the development tools used for some databases: SQL:PHP:HTML.

                          But with FileMaker I would at least devide into two layers:

                          • One layer (one or more files) with data (tables)
                          • One layer with business logic and scripting.

                           

                          Depending on how you deside you will have some minor relational diagrammes in the data tables, supporting calculation fields. Or you be consequent and even avoid those.

                          In most of our solutions we are having two layers. One set of files with tables (on or more) and one set of files with UI and logic (one or more).

                           

                          A definition

                          FileMaker is a relational database with its own relational database engine. FileMaker can also work directly with and access three of the major databases (Oracle, MySQL, MS SQL) and FileMaker Server kan act as an SQL server and make FileMaker data available to other SQL bases as long as they support ODBC.

                          FileMaker has its own Layout and Report generator, but you can also build functionality and reports via web access and FileMaker Server has native suppurt for IIS and Apache plus PHP.

                           

                          Best regards

                           

                          Carsten

                           

                          Best regards

                           

                          Carsten Levin