5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 9, 2013 9:23 AM by Lemmtech

    Integrating database and a text file.


      Hey thanks in advance for reading... I want to integrate a text document with a database so that the information contained within remains constantly up to date. The context is that I am writing a business plan (in the form of presentation slides not a true text file) and the database will therefore contain images, text (names of customers/suppliers) and financial information (quotes and invoices). I have chosen filemaker because it seems easier to approach and more fun to use than MySQL and other alternatives. I am open to using any kind of text editor or slide maker software, the logical choice is whichever integrates best with Filemaker and I assume that will be Pages, Numbers, Keynote although I would prefer to use a LATEX based editor. Can anyone explain how to integrate a database and a text file (slide-maker) and tell me what software or plug-in packages I need to use to do this? I'm not looking for a "script" that automatically produces a keynote presentation froma database. I want a more integrated solution that has live auto-update or auto-preview occuring in the slides while I am working on them (i.e. I don't want to have to close the presentation every time I want to update either). Many thanks.

        • 1. Re: Integrating database and a text file.

          I'm afraid your expecations are off..  You can store and create all those things in FileMaker but having a live "link" to a presentation is someting else entirely.  Especially one that would update on-the-fly.

          I've created  setups that produce powerpoints out of FM data.  But those things are preset and not flexible by nature.  You can't expect PowerPoint or Keynote to anticipate what you want to do.  That is an unrealistic expectation.  Every time you change something in FM you will have to regenerate your slide deck.  You an automate that so that it closes and trashes the previous version but it will not be seamless in that it updates the existing copy.

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          • 2. Re: Integrating database and a text file.

            Thank you for your answer. Assuming then that I will re-generate the slide deck, what about the database-report link? Is it possible? For example, my latex slide contains the phrase "The cost of the product is $100, the goods and services tax (GST) is 10% so the wholesale price is $110." Is it possible to link the numbers in this sentence to a filemaker database from within LATEX (or equivalent software)?

            • 3. Re: Integrating database and a text file.

              I don't know LATEX but it sounds like what you would typically do through an ODBC or JDBC connection to the FM database so that you can refresh the data from your deck.

              • 4. Re: Integrating database and a text file.

                I also think live links between FM and other programs are unrealistic and almost always unnecessary. FM can generate a LATEX file at any time, because a LATEX file is a text file. There have been some programs in which you can enter text, draw illustrations, chart things, layout columns and photos, wraparound text, etc., all in the same document. FM is not one of those programs.

                • 5. Re: Integrating database and a text file.

                  You could just create everything FileMaker and consider different layouts like "slides" and just move back on forth between them for your presentation. Yes you can't add music or transitions (you could fake transition with window opening an closing I suppose) but if they data is already in FileMaker what is the need to send it out to  text file?