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    Charles Rosenberg
    Filemaker GO(ipad) + Filemaker Pro +...
    Forum post posted April 20, 2011 by Charles Rosenberg, last edited February 9, 2012 
    431 Views, 1 Comment
    Filemaker GO(ipad) + Filemaker Pro + ODBC(External Data)

    I have been trying to search through the forums, but I guess my search skills are not very good and I apologize if this has been addressed.  I do not currently have Filemaker, but I wish to know if it will handle some things before I drop the money to get it.

    I have a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 database on a windows machine acting as a server.  From what I understand of Filemaker Pro/Advanced, it can connect to external data sources like SQL Server.  Also from what I understand, Filemaker GO on the iPad can connect to and use Filemaker Pro databases on a network without having to download a copy of the database if so inclined.  

    My question is this: if I setup a database that connects to the aforementioned Microsoft SQL Server with forms, menus, etc, using Filemaker Pro and have it running on a computer on the network all the time, will I be able to use Filemaker GO on the iPad to access the Filemaker Pro database on the network without any problems?  In simple terms, I need to access the Microsoft SQL Server data on the iPad using Filemaker Pro as the In-between.  

    Points of notice:
    1.  I cannot change the server from Microsoft SQL Server to something else.  Written in stone.
    2.  I wish to access the data in real-time, i.e. not cached, since the data updates in the database quite often. Often within seconds of the last update.  
    3.  I want to be able to edit data on the iPad as well.  Updates have to be 2-way.
    4.  The data amount is not huge.  This is not a huge operation, but something for a small SOHO-type of setup. 

    Thank you in advance for any help and suggestions!



    • tsturtle

      Charles Rosenberg:

      Thanks for posting.

      Your assumptions are correct: FileMaker Pro or Server would host a .fp7 database.  You would create a real time connection between the .fp7 database and an external SQL source (Microsoft SQL Server 2008 is supported) through FileMaker's ESS feature.  FileMaker Go would connect to the database and have access to the external SQL source just as any FileMaker Pro client would have.

      To get a better idea of how FileMaker interacts with external SQL sources, it may be beneficial to download and try our fully featured 30 day trial of FileMaker Pro here:

      For more information, here is the external SQL data sources page from the FileMaker website:

      And here is a technical brief on the introduction to ESS:

      Hope this helps,
      FileMaker, Inc.