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Migration from Filemaker Pro to MYSQL

Want to continue using your existing files from previous versions with FileMaker products? But first make sure conversion is the right path.

FileMaker is unmatched in usability thus allowing even novices to quickly create useful database applications for themselves and other users. FileMaker solutions are often developed by individuals and departments who are working independently from a corporate IT department due to cost factors or reduced IT staffing. However as the number of users grows, it may be necessary to migrate a FileMaker database solution to MySQL. MySQL offers inexpensive hosting options and greater scalability which is comparable to an Oracle database .FileMaker Pro offers unrivaled ease of use for the implementation of workgroup-sized relational databases. Even an inexperienced user can create their first database within a few minutes. The FileMaker Pro user interface is very intuitive, but still offers in-depth features such as scripting and complex field calculations for more experienced users. In a FileMaker Pro database, the display of information can be customized by the creation of multiple layouts. In other databases like Oracle or SQL Server this functionality is implemented by creating a view within the database.

This article covers the procedures involved with migrating a FileMaker database running on Windows to a MySQL database running on any platform. One of the shortcomings of FMP is its poor manageability. If you create a new field, change a field property, or edit a layout in FMP, the Web server will not work at the time of editing. Another weakness is its relative low performance. To compensate for this, one can configure FMP server clusters to distribute the queries in a round-robin load sharing fashion. The migration task is part of a larger re-engineering effort to properly normalize the FileMaker data and create a corporate-wide user interface for the data. Migration of the data represents only the first step in the process. The second part of the engineering effort involves using SQL commands to cleanse the data and copy the data to the new normalized database tables. This task can be performed more efficiently in two steps because the second step will involve working with data that will be entirely contained within a large database server like Oracle.

Why migrate?

MySQL is the most popular open-source database available today with an estimated user base exceeding 4 million. This popularity has led to wide availability of MySQL database servers within businesses and by ISPs. Most ISPs offer economical MySQL database hosting with their web hosting plans, thus making MySQL a popular choice for web developers. MySQL also offers better scalability and features such as transactions and database replication. FileMaker Pro Unlimited or Server editions are generally limited to 250 (or fewer) simultaneous users, while MySQL can be expected to serve thousands of simultaneous users. In fact, a Ziff-Davis Media, Inc eWeek benchmark test has shown MySQL to have performance comparable to Oracle 9i. High availability installations which include database replication and failover capability can be crucial for business critical database installations. FileMaker does not include any type of built-in replication functionality for high availability installations. MySQL does offer a built-in active/passive replication feature which is similar to an Oracle standby database configuration.

Features of FM Migration:Redundant and dead code removalClassification of the complete enterprise architecture into modular frameworkMigration Layer by Layer (User/Database/Security/Inheritance)Repeating Fields Extraction to MySQLRepeating Field Table Creation SQL Code Created Automatically.MacOS X and Windows CompatibilityFileMaker to MySQL migration tasks:Creating a list of fields and field types available within the FileMaker Pro database.Creating a MySQL database which will contain new database tables (unless a database has already been created).Creating a new MySQL database user account which will be used to log in and use the new table.Creating the new MySQL database table to match the structure of the FileMaker database.Transferring the data from the FileMaker Pro database into MySQL.FileMaker Pro is a versatile easy to use workgroup database application. But if you need functionality not included in FileMaker Pro such as better scalability, replication, or inexpensive hosting at an existing ISP, MySQL is a good alternative to consider. By simplifying the migration process from FileMaker Pro to MySQL, our Filemaker Migration team helps you to utilize the best database for your needs. Databases may easily be prototyped and tested with FileMaker Pro and then migrated to MySQL if the need arises.

This article is written by Eliza Sahoo. Eliza is a technology freak. She loves to write about technology. Anything new and interesting she finds about software development applications, she cannot just stop writing about it.

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