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Issue 20.4 ('Xojo Jigsaw')
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A Discussion on using ODBC

Issue: 20.4 (July/August 2022)
Author: Vince Du Beau
Author Bio: Vince is an experienced Filemaker developer. He is exploring Xojo as an alternative to Filemaker.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 6,390
Starting Page Number: 86
Article Number: 20409
Resource File(s):

Download Icon project20409.zip Updated: 2022-06-30 18:35:48

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Excerpt of article text...

In this issue, I'm taking a break from SQL to talk about ODBC or Open Database Connectivity. I recently came across a project on the freelancer site Upwork where the client was looking for a programmer who knew both Filemaker and Xojo.

After talking with the client, I discovered that he actually wanted to be able to access the Filemaker data with a Xojo program. There are basically two ways to do that: using the Filemaker Data API (which is convaluted and imposes data transfer limits) or ODBC.

If you are interested in the Filemaker connectors, they can be found online (http://support.claris.com/s/article/Software-Update-FileMaker-xDBC-client-drivers-for-FileMaker-1503692806454?language=en_US). For other connectors, Actual Technologies has a package with various ones. You can download a free version of the drivers to test, but you need to purchase them to use in a production environment. Actual also provides a free ODBC manager for MacOS (http://www.odbcmanager.net). Windows has its own ODBC manager. An ODBC manager for Linux called iODBC is also available (http://www.iodbc.org/dataspace/doc/iodbc/wiki/iodbcWiki/WelcomeVisitors).

Let's walk through an example set up. I'll start with an SQLite database since Filemaker is more complicated. When you install the ODBC manager on your Mac it will be placed in the Utilities menu under Applications. Upon opening the manager, you will be presented with the main window as shown in Figure 1.

Most documentation suggests using a System DSN as opposed to a User one. To create a new DSN, simply click the Add button and select the ODBC driver that you wish to use. In this case, I am using the Actual Open Source databases (see Figure 2).

If you select the open source driver, you will be presented with a message box about the driver package, click Continue and you will see a dialog box to choose which driver you wish to use (MYSQL, PostgreSQL, or SQLite). You can also name the DSN and give a description as seen in Figure 3.

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