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Filemaker or Access?

P: n/a
I work for a small company just over a year old. I have them sold on
the idea of a database for tracking their sales and order entry (plus
many other duties). We are going to develop our own database and are
trying to decide which software to use. We are windows based, have
Access, and a trial version of FMP 8.5. I have used Access for the
past few years and would call my skills above intermediate but
definitely not expert. I used FMP years ago (before it was relational
~ 1987) but loved it. One of the owners is our IT manager and knows a
lot, but not about database (theory or practice). He is leaning toward
FMP because of the security issues (he says it should be easier to
utilize and less vulnerable when on the Internet). Nevertheless, we
are still about 50/50 in our decision.

Either way, I am the most knowledgeable on database management. I have
been reviewing the trial FMP and I quickly remembered what I loved,
however some of the database basics I don't see are like assigning a
primary key; it almost seems as if FMP goes out of their way not to
use the term in any of their documentation or even the "Bible" I
purchased at Borders.

After reading a lot, I understand FMP used to be relational by linking
files, but now it can all be done with one file, multiple tables. Yet
the fast solutions Filemaker's website offers seem to make me link all
these files. It almost feels like I "know too much" to use FMP. I'm
looking for terms and ways to set up the database that don't exist in
FMP. Is this just a learning curve or what am I missing?

I am honestly open to using either program. What are your suggestions?

May 31 '07 #1
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12 Replies


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<Al*********@Hotmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@k79g2000hse.googlegr oups.com...
I work for a small company just over a year old. I have them sold on
the idea of a database for tracking their sales and order entry (plus
many other duties). We are going to develop our own database and are
trying to decide which software to use. We are windows based, have
Access, and a trial version of FMP 8.5. I have used Access for the
past few years and would call my skills above intermediate but
definitely not expert. I used FMP years ago (before it was relational
~ 1987) but loved it. One of the owners is our IT manager and knows a
lot, but not about database (theory or practice). He is leaning toward
FMP because of the security issues (he says it should be easier to
utilize and less vulnerable when on the Internet). Nevertheless, we
are still about 50/50 in our decision.

Either way, I am the most knowledgeable on database management. I have
been reviewing the trial FMP and I quickly remembered what I loved,
however some of the database basics I don't see are like assigning a
primary key; it almost seems as if FMP goes out of their way not to
use the term in any of their documentation or even the "Bible" I
purchased at Borders.

After reading a lot, I understand FMP used to be relational by linking
files, but now it can all be done with one file, multiple tables. Yet
the fast solutions Filemaker's website offers seem to make me link all
these files. It almost feels like I "know too much" to use FMP. I'm
looking for terms and ways to set up the database that don't exist in
FMP. Is this just a learning curve or what am I missing?

I am honestly open to using either program. What are your suggestions?
I have not used FMP but your IT person's security concerns can be solved
with a SQL Server backend, the free version supports 2GB of data. Internet
access to the SQL server from MSAccess will require careful coding of your
forms, reports and source queries to reduce data transfers over the WAN.
Internet access with Terminal server would simplify things for MSAccess. WEB
based will require something other then MSAccess
May 31 '07 #2

P: n/a
Al*********@Hotmail.com wrote:
>It almost feels like I "know too much" to use FMP. I'm
looking for terms and ways to set up the database that don't exist in
FMP. Is this just a learning curve or what am I missing?

I am honestly open to using either program. What are your suggestions?
I would agree with your sentiments from what I've heard from friends and read. It
might be easier for a novice to work with FMP. However if you start getting into
intermediate or advanced stuff then FMP just can't do the things Access can.

Tony
--
Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
read the entire thread of messages.
Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
Tony's Microsoft Access Blog - http://msmvps.com/blogs/access/
May 31 '07 #3

P: n/a
Al*********@Hotmail.com wrote:
I work for a small company just over a year old. I have them sold on
the idea of a database for tracking their sales and order entry (plus
many other duties). We are going to develop our own database and are
trying to decide which software to use. We are windows based, have
Access, and a trial version of FMP 8.5. I have used Access for the
past few years and would call my skills above intermediate but
definitely not expert. I used FMP years ago (before it was relational
~ 1987) but loved it. One of the owners is our IT manager and knows a
lot, but not about database (theory or practice). He is leaning toward
FMP because of the security issues (he says it should be easier to
utilize and less vulnerable when on the Internet). Nevertheless, we
are still about 50/50 in our decision.

Either way, I am the most knowledgeable on database management. I have
been reviewing the trial FMP and I quickly remembered what I loved,
however some of the database basics I don't see are like assigning a
primary key; it almost seems as if FMP goes out of their way not to
use the term in any of their documentation or even the "Bible" I
purchased at Borders.

After reading a lot, I understand FMP used to be relational by linking
files, but now it can all be done with one file, multiple tables. Yet
the fast solutions Filemaker's website offers seem to make me link all
these files. It almost feels like I "know too much" to use FMP. I'm
looking for terms and ways to set up the database that don't exist in
FMP. Is this just a learning curve or what am I missing?

I am honestly open to using either program. What are your suggestions?
Since you asked your question in a newsgroup devoted to MS-access
issues, I would guess you would get answers supporting the choice of
MS-Access. That would be my recommendation only because I know and like
Access and don't filemaker.

If you are planning to put an application on the web make sure you know
about Access' limitations. You can't really build web apps with Access.
Yes, you can use Data Access Pages but Access seems to be moving away
from them.

If you use your Access database on the web as a database server, and do
it correctly, I don't think you have to worry very much about security.
But certainly if in doubt, SQL server would be the way to go.

But also note that SQL server is just a data manager. Both Access and
FM have an application development component as well. Access'
application development component can work with SQL server data as well
as its own built in Jet database. I assssuuummme that Filemaker can do
so as well.

Bob
May 31 '07 #4

P: n/a
On May 31, 3:19 pm, Bob Alston <bobalst...@yahoo.comwrote:
AllYourS...@Hotmail.com wrote:
I work for a small company just over a year old. I have them sold on
the idea of a database for tracking their sales and order entry (plus
many other duties). We are going to develop our own database and are
trying to decide which software to use. We are windows based, have
Access, and a trial version of FMP 8.5. I have used Access for the
past few years and would call my skills above intermediate but
definitely not expert. I used FMP years ago (before it was relational
~ 1987) but loved it. One of the owners is our IT manager and knows a
lot, but not about database (theory or practice). He is leaning toward
FMP because of the security issues (he says it should be easier to
utilize and less vulnerable when on the Internet). Nevertheless, we
are still about 50/50 in our decision.
Either way, I am the most knowledgeable on database management. I have
been reviewing the trial FMP and I quickly remembered what I loved,
however some of the database basics I don't see are like assigning a
primary key; it almost seems as if FMP goes out of their way not to
use the term in any of their documentation or even the "Bible" I
purchased at Borders.
After reading a lot, I understand FMP used to be relational by linking
files, but now it can all be done with one file, multiple tables. Yet
the fast solutions Filemaker's website offers seem to make me link all
these files. It almost feels like I "know too much" to use FMP. I'm
looking for terms and ways to set up the database that don't exist in
FMP. Is this just a learning curve or what am I missing?
I am honestly open to using either program. What are your suggestions?

Since you asked your question in a newsgroup devoted to MS-access
issues, I would guess you would get answers supporting the choice of
MS-Access. That would be my recommendation only because I know and like
Access and don't filemaker.

If you are planning to put an application on the web make sure you know
about Access' limitations. You can't really build web apps with Access.
Yes, you can use Data Access Pages but Access seems to be moving away
from them.

If you use your Access database on the web as a database server, and do
it correctly, I don't think you have to worry very much about security.
But certainly if in doubt, SQL server would be the way to go.

But also note that SQL server is just a data manager. Both Access and
FM have an application development component as well. Access'
application development component can work with SQL server data as well
as its own built in Jet database. I assssuuummme that Filemaker can do
so as well.

Bob- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -
To be fair, I asked the same question on the Filemaker board too.

To clarify, what we would put on the Internet would be just to have a
few remote workers in other states access the order entry system too,
not for the general public. Now that is where I start to decline in my
knowledge base. I'm not sure how the IT guy plans to host, which
server system to use, etc. All I know is that he stated a few concerns
on making it secure so it wouldn't be hacked and allow our people
logins to certain areas only.

One other issue I forgot is that the database (either Access or FM)
will need to "talk" to QuickBooks. With either program I have found
3rd party software that will transfer data to and from QB. I have
worked with the Access one, but the one for Filemaker seems more
involved (programming wise) and I don't have a Filemaker database
structure set up yet so I can't really test the transfer capabilities.

Thanks all - for all your help!

May 31 '07 #5

P: n/a

<Al*********@Hotmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@k79g2000hse.googlegr oups.com...
>I work for a small company just over a year old. I have them sold on
the idea of a database for tracking their sales and order entry (plus
many other duties). We are going to develop our own database and are
trying to decide which software to use. We are windows based, have
Access, and a trial version of FMP 8.5. I have used Access for the
past few years and would call my skills above intermediate but
definitely not expert. I used FMP years ago (before it was relational
~ 1987) but loved it. One of the owners is our IT manager and knows a
lot, but not about database (theory or practice). He is leaning toward
FMP because of the security issues (he says it should be easier to
utilize and less vulnerable when on the Internet). Nevertheless, we
are still about 50/50 in our decision.

Either way, I am the most knowledgeable on database management. I have
been reviewing the trial FMP and I quickly remembered what I loved,
however some of the database basics I don't see are like assigning a
primary key; it almost seems as if FMP goes out of their way not to
use the term in any of their documentation or even the "Bible" I
purchased at Borders.

After reading a lot, I understand FMP used to be relational by linking
files, but now it can all be done with one file, multiple tables. Yet
the fast solutions Filemaker's website offers seem to make me link all
these files. It almost feels like I "know too much" to use FMP. I'm
looking for terms and ways to set up the database that don't exist in
FMP. Is this just a learning curve or what am I missing?

I am honestly open to using either program. What are your suggestions?

For Sales and Order Entry, use a progam like QuickBooks, Microsoft
Accounting or Peachtree.


May 31 '07 #6

P: n/a
Al*********@Hotmail.com wrote:
>To clarify, what we would put on the Internet would be just to have a
few remote workers in other states access the order entry system too,
not for the general public. Now that is where I start to decline in my
knowledge base. I'm not sure how the IT guy plans to host, which
server system to use, etc. All I know is that he stated a few concerns
on making it secure so it wouldn't be hacked and allow our people
logins to certain areas only.
Then you should consider using Terminal Server. Your IT person sets that up and the
remote workers can use your Access/FMP app without any changes necessary to the app.

Tony
--
Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
read the entire thread of messages.
Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
Tony's Microsoft Access Blog - http://msmvps.com/blogs/access/
May 31 '07 #7

P: n/a
Al*********@Hotmail.com wrote in
news:11**********************@k79g2000hse.googlegr oups.com:
I am honestly open to using either program. What are your
suggestions?
I could never use a db development platform that didn't use SQL
natively, and my understanding is that FM does not.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jun 1 '07 #8

P: n/a
"paii, Ron" <pa**@packairinc.comwrote in
news:Q8******************************@athenet.net:
WEB
based will require something other then MSAccess
That's one of the advantages of FM, in that it is designed to allow
you to take an FM application and run it from a web server. I don't
know how successful it is, nor if it has limitations, but sounds to
me like what DAPs should have been, had MS invested the time and
effort in them.

But I don't know that for a fact. Anyone?

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jun 1 '07 #9

P: n/a
Al*********@Hotmail.com wrote in
news:11**********************@q75g2000hsh.googlegr oups.com:
To clarify, what we would put on the Internet would be just to
have a few remote workers in other states access the order entry
system too, not for the general public. Now that is where I start
to decline in my knowledge base. I'm not sure how the IT guy plans
to host, which server system to use, etc. All I know is that he
stated a few concerns on making it secure so it wouldn't be hacked
and allow our people logins to certain areas only.
Windows Terminal Server would be by far the easiest solution for
this with an Access solution. And if you run it across a VPN, it's
as safe as you can get over the Internet.
One other issue I forgot is that the database (either Access or
FM) will need to "talk" to QuickBooks. With either program I have
found 3rd party software that will transfer data to and from QB. I
have worked with the Access one, but the one for Filemaker seems
more involved (programming wise) and I don't have a Filemaker
database structure set up yet so I can't really test the transfer
capabilities.
The QB SDK used to have plenty of VB examples that were quite easily
ported to VBA.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jun 1 '07 #10

P: n/a
Per Al*********@Hotmail.com:
>I am honestly open to using either program. What are your suggestions?
I've done a couple of apps in FMP and many apps in MS Access.

Without going into a long rant, MS Access.

Hands-down/slam dunk/no-brainer.
--
PeteCresswell
Jun 1 '07 #11

P: n/a
Per (PeteCresswell):
>I've done a couple of apps in FMP and many apps in MS Access.

Without going into a long rant, MS Access.

Hands-down/slam dunk/no-brainer.

I missed the part about being available on the web - and take
back what I said.
--
PeteCresswell
Jun 1 '07 #12

P: n/a
See http://www.filemaker.com/downloads/p...comparison.pdf for a
detailed, however dated, comparison.

It is produced by Filemaker (and reflects the bias), and it is 36 pages
long. I though it was, in general, fair, and did not change my mind that
Access is the better product for my needs.
<Al*********@Hotmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@k79g2000hse.googlegr oups.com...
>I work for a small company just over a year old. I have them sold on
the idea of a database for tracking their sales and order entry (plus
many other duties). We are going to develop our own database and are
trying to decide which software to use. We are windows based, have
Access, and a trial version of FMP 8.5. I have used Access for the
past few years and would call my skills above intermediate but
definitely not expert. I used FMP years ago (before it was relational
~ 1987) but loved it. One of the owners is our IT manager and knows a
lot, but not about database (theory or practice). He is leaning toward
FMP because of the security issues (he says it should be easier to
utilize and less vulnerable when on the Internet). Nevertheless, we
are still about 50/50 in our decision.

Either way, I am the most knowledgeable on database management. I have
been reviewing the trial FMP and I quickly remembered what I loved,
however some of the database basics I don't see are like assigning a
primary key; it almost seems as if FMP goes out of their way not to
use the term in any of their documentation or even the "Bible" I
purchased at Borders.

After reading a lot, I understand FMP used to be relational by linking
files, but now it can all be done with one file, multiple tables. Yet
the fast solutions Filemaker's website offers seem to make me link all
these files. It almost feels like I "know too much" to use FMP. I'm
looking for terms and ways to set up the database that don't exist in
FMP. Is this just a learning curve or what am I missing?

I am honestly open to using either program. What are your suggestions?

Jun 1 '07 #13

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