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How To Convert FileMaker to SQL [Free Script Download]

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Dominik Keller
Jan 31st, 2024

Converting FileMaker Apps to SQL-Based Web Apps Is Easier Than You Think

Is your business running an application developed in FileMaker? But application performance has become a drag on your business? Or you are simply paying more than you would like for your FileMaker app?

Learn how to go from FileMaker to SQL, improve application performance, and save cost.

In this blog post, we will explain the fastest route to build high-performance, data-driven web apps on a custom SQL database. We will convert a FileMaker database to a SQL database, import the database into Five and build a responsive web app on top of it.

Download Our Free FMP12 to SQL Conversion Script

Check out our documentation for a free download of our FMP12 to SQL conversion script.

Two Reasons For Moving from FileMaker to SQL

FileMaker is the go-to solution for developing database-driven, custom software for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Many SMBs successfully manage their businesses with custom-built FileMaker applications: finance systems, inventory systems or customer relationship systems are all classic examples of applications developed in FileMaker. As a database solution

Usually, there are two reasons for considering alternatives: performance and cost. Let’s start with performance first.

1. FileMaker Performance Limitations

Data tends to grow larger over time: businesses add more customers. Finance systems store more years’ worth of data. Or inventory systems deal with a larger product portfolio. FileMaker’s performance tends to deteriorate as the database grows larger or as applications get more complex through calculations, for example.

As time passes and data accumulates, a snappy app that used to execute queries within milliseconds can turn into a slow performance nightmare, and worse a drag on business.

SQL is known to be fast, scalable, and performant: it’s a fast database engine that trumps FileMaker’s proprietary Draco engine.

2. FileMaker Pricing: The More Users, The More Expensive

A second reason to consider FileMaker alternatives is cost.

The cost of a FileMaker app increases with every additional user that requires access to the application. Once your app has more than five users, the costs jump from US$21 per user to US$43 per user, making applications developed in FileMaker relatively expensive to run.

Alternative solutions, such as Five, charge a flat monthly fee per application, starting from US$29.99. Application end-users do not need a license to Five to access the application and the number of end-users does not affect pricing.

One possible alternative to FileMaker is using a SQL database instead. Let’s explore how to convert FileMaker to SQL, and how to go from FileMaker to web app.

Converting FMP12 to SQL: Use This Script To Convert FileMaker to SQL

FileMaker applications are stored as FMP12 files or in FileMaker Pro format. This file format is not directly compatible with SQL. But by using a simple script, we can convert FileMaker to SQL and go from *.FMP12 to *.SQL.

To download the export script, visit our documentation website and follow the steps.

The script converts a FileMaker Pro file into an SQL dump. A SQL dump contains the SQL statements that can be used to recreate database objects and data. It contains everything a SQL GUI needs to know to create the tables and table data. Think of it as a full backup of your existing database.

FileMaker to SQL: Building a Responsive Web Front End

Once you have your database schema and data available as a .SQL file, it is quick and easy to develop a web app on top of it.

Rapid application development environments, such as Five, let you easily create forms, charts, dashboards, and PDF reports on your SQL database, mostly without writing code. But of course, if required, you can write SQL queries or perform calculations using scripts and events.

They also let you add authentication, single sign-on, or email notifications to your application. And all of this comes in a responsive web application that requires no additional code to render well on desktop, tablet, or mobile.

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By moving from FileMaker to SQL, FileMaker apps can be transitioned to a modern architecture that supports speed, scale, and performance. And they make for a delightful user experience too that natively runs inside any browser. Simply provide your end-users with the application URL and they are good to go!

To migrate from FileMaker to SQL, follow our full guide here. The only requirement: make sure to have Five’s free download installed. And once you are ready to launch your application to the web, sign up for one of our hosting packages starting from US$29.99 per application/month.

Happy coding!

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