ODBC/JDBC and External SQL Sources (ESS)
ODBC/JDBC is one of the many ways to publish data and make it available to external sevices. ODBC is a standard gateway while JDBC is dedicated to Java applications. From the FileMaker standpoint, they are a single unified feature.
Interact with your FileMaker databases using SQL and merge it within a Word document or a web site.
To do this, simply enable the ODBJ/JDBC connector from the FileMaker Server admin console.
You will also need to configure a DSN on the client machine. Please follow the steps described here.
The FileMaker ODBC driver is included in the install package that you can download from your Claris download page. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need help.
External SQL Data Sources (ESS)
Although ESS uses ODBC standard, this is a completely different feature. ESS allows a FileMaker developer to use sources such as mysql, Oracle, SQL Server, IBM DB2, PostgreSQL as if they were FileMaker data.
Once a connection to one of these sources is established, you can see tables and views and add them to your relationship graph, and therefore build layouts to represent them, or interact with data using script or all FileMaker features. There are differences though.
Establishing a connection to an External SQL Data Source requires the installation of a connector on your fmcloud.fm server.
ESS is available in your Pro plan.
ODBC connection without ESS
Although this is un understimated feature of the FileMaker platform, you can interact with an ODBC external source without ESS. That is if you don’t need to add external tables to your relationship graph.
If your goal is to import data or push data without the need to visualize the external source, two script steps allow these types of interactions: Import Records (read), and Execute SQL (insert/update…)
A nice example of such use can be found here.
As for ESS, a connector must be installed on your fmcloud.fm instance. This feature is available in your Pro Plan