Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access is a relational database management system (DBMS) from Microsoft with which individual databases can be developed. The software can be purchased separately or in combination with Microsoft Office Professional. The software contains a development environment for creating databases based on the Microsoft Jet Engine with a graphical user interface. Access databases are stored in mdb file format and can optionally be migrated to a SQL server. Microsoft Access can access third-party systems via an ODBC interface; Access databases can also be accessed via ODBC. The database software can only be run under Microsoft Windows. According to Microsoft, the current version Microsoft Access 2016 will not be further developed and will not be supported in the medium term. 

Switch from Microsoft Access to FileMaker

Switching from Microsoft Access to FileMaker has several advantages. Databases created with FileMaker Pro can be run not only on Windows, but also on macOS and iOS as well as in a web browser on other operating systems such as Android or Linux. In addition, FileMaker Pro offers a significantly higher range of functions and additional interfaces to third-party systems such as RESTful API and JSON for web-based databases. The announcement to discontinue support for Microsoft Access in the future is another reason for Microsoft Access users to consider alternative products.

Conversion of Access databases to FileMaker

When migrating from Access to FileMaker with an existing database solution, the best results are achieved when the solution is redesigned and redeveloped on the FileMaker platform. For a quick transition, there are still solutions available to convert Access databases to FileMaker databases or to access data from Access databases on the Mac.

FMPro Migrator

With FMPro Migrator databases from Microsoft Access, FoxPro, Firebird, and SQL Server can be converted to FileMaker databases. A module for converting Access databases to FileMaker databases is available for prices starting at $250. For this product we have already published a contribution to the Conversion from Access to FileMaker for an older version.

Open Access databases on the Mac

With the Mac software MDB-Viewer databases from Microsoft Access can also be opened on the Mac. The software costs 17 US dollars and is also available in the Mac App Store. With the MDB Viewer, Access databases can be opened on the Mac and data from the database can be exported, for example in Excel format. The Excel tables created in this way can be easily imported into a FileMaker database.

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About Author

Markus Schall
Development of FileMaker databases since 1994, modification and extension of FileMaker solutions, conversion of FileMaker databases from .fm, .fp3, .fp5 (FileMaker 2-6) or .fp7 (FileMaker 7-11) to .fmp12 (FileMaker 12-17), interfaces to third-party systems such as online shops, CMS or other databases. Development of individual FileMaker database systems based on the gFM business framework with personal advice from Oldenburg. Operator of the online specialist portal, developer of the CRM and merchandise management system gFM-Business. Member of FileMaker Business Alliance, FileMaker Developers Subscription and FMM Expert. Winner of an FMM Award 2011, awarded by the FileMaker Magazine.