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Trying to determine if scripting is adequate

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I have inherited a FM Pro Version 4 application that runs fine.

I want to copy the approx 50 tables to my personal Mac OS X Tiger machine, so that I can use the data in a read only format.

I have downloaded the FM Pro 7 trial version and it will convert the tables. Akwardly, and with lots of dialogs thrown up, but the actual data looks good.

Before I ante up my $300 for Version 7, I'm hoping somebody will comment if I'm on the right track.

One of the things I want to do is lookup values from these tables from Automator or Applescript. When I look in Automator, I do not see any actions for FM Pro 7. Are there actions available either from Filemaker or 3rd parties ?

Or can I do these sorts of things via Applescript ?

That is, I want to be in email for instance, put the value of a unique key into the clipboard, and then call a script that will query FM Pro 7, returning the value of a corresponding field on that FM Pro record.

Can that be done ?

Is there any way to convert FM Pro 4 tables to plain text, without using FM Pro. Any third party utilities available.

Thanks in advance.


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You can export from FMPro 4 to any number of formats, including comma delimited or tab delimited text. Then you can view it in Excel.

As to the FM's applescript dictionary: check out the help file.

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You can certainly do what you want with AppleScript and FileMaker. It would not even require a FileMaker script. How exactly you trigger the AppleScript is more up to OS X.

As an aside: I've read that they've removed the Scripts menu from the Mail application in Tiger, forcing you to use the system scripts menu, which is way over to the right (if it's enabled). Perhaps they thought it was not aesthetic to have 2 script menus (they tend to be a bit fanatical about this). But the system scripts menu doesn't support Keyboard command keys (at least I don't think so), whereas application menus do. Hopefully they'll reverse this decision, or enable command keys. It would make a big difference for what you want to do.

I don't know about Automator; it appears to be coming soon:


As to whether FileMaker is the best tool to read from static lists of data, that's hard to say. Other tools may be cheaper and faster, such as Valentina, ScriptDB http://www.applescriptdb.com/ ,etc.. But none is easier to use. I have to wonder, 50 tables is lot; I have to wonder about the relational design.

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