You may have forgotten it by now—building a big database can make you feel like a slave to your computer—but the point of a database is to make managing information more efficient. Nothing illustrates this point more quickly than FileMaker’s ability to suck data into your database from various sources, and dump it back out again in assorted ways.
If you have data in almost any kind of program—spreadsheets full of figures, lists of names and phone numbers, electronic orders in XML, folders full of pictures or text documents—FileMaker can import it directly into your database. If your data is already in FileMaker, then you can export it to lists, other databases, XML, or almost any other format imaginable. FileMaker takes a wonderfully flexible approach: It lets you handle simple imports and exports with just a click or two, and provides the features to tackle the most complex cases as well—if you (or some hired help) are willing to do the necessary work.
If your company uses one of the vast corporate databases—Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, or MySQL—FileMaker Pro 9 can integrate directly with them, bringing its powerful (and easy) developer tools to bear on their complex-yet-oh-so-speedy data. You can put your corporate SQL data right on the FileMaker layout, perform FileMaker finds, write scripts, and even add calculation fields, all without writing a single line of SQL code.