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Connecting FileMaker to an Oracle database using ESS on Windows
FileMaker’s External SQL Sources allows a database created in FileMaker to display and manipulate data from any ODBC compliant data source. All FileMaker needs is a system DSN data source name to be created. Most database software, including Oracle, offers ODBC drivers with which to create these DSNs.
Normally creating a DSN is fairly straight-forward. MySQL, for example, simply requires you to specify the location of the server IP address, username, password and database name. Oracle, one the other hand, forces you to go through a much more complicated and convoluted process. This post provides instructions for users to set up an ESS connection from Filemaker on Windows to an existing Oracle database. In the examples provided below the version of Oracle used is Oracle Database XE 11.2 hosted on Windows Server 2008 R2 and the Filemaker version is Filemaker Pro Advanced 12 on Windows 7.
Installing Oracle Instant Client and ODBC Drivers
The first thing you need to do to connect FileMaker to Oracle is to download Oracle’s ODBC drivers. Unlike many other technologies, Oracle requires you to download an application as well. This application is known as the Oracle Instant Client.
As of writing this article, you can download the Oracle Instant Client here
Please note that you must download 32 bit versions of both of the following files:
Instant Client Package – Basic
Instant Client Package – ODBC
FileMaker Pro does not currently support connections with 64 bit ODBC drivers.
The version of Instant Client that you download should match the version of Oracle that you are trying to connect to.
Download and unzip both archives into the same folder.
Run odbc_install.exe from inside the folder. This program should register the Oracle ODBC drivers with your system.
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