Python and FileMaker

Python and FileMaker

What is Python?

From Wikipedia:

An interpreted language, Python has a design philosophy which emphasizes code readability (notably using whitespace indentation to delimit code blocks rather than curly brackets or keywords), and a syntax which allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than possible in languages such as C++ or Java.

Alternately, from Best Programming Language for Me:

Python is a general-purpose language, which means it can be used to build just about anything, which will be made easy with the right tools/libraries.

Connecting Python and FileMaker

Have you ever needed to connect Python and FileMaker? This video is not for the faint of heart, as it shows how to share FileMaker as an ODBC source and connect to it using Python.  Once the data is imported from the connection, Python is used to look at, clean up, and statistically analyze the data.

The first 13 minutes or so are concerned with sharing a FileMaker database as an ODBC source and connecting to the database, something you might find interesting even if you don’t want to share it to Python.

Kudos to Mike Beargie for sharing this to the FileMaker community via his site,, and on his youtube channel, and to presenter Travis Risner, who figured out how to do all of this.

Once all of this information is modified and analyzed, the user is able to save the changes as an Excel, PDF or other type of file.

Other ways to use Python with FileMaker

There are other ways to call Python scripts from FileMaker: On a Mac it’s possible to call a Python script from a FileMaker server system-level script, but the FileMaker Server documentation does not seem to allow that from Windows. However, it is possible to call a Python script from the Base Elements plugin on Mac or PC.

I’m working with a client now who is considering using Python to do extensive statistical analysis of data and saving the results as a PDF and as an Excel file back into container fields for later use.  The techniques used in this video may be what we need to make that work.

Other Python and FileMaker Resources

The list below (courtesy of Dr. Carole Chaski) offers more ways to connect Python to FileMaker. Just click on a link and start reading:

“Admission of ignorance is often the first step in our education.”
Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

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