Best OSX database program for Windows conversion?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mattbl, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. mattbl macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2009
    Hi -

    I have developed a commercial product using Visual Foxpro 9 (Windows). We have been telling our Mac customers to use Boot Camp or Parallels or VM Fusion to run our product on their Macs, and some do...but the majority of potential Mac customers ask if we'll ever have a native OSX product.

    I looked into Filemaker Pro and got as far as converting a few sample VFP databases (DBF format) into Filemaker Pro format and had an apparently "successful" conversion, but upon closer inspection, there were data problems that would prove to be very labor-intensive in straightening out.

    So...can anybody recommend an OSX database program that might both be easier to convert from Visual Foxpro data and then fairly easily build an application around said data? I came to the conclusion that Filemaker Pro was not quite the ticket, and I'd be interested in hearing of other suggestions. Thanks!
  2. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I'm not familiar with FoxPro - any db work I've done has been with client/server applications accessing MySQL or Oracle dbs.

    I'm not sure of what your requirements are ... I'm guessing you'll need to be able to share the database with Windows users. Converting the data or adding import/export functions isn't something I'd want to do, so I would have to use some cross platform db. OS X supports MySQL, PostgreSQL and berkelydb as well as sqlite. But then, if you have to keep the original format for Windows then you'll have to do conversion.

    I'm surprised there would be data corruption with the dbf ... did you look closely at whether it's the export from VFP or the import into FileMaker?
  3. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    Is there no way for visual failpro to create an SQL insert export that you can then run in failmaker pro?
  4. mattbl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2009
    Thanks for the response - actually no. I just need to accurately export the data already existing in my Windows DBF files into some kind of OSX-compatible database file. This is not a client-server application, but rather standalone on each platform.

    I'll give you a bit of background. We used to have a cross-platform application using Visual Foxpro, but Visual Foxpro for the Mac was strictly OS9. And yes, with that arrangement, the data files were shared and compatible on the different platforms.

    Some time ago, I downloaded the Filemaker Pro 10 free trial version and used that to convert data. Filemaker Pro supposedly understands "standard dBase" (DBF) file format (which Visual Foxpro also uses, with added extensions) and it easily turned one of my DBF files into a Filemaker Pro database. The problem was that my DBF file made extensive use of "Memo" fields ("unlimited" blocks of text, as opposed to defined Character fields) and on the Filemaker Pro end, these blocks of text transported perfectly, except that the first letter of each block was missing. Which meant that I would have to go to each field on the FMP side and insert the missing first letter for each field, a task I'd rather not engage in.

    Hence, my search for some other OSX database platform that might make the data conversion a little easier to manage...
  5. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Well, if you can get the information into SQL you should be able to import it into any of the dbs supported on the Mac. If it's application-specific data, I'd say go for sqlite (not that I've used it ... just, it's designed for integration into applications)

    There seem to be DBF conversion programs for Windows, but I don't know how good they are.
  6. memco macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2008
    Does the Windows DB support exporting to other formats like CSV or somesuch? You may be able to export your structure and data in a format that can then be imported into SQL with a minimal amount of work.

    Also, consider contacting Filemaker support and filing a bug. Perhaps they can work with you to track down why their software is doing that, when it obviously shouldn't.
  7. mattbl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2009
    Hi - thanks for answering. Yes, VFP does support export to CSV, tab-delimited files, Excel spreadsheets, etc, but the problem is Memo fields (large blocks of text not stored in ordinary Character fields). Exporting to any of these formats exports only the Character, Numeric, Date fields but ignores all Memo fields. VFP has the ability to export memo fields separately to text files, but this is useless to me - I need to export all of the data at once.

    The experiment I performed which resulted in the first letter of each text block going missing by the time I got it into FileMaker Pro OSX format was the result of a 2-step process. I imported into a Windows version of FileMaker Pro which understands the DBF file format (generic dBase format). I then imported the Windows FileMaker Pro FP7 file into FileMaker Pro OSX, which was when I noticed the missing letters in the text blocks.

    So...what I really need is a conversion utility that goes from VFP database files to FileMaker Pro OSX FP7 files. Probably doesn't exist...

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