Connecting FileMaker Pro to MySQL

I’m doing a trial of FileMaker Pro 11 on my Mac for a work project. Part of that, I want to incorporate some existing data out of a MySQL database. FM Pro allows for ESS (external SQL sources) with an ODBC connection. After a couple hours, trying a bunch of ODBC drivers for Mac, it appeared that there was only a single option – Actual Tech‘s ODBC driver which costs $35. Not too expensive, but I was looking for free for this trial. The MySQL driver should work, but after a lot of googling, it’s a known problem that there’s a bug. Until I found the bug filed for it. It’s been fixed in a recent version of the MySQL driver! And it’s free! I downloaded it and sure enough, it works. Since there’s a lot of other people out there that have been looking to do the same, I wanted to post this solution for them as well.

There’s a couple parts to this…

1. ODBC Administrator (or ODBC Manager) – this configures the ODBC connection. It’s basically a wizard to allow you to create the odbc.ini settings. Download Apple’s ODBC Administrator Tool and install it. It’ll end up in Applications/Utilities

2. ODBC driver – this does the actual translation between the database. The MySQL driver has a 3.5x version and 5.x version. I tried the 3.5x version since that’s where the bug fix was checked in. I’m not sure what the diff is between the 3 & 5 version, but it worked for me, that’s all that matters right now. Use a minimum of version 3.51.27. I used 3.51.28. You can download the MySQL ODBC 3.51 drivers here. Install it.

Next, start up ODBC Administrator tool. I created a System DSN (other users can use it as well, not just myself – for a User DSN). Add... Select “MySQL ODBC 3.51 Driver”

The next configuration screen was surprising…it wasn’t the usual wizard, but allowed you add Keyword|Value pairs. I did some inspection of a ODBC config file and sorted out what the Keywords were and inserted my values (server IP, database instance name, username, password). Once I tried adding an ODBC connection in FMPro, my tables came up no problem.

fmp-odbc1.png

fmp-odbc2.png

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