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Chapter 17. Exchanging Data

When it comes to exchanging data across platforms and enterprise-scale databases, FileMaker 6’s support for Extensible Markup Language (XML) represents a great leap forward. Because it uses non-proprietary, standards-based formats, XML has been widely embraced by Information Technology managers since its birth in 1998. In contrast to the often rigid requirements of Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), which is covered starting on page 280, XML is inherently flexible.

The really exciting thing about XML, however, is that you don’t have to be a tech guru to benefit from FileMaker’s XML support. In more and more corporate-based databases, the XML prep work has already been done behind the scenes. That means you can start using FileMaker’s XML features to access and share data previously available only through complicated, customized database applications. FileMaker also has a free online XML exchange (www.filemaker.com/xml/xslt_library.html) that offers an ever-growing collection of downloadable templates (Figure 17.1). The templates—from package trackers to FileMaker-to-Quark converters to iTunes exporters—are not only useful in making XML transformations but can help you understand XML’s potential (Figure 17.2).


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