Filemaker tables to libre base

Thanks for your helpful response. I see your point of view clearly.

Can we close the first two questions and start over with my post today. The difference is that I no longer have any interest in migrating. I just want to get the data out of my FileMaker tables and into Base tables. I am trying to salvage years of work. I don’t need what Filemaker has become.

If you are agreeable, I will respond to the community as helpfully as I can.

Thanks for your patience and help.


Do not do any thing with the first two posts as they contain critical data. Also there is no difference between migrating and moving data from one to another. What is unknown if what you have already tried & what didn’t work. This is basic. Can you do this → Exporting Data from FileMaker Pro?

I followed “Exporting All Data” and now have a .csv file exported from FileMaker. In the Text Import dialog box under fields, the display box showed an exact representation of the FileMaker table, so I chose ‘ok’
When I examined the new .csv file it appeared to be a perfect spreadsheet.
I saved the file as .csv. Saving as Calc did not appear as an option.
-more to follow-

I opened LibreOffice Base to File/New/Database and got the Database Wizard dialog box. I chose “connect to existing spreadsheet option’ and “set up a connection to spreadsheet” and saved as “New Database 3”.
I opened the new database.obd, selected “Tables” and displayed a new perfect but “read only” document.
Hoping to find a way to modify table data, I chose “Forms”, selected “Use Wizard to Create Form”. I tried all of the dialog options and concluded that there is no way to modify the table.

I have not made it clear that the new Base tables are to be part of ongoing work with constant modification of the data.

Here are a couple links from Filemaker for version 13 specifically. It appears .csv and dBase are export options. I can verify that both formats are compatible with LibreOffice as I recently had to do a similar migration.

Supported import/export file formats

Exporting data from FileMaker Pro

I found the easiest way to get data into Base is to first import into Calc and go from there. However, your process will vary depending on which database format you choose. Base can either use its internal database format (not highly recommended), or you can hook it up to a separate backend like MySQL, Maria or PostrGres (highly recommended). I recommend the separate backend because an internal database is more likely to get corrupted if LibreOffice experiences some kind of error. I am currently working on a fairly sophisticated MySQL backend database system and am enjoying the benefits of such. Of course this information will probably just open more questions for you if you aren’t already familiar with how to do all that stuff.

I’m not well-versed with Filemaker, but I recently did something even crazier… I just exported ANCIENT files from Q&A for DOS! Ha ha. It was actually kind of fun but challenging due to the crazy old formats Q&A uses.

@Ratslinger gave a pretty great answer about how to copy & paste data from Calc to Base. If you export to a .csv or dBase IV file from FileMaker, either can be opened directly into Calc. From there, follow the instructions in the linked post. Add/move big data from Calc to Base

@PhLo Just saw your comment. Thanks for posting the link. Actually forgot I had posted that in detail!

No problem. It seems you have already answered just about every question on this forum, maybe even several times :D. Sometimes it can be difficult to FIND those answers. It’s debatable whether it’s better to answer afresh or hunt down and point to old answers. The “search engine” doesn’t always avail since who knows what words were used to describe an already existing question and solution. Not all key terms in past answers seem to get indexed, so they might not show up in a quick search later.

Finding them is not the problem. Have means for that. It’s remembering that I answered that already!

Hello @wblueg,

Please don’t get ahead of the process. As you can see, with some feedback on your part there is progress already.

You state you now have a csv file. This file should be opened in Calc. Open a new Calc file. Then select from menu File->Open. Select your csv file & open it. This will bring up a Text Import dialog. Make sure you data fields look OK then press the OK button. The data is now in the spreadsheet and at the top of each column hopefully is the name of each field.

Now open you new Base file. Make sure you have Tables section selected. Back to the Calc file.

Select ALL data on the sheet. Once selected, right mouse click & select Copy. Back to the Base file.

In the blank tables section right mouse click & select Paste. This brings up a copy dialog box. At the top make sure you have a table name you want. In the Options section, insure Definition and data and Use first line as column names are selected. Click Create button. Will get message to create a primary key - select Yes.

If all has gone well you should have your database table.

Success, at least with small (100 to 200 records). I have not tried any of the tables with thousands of records yet but I couldn’t wait to tell you how grateful I am for your tolerance, patience and competence. I have read other posts on this site that dealt with problems associated with moving large files. I do not know if 10,000+ records is large in your world or not but I am assuming I will have no difficulty here. Can we keep this question open for another day as I confirm that?

@wblueg I’m certain at this point you realize how important it is to respond to answers if something isn’t working. Usually things can be worked out. As for # of records, I’ve worked with PostgreSQL tables with many more records than that. It is all relative. Now, since you have that many records, you can create a table with say the first 100 or 1000 or so, then copy from Calc starting at point you left off. Cont…

Copy the next say 1000, right click the table & paste but in the dialog select append so you would they just be adding data to existing table. Or do all at once - your choice.

Take you time in getting the data transferred. Just watch so you don’t get duplicate data. The post will be open as the other still are.

Also, when confirmed, as you have been helped, please help others to know the question has been answered by clicking on the :heavy_check_mark: in upper left area of answer which satisfied the question.

Thanks for everything. I no longer fear losing everything.

You are quite welcome. Make certain you make a backup or two. On that note, did not realize until your comments the amount of data you had. Embedded HSQL databases (Base default) can, on occasion, have problems with that. Consideration should be given to moving to a split DB or Firebird embedded. If you wish to pursue, please ask as new question. I realize it is not what you want to hear after all you went through. Just some advice.

Just thought of it. Keep your csv files as a further backup. Can never have enough backup. Copy them to a CD or flash drive for storage. Maybe even a copy of this first Base file you created.

My profound gratitude for your help.

A 10k+ records Filemaker 13 table copied to Base through Calc was successful, but I do not know how to convert a much needed 8 digit numerical field to a primary key. The new Base table does have both a new Primary key and the old numeric file fields.

How do I make the old numeric field the Primary Key field?
WIll I still the automatic new Primary Key Field.

It appears to be possible in 'Create Table in Design View" but not in 'Copy Table

Thanks for the advice. do keep backups on a local disk and on Carbonite.

Sorry didn’t think of setting one of your fields to primary key. Can be done in a table copy as long as your field (let’s call it YourKey) is unique (no duplicates). First copy existing table then paste. In dialog give a name wanted, select Definition and data and Create new primary key.. is un-checked. Click next. In Apply Columns dialog, select all fields EXCEPT for the unwanted primary key. Click next. More…