How do we build a web site based on some Filemaker databases?
March 26, 2008 8:49 AM   Subscribe

My mother-in-law is a horse breeder and wants to create a web site that shows the lineage of a particular breed of horses. She has some of the data in a Filemaker 5.5 database, but needs to expand it greatly and put it online. How can we go about doing this, and/or hiring someone to do it?

Mrs. Procrastination-in-law breeds an unusual type of horse. She is very involved in promoting the breed, and wants to put online a web site that shows the lineage of many horses. She has data on about 1,000 horses, but is making contacts overseas to expand the collection of information to many thousands more (say 15 or 16 thousand). The data she has is in Filemaker 5.5 for Windows, in a format that someone created for her in the past. She is comfortable working with it.

What we would like to be able to do is this:

- Have her edit the database in Filemaker. Currently, she has the old version running in boot camp on a Mac. We would prefer to use a newer Mac version, and are willing to buy it if it helps.

- Have that data easily uploaded somehow into a database that is the back end of a website, as she updates or makes edits to the database. One of the fields in the Filemaker database, though, should be a check box of whether to include that particular horse in the online database, since some owners may not want that public, even though they don't mind her having the record.

- Have a web site that allows browsing and searching of the horses, and the ability to traverse up and down through the lineage. It doesn't have to be particularly fancy.

Looking online at the Filemaker web site, I see that Filemaker can serve as the back end, but she is mostly on dial-up, so that isn't really an option. We would need to find a hosting service that provides a full-time back end. I have used dreamhost, so I know that at least mysql is available. I just don't know how easy it would be to propogate updates from Filemaker to mysql.

Any ideas, comments, or suggestions? Where could we hire someone reliable to do this? Should we not be using Filemaker? Is there a better process we should be looking at?
posted by procrastination to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Have a look at this software called Breeder's Assistant. It's basically a genealogy program for critters. It looks like it does the job, and features file conversion. Conversion from File maker is not listed, but it might do that also. Or check other software that comes up if you Google "pedigree software".
posted by beagle at 9:24 AM on March 26, 2008

The already-mentioned Breeder's Assistant or BreedMate will do this for you. I have used both for dog pedigrees and while I prefer Breeder's Assistant for some things, BreedMate is much better for HTML pedigrees, IMHO. The horse-specific version of BreedMate is called Hawkeye. Both programs have free demos.

There are also numerous free HTML pedigree generators which are varyingly useful. Googling for "free html pedigree software" will find them.
posted by biscotti at 11:34 AM on March 26, 2008

What are her options when she's in Filemaker and looks into the "Save As" or "Export" options?

I haven't used it in a long time but I'm sure she will be able to export in a variety of formats, and some of of them will be suitable for importing into MySQL. That way she can just export, then FTP, a text file to the server and have her website automatically update.

If you decide to hire someone to do your website, please contact me.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 3:58 PM on March 26, 2008

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