My job would be easier, or at least less tedious if I could come up with an automated way (preferably in a Python script) to extract useful information from a FileMaker Pro database. I am working on Linux machine and the FileMaker database is on the same LAN running on an OS X machine. I can log into the webby interface from my machine.
I'm quite handy with SQL, and if somebody could point me to some FileMaker plug-in that could give me SQL access to the data within FileMaker, I would be pleased as punch. Everything I've found only goes the other way: Having FileMaker get data from SQL sources. Not useful.
It's not my first choice, but I'd use Perl instead of Python if there was a Perl-y solution at hand.
Note: XML/XSLT services (as suggested by some folks) are only available on FM Server, not FM Pro. Otherwise, that would probably be the best solution. ODBC is turning out to be extremely difficult to even get working. There is absolutely zero feedback from FM when you set it up so you have to dig through /var/log/system.log and parse obscure error messages.
Conclusion: I got it working by running a python script locally on the machine that queries the FM database through the ODBC connections. The script is actually a TCPServer that accepts socket connections from other systems on the LAN, runs the queries, and returns the data through the socket connection. I had to do this to bypass the fact that FM Pro only accepts ODBC connections locally (FM server is required for external connections).
It has been a really long time since I did anything with FileMaker Pro, but I know that it does have capabilities for an ODBC (and JDBC) connection to be made to it (however, I don't know how, or if, that translates to the linux/perl/python world though).
This article shows how to share/expose your FileMaker data via ODBC & JDBC:
Sharing FileMaker Pro data via ODBC or JDBC
From there, if you're able to create an ODBC/JDBC connection you could query out data as needed.
You'll need the FileMaker Pro installation CD to get the drivers. This document details the process for FMP 9 - it is similar for versions 7.x and 8.x as well. Versions 6.x and earlier are completely different and I wouldn't bother trying (xDBC support in those previous versions is "minimal" at best).
FMP 9 supports SQL-92 standard syntax (mostly). Note that rather than querying tables directly you query using the "table occurrence" name which serves as a table alias of sorts. If the data tables are stored in multiple files it is possible to create a single FMP file with table occurrences/aliases pointing to those data tables. There's an "undocumented feature" where such a file must have a table defined in it as well and that table "related" to any other table on the relationships graph (doesn't matter which one) for ODBC access to work. Otherwise your queries will always return no results.
The PDF document details all of the limitations of using the xDBC interface FMP provides. Performance of simple queries is reasonably fast, ymmv. I have found the performance of queries specifying the "LIKE" operator to be less than stellar.
FMP also has an XML/XSLT interface that you can use to query FMP data over an HTTP connection. It also provides a PHP class for accessing and using FMP data in web applications.