I'd like to add a few database comments. I've been developing databases
for local businesses
for some years now using Access. I've had limited exposure to Filemaker,
so my comparisons
are based on incomplete knowledge.

pro Access: What I have seen (not using the most recent versions) is
that Filemaker
is cumbersome, compared to Access, in dealing with multiple related
tables. Form and
report design is (my impression, again) simpler in Access.

pro Filemaker: Filemaker has a distinct advantage over Access in a
multi-platform environment.
Also, my impression is that integrating with the web is more
straightforward (and not MS-centric).

"big" DB issues: I don't think the question of Filemaker/Access vs.
high-end DB is strictly either-or.
I know Access (and there may be similar capacities with Filemaker) can
work well as a front-end
to almost any more powerful database. The advantage of this approach is
that Access (and FM?)
is a great tool for developing forms and reports quickly and easily.
It's straightforward to replace
native Access tables with pointers to tables in some other DB - from the
start, or after a DB has
been developed.

Sigurd Andersen

Dave Tisdell wrote:

>... I think we are quickly
>outgrowing tools like Access and Filemaker and should be using
>enterprise class databases for greater flexibility and interoperability.
>I don't want to be part of implementing an expensive product only to see
>we have outgrown it in a short period of time.
>I would rather see something that is multiplatform and very flexible
>that will serve us for a long time to come. Are there other products
>that do this or is Scantron the best or only game in town? Thanks