ODBC (which stands for Open Database Connectivity) and JDBC are standards that were developed to facilitate data exchange between disparate data sources. FileMaker can access remote data via ODBC/JDBC (sometimes referred to jointly by FileMaker as "xDBC"), and it can act also as an ODBC/JDBC data source for other applications. The latter is a deployment option you should consider if you need your FileMaker data to feed other applications in your organization.
ODBC and JDBC are standards, not languages or applications. Different applications are compliant with these standards to varying degrees. SQL (Structured Query Language) is the language used to exchange data via ODBC/JDBC. The term "xDBC" is used for convenience in the FileMaker documentation to refer to both technologies jointly.
To make FileMaker data available via xDBC, you must be using the Windows version of FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server Advanced. Configuring a database to be accessible via xDBC is similar to configuring it to be accessible via the Web: You need to add the fmxdbc extended privilege to one or more privilege sets, and you need to turn on ODBC/JDBC sharing. After doing this, you need to set up data source names (DSNs) for other applications to use when accessing your FileMaker databases. After everything has been configured properly, other applications can send SQL queries to FileMaker.
You might want to consider xDBC as part of your deployment strategy for many reasons. For instance, you might set up report templates and charts in Microsoft Excel that pull data from FileMaker via ODBC. Similarly, you can design Java applets that interact with FileMaker databases via JDBC. Other potential uses include integration with JSP pages, ASP or ASP.NET pages, and query tools.
For more information on using ODBC/JDBC with FileMaker, see Chapter 20, "Exporting Data from FileMaker," p. 595, and Chapter 19, "Importing Data into FileMaker Pro," p. 567.
Part I: Getting Started with FileMaker 8
Using FileMaker Pro
Defining and Working with Fields
Working with Layouts
Part II: Developing Solutions with FileMaker
Relational Database Design
Working with Multiple Tables
Working with Relationships
Getting Started with Calculations
Getting Started with Scripting
Getting Started with Reporting
Part III: Developer Techniques
Developing for Multiuser Deployment
Advanced Interface Techniques
Advanced Calculation Techniques
Advanced Scripting Techniques
Advanced Portal Techniques
Debugging and Troubleshooting
Converting Systems from Previous Versions of FileMaker Pro
Part IV: Data Integration and Publishing
Importing Data into FileMaker Pro
Exporting Data from FileMaker
Instant Web Publishing
FileMaker and Web Services
Custom Web Publishing
Part V: Deploying a FileMaker Solution
Deploying and Extending FileMaker
FileMaker Server and Server Advanced
Documenting Your FileMaker Solutions