Actual ESS Adapter

Use FileMaker External SQL Sources (ESS) with Postgres and IBM DB2

The External SQL Sources (ESS) feature of FileMaker lets you use tables from SQL databases as if they were native FileMaker tables. The SQL tables can be accessed directly from layouts and scripts - no special SQL programming is required. With ESS, it’s never been easier to add SQL data to a FileMaker solution!

And now the Actual ESS Adapter adds 3 new database types that can be used with ESS: Postgres, IBM DB2, and DB2 for iSeries. The adapter is available for Mac OS and Windows.

The Actual ESS Adapter is a special type of ODBC driver*. The adapter takes data from a native ODBC driver and presents it to FileMaker in a way that it can be used with ESS.

Actual ESS Adapter diagram

*An ODBC driver provides an application with a standard way of communicating with a database.

One of the great things about ESS is that when a FileMaker database is hosted on FileMaker Server, you only need to install the adapter and ODBC drivers on the server. FileMaker Server makes all SQL database connections on behalf of any connected FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, or WebDirect clients.

Supported Databases

To connect to the 3 new databases - Postgres, IBM DB2, and DB2 for iSeries - you would need a native ODBC driver plus the Actual ESS Adapter. The specific databases and corresponding native ODBC drivers are as follows:

Windows: PostgreSQL ODBC Driver (Unicode)
Mac OS: Actual Open Source Databases 5.1.12 (PostgreSQL)

IBM DB2 for Series i 7.3 (AS/400)
Windows: IBM iSeries Access ODBC Driver
Mac OS: Actual DB2 1.0

IBM DB2 10.5 for Linux, Unix and Windows
Windows: IBM DB2 ODBC Driver 10.05.500.107

Note: ESS natively supports 3 types of databases: MySQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server. To use ESS with these databases, you only need a native ODBC driver - you don’t need the Actual ESS Adapter with MySQL, Oracle, or Microsoft SQL Server.

DB2 is a registered trademark of IBM Corporation and/or its affiliates.

Try It Today

Download and evaluate our driver today. You will be able to install the driver, set up a connection, and retrieve data* from your database using Excel or FileMaker. You will also have access to our on-line help and technical support.


* Downloaded driver has all features turned on, except that it will only return 3 rows from any query until the driver is registered. Once you are ready to register your driver, just go to our secure on-line store. We will send you a license key that will allow an unlimited number of rows to be returned from any query.

Database Compatibility

  • IBM i 7.3 (AS/400)
  • IBM DB2 10.5
  • Postgres 9.4 or later

System Requirements

  • Mac OS 10.9 or later (including Sonoma)
  • Windows 7 SP1 or later (32- and 64-bit)