we have a filemaker pro database with its web companion, however very few ISP's will host filemaker pro anymore, they use PHP.
can I convert our filemaker pro database to PHP and how?
You can not convert your FMP db to php. Filemaker is a database and php a scripting language.
You can use other script language with FMP (lasso, FMP, Tango ...)
or redesign your database into MySql, Postgresql ....
Once the database is converted, you would need to build PHP pages to present the data to the end users. Take a look at PostgreSQL Maestro.
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Readers of this post may be interested to know that the FmPro Migrator tool described in the link has been updated quite a bit over the last 8 years.
FmPro Migrator Platinum Edition now has the capability of converting not only the data, but also the graphical interface of the FileMaker database (Layouts, value lists, portals, vector graphics objects,scripts) into a PHP web application.
A few other things I can think of in regards to the data transfer:
There are a number of ways to export data at no cost from a FileMaker database file. All of these features are listed in the File -> Export Records... menu option.
But you need to be careful when exporting records this way. I have experienced problems exporting large data sets in this manner. Also the built-in export features won't export repeating fields into a usable format, and will not export image data from container fields. Repeating fields data receive extra processing, in order to convert them into a relational database structure - a table of records which are related to the parent table.
These limitations required me to write the FmPro Migrator tool in the first place. Whenever I transfer data from FileMaker databases, I always use an ODBC connection to read the data accurately so that I get every byte of data. For instance, some spreadsheet formats have been know to truncate data at 255 bytes per cell - so you don't want to experience hidden data truncation in this manner.
If all you want to do is transfer the data, and you don't need to convert the graphical interface, there is a less expensive version of the product available for this task.