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MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 10.1pr4

New in this prerelease of version 10.1 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Improve your work live balance with do not disturb

To improve the balance between work and live, some simple things can help:

First, it's a great idea to set a rule in the household to have no phones for meals. So I just leave my iPhone in the office, so it doesn't grab my attention. Some families have baskets for the phones so when you enter kitchen, you put it there. We'll see if we do this when our children get older and we get more devices.

Next figure out the time you allow others to disturb you. The default setting for iOS is to be silent between 22:00 at night and 7:00 o'clock in the morning. Now it seems to work better for me to move those times to 20:00 and 9:00 o'clock. In the morning I may get up long before 9, but to get ready, have breakfast and read through emails, it may be 9 when I am ready to take calls.

For the evening it's difficult alone to get away from work and not work till midnight, but at least the iPhone won't disturb me when I am busy doing some focused work, or watch a movie with my family.

What do you do to get some rest from screens?

Automate login to FileMaker Admin Console in web viewer

Today a client asked how to automate login to the admin console when it is open in a web viewer within a FileMaker solution. You probably saw the video Automate web viewer already?

The login here is a bit more difficult as you need a couple of JavaScript calls to login, but here is a script that works for us:

Set Variable [ $JS ; Value: "
function SendEvent(o, name)
  // send event to JavaScript event listeners¶
  var evt = document.createEvent('Events');
  evt.initEvent(name, true, true);

// set user name¶
o = document.getElementById('inputUserName');
o.value = '" & Admin Console::Username & "';
SendEvent(o, 'input');
SendEvent(o, 'blur');

// set password¶
o = document.getElementById('inputPassword');
o.value = '" & Admin Console::Password & "';
SendEvent(o, 'input');
SendEvent(o, 'blur');

document.getElementById('LOGN_Butn_SignIn').click();" ]
Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("WebView.RunJavaScript"; "web"; Substitute ( $JS; ¶; Char(10) )) ]

As you see we define an utility function in JavaScript to trigger an event programmatically. This is required as the login form has event listeners in JavaScript which validate the fields and we need those to enable the Sign In button for us. we do the following steps for each field. We query the field by its ID, set the focus, enter the text and trigger input event to have the JavaScript recognize the changes and then blur it to remove focus. Finally on the end we trigger a click on the login button.

Please note that for text in a formula FileMaker removes the line breaks, so for each comment we add a ¶ character to indicate we want a line break there. Also we do a replace all here to change line endings to unix line endings before we run it with the WebView.RunJavaScript function.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. The example will be included with next plugin version.

Core Location Geocoder with JSON

When we implemented CLGeocoder functions in year 2014, there was not much JSON in use. Nowadays a lot of FileMaker developers deal with JSON data, so why not add more JSON functions to MBS Plugin?

We got a refreshment for our CLGeocoder functions today. For next plugin we first add a wait parameter to CLGeocoder.GeocodeAddressString and CLGeocoder.ReverseGeocodeLocation functions. If wait is 1, the plugin waits a bit until the geocoder is done. Just convenient to avoid having the loop to wait in FileMaker scripts.

Second, we add a CLGeocoder.JSON function to return the data as JSON. This is one big JSON which encodes all the details including status variables, error details and the list of place marks found. For each place mark you get the location, region and address properties.

We can now query address in one Let statement, check status and return the result as JSON:

Let ( [
  Address = "Berlin, Germany";
  // run query and wait a bit
  g = MBS( "CLGeocoder.GeocodeAddressString"; Address; 1 );
  e = MBS("IsError");
  // query JSON if we got something
  r = If (e = 0; MBS( "CLGeocoder.JSON"; g ); g);
  // free resources
  f = If (e = 0; MBS( "CLGeocoder.Close"; g ); 0)
]; r )

Similar let statement for the other way around:

Let ( [
  latitude = 52.517631899999998;
  longitude = 13.4096574;
  // run query and wait a bit
  g = MBS( "CLGeocoder.ReverseGeocodeLocation"; latitude; longitude; 1 );
  e = MBS("IsError");
  // query JSON if we got something
  r = If (e = 0; MBS( "CLGeocoder.JSON"; g ); g);
  // free resources
  f = If (e = 0; MBS( "CLGeocoder.Close"; g ); 0)
]; r )

We add this for next release for your convenience. Please do not hesitate to contact us in case of questions.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 10.1pr3

New in this prerelease of version 10.1 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin:
  • Added parameters for CNContactPicker.Show to set position.
  • Removed check from ImageCapture.RequestScan to check for open session.
  • Changed DynaPDF.Initialize to accept Starter, Lite, Pro and Enterprise texts for demo modes again.
  • Changed Socket.NewTCPSocket to mark sockets to accept IPv4 connections on IPv6 sockets.
  • Added checkbox for preferences to turn font changes on/off.
  • For DynaPDF we will rename the DLL to have 64-bit library named dynapdf.dll in future and dynapdf32.dll for the 32-bit version.
  • Updated DynaPDF to version
  • Fixed issue with FM.RunDatabaseDesignReport to work in MacOS Catalina. Needs accessibility permissions in system preferences to click save button.
Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

FileMaker vs. CURL versions

Here is a list of which FileMaker version includes which CURL version:
FileMaker versionCURL Version
You can learn about CURL releases on the curl website.

Why do we care? Well, if you still use FileMaker before version 16, your FileMaker scripts using Insert From URL are affected by the TLS certificate bugs in older CURL versions. And if certificate verification is not done right, someone can attack your queries, gain your password or provide invalid data to your solution. So please keep FileMaker up to date!

As with MBS Plugin, Claris Inc. also regularly updates the open source libraries used. Usually you do that on the begin of the development cycle, so you have time to find and issues from the newer library version like a bug fix, which changes behavior in a way you didn't intent. e.g. we run into CURL change for email download via IMAP.

MBS Plugin 10.1 will include CURL version 7.68.0 and MBS Plugin 10.0 shipped with version 7.67.0.

Our JavaScript engine, a game changer

Yesterday Sean Beach, one of our clients in New York emailed me back about our JavaScript integration. To quote him:

"Wanted to follow back and say that this plugin is a game changer for my showcontrol product. Thanks so much!”

The discussion was about our JavaScript functions and a couple of his questions got answered in our Tips for our JavaScript functions blog post:

"This document is fantastic, and actually answers most of my questions from the previous email."

We are delighted about the feedback we got!

The same day Stefanie got two of her latest articles published about using JavaScript to calculate distances.

On our FileMaker blog the version using our FileMaker Plugin:
FileMaker and JavaScript - the perfect combination

And even on the official Xojo blog an article about our Xojo class to run JavaScript:
Xojo and JavaScript – A Perfect Combination

We are happy to see that our JavaScript integration is so well received by clients from around the world. And it just started with a hint from one user in early December to take a look into this topic.

Check out the JavaScriptEngineMBS class for Xojo and the JavaScript functions for FileMaker!

20 Years Monkeybread Software Party

This year in April our company will turn 20 years old.
We'll plan to have a big party here in Germany near our office with over 100 guests.

Today we send invitations to guests who have not yet responded.

If you like to join and you miss an invitation, you can contact us and ask whether your invitation got lost.

As people confirm they are coming, we'll add them to the guest list. If we run out of space, we may put people on the wait list.
If you can't make it, please respond soon, so we don't need to contact you again later.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 10.1pr2

New in this prerelease of version 10.1 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

FileMaker and JavaScript - the perfect combination

In the newest version of the MBS FileMaker Plugin 10.0 we offer functions for the use of JavaScript without the use of a web viewer. See WebView.RunJavaScript and WebView.Evaluate to run or evaluate JavaScript in a web viewer. The new JavaScript functions increase your functionality in FileMaker enormously. You can write your own Javascript, use a JavaScript snipped that fix a problem or fast up a process of your solution. In this article I want to show you how to use JavaScript code in FileMaker: Setting values in the JavaScript with functions in FileMaker, add functions and run them.

If you have a problem that you want to solve, you don't have to reinvent the wheel again and again. Perhaps someone has already found a solution to this problem and shared his solution on the Internet. So start a search engine and try your luck. Special thanks to André Rinas and his website andrerinas.de that supply very useful JavaScript snippets to everyone. This example is based on one of this JavaScript codes.


FileMaker Stammtisch Rhein-Main

Der nächste FileMaker Stammtisch in Rhein-Main findet diese Woche am Donnerstag, den 6. Februar 2020 in Hofheim-Wallau statt.

ca. 19 bis 23 Uhr im Ristorante BELLA BARI - Hessenstraße 1 - 65719 Wallau.

Themen diesmal FileMaker Konferenzen in 2020 und gerne auch Fragen an mich zum MBS FileMaker Plugin 10.0.

Gerne könnt ihr eure FileMaker Lösungen mitbringen und bei Probleme und Fragen direkt vorführen. Eventuell hat jemand in der Runde ja eine Lösung für euch.

siehe Denkform Webseite

Zur MBS Plugin Schulung am 7. Mai 2020 sind noch Plätze frei und die Frühbucherrabatt für die FileMaker Konferenz endet am 20. Februar 2020.

Tips for our JavaScript functions

Here a few tips we recently learnt for our JavaScript engine based on Duktape in the MBS Plugins for FileMaker and Xojo:
  1. Use performance.now() to get time within JavaScript and measure how long something takes. Here an example where we measure how many milli seconds it takes to run a loop one million times:
    function testFunction() {
        for (var i = 0; i < 1e6; i++) {}
    var t1 = performance.now();
    var t2 = performance.now();
    Print('test took: ' + (t2 - t1) + ' milliseconds');
  2. All global functions and properties in JavaScript are attached to the global object. You can access them explicitly via globalThis keyword.
  3. List global properties via JavaScript:
    Var list = Object.keys(globalThis);
    The list will include all global names including functions like Print registered by MBS Plugin.
  4. Check Duktape.version for the version number. If we update the engine, you can check the version number and compare. Currently the value is 20500 for version 2.5.
  5. Use unicode escapes in strings if needed to mask special characters. While the engine handles UTF-8 fine, you can escape some characters with \u followed with a hex 4 digit number, e.g.
  6. n = '\u0041';
    Which will assign "A" to variable n.
  7. Use built-in functions to encode text as hex or base64 via Duktape.enc:
    Duktape.enc('base64', 'Hello')
    This returns "SGVsbG8=".
  8. Use Duktape.dec and TextDecoder class to decode base64/hex encoded text to UTF-8 string:
    var result = new TextDecoder().decode(Duktape.dec('base64', 'Zm9v'));
    Result is now a variable with text "foo".
  9. Access call stack with Duktape.act function. Query Duktape.act(i) with various values of i. Pass -1 for the act() call, -2 for the current function and -3 for the caller of current function. The returned object contains properties for lineNumber and function. When you query function.name, you get the name of the function.
  10. Add console object if needed. You can add a console object and include a log function, which sends arguments to a Print function:
    console = { log: function() { Print(Array.prototype.join.call(arguments, ' ')); } };
  11. Provide environment some JavaScript may need. If some JavaScript expects a global window object to store something, you can simply create a dummy one:
    window = {};
    This may not provide functionality, but allows at least code to check for this to work.
  12. Prefer functions over evaluating code. Code in functions is parsed and uses registers for the virtual machine, while code evaluated may use named variables, so if you can put your code in a function and just evaluate the function call, things may execute a bit faster.
  13. Be aware all numbers in JavaScript are doubles. Evaluate "9999999999999999" and you get "10000000000000000" back. Comparing numbers may not give the result you expect as "0.1+0.2==0.3" evaluates to false.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. See also JS.Evaluate and related JavaScript functions in MBS FileMaker Plugin and JavaScriptEngineMBS class in MBS Xojo Plugins.

Font setting for FileMaker Script Workspace

Who tried the MBS Plugin 10.1pr1 and changed the font size via preferences dialog?

Let us know your experience. Does it help? What is your favorite font and size?

See A font preference for FileMaker and Using a different font in FileMaker

Contact picker and viewer for FileMaker

We have added CNContactPicker.Show and CNContact.Show for next version of MBS Plugin and using those functions you can show a picker to select a contact or show details for a contact:

e.g. if you have contacts in your FileMaker iOS SDK based application, you can have an import button to select an entry in your contacts and read the values into FileMaker database.
Checkout the other Contacts and Calendar functions (includes reminders) for MacOS, iOS and iPadOS.

WebViewer PostURL function

Today we added WebView.PostURL to load a website with a POST request in a web viewer. For some websites this allows to pass some extra data to a website and then display the result in the FileMaker web viewer. We can pass extra headers which is great for authentication, but can also be used to override the user-agent for the request:

As you see we passed a different user agent and confused this website a bit to think we have a Mac with Safari. We load the website with a call like this:

MBS( "WebView.PostURL"; "web"; $URL; ""; "User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (FileMaker; Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_14_6) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/13.0.4 Safari/605.1.15 )")

As we pass no post data, this will not be a POST request, but a GET request. For headers you can pass list of entries, but here in the example it is just one line.

Maybe this may help you with some websites to go past some browser detection. See WebView.PostURL function.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with question.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 10.1pr1

New in this prerelease of version 10.1 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

FileMaker Magazin Links

As you may know we publish a few articles in German FileMaker Magazin.
For our documentation we added links to relevant articles, so you can quickly find them.

e.g. if you scroll down on the page FM.ExecuteFileSQL, you find listed related functions, example databases, blog entries and new the list of pages in FileMaker Magazin referencing this function.

We hope this makes live easier for those using MBS Plugin and subscribing to the FileMaker Magazin. Even if your German is not perfect, you may want to read it as the Magazin is a big treasure with the back issues from 25 years.

We keep a few articles from the magazine here: FileMaker Magazin MBS Artikel

In total we reference the magazine from 356 functions with 630 relevant pages. Enjoy!

A font preference for FileMaker

Our work continues for custom font for FileMaker and some people like JetBrains Mono, but why not a different font and make it user choosable?
Not all fonts work, so we filter the font list and only include those with characters used in script workspace like brackets. So WingDings for example is not offered.

We'll see if this feature works well or causes trouble for some users.
This feature is coming for next MBS FileMaker Plugin version 10.1 one early March.

Preferences dialog for Windows

We got a new preferences dialog for our MBS FileMaker Plugin on Windows. It allows you to see the plugin version and allows to install a license key locally, which is saved to the registry as with StoreRegistration function:

As the dialog on MacOS, we may show the license state, e.g. demo with no license, trial license or purchased license.
Over the next release we may tweak the dialog a bit. Currently it makes trouble if you click on FileMaker window and the dialog moves to background.

Using a different font in FileMaker

In the last week JetBrains Mono font was released. It got some attention and a couple of people asked whether we can have that in FileMaker as font for the script workspace and/or calculation dialog. The font has a few nice features for developers including easy to distinguish 0 and O characters as well as 1, l and I all easy to recognize. A couple of ligatures help to make code easier readable with minus and greater than drawing more like an arrow for example. See yourself in a calculation:

Work is still in progress, but here is the script workspace with Jet Brains Mono:

We noticed that you need to restart FileMaker in case you change font, but I think we'll add a preferences for our preferences dialog to define that.
This feature is coming for next MBS Plugin version 10.1 one early March.

Older blog entries:

2020-01-23 New in the MBS FileMaker Plugin 10.0
2020-01-22 Create Barcodes on Server from FileMaker Go
2020-01-20 5 Monate bis zur Deutschen FileMaker Konferenz 2020 in Malbun
2020-01-20 Automate web viewer in FileMaker
2020-01-16 Run scripts via Data API with FileMaker Plugins
2020-01-15 CRC function in FileMaker using JavaScript
2020-01-14 MBS FileMaker Plugin 10.0 - More than 6000 Functions In One Plugin
2020-01-14 Neues MBS FileMaker Plugin 10.0
2020-01-13 Different colors for variables in FileMaker
2020-01-13 Speakers wanted for Claris Engage 2020
2020-01-11 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 10.0pr8
2020-01-08 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 10.0pr7
2020-01-08 Document Camera Scan functions for FileMaker iOS SDK
2020-01-07 MBS Workshop in Malbun bei der FileMaker Konferenz
2020-01-06 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 10.0pr6
2020-01-05 Evaluate JavaScript for web viewer in Windows
2020-01-04 Whether to order updates or not
2020-01-03 MBS Meeting in Netherlands
2020-01-02 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 10.0pr5
2020-01-01 Welcome 2020


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