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The MBS Script Step

Sunday 21 May 2017 at 10:25 pm
As you may know FileMaker 16 allows plugins to create new custom script steps. MBS Plugin 7.2 or newer registers a script step called MBS. This step can replace calls with Set Field or Set Variable and is just a convenience option for you to easier find our plugin:

You define the destination. This can be a field or a variable including the number of the repetition. Second option is the name of the function to call. This is either provided as text in quotes or picked from a calculation. The calculation can reference variables and fields, so you can define which function to call with e.g. reading function name from a field.

The next parameters are the actual function parameters. The first four are visible directly in the line, the other ones only if you click the gear. For each parameter you can specify a calculation to query value using fields or variables.

Technically this script step calls the exact same MBS function as before. For us the script step is just a bit of sugar for the script. The plugins can only provide a script step definition on startup and use the given options described in the plugin SDK documentation. We can’t dynamically change the options like presenting a popup menu with components and than a popup with the function in that component. Like CURL and than pick Perform.

As using the new script step breaks compatibility to older FileMaker versions, we will not use it for a few years in our examples until we no longer need to support older versions. But nice to have my plugin finally show up in script step list after 11 years of development. Please try it!

FileMaker Developer Meeting in Nuremberg

Saturday 20 May 2017 at 11:00 pm
On my next visit to Nuremberg, I'd love to make another FileMaker developer meeting:

Wer hat Interesse an einem FileMaker Entwicklertreffen im Juni in Nürnberg?

Einfach gemütlich zusammen sitzen und über FileMaker Neuigkeiten, Konferenzen und die täglichen Probleme bei der Softwareentwicklung unterhalten.
Gerne zeige ich auch neue Pluginfunktionen oder helfe bei Problemen mit FileMaker Projekten. Einfach Computer mitbringen und was zeigen.

Bitte an der Umfrage teilnehmen und helfen einen optimalen Termin zu finden: FileMaker Treffen
Bei Interesse bitte bei mir melden.

PS: Berliner Stammtisch am 31. Mai.

Run FileMaker in different language on your Mac

Friday 19 May 2017 at 10:14 pm
Sometimes we need to make screenshots or present with FileMaker in other languages and you can have at least eleven languages:

(you know all the languages for the menubars?)

I made a couple of little AppleScript apps to launch FileMaker 16 in another language. So I can double click the French one and another instance of FileMaker Pro launches on my Mac with French localization. Please try and let me know what you think about it.

Download: LaunchFileMakerInDifferentLanguages.dmg

Update: Newer version now for FM 14 and 15, too.

Convert WMF and EMF files to PDF with DynaPDF

Thursday 18 May 2017 at 1:52 pm
Did you know you can use DynaPDF to convert Windows metafile to PDF as vector graphics?

When running on Windows, you can load EMF (enhanced metafile) or WMF and query their size. Than you can decide where to insert them and place them on a PDF page. Of course you can create a PDF page with the size of the WMF bounding box and place your graphic at full size.

If you like to create regularly documents with company logos, you can ask for example to provide them as PDF or WMF and just place them on the document as needed. As your designers when using something like CorelDraw can just export vector graphic as WMF, this is a convenient way to store them on Windows, except directly PDF. Be aware that some applications just embed a bitmap picture in the WMF, which lead to worse quality compared to pure vector graphics.

This requires a DynaPDF Lite license or better. If needed you can use a DynaPDF Pro license to render the PDF to JPEG, PNG or TIFF files.

With GraphicsMagick functions you can convert WMF files to bitmaps, but quality in DynaPDF may be better.

Redirect fmp URL scheme for runtimes

Wednesday 17 May 2017 at 4:47 pm
Today we worked with a client on runtimes which had a need to receive FMP URL calls. The FMP URL Scheme is not officially supported for runtimes, but it looks like the functionality is there. We only need to register the scheme with the operation system. FileMaker Pro does the same and register itself as handler for FMP URLs. We do the same for macOS and Windows but point to a different app:

For macOS we just follow the example steps from the Readme coming with MBS Plugins examples in URL Scheme folder. As you can read there, you change the info.plist file of the app. Than you use the URLScheme functions in MBS Plugin to set the default scheme handler. Instead of a FileMaker Pro (which usually is not installed on the clients machines), the runtime will now handle the FMP URLs.

For Windows, the installer for the runtime, registers in the registry the FMP URL scheme and points to the runtime exe file. This requires admin permissions.

In both cases, FileMaker Pro (if installed), won't be the FMP URL handler anymore. So please keep it an option only for clients who need it and have no FileMaker Pro installed!

This can be reverted on macOS by deleting the runtime (or some terminal commands for lsregister). On Windows you can revert it with registry changes or using the FileMaker Pro installer to install over the existing installation.

But the good thing, the webviewer can now use javascript based calendars which trigger actions back to the app via fmp URLs. Technically on Mac our plugin also allows you to use other URL schemes for your solution and handle them by a script trigger. See URLScheme.InstallURLEventHandler

FileMaker Briefing

Tuesday 16 May 2017 at 5:51 pm
Über 100 Leute sind dabei beim FileMaker Briefing in der Schweiz:

Fast wie eine FileMaker Konferenz trifft sich hier die FileMaker Gemeinde aus der Schweiz mit Gästen aus umliegenden Ländern zum Stelldichein. Michael Valentin berichtet, was es neues in FileMaker 16 gibt und bei der FIleMaker Cloud.

Zurich, Switzerland

Tuesday 16 May 2017 at 2:09 pm
My office view this morning:

For a few minutes, before the boat left Zurich. Today I am in Meilen for the FileMaker 16 Event.
Tomorrow night is the Xojo meeting. If anyone here in Zurich area is interested in joining me, drop me a line.

MBS FileMaker Plugin 7.2

Monday 15 May 2017 at 1:05 pm
Nickenich, Germany - (May 15th, 2017) -- MonkeyBread Software today is pleased to announce MBS FileMaker Plugin 7.2 for macOS, iOS, Linux and Windows, the latest update to their product that is easily the most powerful plugin currently available for FileMaker Pro. As the leading database management solution for Windows, Mac, iOS and the web, the FileMaker Pro Integrated Development Environment supports a plugin architecture that can easily extend the feature set of the application. MBS FileMaker Plugin 7.2 has been updated and now includes over 4600 different functions, and the versatile plugin has gained more new functions:

Our new plugin is optimized for FileMaker 16 and provides all the usual features in the latest version of FileMaker. The script workspace again shows the syntax highlighting and allows to search scripts. We added a new MBS script step, so you can easily use plugin functions in your scripts. Of course you can continue with using Set Variable as before and keep compatible to FileMaker 15. You can even yourself define custom script steps in FileMaker using expressions to evaluate with our plugin.

Included with the new plugin version is a plugin for iOS. This is a brand new plugin and allows you to try over 2000 of our functions already for your own solutions built using the FileMaker iOS SDK. We will need to check in the next months how iOS performs and which functions can help you the most. Most of the Webviewer functions already work on iOS, including the preferences functions to enable the developer extras.

For macOS we added a new preferences dialog. There you can toggle all the enhancements we offer for the FileMaker script workspace. And you can enter your license key for storing it in the preferences file with FileMaker. In the script workspace we added new zoom controls, so you can increase font size for your scripts. For popupmenu controls in FileMaker, you can now copy the values via our contextual menus. For calculation dialogs, you can now define a minimum font size, so you easier read them when presenting.

For Windows you can now send emails via the local email client application. This includes sending emails with attachments via Outlook or Thunderbird. Using our new Registry functions you can add, edit and delete registry entries directly from FileMaker.

For CURL we have new functions to setup queries to Amazon Webservices and we provide an example for AWS S3 download and upload. Our plugin provides the authentication based on AWS4-HMAC-SHA256 for the queries, so you can easily integrate several amazon services. With new socket type functions, you can now let CURL connect to an IP and use the connection like any other socket with reading and writing data. CURL encapsulates all the IP protocols (IPv4 and IPv6), proxies and SSL options for you. Finally we allow you to use the system root certificates on macOS and Windows for SSL verification.

For our Windows users we added new WindowsUserNotification functions to show user notifications on Windows 8 and newer. A notification can show a picture and several text lines to notify user about an event when your app runs in background. For macOS we provide similar features using UserNotification functions.

You can now show the character palette to enter emojis, set/get valuelists as xml from/to clipboard (see CTs FileMakerSnippetStorage.fmp12), new iOSDevice functions, better barcode creation, better Speak command and more.

Finally we updated LibXL to version 3.8.0, OpenSSL to 1.1.0e and 1.0.2k, SQLAPI to 4.1.11, SQLite to 3.18.0, DynaPDF to and Xcode to 8.3.2.

See release notes for a complete list of changes.

FileMaker Magazin - MBS Artikel

Friday 12 May 2017 at 4:48 pm

For our German speaking users:

Wir haben die Artikel zum MBS Plugin aus dem FileMaker Magazin gesammelt hier online gestellt: FileMaker Magazin Artikel:

Wir empfehlen allen FileMaker Anwender ein Abo vom Magazin und den Kauf der alten Ausgaben. Das FileMaker Magazin ist eine excellente Quelle von Informationen, Anleitungen und Profitips.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 7.2pr6

Thursday 11 May 2017 at 10:24 pm
New in this prerelease of the 7.2 MBS FileMaker Plugin:
  • Fixed an issue with item handling, broken in earlier 7.2 version.
  • Fixed issue with registration in iOS Simulator.
  • Fixed an issue with using OS debugger with Xojo app and MBS registration.
  • Added -fPIC flag for iOS.
  • Added more parameter for Text.EncodeToHTML to decide how to encode entities.
  • Fixed problem in Text.EncodeToHTML where it did not ignore low ascii characters.
  • Fixed crash in Audit.ClearCaches.
  • Fixed issue with Audit when using extra fields with empty decimal value.
  • Fixed variable check to handle custom script steps like Set Variable.
  • Improved preferences dialog for FileMaker 13.
  • Added PDFKit.AddImageFilePage function.
  • Added BringWindowToFront parameter to Twain.Acquire function.
  • Reduced memory usage for PDFKit.AddImageFilePage and PDFKit.AddImagePage.
Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Beware of changes in FileMaker 16

Thursday 11 May 2017 at 6:53 pm
The new version of FileMaker offers a lot of great new features. Card style windows, copying value lists, new functions, a REST API and much more.

But you need to verify whether your solutions works fine with the new release before you upgrade. This includes checking whether all layouts still work the same. Scrollbars went away, so windows are a bit smaller or show a bit more content. The zoom controls are gone, so you may need to make your own if users miss them. Some things layout differently now in FileMaker Go 16 compared to 15.

On Windows having no parent window around your layout windows causes changes. Some scripts don’t work anymore and need to be updated for that situation. For your users you should always have a menubar in one of the visible windows available. Because if you hide all menu bars, there is no way to use the menus.

Next some things under the hood changed. WebViewer now uses a newer WebKit version on Mac with a different API. When I first got a preview of FileMaker 16, all my plugin functions for web viewer failed. Over time I got most working again, but still there are major things missing. For example WKWebView does hardly any printing. A couple of Cocoa developers run into this and I did not get it to print for my plugins. Better not move to FM 16 if you need WebView printing or PDF generation.

For using fmp URL there is a new permission setting in security dialogs. You need to enable it for your solution to continue to use this feature as before.

The new version include external script steps defined in plugins. While this is a nice addition, I will currently not use them until we no longer need to use FileMaker 15 and older. The script steps show as missing steps in older versions and only a DDR may show the ID of the missing plugin.

If you are FBA or VLA, please check the changes in the agreements. FBA members in the US must now have a General Liability Insurance.

Nevertheless FileMaker 16 is a big step forward for FileMaker and offers a ton of new features, fixes hundreds of old bugs and certainly helps to grow the community!

See also: FileMaker 16.0.1 data integrity disclaimer

Update: Erweiterte Version der Geschichte auf Deutsch in FileMaker Blog.

MBS FileMaker Plugin for iOS Update

Thursday 11 May 2017 at 09:53 am
MBS Plugin 7.2 will contain the iOS plugin for the FileMaker iOS SDK.

To use it you need to be member of FDS so you can download the new SDK. You need to install Xcode and learn how to build an iOS app with FileMaker SDK. Next you may need to become a member of the Apple Developer program. Than you can setup certificates to actually run your iOS app on your iPhone and test it.

Next you want to add our plugin. As FileMaker includes the plugin as-is, we include a little Split application. The plugin comes with 32 and 64bit code for Mac and iOS. You can use it in the simulator and on the devices. This one can split the plugin into the various combinations like 64-bit only or a ARM only plugin. Be aware that the ARM only plugin does not work in simulator.

For some things like push notifications, we need the MBSInit.framework being added to the frameworks in the project, so the app includes it and loads it early at startup. We currently only need this to receive push notifications via MBS Plugin.

On Licensing you need a MBS license for either iOS specific or ProDevelopment in general. The normal seats, runtime and server licenses won’t help here. You can order a license in the store.

Linking the plugin in the app seems to be a problem with some of the issues we saw with iOS SDK. Like if you drop in the plugin, you may see it in the final app in both the Frameworks and the Plugins folder. But two copies is definitive a mistake! We think the one in Frameworks folder is not right. Next you may want to check what platforms the plugin supports. For shipping an app, you should not include code for Mac simulator. The feature request to have the iOS SDK strip the plugins to only ARM targets was denied.

To test plugin, I recommend to have a layout where you can simply put in an expression and evaluate it. This way you can put MBS Calls there and see what is happening. The MBS("Trace") command is also recommended to log all calls and see what is going on in the iOS app.

Finally I have to remember that this is a brand new target. While the plugin has been in development for some months, we got it to compile and run in the iOS SDK apps here. Works fine in Simulator and on iPhone in testing. Over the next months, we will have to refine it and get more functions working, fix all the issues we may see and hope for improvements in FM’s iOS SDK.

Deutsche FileMaker 16 Launch Events

Wednesday 10 May 2017 at 3:12 pm
Jetzt wo Filemaker 16 verfügbar ist, können wir endlich ohne NDA darüber schreiben, was es bei den FileMaker Events nächste Woche zu sehen gibt: FileMaker 16. Bei zwei Events haben Sie Gelegenheit sich die Neuerungen im Detail von Michael Valentin vorstellen zu lassen:

16. Mai 2017
ab 17 Uhr im Restaurant Löwen, 8706 Meilen (am Zürichsee) in der Schweiz
siehe fmnext.ch

18. Mai 2017
ab 18 Uhr bei der Denkform in Hofheim (Taunus) in Deutschland
siehe denkform

Ich freue mich euch auf beiden Events zu sehen und vielleicht noch was zum MBS Plugin zu erzählen.
Anschließend noch gemütliches Beisammensein.

Welcome FileMaker 16

Tuesday 09 May 2017 at 3:42 pm
FileMaker Inc. just released FileMaker 16, it’s latest version of the FileMaker product family for database based business solutions.

Our MBS Plugin has been in testing with various beta versions the last months and a couple of issues have been resolved. You can download latest 7.2 beta from our plugin and use it today. We currently look with the final release of FileMaker 16 for issues, so we can release our 7.2 release next week.

With FileMaker 16 the WebViewer moves from older WebKit 1.x to the newer 2.x version. The newer WebKit APIs use a separate process to render webpages which makes it more secure. And they provide newer JavaScript version, higher performance and a lot of new WebKit features. FileMaker 16 uses WKWebView control to implement it and our plugin detects that on runtime. With 7.1 and 7.2 we rewrote all WebView functions, so they can either use the old or newer API depending on which WebKit version is used. Some features are no longer possible due to the rendering going on in another process.

Second big change is the script workspace which got a couple of internal changes for our plugin. The syntax coloring has been updated for 7.2 to work in FileMaker 16.

Third we got iOS support for our plugin for FileMaker’s iOS SDK. The new version can be used with plugin and MBS Plugin for iOS is included in the 7.2 download. Of course a lot of functions will not be available for iOS, e.g. there is no serial port on an iPhone. But over 2000 functions in our plugin should work well on iOS including things like Barcode creation or encryption functions.

As with the Linux version, the iOS version will grow over time. Please try it and let me know if you run into any issues. We add new features for iOS later this year. Already you can try notifications on iOS with a lot of options. This should work with local and remote notifications.

Everyone should try FileMaker 16, but before deploying it, find time to test all features of your solution and make the required changes. Than later this summer when you updated your scripts, layouts and plugins, you can start deploying it.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 7.2pr5

Monday 08 May 2017 at 3:20 pm
New in this prerelease of the 7.2 MBS FileMaker Plugin:
  • Added controls to preferences dialog for Mac to enter license key to store it on that Mac.
  • Added option to Dictionary.SetVariables for creating global variables.
  • Changed license check for DynaPDF to allow text extraction in Lite version.
  • Added option for Barcode.Generate to allow white on black for barcodes.
  • Added DynaPDF.FileLink function.
  • Added constants for CURL for TLSv1.3 and HTTP/2.
  • Added XL.Book.MoveSheet function.
  • Updated LibXL to version 3.8.0.
  • Improved AVRecorder so it sees more devices on Mac.
Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

FileMaker Events diesen Monat

Monday 08 May 2017 at 11:02 am
Viele wissen ja schon, was da auf uns zu kommt. Die Ankündigung für jährliche FileMaker Updates bei der DevCon lässt vermuten, dass jetzt jedes Jahr im Mai was neues von FileMaker kommt.

Michael Valentin von FileMaker Deutschland tourt wieder durch's Land und stellt vor, was es neues gibt. Aktuell stehen zwei Termine fest:

16. Mai in Meilen bei Zürich
18. Mai bei der Denkform

Ich selber komme zu beiden Events und zeige gerne, was es neues beim MBS Plugin gibt.

New Preferences Dialog for MBS FileMaker Plugin

Thursday 04 May 2017 at 09:18 am
We got a new dialog for Mac in the preferences to toggle all the syntax highlighting options:

The dialog provides links to download and release notes webpages, shows the version numbers and allows you to toggle the settings.
Please try it in the next release.

FileMaker Magazin 201702

Wednesday 03 May 2017 at 11:55 am
Das neue FIleMaker Magazin ist da:

FileMaker Cloud

Beginn einer neuen Ära
Ein Ausflug nach Wolkenkuckucksheim?
Dr. Volker Krambrich

Hole (Cloud)
Was meldet die Cloud eigentlich bei
Christian Schmitz

Gewusst wie

Datensätze sperren
Wenn ich arbeite, haben die anderen Pause
Klaus Kegebein

Erzwungene Ordnung, optimiert
Verbesserung der Eigenen Funktion „BOM Liste“
Arnold Kegebein

PDFs per Script zusammenfügen
Mehrseitige Scans erstellen
Gunnar Wehrhahn


Das klingt irgendwie logisch
Die Anwendung des Funktionensystems für Logikoperationen
Erich Schmidt

Portale zur Datenauswahl, Bearbeitung und Neuanlage von Datensätzen
Gerhard Schwingenschlögl

Auswahl per Tastensymbol
Ideal nicht nur für mobile Anwendungen
Robert Kaiser


Erstellen einer einfachen Anwendung mit FileMaker
Ein Volltextsucharchiv für das FileMaker Magazin und Zeitschriften im PDF-Format
Burkhard Quenzler

Und natürlich: Editorial | FileMaker Stammtische | Plugins und Tools | Kleinanzeigen | Neuigkeiten

Packr The suitcase checklist

Saturday 29 April 2017 at 8:43 pm
Jérémie Leroy published an application made with Xojo on the iOS App Store:

You can download it for free on the iOS App Store.
And Jérémie told me attendees to our conference in Berlin next week get a free upgrade to Premium, so watch his presentation for the coupon code.

FM Conférence 2017, Rouen

Friday 28 April 2017 at 3:43 pm
The next French FileMaker Conference will be held at Rouen in Normandy from 18 to 20 October 2017.

La prochaine FM Conférence se tiendra p'têt ben à Rouen en Normandie du 18 au 20 octobre 2017.
P'têt ben qu'vous avez un truc à présenter à cette occasion pendant 15 ou 60mn. Alors, creusez-vous viiiite les méninges car y'aura p'têt ben pas assez de place pour tous ;).
Est-ce que toutes les infos sur la conférence sont sur notre site www.fmconf.com? P'têt ben qu'oui, p'têt ben qu'non… (traduction ici)

Gazouillis: fmconf

Older blog entries:

2017-04-28 Videos from FileMaker Day in Vleuten
2017-04-27 LibXL 3.8.0 has been released
2017-04-26 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 7.2pr4
2017-04-25 FileMaker Stammtisch in Berlin
2017-04-24 Five days left for early bird tickets for FileMaker DevCon 2017
2017-04-21 Restart FileMaker with same database
2017-04-19 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 7.2pr3
2017-04-19 Something about font sizes in FileMaker
2017-04-18 Send emails via Outlook
2017-04-17 Notifications coming for FileMaker iOS SDK
2017-04-15 MBS FileMaker Plugin IDs
2017-04-10 My iPhone ring tone for you: Silence
2017-04-08 MBS Vendor Session at FileMaker DevCon
2017-04-05 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 7.2pr2
2017-04-05 Copy entries from PopupMenus
2017-04-04 FileMaker Abend bei der Denkform
2017-04-03 DevCon 2017 Conference Scholarship
2017-04-03 FileMaker Conference .fmp[x]Berlin 2017
2017-04-03 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 7.2pr1
2017-04-02 Windows User Notifications


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