Windows Notifications

Sunday 19 March 2017 at 6:07 pm
Another thing we have in the plugins are functions to catch system notifications.

So you can listen for all the global windows messages sent to all applications like display, time zone, device changes or many others. Of course you can also send your own notifications.

We include a sample project for Xojo to send a notification from command line. So FileMaker can trigger a batch file on Windows, which does something and finally send the notification when done.

CURL conference

Sunday 19 March 2017 at 2:15 pm
This weekend I participated in the CURL conference in Nuremberg.
It’s great to finally meet the people behind CURL and learn bow all came together and what direction they want to go. We had over a dozen interesting presentations and I learnt a lot about HTTP/2, SSL security and how people use CURL in various ways.

One of the things I learnt from a nice fellow is how to load the system certificates on Windows. I even found similar code for macOS, so next plugins can use system certificates.

So we have now 4 ways to handle SSL security:
  • Ignore it and accept all certificates.
    OptionVerifyPeer = 0 and OptionVerifyHost = 0
    No verification is done and middle man attack is very easy.
  • Use a cacert.pem file with root certificates and verify against those.
    Use this for certificate pinning. Put the certificates of your servers in a pem file and only allow those. Or get a general cacert.pem file with common root certificates.
  • Use system provided SSL functionality, see CURLNMBS class.
    Only for Mac and Windows in our Xojo plugins.
  • New: Load system certificates and verify against them.
    For Mac and Windows with next plugin version.
Please try them soon in FileMaker and Xojo and let me know if they work fine for you.
I even thought about using the system certificates by default if you don’t provide certificates, but ask to verify.

The conference was great and thanks to everyone helping. See you again some day!

MBS FileMaker Plugin 7.1 - Über 4400 Funktionen in einem Plugin

Tuesday 14 March 2017 at 10:14 am
14. März 2017 - Monkeybread Software veröffentlicht heute das MBS Plugin für FileMaker in Version 7.1, mit inzwischen über 4400 Funktionen eines der größten FileMaker Plugins überhaupt. Hier einige der Neuerungen:

Zum Abspielen von Audio am Mac haben wir neue AVPlayer Funktionen. Sie können damit Audio aus Container Feldern, Dateien oder via URL laden. Beim Abspielen lässt sich die Lautstärke und die Abspielgeschwindigkeit einstellen, sowie an bestimmte Positionen springen. Wenn Sie noch die QTMovie Funktionen benutzen, sollten Sie umsteigen.

Für Windows haben wir neue DirectoryWatcher Funktionen. Damit können Sie Ordner auf Änderungen überwachen und ein Skript aufrufen, wenn der Benutzer dort Dateien ändert. Ähnliche Funktionen haben wir für macOS unter dem Namen FSEvents.

Die Audit Funktionen wurden verbessert bei der Verwendung mit einem FileMaker Server. Dies zeigt sich in einer Verbesserung der Geschwindigkeit gegenüber der Version 7.0. Außerdem kann das Audit jetzt global einfach ein- und ausgeschaltet werden.

Der XML Import wurde verbessert: Die Funktion verarbeitet jetzt auch CData Sektionen als Text. Neue Flags für das Importieren erlauben äußere XML Knoten zu ignorieren und innere Knoten als Text auslesen. Das vereinfacht das Importieren von XML aus Aufrufen von Web Services über SOAP.

Die Funktion zum Editieren von Worddateien kann jetzt auch Tabellen erweitern. Wenn eine Tabelle in Ihrer Vorlage enthalten ist und Sie flexibel Zeilen hinzufügen möchten, können Sie jetzt einzelne Zeilen duplizieren und darunter oder am Ende der Tabelle einfügen.

Beim Mac können Sie PDF und andere Dateien aus einem Container direkt zum Finder oder anderen Programmen ziehen. Der Webviewer kann unsichtbar werden, damit der Benutzer automatische Aktionen nicht sieht. Und das Plugin kann sicher stellen, das FileMaker immer das Programm im Vordergrund bleibt.

Bilder werden jetzt mit Auflösung an FileMaker zurück gegeben. Wir haben mehr Listenfunktionen und HotKeys können jetzt auch Skripte beim Loslassen der Taste starten. Die Bildschirmfunktionen funktionieren jetzt auch bei Windows mit mehreren Bildschirmen, das Plugin ist wieder kompatibel zu Windows XP und unsere Dialogfunktionen könen jetzt bis zu 10 Buttons und ein Stop Icon anzeigen.

Außerdem haben wir PortMidi aktualisiert, CURL auf version 7.35.1, DynaPDF auf und SQLite auf 3.17.0.

Alle Änderungen in den Release Notes.

MBS FileMaker Plugin 7.1 - More than 4400 Functions In One Plugin

Tuesday 14 March 2017 at 09:58 am
Nickenich, Germany - (March 14th, 2017) -- MonkeyBread Software today is pleased to announce MBS FileMaker Plugin 7.1 for Mac OS X, 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, 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 7.1 has been updated and now includes over 4400 different functions, and the versatile plugin has gained more new functions:

For playing audio on Mac, we have new AVPlayer functions. You can load audio files from file, container or URL. When playing you can select volume, playback speed and seek to any time. If you still use QTMovie functions, please switch soon.

For Windows we added new DirectoryWatcher functions. You can now watch a folder for changes and get a script triggered if the user changes something in the folder. Similar things can be done using FSEvents functions on Mac.

We improved our Audit functions to better check for fields when using FileMaker Server. This results in a massive performance improvement compared to our 7.0 plugin. Audit can now globally be enabled or disabled.

Our feature for XML file import got several improvements. The function now handles CData sections as text. New flags for importing lets you keep wrapping xml nodes and handle inner nodes as text blocks. This greatly simplifies the import of XML from SOAP web services.

The functions to edit word files can now extend tables. If your template contains a table and you want to flexible add rows and fill them, you can now duplicate a row as needed and insert it below or on the end of the table.

On Mac you can now drag PDF files on Mac to Finder and other applications. The web viewer can be hidden in case the user should not see automatic interaction. Our plugin can now make sure FileMaker stays frontmost.

Pictures returned by the plugin now include a DPI value. We have more list functions and hotkeys can now inform about keys being released. The screen functions now support multiple screens on Windows, the plugin is again compatible to Windows XP and our dialog function can now show up to 10 buttons and a stop icon.

Finally we updated PortMidi, CURL to version 7.35.1, DynaPDF to and SQLite to 3.17.0.

See release notes for a complete list of changes.

Stammtisch in Nürnberg

Tuesday 14 March 2017 at 09:02 am
On my next visit to Nuremberg, I'd love to make another FileMaker and Xojo developer meeting:

Wer hat Interesse an einem Xojo und FileMaker Entwicklertreffen am 17. März 2017 in Nürnberg?

Einfach gemütlich zusammen sitzen und über Xojo und FileMaker plaudern.
Gerne zeige ich auch neue Pluginfunktionen oder helfe bei Problemen mit euren Projekten. Einfach Computer mitbringen und was zeigen.

Bei Interesse bitte in der Liste eintragen.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 7.1pr5

Thursday 09 March 2017 at 10:04 pm
New in this prerelease of the 7.1 MBS FileMaker Plugin:
  • Rewrote Audit caching to avoid slow SQL JOIN queries in FileMaker.
  • Added new mode Note and Stop for Dialogs on Mac.
  • Fixed bug in email parsing with getting plaintext from html only emails. Skips CSS Styles.
  • Fixed an issue with SmartCard.PerformSignature not returning signature correctly.
  • Removed Propsys.dll dependencies for Windows XP compatibility.
  • Changed SmartCard.PerformSignature to accept more than 20 bytes for hashes.
Download at or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Reminder for Xojo and FileMaker events in Netherlands

Wednesday 08 March 2017 at 10:39 pm
In the next days I visit Netherlands. We have two events:

Xojo Developer meeting in Utrecht, 10th March 2017.
MBS FileMaker Plugin training day in Utrecht, 11th March 2017.

If you want to join the Xojo meeting, let me know. For the FileMaker meeting you can still sign up on the MeetUp page.

See you there!

FileMaker Cloud with MBS Plugin

Tuesday 07 March 2017 at 3:50 pm
FileMaker Inc. announced their new FileMaker Cloud version One of the enhancements are new amazon regions including Frankfurt and Ireland for us in Europe. If you need a FileMaker Server in Europe, you can now use the Cloud, too.

In your amazon account add can add an EC2 instance for a virtual private server. There are ready made packages to install FileMaker. Technically this installs CentOS 7 64-bit with FileMaker Server for Linux. This gives you a server in the cloud which you don't need to maintain yourself. Amazon and FileMaker will keep it updated and running. You can upload your database on the admin panel and use your solution. The use case for this could be:
  • You have a team of users needing a solution, so FLT is the matching licensing scheme.
  • You don't want to host yourself.
  • You are okay with hosting your server with Amazon.
  • You are okay with using data centers in USA (Oregon or N. Virginia), Germany and Ireland.
  • You are okay with using FileMaker Server 15 and clients in version 15.
If you met those criteria, you should try it. There is a 2 week FileMaker trial available, which only costs the amazon EC2 fees. Those virtual servers are great for temporary solutions. If a client needs a new solution for a sale promotion for a few months, you can start a server today. Run it for three months, download a copy of the database and stop the server. No need to sign up for a year long contract.

MBS Plugin for FileMaker cloud is available. We include it in 7.0 release already.

Creating PDF/A in FileMaker with ZUGFeRD standard

Tuesday 07 March 2017 at 11:46 am

Several FileMaker developers now use MBS FileMaker Plugin to create their invoices in ZUGFeRD standard. That's a data exchange format defined here in Germany, but other countries have similar formats. Basically we have a PDF in PDF/A 3b format and an embedded XML file. The PDF provides the visual and printable view of the invoice while the XML contains the same data readable for computers. 

With MBS Plugin and DynaPDF we can create such a ZUGFeRD PDF. We can either create a new file or import pages from existing PDFs. So even if you generate your invoices in FileMaker from layouts, you can convert them later. Here you see an example script for doing exactly this:

#Initialize DynaPDF if needed

If [MBS("DynaPDF.IsInitialized")  ≠  1]

Perform Script [“InitDynaPDF”]

End If

#Make new PDF environments

Set Variable [$pdf; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.New")]

#Set import flags with Prepare For PDF/A enabled

Set Variable [$r; Value:MBS( "DynaPDF.SetImportFlags"; $pdf; "ImportAll¶ImportAsPage¶PrepareForPDFA" )]

#Load PDF from container

Set Variable [$r; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.OpenPDFFromContainer"; $pdf; ZUGFeRD Invoice::Invoice Template)]

#Import all pages

Set Variable [$r; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.ImportPDFFile"; $pdf)]

#PDF/A requires a language set

Set Variable [$r; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.SetLanguage"; $pdf; "en-US")]

#PDF/A requires a structure tree

Set Variable [$r; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.CreateStructureTree"; $pdf)]

#add xml with invoice data

Set Variable [$FileHandle; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.AttachFileText"; $pdf; ZUGFeRD Invoice::Invoice XML; "UTF-8"; "ZUGFeRD-invoice.xml"; "Invoice as XML")]

Set Variable [$r; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.AssociateEmbFile"; $pdf; "Catalog"; -1; "Alternative"; $FileHandle)]

#Check if this PDF conforms to PDF/A-3b

Set Variable [$c; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.CheckConformance"; $pdf; "ZUGFeRD Basic")]

If [$c = 1]

# A RGB ICC profile must be added to the document

Set Variable [$r; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.AddOutputIntentEx"; $pdf; ZUGFeRD Invoice::RGB ICC Profile)]

Else If [$c = 2]

# A CMYK ICC profile must be added to the document

Set Variable [$r; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.AddOutputIntentEx"; $pdf; ZUGFeRD Invoice::CMYK ICC Profile)]

Else If [$c = 3]

# A Gray, RGB, or CMYK ICC profile must be added to the document 

Set Variable [$r; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.AddOutputIntentEx"; $pdf; ZUGFeRD Invoice::RGB ICC Profile)]

End If

#save to container

Set Variable [$PDFData; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.Save"; $pdf; "invoice.pdf")]

Set Field [ZUGFeRD Invoice::Output PDF; $PDFData]

Commit Records/Requests []

#cleanup memory

Set Variable [$r; Value:MBS("DynaPDF.Release"; $pdf)]

As you see we first initialize DynaPDF if it's not already done. In a new PDF environment, we import from a container the whole PDF. Of course you can import from files or just import pages from different PDFs as needed to build in memory your final PDF. Than we define language and structure tree as required for PDF/A. We attach the XML from a field in this example. The XML is just a block of text which you can generate before, e.g. by filling values into a template.

Next we check conformance with ZUGFeRD standard. If you have DynaPDF Lite license, we only check and report okay or error. If you have a DynaPDF Pro + PDF/A license, we can fix errors and convert any PDF to PDF/A here (DynaPDF Editions). Next we add the required output intent ICC color profiles. Finally we save the PDF to a container.

Please do not hestiate to contact us with your questions. We also have the same examples for Xojo.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 7.1pr4

Monday 06 March 2017 at 7:17 pm
New in this prerelease of the 7.1 MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

JPEG Quality Estimate

Saturday 04 March 2017 at 9:06 pm

You can actually query an estimate for the quality setting used to save a JPEG image.


In FileMaker

Set Variable [$img; Value:MBS("GMImage.NewFromContainer"; Image::InputImage)]

Set Variable [$value; Value:MBS("GMImage.GetAttribute"; $img; "JPEG-Quality")]

Show Custom Dialog ["JPEG Quality used to compress …"; $value]

Set Variable [$r; Value:MBS("GMImage.Destroy"; $img)]

Or in Xojo:

dim f as FolderItem = SpecialFolder.Desktop.Child("test.jpg")

dim g as GMImageMBS = new GMImageMBS(f)

dim s as string = g.attributeValue("JPEG-Quality")

MsgBox "JPEG Quality: "+s

GraphicsMagick lets you read various attributes including EXIF, IPTC and 8BIM metadata.

The JPEG loader in GraphicsMagick checks the JPEG settings for colorspace, orientation and quality, so the same settings can be used to save the same image again.


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