MBS Stammtisch in Hamburg


On my next visit to Hamburg, I'd love to make another MBS Xojo & FileMaker developer meeting:

Wer hat Interesse an einem MBS Entwicklertreffen am 27. oder 28. Juni 2018 in Hamburg?

Einfach in gemütlicher Runde treffen in einem netten Restaurant und beim Abendessen was über FileMaker und Xojo schnacken. Vielleicht habt ihr ja auch Fragen und Probleme, wo ich helfen kann?

Zeit wäre ca. 18 bis 22 Uhr, so dass man auch später kommen oder früher gehen kann.

Treffen ist am 27. Juni 2018. Bei Interesse bitte bei mir melden.

Falls sonst noch Bedarf an Schulung, vor Ort Entwicklung oder FileMaker/Xojo Hilfe besteht, bitte wegen Terminfindung bald melden.

Putting an end to the Server Busy Dialog in Xojo and FileMaker


When using COM functions in both Xojo and FileMaker, you may have seen this dialog:



We saw it a lot recently with WIA for scanning. It's the default dialog for COM for the case a message can't be answered quickly. So with remote method calls, the busy app may not answer to another app quickly, because well, it's busy. The dialog is simply annoying for us and we just prefer to tell COM to wait a little bit and try again.

With our 8.3 plugin for FileMaker, you can call FM.InitMessageFilter function and with 18.3 plugins for Xojo you can call InitMessageFilterMBS function. Both install a message filter, which will delay & retry all calls automatically without a dialog. Please try.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 8.3pr2


New in this prerelease of version 8.3 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Convert office documents to PDF with LibreOffice


Did you know you can use LibreOffice to convert your Word, Excel or Powerpoint documents to PDF files?

You can learn about command line commands in the help: Starting the LibreOffice Software With Parameters.

To show an example, let us convert a Word file to PDF:

/Applications/LibreOffice.app/Contents/MacOS/soffice --convert-to pdf --outdir /Users/cs/Desktop /Users/cs/Documents/test.doc

To run this, you can use Shell class in Xojo or Shell functions for FileMaker in MBS Plugin.

In FileMaker, you can run this with shell functions like this:

Set Variable [ $shell ; Value: MBS( "Shell.New" ) ]
Set Variable [ $s ; Value: MBS( "Shell.Execute"; $shell; "/Applications/LibreOffice.app/Contents/MacOS/soffice"; "--convert-to"; "pdf"; "--outdir"; "/Users/cs/Desktop"; "/Users/cs/Documents/test.doc" ) ]
If [ MBS("IsError") ]
    Show Custom Dialog [ "Failed to run" ; $s ]
Else
    Set Variable [ $s ; Value: MBS( "Shell.Wait"; $shell; 10) ]
    Set Variable [ $error ; Value: MBS( "Shell.ReadErrorText"; $shell; "UTF-8") ]
    Set Variable [ $result ; Value: MBS( "Shell.ReadOutputText"; $shell; "UTF-8") ]
    Show Custom Dialog [ "Converted" ; $result & ¶ & $error ]
End If
Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("Shell.Release"; $shell) ]

Enjoy conversion!

Plugin wishes for macOS 10.14 and iOS 12


You may all be watching videos from WWDC and learn what's coming soon for macOS and iOS.
  • Create ML to make model on device
  • Load UDSZ file and show it
  • Measure tool for plugin as dialog
  • Detecting paper in picture and extracting it, correcting rotation and transformation
  • Provide actions for Shortcuts app
If you have comments, more ideas and wishes, please email me or comment here.

Configure Toolbar Menu with MBS FileMaker Plugin


We got a new function Window.ConfigureToolbarMenu for you:



As you see, you can configure the toolbar menu to remove the whole menu (mode 1) or hide only the entries to show/hide/configure.
For mode 1 we skipped the screenshot as simply no menu shows up.

Coming soon in next MBS FileMaker Plugin prerelease...

Tips for FileMaker Data Migration Tool


You may have seen the release of the FileMaker data migration Tool. And you can read documentation here. We got a few extra tips for you here:



First, be aware that matching of tables is by name or ID. So please do not reuse field or tables names. Because due to name matching, if you drop a table with a given name, a few days later add it again for a different reason, the migration could move data from the old table to the new table and match fields just by ID. This can cause serious problems, if data ends up in a different column or table!

e.g. if you have a table test with ID, FirstName, LastName, Job. Than later in development test is deleted. Days after that you create a new table named test with fields Product ID, PersonID, Payment, ID which is totally unrelated to the old table. But now when you migrate, the data from FirstName ends up in PersonID, if those have a matching internal field ID!

Second, please don't use the normal full access account to migrate. Better make a new account with a privilege set where everything is forbidden except the privilege named fmmigration. This privilege name can have an unique add-on, e.g. fmmigrationMySecret and that must match between source and clone files to allow migration. And you want to use that to avoid anyone with an account to just migrate your solution to steal the data.

Third, please be aware that using the normal Terminal window involves using a shell application, which may (or may not) store a permanent history of commands. See man page of history command to clear. This may include passwords. Also the command line may be visible with other tools while running like ps tool. So never ever put your full access password there as the trouble with someone seeing it, is big.

Forth, please check the MBS Shell functions to run the FileMaker Data Migration Tool. MBS plugin can run several shells in parallel to migrate several files parallel and better use CPUs to get the jobs done quicker. Our plugin can return you the messages output by the tool and if you run it directly, no bash is involved, so no history is written. By using our write commands, you can even send text like passwords in memory to the tool. Passing parameters does not need quoting with out shell functions, as you pass each parameter as a parameter to the plugin function.

Here is a sample script:

Set Variable [ $shell ; Value: MBS( "Shell.New" ) ] 

Set Field [ Shell::Output ; "" ] 

Set Field [ Shell::Error ; "" ] 

Commit Records/Requests [ With dialog: Off ] 

Set Variable [ $s ; Value: MBS( "Shell.AddArgument"; $shell; "-src_path") ] 

Set Variable [ $s ; Value: MBS( "Shell.AddArgument"; $shell; "/Users/cs/Desktop/Contacts.fmp12") ] 

Set Variable [ $s ; Value: MBS( "Shell.AddArgument"; $shell; "-clone_path") ] 

Set Variable [ $s ; Value: MBS( "Shell.AddArgument"; $shell; "/Users/cs/Desktop/Contacts Clone.fmp12") ] 

Set Variable [ $s ; Value: MBS( "Shell.AddArgument"; $shell; "-target_path") ] 

Set Variable [ $s ; Value: MBS( "Shell.AddArgument"; $shell; "/Users/cs/Desktop/Contacts target.fmp12") ] 

Set Variable [ $s ; Value: MBS( "Shell.AddArgument"; $shell; "-v") ] 

Set Variable [ $s ; Value: MBS( "Shell.Execute"; $shell; "/Users/cs/Downloads/FMDataMigration") ] 

Set Variable [ $error ; Value: "" ] 

Set Variable [ $result ; Value: "" ] 

If [ MBS("IsError") ] 

    Show Custom Dialog [ "Failed to run" ; $s ] 

Else

    If [ Length(Shell::Input) > 0 ] 

        Set Variable [ $s ; Value: MBS( "Shell.WriteInputText"; $shell; Shell::Input; "UTF-8") ] 

    End If

    # Loop while app runs and collect messages

    Loop

        Set Variable [ $s ; Value: MBS( "Shell.Wait"; $shell; 1) ] 

        Set Variable [ $error ; Value: $error & MBS( "Shell.ReadErrorText"; $shell; "UTF-8") ] 

        Set Variable [ $result ; Value: $result & MBS( "Shell.ReadOutputText"; $shell; "UTF-8") ] 

        Set Field [ Shell::Error ; MBS( "Text.ReplaceNewline"; $error; 1) ] 

        Set Field [ Shell::Output ; MBS( "Text.ReplaceNewline"; $result; 1) ] 

        Exit Loop If [ MBS( "Shell.IsRunning"; $shell) ≠ 1 ] 

    End Loop

    Commit Records/Requests [ With dialog: Off ] 

End If

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("Shell.Release"; $shell) ] 



Finally, if you build something, be aware that you may not have the right to redistribute the FileMaker Data Migration Tool on your own. FileMaker developers need to have a FDS subscription to be allowed to download it.

Import images from cameras on MacOS with FileMaker


We got a few new ImageCapture functions to import images from camera on Mac. So if you can import in Photos.app or Image Capture.app, you can also import them in FileMaker.



We got new functions like ImageCapture.RequestTakePicture to take a picture, ImageCapture.MediaFiles to query files on device and ImageCapture.CameraInfo to query details on the camera. With ImageCapture.Download you can download an image or video from device and ImageCapture.RequestDeleteFiles can remove files from device.

Coming soon in next 8.3 prerelease...

PS: For Xojo, you can do the same with our ImageCapture classes: ImageCaptureMBS

Plugin wishes for macOS 10.14 and iOS 12?


You may all be watching videos from WWDC and learn what's coming soon for macOS and iOS.

Now the are a lot of new APIs, but I'd like to know from you what you'd like to see in our plugins for Xojo and FileMaker.

Usually we provide lower level wrapper for Xojo to Apple's APIs for macOS with hiding all the threading issues from you and translating values from native Xojo types to the matching Foundation types. As there is currently no iOS plugin SDK for Xojo, we can't make all features available via declares.

For FileMaker we usually provide a much more higher level API to do selected things and provide plugin functions for both macOS and iOS.

If you have ideas and wishes, please email me. I'll keep a list and if we have a lot of wishes for a given API, I may give it some priority.

FileMaker DevCon UK 2018


Looks like I join this year the FileMaker conference in England:



October 23-24, 2018 in London, UK. Register on filemakerdevcon.uk.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 8.3pr1


New in this prerelease of version 8.3 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

FileMaker DevCon Scandinavia 2018


Looks like I join this year the FileMaker conference in Sweden:



October 22-23, 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Register on devconscandinavia.se.

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