MBS Xojo Conference
6/7th September 2018, Munich
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MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 8.3pr3

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.

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 ]
    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 ] 


    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


        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.

FileMaker Cloud 1.17.0 now available

FileMaker Cloud 17We just got a notice that the new FileMaker 17 Server software for the cloud is released, so you can update your servers after you updated all clients to FileMaker Pro Advanced 17:

FileMaker, Inc. has released FileMaker Cloud 1.17.0. This release is available in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia.

In addition, the Bring Your Own License (BYOL) option to purchase FileMaker Cloud through FileMaker, Inc. resumes availability today.

Some highlights of FileMaker Cloud 1.17.0 include:
Support for the features in the FileMaker 17 Platform.
The 90-day trial SSL certificate included with FileMaker Cloud can now be renewed up to 60 days prior to expiration.
The FileMaker Data API is no longer a trial version. The improved REST API includes support for FileMaker scripts and the ability to upload files to container fields.

NOTE: Any previously released software patches must be applied before updating to FileMaker Cloud 1.17.0. Only FileMaker 17 clients are compatible with FileMaker Cloud 1.17.0.

To download this software upgrade, visit the FileMaker Cloud Admin Console.

For more details, please check Release Notes.
MBS FileMaker Plugin 8.2 should work well on the new FileMaker Cloud software.

Search lists in FileMaker user interface

Did you try the search feature in MBS FileMaker Plugin 8.2?
When a list has focus, you can press Command-F and search inside the list for text:

Search for layouts

For the upcoming version, we improve the feature and allow you to use Command-G to jump to the next occurrence.

Why you should try Xojo

Yesterday I was asked what is Xojo and why should you use it. So if you don't know what Xojo is or why you should use it, maybe here a few points:
  • Xojo is easy to learn, especially much easier than C++ or Java.
  • Xojo comes with a learning curriculum, several manuals and webinars to watch.
  • Xojo comes with a cross platform GUI framework, so no need to learn Cocoa, Win32 and GTK+ and no need to license QT or similar frameworks for C++.
  • Xojo Apps are free to distribute, as you only pay license fee once for your Xojo license.
  • Xojo comes with a graphical interface designer, so anyone can layout a window or webpage.
  • Xojo builds desktop apps for Mac, Windows and Linux from one project.
  • Xojo builds web apps to run on web servers and they offer cloud hosting.
  • Xojo can build apps to run on Raspberry Pi and other cheap computers.
  • Xojo can build mobile apps for iOS and soon Android.
  • Xojo comes with a debugger, which allows to inspect variables, step through code and monitor multiple threads.
  • Xojo can share code between projects, so you can use same classes in web, desktop and mobile projects.
  • Xojo comes with a community of friendly developers which help newbies.
  • Xojo provides localized resources in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portugueses, Chinese and Japanese.
  • Xojo can connect to various databases.
    Choose between six built in database interfaces or 14 ones via MBS SQL Plugin.
  • Xojo runs a big conference in USA every year and we run a European conference in Germany.
  • Xojo is a company, where you can actually meat engineers and CEO and discuss Xojo topics in person.
Every Developer has to decide which tools to put in his toolbox and use in various projects. And Xojo is an excellent tool as it can build so many different things in short time. Try it today!

SQLite turned 18

SQLite just turned 18 years old.

The first check-in of SQLite code occurred 18 years ago.
see sqlite.org/src/timeline?c=2000-05-29

Version 1 just had a few commands. Open database, close database, execute a statement. Code for recordsets didn't exist at that time and came later.

Congratulations to Richard Hipp and his team!

Personalized PDFs for WebDirect on FileMaker Server

For a client we made an example file to show how to personalize PDFs just in time. This runs on a FileMaker Server and is accessed via WebDirect. The admin can upload PDF files and put them in container fields:

Personalized PDFs

The clients can browse through PDF files and only see personalized PDFs files which get their name printed on the PDF.

Personalized PDFs

We personalize the PDFs using the DynaPDF functions to load the existing PDF, add more pages from other PDF files, add page numbers, write the client name on each page and save the new PDF in a global field. As global fields are per session on a server, each user has their own copy in the field, even two users come to the same PDF record.

We use a few triggers to do the work. The on record load trigger will process the PDF and put the personalized PDF into the container accessible to the user. They will never see or download the original PDF, but only their own copy.

The whole processing runs on the FileMaker Server and there is no noticeable delay for the user. DynaPDF is quick enough to handle even huge PDFs in a fraction of a second, so the transfer to the browser is the usual bottleneck.

If you like to try, email us for a copy.

XDC2018 Videos

Have you seen them all?
Here the title pictures of all the videos:

Video Preview

All XDC sessions are available for attendees of the conference for free on the Xojo website.
Or for purchase of the video pack for just $399 USD in the Xojo Store.

Free videos: "Superhero SQLite" XDC 2018 Session | Paul Lefebvre and XDC 2018 Recap

FileMaker 17 Launch Event bei der Denkform am 29. Mai

Am 29. Mai 2018 treffen sich interessierte FileMaker Entwickler bei der Denkform in Hofheim (Taunus). Noch wenige Plätze sind frei.

Michael Valentin von FileMaker Deutschland kommt vorbei und präsentiert Filemaker 17 und steht dann für Fragen bereit.

Anschließend zeigt Christian Schmitz gerne ein paar Neuerungen im MBS Plugin 8.x.

18:00 Uhr Einlass und Begrüßung bei der denkform® GmbH
18:30 Uhr - 19:45 Uhr Michael Valentin: FileMaker Produktneuheiten und F&A
19:45 Uhr - 20:00 Uhr Pause
20:00 Uhr - 20:45 Uhr Christian Schmitz: MBS FileMaker Plugin Neuerungen; F&A
ab ca. 21:00 Uhr Stammtisch im Bella Bari.

Anmeldung auf der Denkform Eventseite. Zeitlich vermutlich 18 bis 21 Uhr. Eventuell mit optionalem Abendessen.

Older blog entries:

2018-05-27 Colorize JSON or XML in FileMaker with line numbers
2018-05-25 Gradients in GraphicsMagick
2018-05-25 Overlay image for Image Picker
2018-05-25 Privacy enhancements
2018-05-24 CURL function for OAuth
2018-05-24 Open Dialog upgraded
2018-05-23 Live chat for website
2018-05-23 Sign up for European FileMaker Conferences 2018
2018-05-22 MBS FileMaker Plugin 8.2 - More than 5200 Functions In One Plugin
2018-05-22 MBS FileMaker Plugin 8.2 - 5200 Funktionen in einem Plugin
2018-05-19 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 8.2pr9
2018-05-19 Code Signing FileMaker 17 Runtimes
2018-05-18 Run FileMaker in different language on your Mac
2018-05-17 FileMaker 17 Event in der Schweiz und MBS Schulung
2018-05-17 Three weeks till FileMaker Conference .fmp[x]Berlin 2018
2018-05-16 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 8.2pr8
2018-05-16 FileMaker 17 Launch Event bei der Denkform
2018-05-16 BBEdit turns 25 years old
2018-05-16 UUID Numbers
2018-05-16 FileMaker Stammtisch Ulm


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