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Claris switches to Ubuntu for Linux servers

Today Claris International Inc. informed the public, that they switch from CentOS to Ubuntu for their favorited distribution for Linux servers.

see community posting:
Deprecation and removal of support for CentOS Linux from Claris FileMaker Server

and the support article:
Deprecation and removal of support for CentOS Linux from Claris FileMaker Server

Claris FileMaker Server 19.2.1 is the last version on CentOS and will be supported till October 28, 2022. The next Claris FileMaker Server release will require Ubuntu. We expect this to be released within a few months.

Our MBS FileMaker Plugin already runs fine on Ubuntu servers with pre-release FileMaker Server software. If you’re interested in testing FileMaker Server on Ubuntu, send an email to ets@claris.com to be considered for the External Testing Site (ETS) program. Then you can install a server in a VM and install our current MBS Plugin.

If you have a Linux server, you may just spin up a new one later this year, install Ubuntu and a newer Claris FileMaker version. Then copy your database over and change DNS to point to the new server. Don't try to upgrade. Keep the old server as a backup, ready to take over if the setup of the new one fails. Once you migrated, you can then retire the old server (VM).

In case Claris decides to support Linux on ARM 64-bit in the future, we can would be happy to build our plugin for such a platform.

Thank you for the birthday cards

For my birthday last Sunday I got a lot of nice emails, greetings and comments. But a few people went further and surprised me with letters, cards and even some presents!

We collected them all and put them on a fish net in the hallway, so we can remember them.

Thanks everyone for your good wishes and heart-warming texts. The Xojo people for example printed a special postcard with several pictures with me and staff on it.
See you all soon on the next conferences!

We are Claris Partner

We continue to be a Claris Partner as we just renewed our FBA membership:

It is already nine years since we applied for this and being a Claris Partner helps:

The listing on the website as well as recommendations to prospects by Claris employers helps to bring business to your company. You get a discount for license purchase so you can make some money selling your solution bundled with the FileMaker licenses and offer one stop shopping to your clients. You can list your products on the marketplace and use Solution Bundle Agreement if you like to sell a lot of bundles. Access to beta versions, extra training sessions, exclusive partner meetings and a few test licenses are included. And you can bundle tools like the data migration utility with your solutions.

If you like to become Claris Partner, you can read more on the Claris website.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.2pr2

New in this prerelease of version 11.2 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.com/filemaker/files/Prerelease/, in Dropbox folder or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Happy Eastern 2021

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.2pr1

New in this prerelease of version 11.2 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.com/filemaker/files/Prerelease/, in Dropbox folder or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Company's 21st Birthday

1st April 2000 I founded my company. Well, I registered as a business by getting my business registration (Gewerbeanmeldung) here in Germany.

That was 2 months before I finished school (Gymnasium). While alternative civilian service (Zivildienst) and my time at the university, the company run well and I didn't have to depend on my parents or student loans. Actually the company got me so busy over the years, that I spend less time at university and since 2007 this is my full time job.

I had a few clients in that time interested in development in REALbasic, a very young development environment which started two years earlier. At that time I had a website with a few freeware utilities, so people could see that I can do development. Two years later the demand for plugins got so high, that end of 2001 I started publishing my own plugins. And since 2006 I got into FileMaker Plugin development.

Thanks everyone for supporting me over the years!

PS: If you need a new license this weekend, use coupon code Birthday for an 21% discount.

Combined Components with MBS FileMaker Plugin

When using MBS FileMaker Plugin, you may need to combine a lot of functions together to get some work done. That makes our toolbox of functions so flexible to use for your needs. Let us show you four examples:

Regularly import files from hot folder

  • First you start with Schedule functions to run a script regularly every few minutes in FileMaker Pro. Independent of SetTimer script step, so you can have multiple of them.
  • You look into a file path with Files.List to get a list of file names in the folder.
  • By using our List functions you compare the current file list to the one from last run. For example List.And would find similar files in both files, while List.FindUnequals would find the ones different.
  • Next you use Path functions to build file path by taking folder path and the file name. Use Path.AddPathComponent to not care about slash vs. backslash.
  • A function like Hash.DigestFile may quickly get you a SHA512 secure hash of the file.
  • You can do a search in FileMaker to check whether the hash is known. Or use our FMSQL functions to do the check with a FM.ExecuteFileSQL call to do a "SELECT COUNT(*) WHERE hash=?" SQL query to count the records and either get back 0 or 1.
  • To read the file you may use Container.ReadFile function and get it in a variable first.
  • You can then create a new record for the file with FileMaker script steps. Or you use FM.InsertRecord to create record for it without switching layout.
  • If you do a document database, you may go for a PDF document and use our PDFKit functions or DynaPDF functions to extract text for PDF, maybe split the PDF and make preview pictures for the pages.
  • For image files, you may use GraphicsMagick functions or CGImageSource functions to extract metadata for image files like camera model or GPS coordinates.

Dash help archives for FileMaker 19.2

For browsing help files, the Dash application is very useful on Mac and iOS. We just uploaded newer dash files for FileMaker 19.2 for you.

For FileMaker you find the docsets for version 19.2 and older here: FileMaker Dash Docsets

[Archive] FileMaker 19.2 de.zip
[Archive] FileMaker 19.2 en.zip
[Archive] FileMaker 19.2 es.zip
[Archive] FileMaker 19.2 fr.zip
[Archive] FileMaker 19.2 it.zip
[Archive] FileMaker 19.2 ja.zip
[Archive] FileMaker 19.2 ko.zip
[Archive] FileMaker 19.2 nl.zip
[Archive] FileMaker 19.2 pt.zip
[Archive] FileMaker 19.2 sv.zip
[Archive] FileMaker 19.2 zh.zip
[Dir] FileMaker 15/
[Dir] FileMaker 16/
[Dir] FileMaker 17/
[Dir] FileMaker 18/
[Dir] FileMaker 19/ 

Feedback is welcome. The conversion process creates an index of functions, script steps and guides. We also remove some JavaScript to make it work better.

For Windows and Linux, you can use Zeal application.

Welcome to the new agile world

Seems like Claris Inc. is running like crazy and got much more productive the last months.

Instead of waiting a year for changes to show up, things are now going much more quickly. New stuff shows up every few weeks.

Looks like they have dozens of projects running in parallel. We saw a few things publicly announced in the vision webinar recently. Since we are taking part in testing and we develop plugin, we can already try a few things coming closer to release. Keep an eye on the announcements and future roadmap videos from Claris. Although at the current pace, a release may come before that.

What does agile development mean?
Projects are run with parallel developments in various area, separated in source code branches. Usually every 2 weeks a sprint ends and the project managers prioritize items for the next sprint. They schedule the work for the developers and review progress. When things are ready, they get merged in the main branch and go in the next release. Otherwise they stay in the backlog and may get more attention in the next sprint. Instead of having features planned a year in advance, Claris can now go within a few months from planning to shipping.

A consequence of that is that new features are not as old as they used to appear. You may see things labeled preview over several versions until the feature is completed. Be sure to try new features and report issues as soon as possible, so you can get a bug fix for the next release. With 3 or 4 releases a year, we may get used to upgrade your FileMaker installations much more often.

For a plugin developer, we may see more often changes to the plugin interface. A new SDK may now come for every new release within a year. And you may need to follow closer with the plugin versions to the releases as we can't make sure our current plugin may load in a future release. Often not a bug directly, but more likely, the plugin may make assumptions about the environment, which may no longer be true. We fix those things as we notice them, but we may not put them in the release notes beside some note like "Updated to newer plugin SDK". Don't expect old plugins to work and enjoy the new versions coming!

And now we wait for the next FileMaker version to enjoy our plugin even more.

Two new books about FileMaker in 2021

Recently I was happy to see that two books are listed for FileMaker on the book stores. And as both arrived within a few days, I had the luck to read in both of them.

If you like to have a book handy for some free time to sit on your couch in the garden and read something, you may want to get both:They are very different in their style and content, while both covering FileMaker. Mark walks over all the aspects in FileMaker, talking about every feature, going through the dialogs, discussing the options and it's a great reference manual to quickly dip into a topic. On the other side Richard has a very open and direct approach and will not just talk about FileMaker, but includes topics about the business aspect of development. How to best handle projects, clients, tools and add-ons. The little anecdotes in-between are very entertaining and show you easily what to do and what to not do.

On the way through the book Mark not just shows features in FileMaker, but also builds an example with the reader. Great for a bigger to follow this step by step. When you dip deeper later in the book, you get comprehensive guides on topics like ExecuteSQL, which shows the FileMaker specifics there.

While Richard works his way through various features in FileMaker, he has an eye for what can go wrong. For a few ancient features in FileMaker, he simply recommends to not use them for new developers creating newer solutions. As he explains why not to use them, the reader may learn the downsides and concentrate on newer features doing the same job, but better. And of course Richard shows how to do things, especially to keep them future proof and avoid possible trouble later.

Since FileMaker went into agile mode and now releases frequently, the books will get updated regularly with newer content. So we expect to buy fresh copies every year. And even if you know FileMaker well, it may be worth reading them. You always find something new you didn't know!

Have you read them? Your thoughts?

DynaPDF 4.0.49 for iOS

We rebuild the the DynaPDF library for iOS, so you can use the current version of DynaPDF with your FileMaker iOS SDK apps when using the MBS FileMaker Plugin.

We include four variants in our download:
  • DynaPDF for iOS Device
    armv7 and arm64
  • DynaPDF for iOS Simulator
    x86_64, i386 and arm64
When building your iOS app, just include the dynapdf framework file in the frameworks folder inside the app and call DynaPDF.Initialize in the start script passing the framework name and your license key.

The result should be OK if everything worked. If you get an error message including "mach-o, but wrong architecture", well you did copy the wrong framework file.
You can use lipo command line utility to remove the architectures you don't need.

Download: DynaPDF iOS 4.0.49.dmg or DynaPDF iOS 4.0.49.zip

PS: You need to sign the frameworks with your code signature.

MBS @ FMTraining.TV

Check out the FMTraining.tv website. Richard Carlton and his team do a daily free live stream about FileMaker to watch. And they have a huge library of FileMaker training material to watch and learn all about the Claris FileMaker product family.

A few days ago Christian Schmitz from Monkeybread Software joined a live episode to talk a bit about the MBS FileMaker Plugin. Watch it on YouTube.

Do you like this video?
Please let Richard know and send him your wishes or ideas for future live broadcast as well as topics for training videos. And check out the FileMaker Training bundles as well as their new book for FileMaker, updated for2021.

Seven things to add to your FileMaker solution today with MBS Plugin

Let us show you a few things to use in MBS FileMaker Plugin and add to your solutions quickly today. Give your users a few new possibilities. From easy to complex, you may be able to copy a few scripts and adjust them to your field and layout names and get instantly new functionality for your solution. Let us show you a few things related to container fields in your solution:

Continuity Camera

If you have containers fields on a layout for images or PDF containers, how about adding a little button next to the field to let the user take a picture with their iOS device and insert it to the container?

The button may be hidden, if it's not FileMaker Pro on a Mac. But when clicked, you call ContinuityCamera.SetScriptTrigger and ContinuityCamera.PopupMenu function to show the popup menu to pick the device to use. The user then takes picture. Your script is trigged to take the result and place it in the container.

See blog article: Continuity Camera for FileMaker


Watching for Errors with MBS Plugin

When you use our MBS FileMaker Plugin, you will make a lot of calls to the plugin. Most will succeed, but some will fail. Do you notice when something fails?

IsError function

We see a lot of clients coding without checking for error state. But not all function calls succeed and our MBS FileMaker Plugin keeps a last error state for you. Even on server with multiple scripts running in parallel, we keep an error state per script. You can query it with MBS("IsError") to see if the last function call returned an error.

You may do an error check each time you call a function with an If script step and handle the script. You may even write a log entry in a text file (Text.AppendTextFile) or database (FM.InsertRecord). We have a nice custom function for this in this blog article to log Get(LastError) results, but you can adapt it to MBS FileMaker Plugin with using IsError function: Looping over records in FileMaker with error checking (more)

FileMaker Pro 19.2.2 released

As you may have seen, Claris Inc. released the new version 19.2.2 of its FileMaker product family.
This update brings a lot of improvements to the quick start experience, but also a couple of very welcome bug fixes and a few new features.
Read more in the releases notes.

MBS Plugin has been updated in version 11.1 to take advantage of the latest FileMaker Plugin SDK for version 19.2. Since we changed a few things in the last months to adjust to the ongoing changes in FileMaker, we highly recommend to update. Older versions with 10.2 or newer may also work, but we can't guarantee it.

Claris FileMaker Pro 19.2.2 Release Notes
Claris FileMaker Go 19.2.2 Release Notes
Claris FileMaker Cloud Release Notes
What’s new in Claris FileMaker 19.2.2

To download the new version, you may use the download page for your licensed software (see your license email for a link) or use the in-product updater next week.

MBS FileMaker Plugin 11.1

In this article I want to introduce you the new functions from the MBS FileMaker Plugin in version 11.1.

With the new Archive.CompressContainer function you can compress the content of a container into an archive. In the parameters you can specify in which format your archive should be. The following formats are available for this purpose: 7zip, ar, arbsd, argnu, arsvr4, bsdtar, cd9660, cpio, gnutar, iso, iso9660, mtree, mtree-classic, newc, odc, oldtar, pax, paxr, posix, raw, rpax, shar, shardump, ustar, v7tar, v7, warc, xar and zip. Then you can additionally specify a filter at e.g. for zip format it can be store or deflate. We also need to specify the destination path, as well as the container from which the data is used. Furthermore we can specify other options like the compression level.

Also in the DynaPDF component there is a new function that brings even more style into your tables. The DynaPDF.Table.SetCellStyledText function inserts the specified styled text into the cell. To do this, we first specify in the parameters the table ID, as well as the row and column. Now we can specify the alignment of the text horizontally and vertically, using the values left/bottom, center or right/top. Then we can set the text with the styles to be inserted into the cell. Optionally, you can specify the leading factor. If this factor is greater than 0, then the plugin will add \LD[] commands to styled text to set leading relative to font size. This way you define the spacing between lines.

An example of function usage may look like this:
Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.Table.SetCellStyledText"; $table; $rowNum; 0; "left"; "bottom"; TextColor ( "Hello World" ; RGB ( 65535 ; 0 ; 0 ) ) ) ] (more)

FileMaker Developers in Southern California

The recording of the MBS Plugin presentation from FMDiSC meeting from 12th March 2021:

ThumbnailFileMaker Developers in Southern California


55:08 minutes

Watch on Youtube


00:00 Introduction to developer goodies and syntax coloring.
30:30 fmSyntaxColorizer database
35:50 FileMaker Snippet Storage database
36:40 Script WorkSpace Context Menu Commands database
39:20 JSON functions like JSON.Colorize
41:00 XML functions like XML.Colorize
42:40 WIA functions, DynaPDF functions and GraphicsMagick functions together.
44:40 OCR functions and DynaPDF functions together
45:30 RegEx functions, especially RegEx.DataDetector
47:30 iOS example for QuickLook functions to markup a document.
50:30 The combination of various components to a solution
53:40 Automatic installation and the Plugin License Decision Graph

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.

Vier Monate bis zur Deutschen FileMaker Konferenz 2021 in Malbun

Noch vier Monate bis zur FileMaker Konferenz 2021 in Malbun (Liechtenstein) und zur MBS Plugin Schulung Schulung am Mittwoch vorher.

Vom 22. bis 24. Juli 2021 findet die elfte deutschsprachige FileMaker Konferenz in Malbun, Liechtenstein statt.

Die Veranstalter vom Verein FM Konferenz erwarten auch 2021 rund 120 Entwickler, Anwender, IT-Fachleute und Entscheidungsträger aus Wirtschaft, Bildung und Verwaltung. Rund um über 20 Fachvorträge und Workshops wird es viel Zeit zum Vernetzen in den gemeinsamen Pausen und beim Abendprogramm geben.

Für den Deutschsprachigen Raum ist diese Konferenz das Treffen des Jahres. Hier finden Sie vom Anfänger bis zum Profi Kontakte zu anderen Entwicklern. Lernen Sie was es neues gibt, nehmen Sie Impulse mit für die eigene Arbeit und erfahren Sie mehr zu FileMaker von deutschsprachigen Experten!

Die MBS Plugin Schulung vorher findet voraussichtlich am statt im gleichen Hotel am 21. Juli 2021.

Bitte planen Sie wenigstens einen extra Tag ein für ihren Besuch in Liechtenstein, damit Sie die Natur in dem schönen Tal geniessen können. Den Aufstieg auf den Sareis können Sie bequem zu Fuß vom Hotel aus starten und die Turnastraße hinauf spazieren bis zum Restaurant am Gipfel. Oder alternativ die Seilbahn nehmen. Wir empfehlen die Anreise Montags, Dienstag etwas Zeit zum Wandern und Mittwochs dann die MBS Schulung als Vorprogramm zur Konferenz. Abreise Sonntags, damit Sie nicht den Samstagabend verpassen.

Hoffen wir, dass sich im Frühjahr die Corona Lage verbessert und die Konferenz stattfinden kann.

Video about MBS FileMaker Plugins 11.1

Let us show you a few of the new features in the version 11.1 of our MBS FileMaker Plugin:

ThumbnailMBS FileMaker Plugins 11.1


17:23 minutes

Watch on Youtube

Some links for the video:

00:15 Installation
00:50 Preferences dialog
01:30 RegEx.DataDetector
02:30 QuickLook functions with new Markup
06:00 EPC Barcode project and Barcode functions
07:20 Enhancements for Calculation Dialog
09:00 Enhancements for Custom Functions Editor
12:15 Enhancements for Debugger

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.

Older blog entries:

2021-03-09 MBS FileMaker Plugin 11.1
2021-03-09 Neues MBS FileMaker Plugin 11.1
2021-03-08 The different FileMaker Clouds
2021-03-06 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.1pr9
2021-03-04 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.1pr8
2021-03-02 LibXL for FileMaker with extras
2021-03-01 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.1pr7
2021-02-24 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.1pr6
2021-02-20 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.1pr5
2021-02-19 Markup for FileMaker on iOS
2021-02-18 Data Detectors for FileMaker
2021-02-16 Vier Monate bis zur Deutschen FileMaker Konferenz 2021 in Malbun
2021-02-15 MBS Plugin extensions for Calculation Dialogs
2021-02-15 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.1pr4
2021-02-12 Tooltips for Script Debugger in FileMaker
2021-02-11 Use Inline Graphics in Emails
2021-02-10 Claris Platform Vision 2021
2021-02-09 MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.1pr3
2021-02-08 Custom Function Tools for FileMaker Pro
2021-02-08 FileMaker and Android


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