New error log functions for FileMaker

For last version, we got the functions ClearErrors and HadErrors to track whether a script had errors. You can think here like a try catch, where you can run a script later check in the script whether something failed and log that failure. At the MBS FileMaker Plugin workshop this week, we got a few new ideas to catch errors better. We got the idea to collect error logs and provide them as JSON to the developer.

 

Let us show you a test script:

 

# start error logging

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("ClearErrors") ] 

# cause some errors

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("test"; 1; "Hello") ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.Print"; 1; "Hello") ] 

# now query error log

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("ErrorLog") ] 

Set Field [ Kontakte::Nachname ; $r ] 

Show Custom Dialog [ "Error Log" ; $r ] 

 

As you see we call ClearErrors function early to clear the list (if needed). Then we cause two MBS errors here and don't check result right away. 

(more)

Add page links for FileMaker

Recently a client asked how to make existing index pages clickable in a PDF document. They have existing documents in FileMaker and like to customize them with our DynaPDF functions.

One part of the customization is to make some texts clickable. I recently proposed them to use DynaPDF.ExtractText to read the page number and then use DynaPDF.PageLink function to make the page. To know the distance, the layout has fields to enter where to find the numbers on the right side of the index page. Our loop runs from bottom to top of the page, checks every box for text and if there is a text, we make a link for that page.

 

Here is the script:

 

# Initialize DynaPDF if needed

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

Perform Script [ Specified: From list ; “InitDynaPDF” ; Parameter:    ]

End If

# Clear current PDF document

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

# optionally we can merge to external file

If [ False ] 

Set Variable [ $destPath ; Value: MBS("Folders.UserDesktop") & "/test.pdf" ] 

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

If [ MBS("IsError") ] 

Show Custom Dialog [ "Failed to create PDF file." ; $r ] 

Exit Script [ Text Result:    ] 

End If

End If

(more)

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 12.3pr4

New in this prerelease of version 12.3 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin:
  • Added PDF support for Vision.RecognizeText function, so you can get live text from PDF documents.
  • Added ' to list of allowed characters for variables or function names in syntax highlighting.
  • Updated to DynaPDF 4.0.68.186.
  • Added DynaPDF.SetTemplBBox function.
  • Updated to LibXL 4.0.4.
Download at monkeybreadsoftware.com/filemaker/files/Prerelease/, in DropBox folder or ask for being added to the DropBox shared folder.

Claris FileMaker 19.5 available

Today Claris released the new version 19.5 update for their FileMaker platform. A lot of new features are included and a lot of bug fixes are appreciated.

See announcement in the Claris Community:

Claris FileMaker 19.5 now available.

Release notes:

FileMaker Pro 19.5.1 Release Notes
Claris FileMaker Server 19.5.1 Release Notes

And documentation:

New features in FileMaker Pro 19
New features in FileMaker Server 19

We recommend the current 12.2 version for MBS Plugin for use with FileMaker 19.5. Older plugins may work, but you will miss out various bug fixes and improvements we made for 19.4 and 19.5.

As you may notice the LiveText feature is already available in MBS FileMaker Plugin for years with the Vision.RecognizeText function. And we are curious to see how the QRCode function in FileMaker relates to our Barcode.Detect and Barcode.Scan functions.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 12.3pr3

New in this prerelease of version 12.3 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.

Configure Audit functions in MBS Plugin

If you use Audit functions in MBS FileMaker Plugin, you can configure them with a couple of options, so let's check the options.

Date and time as numbers

For years we had the problem, that two people working on a database may have different locale. So one opens a records and saves it with "12.05.2022" as date (12th May). Then another user looks on the record and FileMaker formats it in different locale as 05/12/2022 and saves that. The Audit log would record that as a change and cause a lot of extra log entries.

To avoid this trouble, we added an option for 12.3 to store the time, date and timestamp values as numbers. Once turned on with Audit.SetDateAndTimeAsNumbers function, you see them stored numerical. Of course if you have old entries, those will now be logged again with their numeric value. So better start using this when you start with a fresh AuditLog. (more)

MBS FileMaker Plugin 12.2

In this article we want to introduce you the new functions from the MBS FileMaker Plugin in version 12.2.

Error Count for MBS functions

For years we already have the isError function in the MBS FileMaker Plugin. We can call this after a MBS function to see if the previous MBS function returned an error. If you use many MBS functions in a script this can get confusing and it might be enough for you, e.g. if you are testing a script, to know if a plugin function in the whole script throws an error at all. For this we have developed two new functions. With the HadErrors function you get back the number that is currently in the error counter. This will be incremented by one whenever a MBS function returns an error. If you want to log the errors of a script, you first have to call the ClearErrors function to set the Error Count to 0. At the end of the script you can then call the HadErrors function.

(more)

Multi Year Updates

If you have a license for our plugins, you can renew it at any time and add additional years at current pricing.

While our updates are already discounted at 50%, you can take multiple years and get an additional discount:
  • 2nd year with 10% reduction
  • 3rd year with 20% reduction
  • 4th year with 20% reduction
  • 5th year with 20% reduction
For example a $99 update for 5 years would be factor 4.3 instead of 5, so $425.70 instead of $495 with a $69.3 discount.

Please contact us to let us know you like to order with discount, so we can raise a custom invoice for your purchase.

If you order a multi year update via our web shop for full price, we can extend the MBS Plugin licenses (not DynaPDF or LibXL) with extra months instead of a discount:
  • 2 years -> 1 month extra
  • 3 years -> 3 months extra
  • 4 years -> 6 months extra
  • 5 years -> 9 months extra
This should be about the same level of discount. In any case, please let us know in advance. With ordering now in advance, you can secure current pricing.

And of course we appreciate the trust that customers put into us when they update for several years.

Please note that you may need to depreciate the value of the purchase over multiple years in most countries.

Comment Links in FileMaker ScriptWorkspace

At the dotfmp conference we got a nice idea for a feature: MBS FileMaker Plugin already scans script lines to find missing variables and show a little warning for undeclared variables. We added the feature to scan for comments containing URLs. If we find an URL, we add a little button to the end of the line, which currently shows an arrow and a globe:



You may click on the line to select it and then click on the control we add. Maybe double click may also work directly. But only if the list of script steps doesn't consume the click, it will come to our control.

You can configure this via our preferences dialog or the new SyntaxColoring.CommentLinks.SetEnabled function, so you can turn it on and off via script if needed.

Available in 12.3pr2 on our website for FileMaker Pro on macOS.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 12.3pr2

New in this prerelease of version 12.3 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.

OnRecordEdit Trigger in FileMaker

At dotfmp conference someone mentioned that he is missing a trigger in FileMaker Pro for when the user starts editing the record and thus locks it. While FileMaker has trigger for record load, commit and revert, there is no edit one. You may do something with a Layout Keystroke, but not all editing is by keyboard usage.

 

We can implement such a trigger with MBS FileMaker Plugin, our schedule functions and FM.RunScript. When record loads, we start a timer to evaluate an expression every second. This calculation checks whether RecordOpenState changes to 2 for editing and then runs the script to trigger. 

 

Our example uses a Status field in a Status table to show the status. This must be a field in another table to avoid our current record get state changed by our Set Field call. We start with the OnRecordLoad script to set our status and start the timer with Schedule.EvaluateAfterDelay. Delay is 1 second and repeat each second. The expression checks Get(RecordOpenState) and if it is 2, first stops the schedule and then runs a script in the current file named OnRecordEdit:


(more)

More Context Menu Commands for FileMaker

For next plugin version we added contextual menu entries for lists in the FileMaker user interface with expandable folders:
You can expand or collapse all with a context menu command.

And once we had that, we got another idea:
We can look on the names and find duplicates. If you ever use "Go To Layout" with name, you may have run into a problem with duplicate layout names. Our plugin selects all duplicate entries, so you can see which are belonging together.

And of course our contextual menu allows you to open the find tools, do copy and paste like the edit menu and show you how many entries are selected.

You can try next week in the version 12.3pr2 for macOS.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 12.3pr1

New in this prerelease of version 12.3 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.

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