Two weeks until the EngageU FileMaker conference

Only two weeks until the English speaking EngageU conference. Already over 90 attendees signed up including Monkeybread Software, so we look forward to meet you all there. Recently Claris decided to join with their staff and feature a keynote presentation with Brad Freitag and Robert Holsey. Let's see what they have to say about FileMaker and Claris product lines.

EngageU - FileMaker Conference in Malmö
13th - 15th of November 2022, Malmö, Sweden




A new FileMaker conference for Europe will be held in Malmö at the end of the year. The English-language conference is organized by SquareMoon and ClickWorx, with support from Claris.

The conference will be held in Malmö, Sweden, November 13-15, 2022. The conference language is English. The target audience is FileMaker developers from across Europe and beyond. More information can be found on the website.

Please join the conference to make it the biggest one ever in Europe!
And it's great reason for people from all around the world to do a business trip to see Sweden (and nearby Denmark). If you plan your trip, the international airport to use is Copenhagen in Denmark and from there a 20 minute train to Malmö central station.

Install FileMaker Server on Windows 11 on Apple Silicon

You like to have a FileMaker Server on the go with your Macbook (Pro) M1 or M2?

Install Parallels and let it install Windows 11. Within the ARM version of Windows 11, you can install FileMaker Pro 19.5 and it seems to work fine. Since there is no native version for ARM64, the application runs in emulation within Windows.

You can also install FileMaker Server. Running a FMS on Windows 11 and not Windows Server 2016 or 2019 is not really supported, but can work. The installer will complain about missing Internet Information Services and Application Request Routing. But you can go on one of the Microsoft websites and download the Application Request Routing installer and install it manually. I used the "Install this extension" button on iis.net/downloads/microsoft/application-request-routing website.

Once this is installed, the FileMaker Server installer runs through without complains. After a restart, we can open the console and see the server running:

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MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 12.5pr5

New in this prerelease of version 12.5 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.

Warning about macOS Ventura and Contacts framework

A few customers updated to macOS Ventura and reported crashes with saving contacts to the contacts database in macOS. This happens with both Xojo and FileMaker plugins using the AddContact functions. This may not crash on every request and may depend on configuration, e.g. whether you use iCloud.

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Get a trial license key

We got trial keys about 5 years ago added to our FileMaker and Xojo plugins.

A trial key is only valid for a limit time and allows to test all features without demo limitations. Due to the time limitation of the key, you can use it for a few weeks. The key later expires and you are back to demo mode or you order a license to get a permanent license.

We setup a form to request a license key:
Request Trial License Key

We may limit who can get a trial and filter out the requests looking like spam. But so far we issued over 1000 trial keys to various people.

Please understand that trial keys are not intended for deployment of solutions as keys expire. Our regular keys don't expire and can be used forever with the plugin versions released before a given date.

You can also explicit register for newsletter, so you know about new releases and events.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 12.5pr4

New in this prerelease of version 12.5 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.

MBS Plugin in Claris Pro and Server

We resolved the problems we had with Claris Server and now our plugin works there. If you have a Claris Pro or Server, feel free to later try the 12.5pr4 version of MBS Plugin.

On the licensing we got asked if we sell Claris Pro/Server plugin separately. What a terrific business idea! But no, we don't ask for extra money to move from FileMaker to Claris. Just make sure you have a recent license, which includes 12.5 (or later), so you can use our current plugin versions. And eventually most of our customers may move in a few years, when the Claris product line has a more attractive offering compared to the FileMaker line.

We'll update documentation over the time to add Claris instructions, but so far just the folder names changed. If you install by script, the correct path is used automatically. And if you manually install, you probably have no problem finding the Extensions folder.

Let us know if you have questions or trouble.

Window Activation Trigger

Sometimes FileMaker developers miss a script trigger to run when you switch between windows. We usually recommend people check if Window.Current function returns a new number. And you may do that with Schedule functions.

 

Here is a script to start a schedule to check the window regularly:

 

# current window

Set Variable [ $currentWindow ; Value: MBS("Window.Current") ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS( "FM.VariableSet"; "WindowActivateTriggerCurrentWindow"; $currentWindow ) ] 

# Schedule a calculation to check window every second

Set Variable [ $schedule ; Value: MBS( "Schedule.EvaluateAfterDelay"; 1; "Let([

 

lastWindow = MBS( \"FM.VariableGet\"; \"WindowActivateTriggerCurrentWindow\" );

e1 = MBS(\"IsError\"); 

currentWindow = MBS( \"Window.Current\" );

e2 = MBS(\"IsError\");

 

r = If(e1 = 0 AND e2 = 0 AND lastWindow ≠ currentWindow; Let([

 

w = MBS( \"FM.VariableSet\"; \"WindowActivateTriggerCurrentWindow\"; currentWindow );

e = MBS( \"FM.RunScript\"; \"" & Get(FileName) & "\"; \"Window Activated Trigger\")

 

]; 0); 0)

 

];1)"; ""; ""; 1 ) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS( "FM.VariableSet"; "WindowActivateTrigger"; $schedule ) ] 


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Teach your solution to talk

Do you already know the Speech component from the MBS FileMaker Plugin?

With it you can easily make your application speaking. The functions I will show you in this article, can be used on Mac and Windows under FileMaker Desktop and the iOS SDK. Reading text out loud is especially useful if you are writing a solution for people who cannot read or have a visual restriction. You can use the Speech.Speak function to output text. Besides the text you can also specify the speaker you want to use. You can find a list of speakers that are available for your system with the function Speech.AvailableVoices.

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Container

Do you know the additional functions for containers that the MBS FileMaker Plugin offers? In this blog article I would like to introduce you to a few of them.

Let's start with the loading of a file into the container field. For this we use the function Container.ReadFile. With it we read files via a native file path. This path can be defined by a text field or by the FileDialog functions with the help of a dialog. This function can be used not only in FileMaker Pro, but also on the server. We must pay attention that the server is authorized to access the files, otherwise it does not work. Beside the file path also a mode can be specified. If no mode is specified, then the plugin itself tries to determine the file type and imports the file appropriately. If we specify the keyword container, the result is returned as a container with a FILE stream inside. If we specify compressed then we get a compressed container value returned. Finally, we can also specify the filename that the file should have.

Set Variable [ $image ; Value:MBS( "Container.ReadFile"; "/Users/cs/Pictures/test.jpg"; "auto")]

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ProgressDialog functions for iOS

For the upcoming MBS FileMaker Plugin 12.5, we add iOS support for ProgressDialog functions to well, show progress:

As you see, we support determinate and indeterminate (value set to negative) with two labels below. Feel free to test in your FileMaker iOS SDK based app with next pre-release.


Claris Pro Observations

We had the chance to try Claris Pro for a few days. While FileMaker Pro and Claris Pro are built from the same source code with a lot of build time switches, they are very similar (99% same), but have some differences in the user interface.

As an European, you quickly notice the latency to the data center in USA. Everything talking to a server is quite slow and I would expect Claris has to start with the international rollout of their servers before they start to really sell this to Europeans. Or before they start any Freemium offer. MongoDB would allow to place multiple servers around the globe, which synchronize themselves. Of course Claris would also need to put their own Claris Studio software on various servers around the globe and connect you to a nearby one. (more)

FileMaker Tips from Rome

Back from Rome, I remember a few tips for performance and best practice to think about in Claris FileMaker, so let's write them down, before I forget them:

 

Don't show all records

 

For best performance, don't show all records to the user. Remove the menu command for this via custom menus. And change the toolbar to not have the command.

 

Make sure the user never sees all records. Always do a find for them to reduce the number of records shown for performance. Like do a search to show records from the current week or the entries the current user has to work on.

 

Why? Because the user almost never needs to see all records and scroll down to find theirs. While all records are showing, the FileMaker server sends notifications in the network to update the list whenever one of the records shows. If you show 1000s of records, there are a lot of such notifications coming, which may cause a refresh.

 

To change the toolbar on macOS, please check our toolbar functions.


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MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 12.5pr3

New in this prerelease of version 12.5 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.

Run FileMaker in different language on your Mac

Sometimes we need to make screenshots or present with FileMaker Pro or Claris Pro in other languages and you can have at least eleven languages:



You know all the languages in those menu bars?

I made a couple of little AppleScript apps to launch FileMaker Pro 18, 19 and Claris Pro in another language. So I can double click the French one and another instance of FileMaker Pro launches on my Mac with French localization. (more)

One month until the EngageU FileMaker conference

Only one month until the English speaking EngageU conference. Already over 90 attendees signed up including Monkeybread Software, so we look forward to meet you all there.

EngageU - FileMaker Conference in Malmö
13th - 15th of November 2022, Malmö, Sweden




A new FileMaker conference for Europe will be held in Malmö at the end of the year. The English-language conference is organized by SquareMoon and ClickWorx, with support from Claris.

The conference will be held in Malmö, Sweden, November 13-15, 2022. The conference language is English. The target audience is FileMaker developers from across Europe and beyond. More information can be found on the website.

Please join the conference to make it the biggest one ever in Europe!
And it's great reason for people from all around the world to do a business trip to see Sweden (and nearby Denmark). If you plan your trip, the international airport to use is Copenhagen in Denmark and from there a 20 minute train to Malmö central station.

CSV in FileMaker with MBS FileMaker Plugin

We like to show you a few functions related to CSV and what you can do with combining various functions of our MBS FileMaker Plugin. Usually you get a CSV file as an export from some other database, e.g. a list of sales.

Read Textfile

If you like to read a text file, you can simply use our Text.ReadTextFile function. Pass the path and the text encoding to use and you get back the text. The encoding should be right for umlauts or accents. Usually everyone uses UTF-8 nowadays, but we also support various older encodings.

If you have the file in a container, please check the Text.ReadTextFromContainer function, which takes a container value as reference.

Parse CSV

Next you like to parse the CSV and split it into a two-dimensional array. For this we use the Matrix.CSVSplit function. It creates a new matrix object for us with the right dimensions and reads in the values. Our plugin can usually detect whether to use tab, comma or semicolon as separated, but you can also pass an explicit separator.

Column Names

Most CSV files have the column names in the first row. You can get the list of names with the Matrix.GetRow function by passing row = 0. Once you got the list of names, you can remove the row for further processing, so call Matrix.RemoveRow to remove it. If you like, you can store the them with the matrix using the Matrix.SetColumnNames function (new in version 12.5). (more)

Bootstrapping MBS FileMaker Plugin

How to automatically install MBS Plugin in FileMaker without having the plugin?

 

We have gzip versions of our plugins here: gzip downloads. There you find the current URLs for all our plugins and the version.json with the version information. You may do a script to automatically install the plugins.

 

Now we got the question how to load the MBS Plugin with Insert From URL for an installation, so here is an example script:

 

# normal release here

Set Variable [ $URL ; Value: "https://www.monkeybreadsoftware.com/filemaker/files/gzip/version.json" ] 

Set Variable [ $JSON ; Value: "" ] 

Insert from URL [ Select ; With dialog: Off ; Target: $JSON ; $URL ; cURL options: "--FM-text-encoding utf-8 --location --max-time 10 " ; Do not automatically encode URL ] 

If [ Get(LastError) ≠ 0 ] 

Show Custom Dialog [ "Failed to query MBS server." ; Get(LastErrorDetail) ] 

Exit Script [ Text Result: "Failed to query server." ] 

End If

Set Variable [ $date ; Value: JSONGetElement ( $json ; "date" ) ] 

Set Variable [ $versionNumber ; Value: JSONGetElement ( $json ; "versionNumber" ) ] 

Set Variable [ $versionText ; Value: JSONGetElement ( $json ; "versionText" ) ] 

Set Variable [ $URLMac ; Value: JSONGetElement ( $json ; "download.mac" ) ] 

Set Variable [ $URLWin32 ; Value: JSONGetElement ( $json ; "download.win32" ) ] 

Set Variable [ $URLWin64 ; Value: JSONGetElement ( $json ; "download.win64" ) ] 

Set Variable [ $URLLinux ; Value: JSONGetElement ( $json ; "download.linux" ) ]

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18 years of FileMaker versions supported

Did you know the MBS Plugin can run on all FileMaker versions from 7 to 19.5.4?

As of today the current 32-bit Windows version can load in ancient FileMaker Pro 7. We don't expect clients to use that, but we know that some still have 32-bit Windows and use FileMaker Pro 18 there to connect to FileMaker 18 and 19 servers.

For macOS we support currently macOS 10.9 and newer in FileMaker 14 and newer. If you need plugins folder older macOS versions or 32-bit FileMaker Pro, please let us know.

And of course we work hard to get our plugin ready for the future. We already test with Claris Pro and FileMaker Pro 19.6 and we may need to adjust our plugin for those.

Let us know if you have questions.

Script trigger for moving window

Let us show you how we can use our Window functions in combination with Schedule functions to trigger a script the a window moved in FileMaker. You may know there is a layout size changed trigger, so you notice when a window was resized by the user, but there is no script trigger for moving window built-in. Let's build one.

 

We build this example script, which starts with setting our parameters on which script to trigger with what parameter and in which file. Then we query the current window to get the reference number. This allows us to later even check the right window, when it is in the background. We query the current position and store it in the tag for the window. The tag is a value you can store to an object in MBS FileMaker Plugin and it allows you to store something related to the window. If you store multiple values, you may use JSON instead. We then schedule a dummy expression to get the reference number for the schedule, since we include it in the expression. Now we can build the expression and we look into that further below. Important is that we replace place holders with the actual values. Then we can put back the expression for the schedule and remember the schedule reference in case you like to stop it by script. Take a look here:


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MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 12.5pr2

New in this prerelease of version 12.5 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.

MBS @ FMTraining.TV - Using a JavaScript library in FileMaker via the MBS Plug-in

Check out the FMTraining.tv website. Richard Carlton and his team do a daily free live stream about FileMaker to watch.

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.

We try the JavaScript functions in MBS FileMaker Plugin to run some JavaScript code in FileMaker to calculate sunset.

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MBS @ FMTraining.TV - 12.4

Check out the FMTraining.tv website. Richard Carlton and his team do a daily free live stream about FileMaker to watch.

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.

We check out the new functions here.

(more)

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