If you need our plugins for a bigger organization, it may be difficult to order each license or consulting service on it's own. For some organizations it can take a year between someone needing a license an the delivery of a license key! The bigger the organization the longer orders may take due to bureaucracy.
So instead of going through specifications, offer, purchase order, invoice and license delivery, we can offer alternatives.
First, you can order license with updates for several years included. This way you don't need to come back every year for a license update.
Second, we can setup a software maintenance contract. This gives you a subscription for the plugins you need. We would send license keys and invoice for initial purchase or when old keys expire. If you need help with using a plugin, your support requests gets priority and of course billed. On the month end, we send an invoice for development time. The contract defines rates and availability.
If you are interested, please contact us.
I just packed a few hundred pens in my bags for the conferences in Houston and Salzburg.
If you want one, be sure to visit the conference and look for me.
As you see over the years we got different designs for the pens. Xojo used to be named Real Studio and REALbasic. We even fixed the typo in FileMaker and capitalized the M. Next time we make pens, I will probably change again and use the .com domain.
Did you get one of my pens the last year?
If you have a different design, please let me know.
Here are three examples from our own Xojo made applications on what you can do with the Listbox.CellTextPaint event:
The first one takes the text from the cell and reduces text size until the text fits or we are down to 8 point font size. This is useful if you for example display a postal address in a 40 pixel height row Listbox. As we don't know how long an address is, we scale it down. So a 2 line one shows in a bigger font than a 4 line one.
The font is set by the listbox properties including any italic, bold or underline flag.
Recently I visited developers in Switzerland and we discussed visiting conferences. Some developers love to go to conferences and others are skeptical whether the cost is worth it. So lets think about reasons why you should go:
1. Get out of your office
Some developers have not much contacts to other developers. They code in their offices or at home. Some have no colleagues to talk with or don't participate in the forums.
So please use the conference as a chance to get out of office and meet others. A little bit travel may make a difference to your normal work week. Meet other people who may have the same problems and give you conceptions to solve them. Get a different point of view on your development workflow.
2. Add extra days
When you decide to visit a conference, please add a few extra days. No need to rush to save a few bucks. Stay at least a day before and after the conference to relax a bit, join any before/after activity with other attendees and enjoy a bit of sight seeing.
Especially when I fly internationally I often need a day to do the work left on the desk while I was in the airplane.
Often it can be much cheaper to fly to another city, enjoy a few more days there and drive to the conference city.
As far as I see my ticket price to Dallas is about half of the cost to flight to Austin. And Frankfurt Dallas would be a direct flight. With the savings on airfare, I can easily pay a few extra hotel nights. And even the accounting will not complain if I show them the cost for short stay (expensive) vs. longer stay (cheaper).
(Last year's Xojo conference was in Austin. But for next year's FileMaker DevCon in Phoenix, I may get a flight to Los Angeles or Denver.)
3. Learn something
At the conference, go and visit a few sessions. The title often doesn't tell whether this will be interesting or not. Don't go to topics where you know most already as that could be a waste of time. If some sessions are recorded, go into the others who aren't. You can watch recordings later. Try to pick sessions with new topics you are not familiar with or at least some which have a different view on something you know. This way you have more things to learn about.
Be sure to visit the keynotes to learn what is new and coming soon. You depend on our development tools and if something is going to change soon, you should know it first hand. And later on the conference ask all the questions you may have.
4. Get contacts
Simple rule: Try to talk to everyone a few minutes. Ask what they do, what they think about the news at the keynote and how they enjoy the conference. It is always good to have contacts to people which may at some day help you. For example in a forum, or as contractor or employee. For self employed developers, it may be good to present yourself and maybe someone will hire you in future.
5. Talk to engineers
Talk to the developers writing your tool. Know who does what in the company, so you can email them directly with problems to get a quick answer.
Tell the engineers what you need, what you like, what you don't like. Telling them what concerns you have could lead to a change in some things. If you have concerns about licensing, platform support, upcoming features or problems they may not be aware of, please tell them.
Also fill bug reports and send them the IDs, so they can keep an eye on the cases and follow up with you.
6. Show problems to experts
If you have a problem, bring an example project to the conference. Show it some engineers and ask for help. Maybe they can run Xojo/FileMaker in debugger itself and see what line in the C code causes the exception you see. The conference visit may be paid if a big problem is solved for you at the conference!
At least you may find a workaround with the engineer and get a fix with the next version.
Stay at the conference. Don't go shopping in-between. You are here to learn and get contacts. So use the time between sessions or if no interesting session is running to talk to people. Especially use the time to have some private time with a tool vendor in the exhibition area or an engineer. You easily pay $100 per hour at the conference for your trip, so don't waste it.
I highly recommend everyone to visit a conference if they can. If the conference is in a holiday destination, maybe bring family and enjoy a few extra days. If the company pays for your flight, your hotel room and a rental car, it should be no big problem to buy an additional flight ticket and just take your wife to a holiday with low cost for yourself.
See you at the next conferences:
- Xojo Developer Conference in Houston, Texas
- FileMaker Konferenz in Salzburg, Austria
- MBS European Xojo Developer Conference in Berlin, Germany
- FileMaker Developer Conference in Phoenix, Arizona
Today I once again got a winmail.dat from a Windows Outlook user. None of my unarchiver tool can read that. I dropped it on a text editor and saw it has an uncompressed PDF inside. So I quickly wrote this little Xojo app to extract it:
FileMaker Inc. announced their new FileMaker Cloud service. In your amazon account add can add an EC2 instance for a virtual private server. Inside you can now install CentOS 7 64-bit with FileMaker Server for Linux. This gives you a server in the cloud which you don't need to maintain yourself. Amazon will keep it updated and running. You can upload your database on the admin panel and use your solution. The use case for this could be:
- You have a team of users needing a solution, so FLT is the matching licensing scheme.
- You don't want to host yourself.
- You are okay with hosting your server with Amazon.
- You are okay with using data centers in US. Other data centers will come in next months.
- You are okay with using FileMaker Server 15 and clients in version 15.
We'll see how this works for people in US trying it. This is a 1.0 release, so there will be issues. Other data centers will be added according to FileMaker Inc. And once we have data centers within the same jurisdiction as our company, we can start using this for real testing. Currently I have myself a small test server in Ireland and it is pretty responsive.
MBS Plugin for Linux is available if you need. We will include it in 6.5 betas soon. Gladly I started building libraries for Linux at DevCon in July when we heard first time about FileMaker Cloud. Be sure to watch the Cloud Videos:
- Overview of the FileMaker Cloud
- FileMaker Cloud: Our Perspective
- Security And The Cloud
- Deploying FileMaker Server with Amazon Web Services EC2
- Boost Your Business with Your Own FileMaker Hosting Service
- Under the Hood - Maximizing FileMaker WebDirect Performance and Scalability
NICKENICH, Germany (September 27th, 2016) -- Monkeybread Software releases version 16.4 of the MBS plug-in for Xojo and Real Studio.
The MBS plug-in comprises a collection of several plug-in parts which extend the Xojo (Real Studio) development environment with 2,300 classes featuring over 59,000 documented functions. Our plugins support all three platforms Mac OS X, Windows and Linux with all project types desktop, web and console including 64-bit and ARM targets.
Some of the highlights on the 16.4 update:
With our new plugin version we add a class to use the camera of a Raspberry Pi for capturing images. You can enumerate devices, connect to one, select various options, capture pictures or get a preview image. If you have a similar camera on a desktop linux, you can of course use the same class there.
This release improves a lot of linux classes. The DirectorySizeMBS class now fully supports linux to quickly check the size of a directory. The module for extended attributes now works on Linux as well as the SystemInformationMBS.MACAddressMBS function.
If you need to securly create password hashes, we recommend checking the new Argon2MBS class. Argon2 is a price winning key derivation function which you can now use to generate encryption keys.
For our SQL Plugin, the internal SQLite library now allows you to run the same commands as the SQLite shell tool. Use this to benefit from various import and export functions there. For SQLValueMBS class, we added new properties to easier read/write blob values. You can now stream them from/to folderitem or streams. You can set a BLOB from memoryblock directly without converting to a string, from a variant as well as all parameters in a SQLCommandMBS from a dictionary. Our SQLite3MBS can now load extensions directly. For prepared statements, the BindType function is now optional.
On Windows we can now read/write/delete file streams. So beside some data your files can have additional metadata which your app can use, e.g. to store backup state. Our LargeBinaryStreamMBS class can now handles long file paths better. And our windows list class can now enumerate child windows.
We added a new WebKit 2 control for Mac. This allows you to have one HTMLViewer replacement which dynamically switches between WebKit 1 (32-bit) and WebKit 2 (64-bit) depending of the host application.
With the new MBS.Has*Plugin constants, you can write conditional code which uses plugin functions only if the plugin is installed. This helps for bigger source code libraries.
We got new CRC, more GraphicsMagick and a new SplitMBS function. Our MemoryStorageMBS class helps to break 32-bit memory limits. We improved several Cocoa related classes including NSLayoutManagerMBS, NSURLRequestMBS and NSFontManagerMBS
Finally we updated LCMS 2 to version 2.8, OpenSSL to 1.0.2i, SQLite to 3.14.2 and DynaPDF to 126.96.36.199. The UniKey plugin now uses 6.5 SDK and supports 32 and 64bit targets on Mac, Windows and Linux including ARM.
See release notes for a complete list of changes.
Nickenich, Germany - (September 27th, 2016) -- MonkeyBread Software today is pleased to announce MBS FileMaker Plugin 6.4 for Mac OS X or Windows, the latest update to their product that is easily the most powerful plugin currently available for FileMaker Pro. As the leading database management solution for Windows, Mac, and the web, the FileMaker Pro Integrated Development Environment supports a plugin architecture that can easily extend the feature set of the application. MBS FileMaker Plugin 6.4 has been updated and now includes over 4100 different functions, and the versatile plugin has gained more new functions:
For Mac we now support scanning directly via the OS APIs called ImageCapture. So we can support all the scanners supported by Image Capture application by Apple. For Windows we now support TWAIN with 64-bit better.
When using FileMaker on Mac you can now enjoy our contextual menus. We add a generic contextual menu to all table controls. We used to have a menu there since version 6.0 to copy the content of the table. Now you can use copy, cut, paste and delete in addition. For the script workspace we have a command to activate and deactivate script steps.
If you like SQL, you can now use the queries made with FM.SQL.Execute and insert the records via FM.SQL.InsertRecords into your FileMaker database, e.g. another table. Or you use FM.SQL.InsertRecordsToSQL and insert the result of the query into another SQL database, e.g. MySQL. Both functions help to easily copy records from one table to other.
The new time parse and format functions help you with importing or exporting times and dates. You can specify the format and let the plugin parse any date, time or timestamp. Of course you can format times, dates or timestamps as well.
We improved our dialog, toolbar, list, LDAP, PHP, RichText, RunTask, slideshow, file and email parser functions. We rewrote the AppleScript functions to better work in 64-bit applications and prepared the plugin for future FileMaker releases.
Finally we updated OpenSSL to version 1.0.2i, SQLite to 3.14.2 and DynaPDF to 188.8.131.52.
More details in the release notes. Please take the time to check our 400 example databases and check where you can use our plugin features in your solutions.
PS: We have a version for Linux, if you like to try it with FileMaker Cloud, too.
Just talked today about how to know the calling function name. Solution can be to ask this by getting call stack. So here a code snippet:
New in this prerelease of the 6.4 plugins:
- Changed EmailParser to ignore an erroneous From line on top of email.
- Updated OpenSSL to 1.0.2i
- Added RunTask.Wait function.
- Fixed duplicate detection for Text.ReplaceNewline.
- Rewrote AppleScript functions for better 64-bit compatibility.
- Fixed ProgressDialog layout for Windows.
- Fixed issues on Windows with Files.CopyFile and Files.Delete.
- Added Webview.GetInternetExplorerVersion and Webview.SetInternetExplorerVersion.
- Added Schedule.ReleaseAll function.
- Changed FileDialog.SelectFolderDialog to support multiple selection on Windows Vista and newer.
- Changed Addressbook to more often return unique ID more often instead of our own IDs.
New in this prerelease of the 16.4 plugins:
- Added orderFrontStylesPanel and orderFrontFontPanel for NSFontManagerMBS class.
- Updated OpenSSL to 1.0.2i
- Upgraded Unikey plugin to use latest 6.5 SDK and supports 64-bit and Linux ARM.
- Added IOPowerSourcesMBS.ExternalPowerAdapterDetails function.
Do you have a need to synchronize Todos from your FileMaker database to the Mac, iPad or iPhone?
Today I have a script which may serve as an example on how to synchronize from a table in FileMaker with Todos to the Reminders app on a Mac. Those reminders can than be sychronized via iCloud to your iPhones and iPads. For a Server based solution, you need a Mac (a robot) doing this with FM Pro and share reminder lists from there to your devices.
The script needs to be compatible for us with FileMaker 13, so we use the older Calendar API. For newer projects with 64-bit only (and possibly iOS), you prefer the newer Events API. Be aware that in the older Calendar API in newer OS X versions the DueDate is no longer a timestamp, but just a date. The Events API can do it correctly and use a timestamp. FileMaker 15 is 64-bit only, so you can use both function sets, but please decide which is better for you.
The script can be run regularly, e.g. via Schedule functions. It loops over current set of records. You may want to limit the records to only the ToDos for the next three weeks. If there is an UID saved for the todo, the reminder is checked. If it exists and is newer, we sync back title, notes and completed flag. You can add more fields. A special case here is to allow user to store in notes how long it took to do the job. That value is stored in a field in FileMaker. If the event is newer in FileMaker, we overwrite all values. If we have no UID, we create a new reminder in the right reminder list (calendar). How you map your priorities and completed state, is of course dependent to your database. But please save the UID for later sychronization.
If you build a solution with this scirpt please edit it. Change all fields to your field names and add some more error checking. You may want to implement slightly different rules for synchronization, especially on who wins in case of conflicts.(more)
The last Xojo release brought us an optimization switch. We can now decide whether we want default, moderate or aggressive optimization. I just finished an article for Xojo Developer Magazine about some good optimization things happening. But there is still room for improvement.
For my article I have three nice cases to show you what is generated for default, moderate and aggressive, so you learn what the optimizer does. I see optimizations going on for loops, common subexpression and recalculating expressions.
But looking for optimization cases with math functions, the code generator could be better. As it does not use the standard functions for e.g. sqrt, but calls Xojo's runtime functions, the compiler can't optimize them away. (Feedback case 45298). And for multiple calls to object methods, the code generator could provide hints to compiler that self is not going to change while a method runs, so a lot of nil object checks could be optimized away. (Feedback case 45299)
We'll see what Xojo Inc. will reveal on future development at XDC. Be sure to join the conference and visit the sessions about the compiler to learn how it works.
As you may know the Webviewer in FileMaker uses Internet Explorer version 7 for rendering websites, even if you have a newer version of Internet Explorer installed.
We can change that version to 10 or 11 if you need with our new Webview.SetInternetExplorerVersion function. There we can switch FileMaker to use a newer version, e.g. version 11.
In a test on Windows 10, we get by default this browser version:
and with setting it to 11000, we get this:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.2; Win64; x64; Trident/7.0; .NET4.0C; .NET4.0E; Tablet PC 2.0; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; .NET CLR 3.5.30729)
Just call the function once when running your solution.
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; Win64; x64; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko
Available for 6.4pr9 plugin or by email on request.
Splitting and joining string arrays is a common operation in Xojo projects. Beside the built-in Join and Split functions, we do have a couple of alternatives, optimized in their way.
First we have Split:
SplitMBS(value as String, delimiter as String = " ") as String()
This takes the string and if it is unicode convert it to UTF-8 and split it. If delimiter is nil, splits into an array of letters.
If encoding is different, we split it and keep the original encoding.
For joining, we have 5 alternatives:
JoinStringMBS(strings() as string) as string
JoinStringMBS(values() as variant) as string
JoinDataMBS(values() as variant) as string
JoinDataMBS(strings() as string) as string
JoinDataMBS(blocks() as memoryblock) as string
So we can join Strings as well as MemoryBlocks. As convenience we can also join arrays of variant with them mixed. JoinDataMBS joins data, so all the bytes are just added up ignoring any encoding. JoinStringMBS converts first all to UTF-8 and returns the text back as UTF-8.
Please try them. SplitMBS is in 16.4pr8.
New in this prerelease of the 6.4 plugins:
- Added FM.GetSQLBatchMode and FM.SetSQLBatchMode functions to speed up some SQL inserts.
- Changed trace feature to not log calls to Log function.
- Added List.HasValue function.
- Trace now logs duration in seconds for long running SQL commands.
- Added contextual menu commands for copy/paste to script workspace and other list controls.
- Changed plugin to show dialogs when using expired license key.
- Fixed Dialog.AddField to work on OS X 10.9 or older. Also fixed black label background for FileMaker 11.
New in this prerelease of the 16.4 plugins:
- Changed AliasInfoMBS properties to be read only.
- Changed SplitMBS to be encoding aware for 8bit encodings. So you now split a Windows ANSI string and get back Windows ANSI strings.
This evening we had an excellent dinner together with FileMaker and Xojo developers in Zurich:
Second meeting with 12 people in total (and 8 the day before).
Interesting what people do and what they can show. The LehrerOffice application, made in Xojo, has an impressive feature set with custom reporting, self written controls including a grid and impressive user interface.
Sett you at the next conference in Houston, Salzburg, Berlin or Phoenix.
The following product ideas for FileMaker are related to the plugin SDK and plugin usage. I appreciate if your vote helps getting some attention for them from FileMaker Inc.. If the plugin SDK improves over future releases, the plugin authors can write better plugins and provide better features to you. Here 5 new ones which I got the idea from our FileMaker developer meeting in Zurich today:
- Provide functions to fmx::Data to read any container type to memory
- Extend fmx::Data to provide path of external container files
- Extend fmx::FixPt with Int64 functions
- Need FMX_SetToCurrentEnv for Server
- Log errors when loading plugins
And some older ideas:
- Add alignment to Plugin SDK CharacterStyle class
- FileMaker could report to user if several versions of the same plugin are installed
- Make Idle work on Server for plugins
- Add functions to plugin SDK for style runs
- Make FMX_StartScript work on FileMaker Server
- ExecuteFileSQL variant with field names
- Built-In Plugin support that works in iOS
- Provide proper main thread handling for Apple frameworks
When you select a class in your project in the list of project items, you see in the middle of the Xojo window nothing. There is no editor open, but this space could be used. At our meeting yesterday we discussed the idea to have there some information visible:
The first idea (Feedback case 43673) would simply fill the space with a note. That would be a note you normally add to the class. But if you assign it a special name, e.g. "About", it will be shown as default content there. If no such note exists, we still would get the no editor panel.
With that default note, we can have a convenient place to put documentation for your classes and everyone new to the class can easily find it.
The second idea (Feedback case 45236) is a bit more. There we ask for showing the public interface of a class. This would make the use easy as it is a kind of documentation. We see what methods and properties are there and all the private stuff and the code is hidden.
Especially for encrypted classes, where you can't look inside without password.
If you like this ideas, please add your comments and let's discuss that in Houston at XDC with Xojo engineers.
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