Live barcode reading for FileMaker on MacOS and iOS

We got the live barcode reading working with the AVRecorder functions in MBS FileMaker Plugin. We now have the option to automatically feed the recorded images to the CoreImage detector to find QRCodes:

This works nice and can optionally triggers a script for a new barcode. So you should be able to have your users hold a QRCode in front of the iPhone or Mac camera and get the barcodes coming in. The advantage is that we do the processing and detection on a preemptive thread, so it runs in background and doesn't block FileMaker from doing other things.

Of course you always get current frame with AVRecorder.CaptureStillPhoto and pass it to OCR.SetImage for text recognition or Barcode.Detect to find different barcodes yourself. That even works on Windows.

Coming soon with next prerelease of MBS Plugin 8.4.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 8.4pr5

New in this prerelease of version 8.4 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin:
  • Added new Keychain functions.
  • Changed plugins to load LDAP framework dynamically instead of linking to it directly.
  • Improved variable checking to recognize Insert Text, Insert time, Insert date, Insert current user and Insert Calculated Result and look for variables there in 11 languages.
  • Fixed a problem on Windows with Drag & Drop functions not accepting drag if you didn't set cursor.
  • Added SignScript for iOS plugins.
  • Added XML.ApplyStylesheet function.
  • Added LibXSLT in version 1.1.33.
  • Updated LibXML2 to version 2.9.8.
  • Added CNContactStore.GroupsByName and CNContactStore.GroupsForContact functions.
Download at or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

FileMaker and WebViewer communication

A lot of FileMaker developers love to interact with WebViewer. There are a couple of ways to move data in/out or call back to FileMaker. For a few things our plugin can help a lot.
Here an overview:

Load webpage into WebViewer:

  • Use FileMaker's Set Webviewer Script Step to pass in URL with content.
    This is limited to a few thousand characters and URL may get logged.
  • Write local HTML file and call Set Webviewer Script step with an URL pointing to the file. Path.FilePathToFileURL may help here.
  • Use WebView.LoadHTML in MBS Plugins to load HTML from text in variable or field.
  • Use WebView.LoadURL to load URL.
    Pass for Mac and iOS the cache policy and the timeout value.

Calling JavaScript:

  • You can use MBS Plugin WebView.RunJavaScript which will pass the javascript to run. For Mac and iOS, this function returns the result, while on Windows, we can't get the result.
  • Use WebView.RunJavaScriptReturnTitle which is designed to return the title of the document. In JavaScript you can put result in document.title and we pass it back. This may not work well with line breaks.

Pass data to JavaScript:

Trigger Script from JavaScript:

  • Use fmp URL to trigger a script. May run the wrong version of FileMaker.
  • Use Webview.AddScriptMessageHandler to trigger script from JavaScript for FileMaker 16 and newer with Mac & iOS
  • Use WebView.InstallCallback to trigger script for FileMaker 15 and earlier on Mac and Windows with IE 9 or older.
  • Use ServerSocket.Start to listen to requests and send HTTP Request via XMLHttpRequest in JavaScript.
  • Use Data API on FileMaker Server via requests sent from JavaScript.

Pass back data from JavaScript:

If you know more to add here, please comment or email us.

Playing with LibXSLT

For our plugins I updated libxml2 to a newer version. And while doing that, I saw there is also libxslt available, which can be used together with libxml2 to support XSLT.

So I built LibXLST for all platforms (2x Mac, 4x iOS, 3x Linux and 2x Windows!) for me. Once the libraries can be linked to the plugin, I started make a new function for the MBS FileMaker Plugin: XML.ApplyStylesheet.

It allows you to apply a style sheet to an XML document and transform the XML to something new. Fore example you transform from one XML to other. This includes transforming XML to just text or html text. We'll certainly include a few examples with next plugins.

If you have ideas for more functions, please let me know.

By the way XSLT 2.0 is a common wish, but the problem is that there aren't many libraries for C/C++ doing that. And for example the Saxon library is quite expensive for redistribution.

Xojo has such a function built-in: XMLDocument.Transform, so no need currently for a plugin there.

Acht Wochen bis zur FileMaker Konferenz 2018 in Malbun

Nur noch acht Wochen bis zur FileMaker Konferenz 2018 in Malbun (Liechtenstein) und zur MBS FileMaker Plugin Schulung Mittwochs vorher.

Vom 17. bis 20. Oktober diesen Jahres findet die neunte deutschsprachige FileMaker Konferenz in Malbun, Liechtenstein statt. FileMaker Anwender und Entwickler können ihre Teilnahme ab sofort buchen.

Die Veranstalter vom Verein FM Konferenz erwarten auch 2018 rund 180 Entwickler, Anwender, IT-Fachleute und Entscheidungsträger aus Wirtschaft, Bildung und Verwaltung. Rund um über 25 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 und vor allem den Kontakt zu den FileMaker Mitarbeitern. Lernen Sie was es neues gibt, lernen Sie wie man Probleme löst und erzählen Sie den FileMaker Mitarbeitern was Sie sich für die Zukunft bei FileMaker wünschen!

Die MBS Plugin Schulung findet am 17. Oktober 2018 statt.

FileMaker Stammtisch Nürnberg

On my next visit to Nuremberg, I may be able to join the local meeting:

Wer hat Interesse an einem FileMaker Entwicklertreffen am 19. September 2018 in Nürnberg?

Einfach gemütlich zusammen sitzen und über FileMaker plaudern.
Gerne zeige ich auch neue Pluginfunktionen oder helfe bei Problemen mit euren Projekten. Einfach Computer mitbringen und was zeigen.

Bei Interesse bitte Dirk Schittko melden. Siehe FileMaker Stammtisch Nürnberg

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 8.4pr4

New in this prerelease of version 8.4 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin:
  • Updated MBSInit.framework to work better with plugins named framework.
  • Fixed problem with GMImage.NewFromFile function.
  • Changed ImageCapture to let you pick device by location description.
  • Added alternateNames entry to ImageCapture.DevicesJSON to list alternate names we found.
  • Changed AVRecorder functions on Windows to automatically select highest resolution of video device instead of default resolution.
  • Added note property for CNContact.SetValue and CNContact.Value.
  • Fixed bug in FM.ScriptNames function.
  • Updated to Xcode 9.4.
  • Updated DynaPDF to version
Download at or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

FileMaker 17 Launch Presentations in Belgium and Netherlands

Lesterius runs two launch events for FileMaker 17 in September:

7th September 2018 in Almere, Netherlands
11th September 2018 in Gent, Belgium

After a welcome drink, they will present the details of the new version with live demonstration. Your chance to ask questions and meet other FileMaker developers from your region.

Signup here: 7th Sep in Almere and 11th Sep in Gent

The event is free of cost beside traveling there. So please join Lesterius for the events!

Tip of the day: Split large files into smaller chunks

If you need to ever split files with MBS FileMaker Plugin, you can do it using the BinaryFile functions like the following script shows. It opens a file for reading and copies 10 MByte chunks to new files.

Set Variable [ $InputPath ; Value: "/Users/cs/Desktop/tets.mp4" ] 

Set Variable [ $ChunkSize ; Value: 10*1024*1024 ] 


Set Variable [ $InputStream ; Value: MBS( "BinaryFile.Open"; $inputPath ) ] 

If [ MBS("IsError") ] 

Show Custom Dialog [ "Failed to open file." ; $InputStream & ¶ & $InputPath ] 

Exit Script [ Text Result:    ] 

End If

Set Variable [ $InputLength ; Value: MBS( "BinaryFile.Length"; $InputStream ) ] 

Set Variable [ $InputPosition ; Value: 0 ] 

Set Variable [ $Counter ; Value: 1 ] 


# Read chunk

Set Variable [ $Chunk ; Value: MBS( "BinaryFile.ReadHex"; $InputStream; $ChunkSize ) ] 


# Write Chunk

Set Variable [ $OutputPath ; Value: $InputPath & "." & $Counter ] 

Set Variable [ $OutputStream ; Value: MBS( "BinaryFile.Create"; $OutputPath ) ] 

If [ MBS("IsError") ] 

Show Custom Dialog [ "Failed to create file." ; $InputStream & ¶ & $OutputPath ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS( "BinaryFile.Close"; $InputStream ) ] 

Exit Script [ Text Result:    ] 

End If

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS( "BinaryFile.WriteHex"; $OutputStream; $Chunk ) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS( "BinaryFile.Close"; $OutputStream ) ] 


# next

Set Variable [ $InputPosition ; Value: $InputPosition + $ChunkSize ] 

Exit Loop If [ $InputPosition > $InputLength ] 

Set Variable [ $Counter ; Value: $Counter +1 ] 

End Loop


# cleanup

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS( "BinaryFile.Close"; $InputStream ) ] 

Why you need the Migration Assistant to move to a new Mac

Over the years I enjoyed to clone disks on my Macs. It's always good to make copies of everything with Carbon Copy Cloner or similar applications. You have a backup disk handy to boot your Mac in case of an emergency. External SSDs with USB-C or Thunderbolt interfaces got cheaper. Time Machine and an online backup are also useful, but serve a different thing. Usually before you move your stuff to a new Mac, you may want to make a copy to one of your external disks.

There are two problems with restoring from a clone to a new Mac. First, you have sometimes a MacOS version mismatch. The 10.13.6 coming with a new MacBook Pro is not the same as the one coming for an older MacOS 10.13.6. Probably some newer drivers are missing.

Second, there are Secure Tokens. If you format a Mac disk and clone from a backup, you don't get your secure tokens for the admin users. So you can't enable things like File Vault. Your user is not trusted by the OS itself. You have to go through the normal OS installer to install a fresh copy of MacOS and the installer will grant a secure token to the first user you create, later all new admin users you create get one, too. The migration assistant also grants the secure token automatically, so you get it. But if you just clone, there is no way get one.

And now a speed tip for migration assistant. You want a fast connection to clone. The fastest you can get on a Mac is usually Thunderbolt 3 with 20 Gigabits. So connect both Macs with a new Thunderbolt cable. If one Mac is older, maybe Thunderbolt 2, maybe with adapter for 10 Gigabit. If not Thunderbolt, use a good Ethernet cable, so you get gigabit connection. The worst may be to have an older Wifi network and doing migration with a 50 MBs connection.

Good luck with migration!
Keep a backup of the old state for some time in case something missed to copy to the new Mac.

FileMaker Stammtisch in München

Wer hat Interesse an einem MBS FileMaker Entwicklertreffen im September in München?

Da ich wegen der MBS Xojo Konferenz in der Stadt bin, wäre es doch schön auch die FileMaker Leute zu treffen.

Einfach gemütlich zusammen sitzen in einem Restaurant oder Biergarten und über FileMaker reden. Gerne zeige ich auch neue Pluginfunktionen oder helfe bei Problemen mit FileMaker Datenbanken. Einfach Computer mitbringen und was zeigen.

Termin wäre 3., 4. oder 8. September 2018, abends gegen 18 bis 22 Uhr, so dass ihr früher oder später kommen könnt.

Bei Interesse bitte Email schicken oder in der Umfrage eintragen.

Dies ist zusätzlich zum regulären FileMaker Stammtisch in München.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 8.4pr3

New in this prerelease of version 8.4 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

New MacBook Pro tested

We got a new MacBook Pro to test here with Core i9 CPU. This is really a mobile powerhouse and you can easily get all 12 cores busy with some real work. It looks like the MacBook Pro can do that load for half an hour easily. Yes, it may get warm above the keyboard, but it stays cold for the lower parts.

While battery may be advertised as running for 10 hours with normal usage like web surfing, well at the full work load, e.g. while compiling large project with Xcode, it may only run 70 minutes till the battery is empty. And that is to be expected as the 83.6 watt-hour battery can only deliver the 50 to 60 watts needs for the CPU for just over an hour.

GeekBench shows 4058 for Single-Core Score and 13845 for Multi-Core Score on the older MacBook Pro (15 inch, 2016) with Core i7 @2.9 GHz.

The new MacBook Pro 15 inch with Core i9 @2.9 GHz shows 5430 Single-Core Score and 23700 Multi-Core Score.

To compare, the 2 year newer model is 33% faster single-core and 70% faster multi-core.

We do not see any speed problems with the CPU and look forward to let this machine increase our productivity with more RAM and CPU power on the go than we ever had before.

QLPreviewPanel functions for iOS

As you may know MacOS and iOS provide the QLPreview functions to provide previews of files. For MacOS, the QuickLookUI frameworks offers the QLPreviewPanel class and for iOS we have QLPreviewController class. Both allow us to load some files and show the as preview.

We add QLPreviewPanel functions for iOS with next plugin release. The reason is that we want to add the feature to show a preview of a 3D object there. As Apple adds new functions for Augmented Reality, you get new 3D objects to place in scenes. And if you have those objects in your FileMaker container fields, you can now preview them right in your FileMaker iOS solution.

QuickLook Preview can show:
  • iWork documents
  • Microsoft Office documents (Office ‘97 and newer)
  • Rich Text Format (RTF) documents
  • PDF files
  • Images
  • Text files
  • Comma-separated value (csv) files
  • 3D models in USDZ format (with both standalone and AR views for viewing the model) for iOS 12 or newer.
Our new QLPreviewPanel.AddContainer function allows you to pass a container directly into the panel. If it is saved external, we can pass through pass directly. Otherwise, we write a temporary file, which is deleted later when panel is cleared or app quits.

# Prepare
If [ MBS("QLPreviewPanel.IsVisible") ]
  Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("QLPreviewPanel.Hide") ]
End If
Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("QLPreviewPanel.Clear") ]
# Add all containers you have
Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("QLPreviewPanel.AddContainer"; PlaceHolder::Container; "Stratocaster") ]
# Run it!
Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("QLPreviewPanel.Show") ]

So please try the new functions with next prerelease and let me know how they work for you!

FileMaker Excellence Award

At the FileMaker Developer Conference 2018 in Grapevine Texas, I got awarded with the FileMaker Excellence Award for Innovation for my MBS Plugin:

Thanks everyone for the good wishes. The last 12 years have been an incredible journey and we look forward to the next years to add even more features for FileMaker. We hope you enjoy our plugins!

See you at the next three conferences I attend in Liechtenstein, Gothenburg, London and the other conferences in Europe where you can meet a lot of fine FileMaker developers.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 8.4pr2

New in this prerelease of version 8.4 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin:
  • Added Contacts functions.
  • Changed HealthKit to be loaded at runtime, so it's not required to be link to it.
  • Fixed copyright symbol character in info.plist.
  • Added Window.ClearTouchBar and App.ClearTouchBar fucntions.
  • Changed CURL functions to turn gzip decompression on by default and follow redirections.
  • Improved DynaPDF.Print to use the device mode set with DynaPDF.Print.SetDevMode even if no dialog is used.
  • Changed DynaPDF.Table.Create to automatically load font Helvetica, so you have a font defined, if you don't set one yourself.
  • Building iOS plugin now 64-bit only.
  • Updated DynaPDF to version
  • Changed FM.InsertRecord and other SQL based functions to process field names and remove field name postfix with :: in table names.
Download at or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

See you at the next FileMaker DevCon

And the next conference will be at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando from August 5-8, 2019.

See you there!

PS: Our coupon code for DevCon 2018 is good for all August, so don't hesitate to use it, when you return at the office.

On stage at DevCon

Today at the Deploying Your Apps to Vertical and Horizontal Markets session at FileMaker DevCon 2018, I had the chance to be on the stage for a panel and talk briefly about the machine learning functions in MBS Plugin for iOS and MacOS:

If you like to try them, please watch this video and play with the examples. If you are interested in machine learning creating models in FileMaker, get blockchain functions or use augmented reality functions from Apple for iOS and MacOS to be used in FileMaker, please contact us.

New Contacts functions for FileMaker

As you may know Apple has two APIs for the address book. The older Addressbook API was introduced in Mac OS X 10.4 long ago. With MacOS 10.11 Apple introduced a second API called Contacts. Applications can use both. Sadly the don't both do the same features! This is similar to the calendar and reminder APIs where we have Calendar and Events functions.

Here is a comparison between Addressbook and Contacts APIs:



Minimum MacOS



Mac 32-bit



Mac 64-bit






Code Signature required


Yes, with entitlements

Multiple Accounts



Modification Dates






Trigger Details



Search by Modification Date



vCard Import/Export



Set Me



Linked People



Set Primary Items



Format Address




No, but could be added


Query Authorization Status



As you see, we need to code sign the FileMaker application to add the required entitlements for the new Contacts API. But once Contacts API works, we can use it to work with multiple accounts. Like if you use iCloud and Exchange, you can create a contact explicit in the one account you need.

For the foreseeable future, we will offer both APIs and you can choose. For synchronization we will want to use Addressbook as it provides modification dates for records.

New Contacts function will appear soon in next 8.4 prerelease.

MBS Plugin Presentation at DevCon

Please watch our MBS Plugin Presentation video for the FileMaker Developer Conference 2018 in Dallas:

Enjoy the video and please visit our booth for your questions, or send an email.
Don't forget to get the flyer with the discount code for the 20% conference offer.

This year, we have no live session to talk about the plugin.

See also video from DevCon 2017 and DevCon 2016.

MBS Booth ready for FileMaker DevCon

Please come and visit me in the booth #20 at FileMaker DevCon:

MBS Booth

As usual you can come by, read the posters, ask me questions and talk with me about existing and future features.
We got flyers with our DevCon 2018 coupon code for the discount on licenses.

Arrived in Grapevine, Texas

We arrived a few days ago in Texas and visited the local FileMaker and Xojo user group meetings, drove around to check out some historic parts here and already got out badge for the conference.

If you join DevCon, please visit our booth. If you don't come to conference, but still like to get an appointment, you can of course email or text us. At the booth, we got some pens, gummy bears and flyers for you. Including our DevCon 2018 coupon code for the discount on licenses.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 8.4pr1

New in this prerelease of version 8.4 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.


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