Edit and Update for SQLDatabaseMBS class

For years we had requests to add support for Edit and Update functions in the RecordSet to our own classes, SQLDatabaseMBS and SQLConnectionMBS. Well, till now we didn't have an idea how to do this well for all database types.

Recently we got some ideas, so we started to implement them. Let me explain how it works now: First we got a little SQL parser to find the table name in a SQL statement. If the SQL is complex, has some JOIN operator or references multiple tables, we stop and return an empty string. That means we won't allow you to edit the record set from such a statement.

The function is available for you to try as FindTableName in SQLGlobalsMBS. Let us know if you can find some SQL, where it doesn't work as expected. As we use it later with a record set, the SQL has already be parsed and accepted by the database server, so it is always valid SQL.

If you call Edit on the RecordSet, we just check the pre-conditions. We currently don't do any record locking there, but could maybe in future.

Next you may assign values to some fields in the RecordSet. Please only assign data fields and never the primary key fields as that helps us distinguish the fields.

Finally you call the Update method. The plugin looks up the table name. We separate the fields into two categories: Fields you changed are data fields. Also we count all numeric, double, interval, BLob, CLob and date/time fields in this category. What is left will be a few string and integer fields, which are the invariants to identify the record. This usually may include ID fields and UUID fields. You may notice that we don't need to query the schema this way, which is great when you have 15 different target databases.

To be sure we only edit one record, we make a SELECT query to count the records matching the given keys. This should always find exactly one record. But if your primary key is not part of the record set and no other unique key was selected, we find multiple records and return an error. We fill in the key values from the old values in the RecordSet and fill the new values as passed by Xojo. Data type is either given by Xojo as parameter to the plugin or we pick it from the matching field.

If something goes wrong now, we return an error. For examples if you used AS in the SQL to rename a field or an expression, the update statement will fail with unrecognized field name. The call may also fail if we can't identify a key field.

If you like to get a more detailed update statement or control how it is build, you may just use prepared statement with the UPDATE statement you like to use. Otherwise you can collect record data via dictionary and use our InsertRecord/UpdateRecord methods with those dictionaries:

UpdateRecord(TableName as String, Record as Dictionary, Keys as Dictionary)
InsertRecord(TableName as String, Record as Dictionary)

Please try soon with next pre-release. This new feature may need some testing and tuning. For example we may need to tune the auto generated SQL for some database types. But since this is working, converting a Xojo example from SQLiteDatabase to SQLDatabaseMBS is only a handful of lines to change.

MBS FileMaker Plugin for Apple Silicon

Last weekend I had a funny idea to continue the preparation on supporting Apple Silicon for the MBS FileMaker Plugin. The work went nice until we came to linking the project and FMWrapper.framework was Intel only. But I had an idea and made myself a dummy FMWrapper.framework, which exports the right functions and is built for both Intel and Apple Silicon. The plugin builds now and we got a new plugin file for both CPU architectures. Checking in Terminal, the file command reports the content like this:

> file MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS
MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS: Mach-O universal binary with 2 architectures: [x86_64:Mach-O 64-bit bundle x86_64] [arm64]
MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS (for architecture x86_64): Mach-O 64-bit bundle x86_64
MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS (for architecture arm64): Mach-O 64-bit bundle arm64

The new plugin is 53.7 MB big. The arm64 side is 26.2 MB in size and a bit smaller than the 27.6 MB part for Intel. Since disk space is no longer a problem, we intend to simply ship this file with both targets later this year and avoid trouble with clients installing the wrong version: Intel or Apple Silicon.

Technically you can of course use lipo command line tool to reduce the code you don't need, but that breaks code signature.

cd path/to/folder
codesign --remove-signature MBS.fmplugin
lipo -extract x86_64 -output MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS

Then you get an Intel only and FileMaker may tell you that there is no longer a signature included.

Let us know if you have questions. We look forward to news from Claris about when they will support Apple Silicon directly.

Converting Xojo project to use MBS SQL Plugin

If you like to convert an example project from Xojo to use our plugin, you only need a few simple changes. For example in the SQLiteExample project, you need to only do a few steps:

  • First, search for SQLiteDatabase and change the db property in app to use SQLDatabaseMBS as class name.
  • Next change the new line to use SQLDatabaseMBS class for Action event in CreateDBButton class.
  • Add line to enable SQLite internal database a bit higher there:
    call InternalSQLiteLibraryMBS.Use
  • Change from DatabaseFile to using path in DatabaseName:
    App.DB.DatabaseName = "SQLite:"+dbFile.NativePath
    The prefix SQLite: tells MBS Xojo SQL Plugin to use the right database client library, e.g. the internal one we activated before.
  • Remove the call for CreateDatabase as database is created automatically with our plugin if needed. Instead call connect to connect to new empty database file:

Now you can run the project:

That was it. MBS Xojo SQL Plugin implements the database interface from Xojo and works with both older RecordSet and newer RowSet classes. A few examples are tricky to port as they used Edit/Update on the RecordSets, but we may have a solution for that soon.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions.

Generate EPC-QR-Code in FileMaker

One of our clients asked for how to create payment QR-Codes in FileMaker and we just made him a new example for this. You may prepare the data, but then you can use MBS Plugin to create the barcode and put it as picture in a container and print it on your invoice. Or you use DynaPDF to draw it as vector graphics to keep it sharp.

Here is the main script with the full calculation to assemble the text for the barcode:


# EPC-QR-Code generation

Go to Layout [ “Tabelle” ; Animation: None ]

# Sample data for QR-Code. May need adjustment to final standard

Set Variable [ $text ; Value: // Service Tag

"BCD" & & 

// Version (001 oder 002)

Right( Tabelle::Version ; 4 ) & & 

// Character set: 1 = UTF-8

"1" & &

// Identification: SEPA Credit Transfer 

"SCT" & & 

// BIC of receiver. optional for EEA

Tabelle::BIC & & 

// Name of receiver

Left(Tabelle::Name; 70) & & 

// IBAN of receiver

Tabelle::IBAN & & 

// Amount. We replace comma with dot for German amounts

"EUR" & Substitute(Tabelle::Amount; ","; ".") & & 

// Zweck, 4 letter code, optional

Left(Tabelle::Intention; 4) & & 

// Reference 35-Character-Code, see ISO 11649 RF Creditor Reference

Left(Tabelle::Reference1; 35) & & 

// Reference

Left(Tabelle::Reference2; 140) & & 

// Note to user


# Barcode options. We use high level as we draw over barcode.

Set Variable [ $o ; Value: MBS("Barcode.SetOptions"; 4) // ECC Level with values from 1 = low, 2 = middle, 3 = better, 4 high. ] 

Set Field [ Tabelle::Code ; TextFormatRemove ( $text ) ] 

# CRLF line endings needed

Set Variable [ $text ; Value: MBS( "Text.ReplaceNewline"; $text; 3 ) ] 

# We render barcode at 4x size for better drawing later

Set Variable [ $img ; Value: MBS("Barcode.Generate";"QRCODE"; $text; 0; 0; 0; 4; 0; 1; "UTF-8") ] 

If [ MBS("IsError") = 0 ] 

# Save to field

Set Field [ Tabelle::Barcode ; MBS( "GMImage.WriteToPNGContainer"; $img; "barcode.png" ) ] 

# Clean up

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS( "GMImage.Destroy"; $img) ] 

End If


Feel free to try the example database with next plugin pre-release and let us know if you find some issue. 

If we have changes to the script, we'll keep the example database updated for you. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions.

MBS Xojo Plugins Version 21.0 News

In this article I want to introduce you the new functionalities from the MBS Xojo Plugins in version 21.0.

Memory Block

Let's start with the new methods from the class MemoryBlock. With the SetBitMBS method we can set a single bit. To do this, we first specify the bit that should be set by its number. Then we have several other options to choose from. If we make now no further specifications to the value then the value of the bit is set automatically to 1. If we pass a 1 or a 0 in the parameters, the bit is set accordingly. If we pass a true or false then the bit is set to 1, according to the logical values, for true and to 0 for false. With the method IsBitSetMBS you can check whether the bit is set. With the method GetBitMBS you get the value of a bit. If you want to reset the bit to zero you can use the method ClearBitMBS.

Dim m As New MemoryBlock(100)

Dim v1 As Boolean = m.IsBitSetMBS(123)


We have also a new method for the component DynaPDF. With the method GetTypoLeading from the DynaPDFMBS class we get the typographic leading or line height of the active font. The method can be called after a font was activated in the graphics state, e.g. with SetFont(), SetFontEx(), SetCIDFont(), or ChangeFont(). This helps you to layout your PDF document.

For WriteFText, WriteFTextEx and ConvertStyledText can now use a given leading relative to the font size as shown in the example output on the right.

Additionally we have two new Properties. In the properties you find the information about the number of warnings (WarningCount) and the number of errors (ErrorCount) that occurs while the creating of the PDF.

DynaPDF got new functions to convert a PDF page to outlines with the Optimize function. This makes copying the text impossible as all font information is converted to vector graphics. Outlines are vector graphics describing how a font looks and are highlighted in different colors here:


New in MBS FileMaker Plugin 11.0

In this article I want to introduce you the new functions from the MBS FileMaker Plugin in version 11.0.

Drag & Drop

Let's start with the functions that are new in the DragDrop component. You can now create a drag drop area over the whole working window. The DragDrop.AttachToWindow function disables FileMaker's drop handler and installs the plugin one to the window.

You can also drag things out of a drop zone. To do this, you can use DragDrop.SetFilePathsToDrag to specify a list of paths to where the files should be taken. With DragDrop.SetDragImage you can set an image that should be displayed when this object is dragged. If we do not set an image, we have a preview image of the dragged file on macOS.

List Dialog - Filter

We have four new functions for the ListDialog component in connection with filters. A list dialog can have a lot of entries and there it can be very useful if you can limit the entries a little bit before. On the one hand you can set a filter via script. To do this, use the ListDialog.SetFilter function and specify the filter in the parameters.

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("ListDialog.SetFilter"; "th") ]

On the other hand you can show a bar in the list dialog itself where you can change the filter while the dialog is open.

To show and hide this bar, use the ListDialog.SetShowsFilter function.

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("ListDialog.SetShowsFilter"; 1) ]

The other two functions give us the current filter ("ListDialog.GetFilter") or tell us whether the filter bar in the list dialog is shown or hidden (ListDialog.GetShowsFilter). (more)

Text Encoding Speedups

A client contacted us about some performance problems with our MBS Xojo XL Plugin. Writing 5000 rows into Excel documents takes some time. Looking into a test project, we found that conversion from UTF-8 to UTF-16 or UTF-32 takes most of the time in the whole process. Text encoding conversion needed about 70% of the processing time.

Luckily we found a way to speed up the text encoding conversion and the results are phenomenal. For the client, we got time down from 195 seconds to 80 seconds. The improvements are solely due to optimized text encoding handling.

We did some measurements here with our own test projects:

512000 calls for WriteString method in XLSheetMBS take about 15.9 seconds with old plugin (21.0), but only 4 seconds for newer plugin (21.1). The effect shows well here as text is just added to internal data structures.

The same 512000 calls send to WriteText method in DynaPDFMBS reduce from about 28.6 down to 24.9 seconds. Here the encoding for text to PDF encoding takes more time than our encoding conversion.

This changes will come with 21.1pr1 to be tested by you all. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions.
And if you have ideas for other areas where we could improve performance, please let us know.

WebViewer preferences

Did you know you can configure the capabilities of the WebViewer in FileMaker using MBS FileMaker Plugin functions?

If you take a close look on the WebView.SetPreferences function for MacOS and iOS, you find a couple of options to set. Let's take a look on the most important options and what each option sets:


You may load some HTML into the web viewer, like the content of an email. Since you don't know the font sizes, you can define a minimum font size for the content.

For example use 12 point for fonts as minimum:

Set Variable [$r; Value: MBS("WebView.SetPreferences"; "web"; "minimumFontSize"; 12) ]


If you show an email, it may be a good idea to disable JavaScript for the content. This avoids arbitrary HTML to include JavaScript, which may try and do network connections to track your user, trigger FileMaker scripts or exploit a JavaScript security problem.

Disable JavaScript like this:

Set Variable [$r; Value: MBS("WebView.SetPreferences"; "web"; "javaScriptEnabled"; 0) ]


In your scripts you can enable developer extras. This allows you to open the inspector via contextual mouse menus. As you can define this by script, you may want to enable it, if the current account privilege set is Full Access.

You can enable developer extras like this:

Set Variable [$r; Value: MBS("WebView.SetPreferences"; "web"; "developerExtrasEnabled"; 1) ] (more)

MBS FileMaker Plugin 11.0 - More than 6400 Functions In One Plugin

Nickenich, Germany - (January 19th, 2021) -- MonkeyBread Software today is pleased to announce MBS FileMaker Plugin 11.0 for macOS, iOS, Linux and 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, macOS, iOS 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 11.0 has been updated and now includes over 6400 different functions, and the versatile plugin has gained more new functions:

This release adds more Drag & Drop support to our plugin. For both macOS and Windows you can now attach a drop area to a whole window with our new DragDrop.AttachToWindow function. Every item dropped will trigger the script, so you can process the drop as you like, e.g. import the files into container fields. Beside accepting drops you can now use the control as a drag source. Just pass a list of files to DragDrop.SetFilePathsToDrag function to let the user drag those files to the desktop or other applications. Use DragDrop.SetDragImage function to provide a picture to show while drag runs.

DynaPDF got updated to newer version and we now include a DynaPDF.SaveAndSignFileExt function to sign PDF files with digital keys with 2048 or 4096 bits in addition to 1024 bits. With a page break expression set using DynaPDF.SetPageBreakExpression function you can define what happens if DynaPDF.WriteFText or DynaPDF.WriteStyledText filled the text rectangle and need a new text rectangle. This allows to continue text output in a new column or a new page. To set color values instead of color components, you can now use DynaPDF.SetFillColorValue and DynaPDF.SetStrokeColorValue functions and pass a value you got from DynaPDF.Lab, DynaPDF.CMYK or DynaPDF.RGB functions. You can now specify a line spacing (leading) when converting styled text from FileMaker to DynaPDF syntax.

Our ListDialog functions go upgraded with a new filter field. It allows the user to search within the list and filter to the entry they look for. You decide whether the filter field is shown and what is the text and placeholder for it.

The SyntaxColoring functions got improved with newer color set for dark mode. You may need to use SyntaxColoring.FactoryDefaults to reset the colors. Our if/loop highlighting can better find matching exit loop even if it is within an If block. The bracket highlight and syntax highlighting got tuned for Big Sur.

You can now control the toolbar style ad display mode for Big Sur. With SystemInfo.IsiOSAppOnMac you can detect whether your FileMaker iOS SDK app runs on macOS. QuickList.SortWith can now sort by number. The EmailParser.HTMLToPlainText function is improved to better convert HTML to text.

Finally we updated SQLite library to version 3.34.0, curl to 7.74.0, DynaPDF to, LibXL to 3.9.3, SQLAPI to 5.1.3 and Xcode to version 12.3.

See release notes for a complete list of changes.

MonkeyBread Software Releases the MBS Xojo Plugins in version 21.0

Nickenich, Germany - (January 19th, 2021) -- MonkeyBread Software today is pleased to announce MBS Xojo Plugins 21.0 for macOS, Linux and Windows, the latest update to their product that is easily the most powerful plugin collection currently available for Xojo. MBS Xojo Plugins have been updated and now includes over 2800 classes and 72,000 documented features, and the versatile plugins have gained more new functions:

In this release we include plugins for iOS and Apple Silicon. All plugins have been compiled for the new CPU type from Apple. Over 300 plugin parts are ported for iOS and work well. We created a few new example projects for iOS, but usually you can copy & paste code from desktop to iOS projects. We start with new iOS controls for SceneKit (SCNIOSControlMBS), MapKit (MapKitIOSControlMBS) and WebKit (WKWebViewIOSControlMBS). Those iOS controls are nearly identical to the Mac desktop controls, except they now work on iOS.

For macOS the new NSCollectionViewControlMBS control provides access to Apple's implementation of a collection view. This is the control used in applications like Photos or Finder to show a grid of files or photos. You can use container controls in Xojo to provide the views. The control comes with 10 more classes like NSCollectionViewMBS class.

On Windows you can report errors with WindowsReportErrorMBS class to the Windows error log. For WebView2 you can run JavaScript synchronously with ExecuteScriptSync in our WebView2ControlMBS control. The WindowsExecuteMBS function can now minimize the new application you call with ShowWindow parameter. We updated IEDocumentMBS and IEWindowMBS classes to allow you to query frames content. For DirectShow we added more methods to our DirectShowPinMBS class.

On macOS you can run can now manage the contextual menu with new events in WKWebViewControlMBS control. For AVFoundation's AVAudioEngineMBS class we added functions for manual rendering, so you can convert audio files without playing them in real time, but faster.

DynaPDF got updated to newer version and this includes the new GetTypoLeading method. The DynaPDFMBS class now counts errors and warnings, so you can check on the end whether an error happened in-between. We let you pass leading parameter (line spacing) for converting styled text from TextArea or StyledText class to DynaPDF syntax.

The MemoryBlock class got new bit set functions. The MarkDown functions now handle foot notes. The FileMappingMBS class can now handle shared memory views with over 2 GB in size for 64-bit systems. The HTMLToPlainText function in MimeEmailMBS class is improved to better convert HTML to text.

Finally we updated SQLite library to version 3.34.0, curl to 7.74.0, DynaPDF to, SQLAPI to 5.1.3 and Xcode to version 12.3.

See release notes for a complete list of changes.

Neues MBS FileMaker Plugin 11.0

19. Januar 2021 - Monkeybread Software veröffentlicht heute das MBS FileMaker Plugin für FileMaker in Version 11.0, mit inzwischen über 6400 Funktionen eines der größten FileMaker Plugins überhaupt. Hier einige der Neuerungen:

Diese Version fügt unserem Plugin weitere Drag & Drop-Unterstützung hinzu. Sowohl für macOS als auch für Windows können Sie nun einen Drop-Bereich mit unserer neuen Funktion DragDrop.AttachToWindow an ein ganzes Fenster anhängen. Jedes fallengelassene Element löst das Skript aus, so dass Sie den Drop wie gewünscht verarbeiten können, z. B. die Dateien in Felder importieren. Neben dem Akzeptieren von Drops können Sie unser Steuerelement auch als Drag-Quelle nutzen. Übergeben Sie einfach eine Liste von Dateien an die Funktion DragDrop.SetFilePathsToDrag, damit der Benutzer diese Dateien auf den Desktop oder in andere Anwendungen ziehen kann. Verwenden Sie die Funktion DragDrop.SetDragImage, um ein Bild bereitzustellen, das während des Ziehens angezeigt wird.

DynaPDF wurde auf eine neuere Version aktualisiert und enthält nun eine DynaPDF.SaveAndSignFileExt Funktion, um PDF-Dateien mit digitalen Schlüsseln mit 2048 oder 4096 Bit zusätzlich zu den bisherigen 1024 Bit zu signieren. Mit einem Seitenumbruch-Ausdruck, der mit der Funktion DynaPDF.SetPageBreakExpression gesetzt wird, kann definiert werden, was passiert, wenn DynaPDF.WriteFText oder DynaPDF.WriteStyledText das Textrechteck gefüllt hat und ein neues Textrechteck benötigt. Dies ermöglicht es, die Textausgabe in einer neuen Spalte oder auf einer neuen Seite fortzusetzen. Um Farbwerte anstelle von Farbkomponenten zu setzen, können Sie nun die Funktionen DynaPDF.SetFillColorValue und DynaPDF.SetStrokeColorValue verwenden und einen Wert übergeben, den Sie aus den Funktionen DynaPDF.Lab, DynaPDF.CMYK oder DynaPDF.RGB erhalten haben. Bei der Konvertierung von gestyltem Text aus FileMaker in die DynaPDF-Syntax können Sie nun einen Zeilenabstand (Leading) angeben.

Unsere ListDialog-Funktionen werden um ein neues Filterfeld erweitert. Es ermöglicht dem Benutzer, innerhalb der Liste zu suchen und auf den gesuchten Eintrag zu filtern. Sie entscheiden, ob das Filterfeld angezeigt wird und was der Text und Platzhalter dafür ist.

Die SyntaxColoring-Funktionen wurden mit neueren Regeln für den dunklen Modus verbessert. Eventuell müssen Sie SyntaxColoring.FactoryDefaults verwenden, um die Farben zurückzusetzen. Unsere Wenn/Schleife-Hervorhebung findet nun besser passende Schleife Verlassen Befehle, auch wenn diese innerhalb eines Wenn-Blocks liegen. Die Klammerhervorhebung und die Syntaxhervorhebung wurden für Big Sur angepasst.

Sie können jetzt den Anzeigestil der Symbolleiste für Big Sur steuern. Mit SystemInfo.IsiOSAppOnMac können Sie erkennen, ob Ihre FileMaker iOS SDK-App unter macOS läuft. QuickList.SortWith kann nach Zahlen sortieren. Die Funktion EmailParser.HTMLToPlainText wurde verbessert, um HTML besser in Text zu konvertieren.

Schließlich haben wir die SQLite-Bibliothek auf Version 3.34.0, curl auf 7.74.0, DynaPDF auf, LibXL auf 3.9.3, SQLAPI auf 5.1.3 und Xcode auf Version 12.3 aktualisiert.

Alle Änderungen in den Release Notes.

Barcodes in FileMaker Video

We got a new video for you about the Barcodes in FileMaker and made an English and a German version.

Claris accepted the German version for their localized content for Claris Engage.


Barcodes in FileMaker (English)


Barcodes in FileMaker (German)

You find this and other videos on our FileMaker video website. Enjoy is and if you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 21.0pr8

New in this prerelease of the 21.0 plugins:
  • Added ShowWindow flag for WindowsExecuteMBS method.
  • Added AcceptTabs property to WKWebViewControlMBS control.
  • Fixed ChartDirector to not need Visual Studio 2019 runtime libraries.
  • Fixed problem with WordFile functions and some Word documents with older encodings.
  • Added more methods to DirectShowPinMBS class.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.0pr8

New in this prerelease of version 11.0 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.com/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Visual Studio 2019 dependency

We moved earlier in August 2020 to the newer Visual Studio version 2019 to build our plugins. All our Windows plugins are now build with that version.

But there was/is one problem: Some of the plugins got a new dependency to VCRuntime140_1.dll, which is part of the Visual Studio 2019 runtime libraries. That is annoying since it requires all our users to install those libraries. It would be much easier to not have that dependency and be only relaying on the Visual Studio 2015 libraries. Those are required for FileMaker Pro/Server as well as Xojo and so preinstalled with installing those. And Windows 10 comes with those libraries pre-installed as well.

For MBS Xojo Plugins 21.0 we removed the dependency and we are looking forward to keep all newer versions for at least this year free of the VCRuntime140_1.dll dependency.

For 21.0pr7 we fixed this for WebView2, WindowsHTMLViewer, WindowsStore parts in MBS Xojo Win Plugin and MBS Xojo XMP Plugin. The last plugin to get fixed is MBS Xojo ChartDirector Plugin, where we are able to remove the dependency for next pre-release 8 and the final release next week.

Let us know if you have some questions about this. Please try pr8 later this week.

Detect who blocks the field

A client asked how to detect who locks a field or record in FileMaker. Since a recent FileMaker version (16 maybe) the error dialog shows who edits the record, but how to know in a script?


We recently learnt that setting a field of a locked error will return the error 301 and the error detail shows the name of the user with the account name in brackets, e.g. Christian Schmitz (admin).


Here is a test script:


Set Error Capture [ On ]

Set Field [ Contacts::Title ; Contacts::Title ] 

# @variable $name

# @variable $error

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: Let ( [ $error = Get(LastError); $name = Get(LastExternalErrorDetail ) ]; "") ] 

Show Custom Dialog [ $error ; $name ] 


As you see we use Let statement to query LastError and LastExternalErrorDetail in one calculation. Why? Because if you split it in two lines, the Set Variable would clear the error state. If you notice the comments above it, we use those to tell MBS FileMaker Plugin that there are variables declared in the Let statement. Otherwise our variable check would be unhappy.

We hope this tip helps you.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 21.0pr7

New in this prerelease of the 21.0 plugins:
  • Added Frames function for IEDocumentMBS and IEWindowMBS classes.
  • Added Document property to IEWindowMBS class.
  • Added GetTypoLeading method for DynaPDFMBS class.
  • Fixed CMap loading problem with DynaPDFMBS class on macOS and Linux.
  • Fixed WebView2, WindowsHTMLViewer, WindowsStore and XMP plugins to not need VS 2019 runtime libraries.
  • Added messageDrainControl and OwnerControl properties to DirectShowVideoWindowMBS class.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.0pr7

New in this prerelease of version 11.0 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin:
  • Fixed bug in Font.Deactivate for macOS, where deactivate was not working since v10.3.
  • Fixed FileDialog.GetNameFieldStringValue for Windows to return name of chosen file after dialog showed.
  • Fixed problem with plugin preventing variable name being selected when you open a Set Variable dialog by formatting text twice.
Download at monkeybreadsoftware.com/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Academic licenses for MBS Plugin

Not sure if you know, but for about 20 years already we offer academic discounts for students learning to program. Both our FileMaker and Xojo plugins are available with academic discounts including DynaPDF licenses.

Recently we cleaned up our order pages, so academic prices are no longer listed. This basically cuts the list of store items by half for us. It's much easier to provide you with a coupon code to order and use the same website as everyone else.

If you are interested in an academic license, please contact us via email and provide a proof of status. That may be a copy of a university or school identity card. For young people below age of 25, we may just accept a proof of birth date.

Over the years we got quite a few students, some of which grown up to now use full commercial licenses for their work. From time to time we also granted academic status to retired, unemployed or other people, who asked for this with a compelling reason.

Please note that an order for an academic license from a company doesn't usually work. We expect companies to buy commercial licenses. Same if you receive any compensation for your work.

For Non-Profit organization supporting humanity, we also provide a discount on request.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions.

DynaPDF Optimize command

As you may know we have a great Optimize command for DynaPDF. You can use it on PDF documents in both FileMaker and Xojo plugins. Over time the command got more and more powerful and we like to write here about some of the features.

In general the function rebuilds the content stream of all pages, templates, patterns, annotations, and form fields. This may remove errors in the content stream and produce a consistent document.

When you specify the flags, the default flag value (0) just rebuilds the content stream and fixes errors. You may specify "InMemory" to have changes made in a way, that the PDF is in memory and not flushed to the current output. Normally you may not notice the difference, but if you like to continue writing to the PDF, the memory flag is needed.

Scale images

The Optimize function can reduce the file size of PDF files. You can pass the ScaleImages flag and then all images are checked. You can define a minimum and target resolution for images. All pictures with at least the minimum resolution are checked. This avoids that we look on icons for example and only process pictures with a significant resolution. DynaPDF scales the images down to the target resolution and compresses them with the compression algorithm you specify, usually JPEG. If the final picture is smaller in size, we store it, otherwise we keep the original image. The reason is that often one bit tiff images can be smaller than a reduced resolution JPEG file.

You can pass flag SkipMaskedImages to skip masked images as JPEG compression may not work well with pictures, where a specific color is used to mark transparency. The check whether new picture is smaller than original image can be disabled via NoImageSizeCheck flag.

If you like to get images compressed with JBIG2, you can use CompressWithJBIG2 flag. This can drastically reduce the file size since JBIG2 compression achieves much higher compression rates than any other 1 bit image filter that PDF supports. The JBIG2 compression filter in DynaPDF is lossless, that means the original image quality will be preserved. Great to combine with ConvertGrayTo1Bit flag discussed below.


Adding leading factor for converting styled text

When you output styled text via MBS Plugins and DynaPDF, we convert the styled text for you in commands for DynaPDF. For this conversion we recently added a leading factor to define the line spacing based on the font size. You can still define leading (distance between two base lines) in points if you like, but the relative measure to font size is probably better for a lot of cases. Of course only makes an effect if font size changes within a text.

For FileMaker we added LeadingFactor parameter to DynaPDF.ConvertStyledText, DynaPDF.WriteStyledText and DynaPDF.WriteStyledTextEx functions.

For Xojo we added LeadingFactor parameter for WriteStyledText, WriteStyledTextEx and ConvertStyledText methods in DynaPDFMBS class. The default value for the new parameter is -1, which allows us to detect whether you use the parameter.

For all the functions, please pass nothing (omit parameter) or zero for automatic behavior like it used to be: Leading being the font size. You can pass a factor like 1.2 or 1.5 to increase line spacing as needed.

Available in current pre-release. Please don't hesitate to contact us with your questions.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.0pr6

New in this prerelease of version 11.0 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.com/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 21.0pr6

New in this prerelease of the 21.0 plugins:
  • Updated DynaPDF to version
  • Added manual rendering functions to AVAudioEngineMBS class.
  • Fixed a memory leak in WordFileMBS class.
  • Added LeadingFactor parameter for ConvertStyledText, WriteStyledText and WriteStyledTextEx in DynaPDFMBS class.
  • Changed DynaPDFMBS to not raise exception if WriteFText function is cancelled.
  • Revert workaround for universal plugins in Xojo 2020r2. Please use Xojo 2020r2.1 now for building universal apps.
  • Changed plugin class registration to skip desktop controls for iOS and iOS controls for Windows/Linux where you can't build for iOS.
  • Disabled AVCaptureDeviceInputSourceMBS class for iOS.
  • Fixed an issue with SQL plugin connect to MySQL when server doesn't know utf8mb4 text encoding.
  • Added isiOSAppOnMac property for NSProcessInfoMBS class.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Becoming Xojo MVP

Today Xojo Inc. asked whether I want to join their MVP Program.

Well, as a close contributor to the Xojo community for over 20 years, there was no hesitation to join the opportunity this gives.

Beside the honor of being recognized as a valuable member in the community, this may bring a few communications privileges. Like a place to chat with Xojo people directly, but now under NDA, so it may be about different topics. Not sure yet whether this comes with any feedback or forum privileges.

As a new member of the informal advisory committee, I am keen to see what Xojo Inc. will present to MVPs ahead of development and launch. Especially getting an insight into future projects in planing and alpha state may be good to advise the company about what they are about to implement. One thing to monitor over years is whether such an advisory board (or call it a partner council) actually has an effect on the course of action. Not just being informed early and say our opinion, but actually to have the company change their plans for the better after a discussion.

We'll see how well it works out. I may invite all the other MVPs to a dinner in London around the next Xojo conference for a discussion about the program.

Thanks for Gavin for his time on the board. And thanks for the MVP and staff members, who voted for me to be invited.

xDev 19.1 Issue

The January/February (19.1) issue of xDev Magazine is now available. Here's a quick preview of what's inside:

Moving to Apple Silicon by Marc Zeedar
Apple has just revolutionized the PC desktop with a major leap ahead in performance, power efficiency, and value by introducing their own CPU architecture. But just what does Apple Silicon mean to the Xojo developer?

Working with Workers by Marc Zeedar
Writing multi-core apps in Xojo has traditionally been difficult. Now Xojo introduces Workers, a system that lets Xojo do the heavy lifting so you can take advantage of a multi-core CPU. Learn how to use them to speed up your app's processing power.

Get Ready for Git (Part 2) by Justin Elliott
In part 1, Justin showed how to install, setup, and use Git. This time he demonstrates how to use Git with your Xojo projects, track changes, manage branches, fix sync conflicts, and more.

MapKit (Part 8) by Markus Winter
Markus shows how to further customize annotation views in Apple's MapKit in Xojo.

PLUS: MacBook Air M1 review, creating gradients with Xojo, Xojo 2020 Release 2, Best of the Web, and more!

Adding cutting lines for PDF in FileMaker

We have a new example for a client to add cutting edges and a crop box to a PDF document.

The picture on the left shows the debug version, where you see the red lines we add and a rectangle around the content. The crop box is put around the content, so the printing shop will crop the paper at the right position. Only for debugging, we show you the rectangle and leave the crop box away, so you see it.

# Add crop markers


# 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") ] 

# Load PDF from container

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.OpenPDFFromContainer"; $pdf; Convert to 2 Pages::InputPDF) ] 

If [ MBS("IsError") ≠ 0 ] 

Show Custom Dialog [ "Failed to load PDF" ; $r ] 

Exit Script [ Text Result:    ] 

End If

Set Variable [ $Debug ; Value: 1 ] 

# Query page size for first page

Set Variable [ $bounds ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.GetImportPageBounds"; $pdf; 1; "MediaBox") ] 

Set Variable [ $boundsLeft ; Value: MBS("Math.TextToNumber"; MiddleValues ( $bounds ; 1 ; 1 )) ] 

Set Variable [ $boundsTop ; Value: MBS("Math.TextToNumber"; MiddleValues ( $bounds ; 2 ; 1 )) ] 

Set Variable [ $boundsRight ; Value: MBS("Math.TextToNumber"; MiddleValues ( $bounds ; 3 ; 1 )) ] 

Set Variable [ $boundsBottom ; Value: MBS("Math.TextToNumber"; MiddleValues ( $bounds ; 4 ; 1 )) ] 

Set Variable [ $w ; Value: Abs($boundsRight - $boundsLeft) ] 

Set Variable [ $h ; Value: Abs($boundsBottom - $boundsTop) ] 

# now import page as template and place on new page with border around

Set Variable [ $template ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.ImportPageAsTemplate"; $pdf; 1) ] 

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

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.SetPageWidth"; $pdf; $w + 200) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.SetPageHeight"; $pdf; $h + 200) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.PlaceTemplateEx"; $pdf; $template; 100; 100; $w; $h) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.SetStrokeColor"; $pdf; 1; 0; 0) ] 

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

If [ $Debug ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.Rectangle"; $pdf; 100-1; 100-1; $w+2; $h+2; "stroke") ] 

End If

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.MoveTo"; $pdf; 100; 100 - 10) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.LineTo"; $pdf; 100; 0) ] 

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

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.MoveTo"; $pdf; 100; 100 + 10 + $h) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.LineTo"; $pdf; 100; $h + 200) ] 

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

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.MoveTo"; $pdf; 100 + $w; 100 - 10) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.LineTo"; $pdf; 100 + $w; 0) ] 

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

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.MoveTo"; $pdf; 100 + $w; 100 + 10 + $h) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.LineTo"; $pdf; 100 + $w; $h + 200) ] 

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

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.MoveTo"; $pdf; 100 - 10; 100) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.LineTo"; $pdf; 0; 100) ] 

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

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.MoveTo"; $pdf; 100 + 10 + $w; 100) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.LineTo"; $pdf; $w + 200; 100) ] 

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

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.MoveTo"; $pdf; 100 - 10; 100+$h) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.LineTo"; $pdf; 0; 100 + $h) ] 

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

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.MoveTo"; $pdf; 100 + 10 + $w; 100 + $h) ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.LineTo"; $pdf; $w + 200; 100 + $h) ] 

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

If [ $Debug ] 

# no bounding box


Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.SetBBox"; $pdf; "crop";100; 100; $w+100; $h+100) ] 

End If

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS("DynaPDF.SetBBox"; $pdf; "media"; 0; 0; $w+200; $h+200) ] 

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

Set Field [ Convert to 2 Pages::OutputPDF ; MBS("DynaPDF.Save"; $pdf; "Merged.pdf") ] 

# done, save to container

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

We may include this script as example for future releases. Let us know if you have questions about DynaPDF and MBS Plugin.

Two years junior developer at MBS

Two years ago I had my first working day at MBS.

Today I have the opportunity to résumé about these two years. I have learned a lot in this time, especially I got to know the programming language Xojo and the FileMaker platform and was allowed to realize some exciting projects. I also wrote some articles for the German FileMaker Magazine (see here) and the Xojo Developer Magazine. I also gave presentations at conferences on- and offline.

2020 was a very special year in which we all outgrew ourselves and had to find new solutions for problems that were unprecedented until then. Digitalization got the 7 mile boots on and home office was the new work routine for many. I was able to learn a lot in the last two years. Not only technical knowledge, but I also got to know many kind and interesting people and was allowed to work with them. I would like to thank all of you who have welcomed me so kindly into the community. I am looking forward to many new and interesting exchanges in the next few years, hopefully some of them will take place offline again.

I wish you now a happy, successful and healthy year 2021!

Yours truly Stefanie Juchmes

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 20.6pr5

New in this prerelease of the 20.6 plugins: Download: monkeybreadsoftware.com/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 11.0pr5

New in this prerelease of version 11.0 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin: Download at monkeybreadsoftware.com/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Plugin License Decision Graph

We updated the Plugin License Decision Graph for the newer targets:

Since Data API and FileMaker Go can't run the plugin directly, you have to use Perform Script on Server there. With FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go you can use Perform Script on Server to do enjoy plugin functions.
Please let us know if you have a question or comment.


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