MBS FileMaker Plugin Update 2022

A recording of our presentation from EngageU conference to talk about what is new in 2022 for MBS Plugin for Claris FileMaker.

All movies   Watch on YouTube.   FileMakerUpdate2022.m4v   Transcript

Xojo Developer Conference London

Xojo Inc. is happy to host a developer conference in Europe:

Mark your calendar for Xojo Developer Conference in London at the Hilton London Euston from April 26-28, 2023! We will be packing up the whole Xojo team for a 3-day conference - full of new sessions, new speakers and lots of opportunities to network and socialize. We hope to see you there!

Registering early guarantees you a spot, helps us with planning, and gives you the best pricing. From now through the end of this year you can register for $475! To get this special pricing, register now!

We look forward to see you in London. This will be the first official Xojo conference to come to Europe. London is a place easily reachable for both Americans and Europeans. Even from Asia and Australia you can have many direct flights. From Heathrow you can take Piccadilly line to Russell Square and walk to the hotel. Your NFC enabled credit card (wifi style symbol on it) will do fine as ticket to pay when you check-in and check-out. Same with mobile phones that do NFC, e.g. Apple Pay.

Since the hotel is close to Euston train station, people from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester can easily come by train. The nearby Pancras station has trains coming over from Paris, Brussel and Cologne. With just 4 hours from Cologne to London, it may be faster to take the train than to take the hassle of driving to the airport.

With this conference, we come back to the three day conferences from the past. Compared to the recent retreat event, this allows for many more sessions and more time to talk to all the fellow developers. We hope to see you there!

News from the MBS Xojo Plugins Version 22.5

In this article I want to introduce you the new functionalities from the MBS Xojo Plugins in version 22.5.

Scan documents with iOS

Our new class VNDocumentCameraViewControllerMBS provides the ability to scan documents for iOS. The class shows a panel to allow the user to scan a document. You can call this panel with the Present method. If you have scanned the document successfully the event didFinishWithScan fires and gives us the scan result as an object of the class VNDocumentCameraScanMBS. In this object we can then, for example, query the number of pages, adjust the title of the document or handle the individual pages as a Picture. For example, you can generate a PDF from these pages.

If you like to scan an image or document with an application running on your Mac with an iOS device that has the same account and is logged in to the same network, the Continuity Camera topic is a good choice. In this release, the ContinuityCameraMBS class has two new events. The event Allow gives us the information whether to allow the control to receive data. In addition the new event Received is called when data is returned. This data is then available as a memory block from which it can be read.


Thanksgiving Sale

For this year's Thanksgiving in America, we offer again discounted licenses for our MBS Plugins for FileMaker and Xojo.

Sale ended. Any pending order arriving before 1st Dec will still be honored. And then the coupon code is invalid.

SMTP with OAuth for Office 365 in FileMaker

For years we had the XOAuth2Bearer option in our CURL functions for our plugins. Any customer asking for how to use oAuth with Microsoft or Gmail got pointed to this property. Register an application with Microsoft or Google to get your client ID & secret. Then show a login screen in a browser for the user to login and grab the token. There are plenty of frameworks available and implementations in various programming languages. Once you got the access token, you can pass it to the CURL XOAuth2Bearer option. Since this is some work, we today like to show you sample scripts in FileMaker to do this:


App Setup


For the Office 365 access, please go the portal.azure.com website and login. Then go to Azure Active Directory (currently a blue pyramid icon). When you come there, you can copy your Tenant ID (an UUID) for later. 


Click on the left bar on the App Registrations section and then click there to add a new registration. Pick a name for your application and pick which account types you like to use. We picked the third one for multiple organizations and personal accounts. For the redirect URI, we pick web and then put in the "http://localhost:9999/". This is what we use with the WebHook functions later to catch the answer from the authentication. The port number can be chosen freely from 1025 to 65535 and 9999 is easy to remember for our example. 


After you created the application, please copy the application ID. That is the client ID (an UUID) in the scripts. For the secrets, pick second tab for client secrets and add a new client secret. Pick a nice name and a long expiration date, e.g. 24 months. Now copy the client secret, a string with random characters. 


Microsoft has an article to explain registration here. Since the exact steps may vary, please be prepared to look for the buttons on a new place, if you read this in a few months.


The IsNumeric function in Xojo

Today we had a discussion about the IsNumeric function. The developer expected it to take a string and return true or false depending on whether the value is a number. But let's take a deeper look on it as there may be some surprises.

First the IsNumeric function is documented to take a value, but the help doesn't tell the data type of that parameter. The latest Xojo IDE shows you the parameter and it is variant. Passing a string value will create a new variant object for the function call.

The function returns false for nil or variants containing structures or arrays. Otherwise it seems to query string value and loops over the character. If the text is NaN or Inf, the function will just return true. (more)

MBS FileMaker Plugin 12.5 News

In this article we want to introduce you the new functions from the MBS FileMaker Plugin in version 12.5.

One Plugin for FileMaker AND Claris

Recently, the first version of the Claris product line has been released. We are proud to announce that our plugin will also work on the new platform and you can use it there as usual.
The best thing is that you can use the same plugin file for FileMaker and the new Claris. This is the first and currently the only plugin worldwide that works on both platforms equally.


Watch video about MongoDB
MongoDB and MBS - A look under the hood

Since version 12.3 there is the possibility to connect your FileMaker solution directly to a MongoDB and work with the data on both sides. Normally, each change in the database is immediately committed as soon as it has been made. But this is not always desirable, e.g. when it comes to security relevant things where multiple records have to be changed. If in the meantime the connection breaks we don't know in which state our database is, which records have been changed, which not. For this we have the so called transactions, with which we can command the database to make all changes at the same time. We have now implemented this transaction for you in context with MongoDB. With the function MongoDB.StartTransaction we start a transaction, then we can use the rest of the functions to make changes to the database. At the end we decide if we want to commit these changes to the database with the function MongoDB.CommitTransaction or if we want to abort the transaction. For this we use the MongoDB.AbortTransaction function. If a transaction is currently running in the database we can check with MongoDB.InTransaction. The current status of a transaction can be checked with the MongoDB.TransactionState function which distinguishes between None, Starting, InProgress, Committed or Aborted.

We are happy to report that some developers did speed testing and our plugin is certainly faster performing than using a web service to talk to MongoDB since we can cache some things locally and keep a connection for multiple requests. And in contrast to some other mongo DB connectors, we can write records.


The Xojo Storewide Sale Starts Now!

Last year Xojo Inc. announced that they won't do any more Black Friday sales, so the sales staff can have a nice Thanksgiving holidays. But they still do sales and now we see, Xojo Inc. moved the sale a week earlier:

The sale is over.

JSON problem fixed

If you downloaded the plugins in version 12.5 for FileMaker or 22.5 for Xojo in the last days, we may ask you to download them again.

The build from Friday, 10th November 2022 has the fixes for the JSON parsing functions.

This affects in Xojo the JSONMBS class, the FMAPI classes and the WebView2 control. For FileMaker it affects JSON functions, LDAP functions taking JSON and WebView functions for Windows.

The good thing with thousands of functions is, that the majority of plugin users may not be affected. But since this can be a surprise and people may want to enjoy our November release, we quickly uploaded a fixed plugin.

We are sorry about the problem introduced in pr4. In order to fix a problem with JSON parsing for a client, I accidentally changed code and that causes a NULL pointer in case of an error. Not always, but with one code path. As long as you pass valid JSON, it will work.

Everyone using 12.5/22.5 from build 4 to 8 is asked to move to build 9 from today.

PhotoPicker for iOS with FileMaker iOS SDK

Next to your container fields in iOS, you can show a button to insert a picture from the photo libraries. If you'd do this with our older ImagePicker functions, you may get a dialog about permissions to access the photos library. 

The new PhotoPicker functions allow you to access a dialog to pick photos from your app without such a dialog. The dialog runs as part of a background app included with iOS, which has all the permissions needed. It can show the whole photo library without your application having access to it. The user can select one or more pictures and have those being available to your applications. The images are then downloaded in the background if needed and you can check progress in a script. 

Here is a sample script:


If [ MBS( "PhotoPicker.Available") ] 

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS( "PhotoPicker.Clear") ] 

# set trigger

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS( "PhotoPicker.SetScript"; Get(FileName); "GotImage") ] 

# you can define a limit, 0 = no limit

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS( "PhotoPicker.SetSelectionLimit"; 10) ] 

# show the picker!

Set Variable [ $r ; Value: MBS( "PhotoPicker.Present") ] 

End If


Add Google Ads to your Xojo app

You may have a little iOS app made with Xojo, that shows something interesting to customers. That may be a nice little puzzle game. You give it away for free, but play an ad between levels.

To start, you sign up for Google Ad service on developers.google.com/ad-manager/mobile-ads-sdk/ios/quick-start. Please read there. You skip the installation for the framework as we embed all the code within our plugin.

For the info.plist, you need the entries for a few things. First you get the application identifier for your application. You may use our info.plist sample file and change it. Please keep the SKAdNetworkItems entries there (maybe update them to newer list?). You may want to keep the NSUserTrackingUsageDescription if you like to allow the framework to ask for tracking and you get higher ad prices. Since iOS applications need to declare via info.plist what they load, we use NSAppTransportSecurity entry to just inform iOS, that the ads may be loaded from anywhere.


MBS Plugin 12.5 for Claris FileMaker - More than 6800 Functions In One Plugin

Nickenich, Germany - (November 8th, 2022) -- MonkeyBread Software today is pleased to announce MBS FileMaker Plugin 12.5 for Claris FileMaker for macOS, iOS, Linux and Windows, the latest update to their product that is easily the most powerful plugin currently available for Claris FileMaker produce line. As the leading database management solution for Windows, macOS, iOS and the web, the Claris FileMaker Pro Integrated Development Environment supports a plugin architecture that can easily extend the feature set of the application. MBS FileMaker Plugin 12.5 has been updated and now includes over 6800 different functions, and the versatile plugin has gained more new functions:

We are proud to have the first plugin version available for use with Claris Pro and Claris Server. While both product lines have their little differences, we managed to have a single plugin for both. You can use MBS FileMaker Plugin in Claris Pro locally on macOS or Windows as well as the Linux version of Claris Server.

Since transactions are quite useful in databases, we added those for our MongoDB functions. You can start a transaction, do a couple of changes and later decide whether you commit or revert changes. When you are not in a transaction, all changes are automatically committed.

For iOS we added new PhotoPicker functions to access the Photos database on the device. Without annoying permission dialogs, the user can select the photos to import and pass them into your FileMaker application.

Developers using Windows with FileMaker will be enlightened to find a little search box in the database design dialog when looking on the relationship graph. Please try it and let us know how it goes, so we may enhance it in the future.

The matrix functions got a few new tricks. First you can set column and row names with a list. The Matrix.ConvertDataType function can change the data type of values in the matrix, so they can be used better in SQL inserts later.

Developers on macOS will enjoy the new keyboard shortcuts command-[ and command-] in text views, so you can indent text of formulas. The code folding collapses in If blocks to the next else. And the URLs in comments can start with fmp://$/? to use current file name.

You can set which keys are binary data for LDAP with LDAP.SetBinaryKeys function. The CNContact.Show function works on macOS with a popover. The TOTP.Calculate function can use more algorithms for hashing, the BinaryFile.WriteInt function can specify the endian state, you can make a file on Windows read only with Files.SetReadOnly function and App.GetFocussedWindowTitle can give you the title of the front window.

Finally we updated the CURL library to version 7.86.0, DynaPDF to, LCMS to 2.14, openssl to 1.1.1s, SQLAPI to 5.2.2, SQLite to 3.39.4 and Xcode to 14.0.1.

See release notes for a complete list of changes.

MonkeyBread Software Releases the MBS Xojo Plugins in version 22.5

Nickenich, Germany - (November 8th, 2022) -- MonkeyBread Software today is pleased to announce MBS Xojo Plugins 22.5 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 3000 classes and 80,000 documented features, and the versatile plugins have gained more new functions:

This release contains a few great enhancement for iOS development for our iOS Plugin:

First, we start with classes for using Google Ads inside your Xojo applications, e.g. GADMobileAdsMBS class. Beside doing in-app purchases with our StoreKit classes, this is a second way for you to monetize your applications.

Second, we got a new set of classes around PHPickerViewControllerMBS class to use the photo picker dialog on iOS. Your users can import photos, live photos or videos from their Photos library. No permissions dialog will come into the way as the user explicitly grants your application access to the selected items.

Third, we got the VNDocumentCameraViewControllerMBS class to scan documents on the iOS device. The user can point with the camera on a document and the picture is taken, the page recognized and rectified. The pages are then transferred to your application.

Forth, we got a new ProgressHUDMBS class to show progress to the user. This can either be an indeterminate circle of dots to show something is going on. Or it can either be a circle or a bar to show progress for a determinate process.

Fifth, if you write a CallKit extension, you can use CXCallDirectoryManagerMBS class to manage it. This may include querying the status of the extension or to reload the data after an update.

After all the classes for iOS, we got enhancements for our MongoDB plugin: use the new MongoSessionMBS class to start a transaction, do a few changes to the database and commit them all together. When you are not in a transaction, all changes are automatically committed.

The Windows Bluetooth classes got an upgrade with new events for WindowsBluetoothLEDeviceMBS class and new GetGattServicesAsync and GetGattServicesForUuidAsync methods.

For macOS we added hasDestructiveAction property to NSButtonMBS class, added new events for ContinuityCameraMBS class, added shouldRefetchContacts property to CNSaveRequestMBS class and new methods for NSCalendarMBS class. The OverlayMBS class can now work with a dialog on macOS and properties like AddedToDirectoryDateMBS and AddedToDirectoryDateTimeMBS for folderitems are now settable.

The FileListMBS class can now query directory content in a thread friendly way and thus can be cancelled if needed. The JSONMBS class got a AddOrReplaceItemToObject method. The XMLDocumentMBS class can now load XML thread friendly. JPEG handling got optimized with setjmp optimization,

Finally we updated CURL to version 7.86.0, DynaPDF to, LCMS to 2.14, openssl to 1.1.1s, SQLAPI to 5.2.2, SQLite to 3.39.4 and Xcode to 14.0.1.

See release notes for a complete list of changes.

Neues MBS Plugin 12.5 für Claris FileMaker

8. November 2022 - Monkeybread Software veröffentlicht heute das MBS FileMaker Plugin für Claris FileMaker in Version 12.5, mit inzwischen über 6800 Funktionen eines der größten FileMaker Plugins überhaupt. Hier einige der Neuerungen:

Wir sind stolz darauf, die erste Plugin-Version für Claris Pro und Claris Server zur Verfügung zu stellen. Obwohl beide Produktlinien ihre kleinen Unterschiede haben, ist es uns gelungen, ein gemeinsames Plugin für beide Seiten zu haben. Sie können das MBS FileMaker Plugin sowohl in Claris Pro lokal auf macOS oder Windows als auch in der Linux-Version von Claris Server verwenden.

Da Transaktionen in Datenbanken sehr nützlich sind, haben wir diese für unsere MongoDB-Funktionen hinzugefügt. Sie können eine Transaktion starten, ein paar Änderungen vornehmen und später entscheiden, ob Sie die Änderungen committen oder rückgängig machen möchten. Wenn Sie sich nicht in einer Transaktion befinden, werden alle Änderungen automatisch übertragen.

Für iOS haben wir neue PhotoPicker-Funktionen für den Zugriff auf die Photos-Datenbank auf dem iOS Gerät hinzugefügt. Ohne lästige Berechtigungsdialoge kann der Anwender die zu importierenden Fotos auswählen und an Ihre FileMaker-Anwendung übergeben.

Entwickler, die Windows mit FileMaker verwenden, werden erfreut sein, ein kleines Suchfeld im Datenbankdesign-Dialog zu finden, wenn sie das Beziehungsdiagramm betrachten. Bitte probieren Sie es aus und lassen Sie uns wissen wie gut es funktioniert, damit wir es in Zukunft verbessern können.

Die Matrix Funktionen haben ein paar neue Tricks bekommen: Zunächst können Sie Spalten- und Zeilennamen mit einer Liste festlegen. Die Funktion Matrix.ConvertDataType kann den Datentyp von Werten in der Matrix ändern, so dass sie später besser in SQL-Inserts verwendet werden können.

Entwickler unter macOS werden sich über die neuen Tastenkombinationen command-[ und command-] in Textansichten freuen, mit denen Sie den Text von Formeln einrücken können. Das Code-Folding kollabiert in If-Blöcken bis zum nächsten Sonst. Und die URLs in Kommentaren können jetzt mit fmp://$/? beginnen, um den aktuellen Dateinamen zu verwenden.

Mit der Funktion LDAP.SetBinaryKeys können Sie festlegen, welche Schlüssel für LDAP binäre Daten sind. Die Funktion CNContact.Show funktioniert jetzt unter macOS mit einem Popover. Die Funktion TOTP.Calculate kann mehr Algorithmen für das Hashing verwenden, die Funktion BinaryFile.WriteInt kann den Endian-Status angeben, mit der Funktion Files.SetReadOnly können Sie eine Datei unter Windows schreibgeschützt machen und App.GetFocussedWindowTitle kann Ihnen den Titel des vorderen Fensters anzeigen.

Schließlich haben wir die CURL-Bibliothek auf Version 7.86.0, DynaPDF auf, LCMS auf 2.14, openssl auf 1.1.1s, SQLAPI auf 5.2.2, SQLite auf 3.39.4 und Xcode auf 14.0.1 aktualisiert.

Alle Änderungen in den Release Notes.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 22.5pr7

New in this prerelease of the 22.5 plugins: Download: monkeybreadsoftware.de/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/ or from DropBox.
Or ask us to be added to our shared DropBox folder.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 12.5pr7

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.

Search relationship graph for Windows

For years we have nice goodies for FileMaker developers on macOS and now we got one for Windows: You can search within a relationship with a search field:

I tried for years to do something there. But when the plugin asks Windows about what is on the window, the OS would say: zero controls. Yes, the normal Windows API doesn't see the controls since they are all done in C++ classes drawing directly into the window. Without a handle to work on, we gave up several attempts to do something.

But a few days ago I looked again on various windows and I noticed that the third tab actually uses a real Win32 control to show the graph for relationships. Probably because this part is older from FileMaker 7 times and didn't get updated with all the controls around. When you click on the relationships tab, FileMaker shows a control there, that the plugin can see.

Now when we have a target to send the search string, we need a field. But we can't see the other controls, so we just place a search field right of the tabs with enough space for all languages. Since we have to watch the current window in FileMaker regularly, it shows up a bit delayed and we remove it when you click to other windows. Please try it in 12.5 pre-release plugin (and update to final one next week).

For the 12.5 release next week, we try to fix all bugs. But for the future we have a few ideas to enhance this. e.g. we may do a popup like on macOS, try to define a shortcut to continue search or try to get it working with asian characters. If you find an issue, please let us know.

Known problems: Seems like you cannot use underscore or point in the search text.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 22.5pr6

New in this prerelease of the 22.5 plugins:
  • Fixed problem with CIImageMBS not return a CGImageMBS object.
  • Improved memory management for ProgressHUDMBS class.
  • Updated LCMS library to version 2.14.
  • Updated openssl to version 1.1.1s.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.de/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/ or from DropBox.
Or ask us to be added to our shared DropBox folder.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 12.5pr6

New in this prerelease of version 12.5 of the MBS FileMaker Plugin:
  • Added App.GetFocussedWindowTitle function.
  • Improved EventMonitor functions for Windows to recognize better 3rd, 4th or 5th mouse button.
  • Added a search field for relationship graph on Windows for European languages.
  • Updated LCMS library to version 2.14.
  • Updated openssl to version 1.1.1s.
  • Improved memory management for ProgressDialog functions on iOS.
Download at monkeybreadsoftware.com/filemaker/files/Prerelease/, in DropBox folder or ask for being added to the DropBox shared folder.

xDev Magazine 20.6

The November/December (20.6) issue of xDev Magazine is now available. Here's a quick preview of what's inside:

Exploring Steganography, Part 3 by Eugene Dakin
Steganography -- the processing of hiding data inside a picture -- is a fun science with practical applications. In this series, Eugene explores doing this with Xojo. In part 3, he shows how to compare the original picture with the one with the hidden data and explore their subtle differences.

Xojo Retreat Keynote by Marc Zeedar
It's been almost four years since the last proper Xojo Conference Keynote from Geoff Perlman. If you missed this one, here's a recap along with a look at Xojo's roadmap for the exciting future of the development environment.

Nashville 2022 by Marc Zeedar
If you couldn't make it to Nashville this past September, don't worry -- Marc has an exhaustive recap of his trip, the sessions, the food, and the fun. For those who don't like to read, there are plenty of photographs!

Plus: Topics such as Xojo 2022R3, RegEx, a Clippings app, BASIC recipes, Limit and Offset, and more!

PS: xDev is looking for fresh voices, especially in writers who can cover Android, iOS, and other topics we may have neglected. Have an idea? Send Marc an email.


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