The state of curl 2020

Daniel Stenberg tells what's the state of CURL tool/library.

See on the CURL video website and watch on Youtube.
We use CURL extensively for our MBS Plugins and visited the CURL Up conferences in the past. We look forward to a conference next year to meet the CURL community again.

FreeTDS 1.1.33 Libraries

Today we managed to build new FreeTDS libraries for you.
Those are based on FreeTDS version 1.1.33 from website:

FreeTDS is a set of libraries for Unix and Linux that allows your programs to natively talk to Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase databases.

Technically speaking, FreeTDS is an open source implementation of the TDS (Tabular Data Stream) protocol used by these databases for their own clients. It supports many different flavors of the protocol and three APIs to access it. Additionally FreeTDS works with other software such as Perl and PHP, providing access from those languages as well.

If you are looking for a Java implementation, we refer you to the jTDS project on SourceForge.

FreeTDS has many possible uses. It has been used by Unix/Linux webservers to present data stored in SQL Server to the web, to port SQL Server database code from NT to Unix, to import data into SQL Server from a Unix source, and to provide database access on platforms (such as realtime systems) that have no native drivers.

The FreeTDS C libraries are available under the terms of the GNU LGPL license. Consult COPYING.LIB in the distribution for details.

Download: FreeTDS 1.1.33.dmg and FreeTDS

We use this library in MBS Plugins to connect to Microsoft SQL Servers from MacOS and Linux.
Supporte platforms in this download include Mac 32/64bit, Linux 32/64bit for Intel/ARM and iOS for both simulator and device.

MBS Birthday Sale ends tomorrow

We celebrate in April 2020 the 20th anniversary of our company. The month is almost over. We got congratulations from hundreds of people, quite a few orders with the discount applied and we had a great birthday cake. Thank you all!

We hope to see a lot of clients and friends at the party next year. Invitations will go out in January for the new date.
If you need a license, get it today or tomorrow with the 20% discount applied.

Have a great spring time at home, stay healthy and see you at the next conferences!

Basic Forms in MBS Xojo SceneKit Plugin

In this article I would like to give you a short introduction to the SceneKit topic. SceneKit is a powerful graphic engine supplied by Apple as a framework and using the Metal Engine for 3D Graphics. SceneKit is available for Xojo under MacOS with the MBS Xojo Mac64bit Plugin.

Geometrical objects can be composed of basic forms. The following basic forms are available: sphere, cylinder, capsule, truncated cone, tube, torus, box, infinity plane, plane, and the pyramid.

Each of these basic forms has its own class with its own properties. Now we will looking at the constructors of the individual forms.

Here you can see the basic forms. The red bar passes through the origins of the forms)

From an article previously published on the blog, in which we modeled together our solar system, some of you already know the basic form sphere that uses the class SCNSphereMBS. In the constructor the value for the radius is passed.

In the constructor of the class SCNCylinderMBS class we define the radius and the height of the cylinder

For the creation of a capsule we use the SCNCapsuleMBS class. The capsule is a basic form, although it could also be assembled from two spheres and a cylinder. So it is not surprising that for the creation of this basic form, the radius of the capsule tip and the height of the capsule is needed.

Cone and truncate cone
For modeling a cone or a truncate cone we need the class SCNConeMBS. We define the radius of the upper surface and the lower surface, as well as the height. This results in a truncated cone. If we define the upper radius as 0, we get a perfect cone.

Tube and torus
We have also become familiar with the basic tube shape in the solar system project. In the last project we use the object of the class SCNTubeMBS to modeled the ring of Saturn. The tube is defined by an inner radius, an outer radius and height. The inner cylinder is subtracted by the outside cylinder.

This basic shape is easily confused with the torus basic shape, because both are round and have an opening in the middle. But if you cut a torus, the cut surface is a circle. For the tube, the cut surface is rectangular. The objects of the class SCNTorusMBS are defined by its ringRadius and pipeRadius.

For the box we have the normal parameters width, height and length. Additionally we have an another parameter where we can specify how much our corners should be rounded. Extremely sharp edges gives the animation an unnatural look. Look at a dice for example, its corners are rounded too.

Plane and Floor
The objects of the SCNPlaneMBS class are defined by width and height. Besides the geometry of the normal plane, we also have geometry of an infinite plane. The geometry can be created as an object of the SCNFloorMBS class. The class is called Floor, because it is often used to model a floor or ceiling. It has a property that allows you to set the intensity of the reflection, that ensures that objects are reflected in this floor.

Last but not least we have pyramids. In the constructor of the SCNPyramidMBS class we defined the width, height and length of the pyramid. Our pyramid has a rectangular base. In the middle of this base area is also the center of gravity. This is a special thing about the pyramids. For all other basic shapes it is in the middle of the object. This information is especially important for the positioning in a scene. We will see the positioning of objects in a scene later (more)

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 20.2pr5

New in this prerelease of the 20.2 plugins:
  • Updated OpenSSL to version 1.1.1g.
  • Added constructor to XMLValidatorMBS class to take folderitem.
  • Changed SQLDatabaseMBS RecordSet to pass time, date and timestamp to Xojo with the right type, so Xojo can handle them correctly.
  • Added SetInternetExplorerHiDPI and GetInternetExplorerHiDPI functions to IEWebBrowserMBS class to enable proper resolution handling in HTMLviewer on Windows.
  • Added TextShape class support for Object2D drawing with DynaPDFMBS class's graphics integration.
  • Corrected alignment issues for TextShape/StringShape class handling with DynaPDFMBS class's graphics integration.
  • Added ClearRectMode to DynaPDFMBS class to ignore calls to Graphics.ClearRect and allow background to show.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

20th Birthday Cake

We had hired Frederik Leersch, a local cake artisan, to create us a big cake for the 20th birthday party. Sadly the party is moved to next year. But for this year, we changed the order to deliver a few smaller cakes to deliver to our staff:

See to see what Frederik can do: Cake Pictures

Connect to Microsoft SQL Server with MBS Xojo SQL Plugin

We have made a ton of example code in the last decade showing how to connect to Microsoft SQL Server from MacOS or Linux using FreeTDS and our MBS Xojo SQL Plugin. And there are two ways to do it:

1. With loading driver directly:

Some example code using SQLDatabaseMBS, but may look very similar with SQLConnectionMBS class:

Dim libtdsodbc as Folderitem = FindFile("libtdsodbc.dylib")
Dim cs as string = "DRIVER={FREETDS};Server="+Server+";UId="+User+";PWD="+Pass+";Database="+DatabaseName+";TDS_VERSION=7.2;Port="+Port
db.SetFileOption db.kOptionLibraryODBC, libtdsodbc
db.Option("UseAPI") = "ODBC"
db.DatabaseName = "ODBC:"+cs

As you see, we point to the dylib as ODBC library, load it and connect through it.

2. With loading iODBC and having driver in connection string

Dim libtdsodbc as Folderitem = FindFile("libtdsodbc.dylib")
Dim cs as string = "DRIVER={" + libtdsodbc.nativePath + "};Server="+Server+";UId="+User+";PWD="+Pass+";Database="+DatabaseName+";TDS_VERSION=7.2;Port="+Port
db.Option("UseAPI") = "ODBC"
db.DatabaseName = "ODBC:"+cs

As you see, we let the plugin load libiodbc.dylib (ODBC manager) and then have it load the library.

What is better?

Both ways do work, so for most customers there is no difference. But the second way is better as the libiodbc does some additional services like text encoding conversations, provide additional functions like a directory of the various database drivers, functions to browser for databases and a way to work with data sources.

So we recommend in general that all customers prefer the second way over the ODBC manager to make sure all things work well. For the next weeks, we'll try to update a couple of blog posts and examples projects.

StyledText for Excel files with LibXL 3.9 in Xojo

We recently moved to LibXL version 3.9, which adds support to styled text for use in Excel files. We added a new XLRichStringMBS class to have all the options available within the LibXL library. But we also added support for working with StyledText class directly. You can just pass the styled text from a TextArea control directly to be used to set a cell in your document. Same for reading, where we translate the styles back. Here is an example to write a cell:

Dim st As New StyledText Dim row As Integer = 2 Dim col As Integer = 0 st.Text = "Red Text blue" st.TextColor(0, 8) = &cFF0000 st.TextColor(9, 4) = &c0000FF st.Size(0,4) = 15 Call sheet.WriteStyledText row, col, st row = 3 st = New StyledText st.Text = "Hello World from Xojo" st.Italic(0,11) = True st.Bold(0,11) = True st.Underline(0,11) = True st.Font(0,11) = "Calibri" st.Bold(12,10) = True Call sheet.WriteStyledText row, col, st

The XLRichStringMBS class allows you to use a XLFontMBS class with the following styling properties to be used: color, italic, bold, single/double underline, strikeout, font name, sub/superscript and font size. Converting from StyledText we pass through bold, italic, underline, font name, size and color. When you call WriteStyledText, you can optionally include a format object, which defines e.g. alignment.

Please try the new functionality and don't hesitate to contact us with questions. This is already included in 20.2pr4 download.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 20.2pr4

New in this prerelease of the 20.2 plugins:
  • Added JavaScript LibPhoneNumber example to validate and format phone numbers
  • Updated DynaPDF to version
  • Deprecated OpenSpecialData method in PNGReaderMBS class.
  • Reduced dependencies for Photos plugin part to not need AVFoundation and MacFrameworks.
  • Updated LibXL to version 3.9.
  • Added XLRichStringMBS class to work on rich text in Excel documents.
  • Added StyledText functions for XL Plugin.
  • Updated plugin SDK to version for Xojo 2020r1
  • Deprecated all Mac 32-bit HTMLViewer extension classes for Xojo before 2020. For Xojo 2020 those are removed.
  • Added setter for AVCaptureDeviceMBS.activeInputSource property.
  • Enabled SSPI, Kerberos 5 and SPNEGO for CURLSMBS class on Windows.
  • Fixed returning of date in RecordSet with SQLDatabaseMBS, broken in pr1.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Using libPhoneNumber for phone number formatting

Recently a client asked whether we could integrate the libPhoneNumber library into the plugins. Well, it's a big C++ library with a lot of dependencies and it looks like building a static version for our plugin or a DLL version to load at runtime is a bit tricky. But we found the JavaScript port of the library on the same website. This one has a couple of dependencies, but it can be compiled into a single file version with all required libraries embedded in one JavaScript file.

As you may know we introduced a JavaScript engine into our plugins last December for both FileMaker and Xojo. This JavaScript engine is capable to load the standalone version of libPhoneNumber and execute queries to work with phone numbers. Let us look at a few examples. First you load the library and initialize everything. Then you query for example the intlTelInputUtils.formatNumber function to format a number:

intlTelInputUtils.formatNumber('01751234567', 'DE', intlTelInputUtils.numberFormat.INTERNATIONAL)

The result is "+49 175 1234567", which formats the number for international use with spaces in-between for humans. All javaScript functions used here are in the intlTelInputUtils namespace, so all function names have this as prefix. The formatNumber function itself takes three parameters with the number, the country code and the format. Possible formats are given as constants in JavaScript, so you can pass here E164, INTERNATIONAL, NATIONAL or RFC3966. The last one is the tel: URL for use in links on a website. For our test number, we would get "+491751234567" for E164, "0175 1234567" for NATIONAL and "tel:+49-175-1234567" for RFC3966.


New physics classes for SceneKit in Xojo

Stefanie recorded a short video about the new physics classes in SceneKit with the example and talks how it works:

See also:

Half way through April and our MBS Birthday Sale

So far a couple of people updated their licenses, some even for 5 years. Thank you.

We are half through April, so our sale has another 14 days left.
If you have a license about to expire or just expired a few months ago, just order an update if you like. We really do encourage everyone to take advantage of it and make sure you have all your licenses updated to current versions. The 20% discount with coupon code 20years is a gift to all our users.

For everyone with licenses expired before 6/2019, it is usually cheaper to buy a new one with discount instead of a multi year update.

If you have an older license, you don't need any more and you don't want to get reminder emails about, please let us know so we can mark the email to not get newsletters.

See also MBS Birthday Sale and FAQ for our Birthday Sale.

Adding NSURLSession classes for Xojo

For the current prerelease version 20.2pr3 we added NSURLSessionMBS and related classes to the MBS Xojo Plugins. Main reason is that we urgently needed a solution for a client to support HTTP/2 connections for a project. Long term plan is to add HTTP/2 to our CURL plugin someday, but for now it is easier to just leverage Apple's excellent NSURL Frameworks which do the heavy work for almost all network traffic in MacOS & iOS. The classes allow you to use the latest encryption settings automatically.

When using the classes, please first create an object of NSURLSessionConfigurationMBS class. Configure it to the options you need, e.g. what caching or cookie policies you like or whether to allow cellular or expensive connections.

Next you can initialize a new NSURLSessionMBS, usually via constructor and your own subclass to fill in the events. Alternatively for simple transfers you can use the sharedSession and use the default settings.

Then you use one of the NSURLSessionTaskMBS subclasses:Please try the new classes soon and let us know if you have any problems using them.

We formally deprecate NSURLConnectionMBS class, which is the older set of classes Apple provides for HTTP connections. You should move to NSURLSessionMBS soon. We won't remove them until Apple removes them, but you never know whether they will be part of next OS version.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 20.2pr3

New in this prerelease of the 20.2 plugins: Download:
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Watch XDC 2020 and 2019 videos

While staying at home, how about watching some videos for sessions from XDC 2019 and 2020?
Although the conference was cancelled this year, some sessions got recorded and may be worth to watch.

XDC 2020

XDC 2019

MBS Videos & MBS Youtube playlist

Additional videos may be added to the Youtube playlists later.

MBS Xojo ChartDirector Plugin Birthday

Just 12 years ago we added the ChartDirector Plugin to our MBS Xojo Plugin collection.
Thanks to Mr. Jason J. Campbell for asking me to add a charts plugin and thanks to Peter Kwan from Advanced Software Engineering Limited for his support over the years and the excellent co-operation.

PS: ChartDirector is the engine used by FileMaker Pro internally for the chart generation as you can see on the included DLLs.

FAQ for our Birthday Sale

Our birthday sale is a way to give every user a thank you with a 20% price reduction. We really do encourage everyone to take advantage of it and make sure you have all your licenses updated to current versions.

The special offer for 20th birthday of Monkeybread Software ends on 30th April. On 1st May we will remove all notices for it and disable thereafter the coupon codes.

If you have a license expired before June 2019, you could buy a new license with discount as that is usually cheaper than multi year updates.

Purchases going through Paypal should get the discount applied automatically, so the amount shown on Paypal website is the reduced price. If you accidentally paid full price here, we may just refund the 20% or add 3 extra months to the licenses.

For our web shows via Share-It and FastSpring, you can use the coupon code 20years and for most links on our website it should be included automatically.

Government entities or public authorities may just order via email & invoice as usual. We still prefer orders through the web shop with an official credit card as that is processed right away.

If you made a purchase in April without applying the discount, we can offer you to simply extend the license for 3 additional months as often a partial refund is not possible.

You can order multi years updates if you like for up to 5 years. If you buy a new license, you can right after buying the new license also buy the updates.

Finally, thanks for your support and for keeping the company running for another 20 years!

PS: Please make sure your license covers summer 2020, so you get current plugin to use with next FileMaker & Xojo versions.

Physics example for SceneKit in Xojo

In this article I want to show you an example with the physics of SceneKit. The physics functions of SceneKit are available in 20.2 pre-release version of our MBS Xojo Plugins.

In this example two pyramids should hit each other. We will create pyramids that move in the direction of each other. We will not only create two pyramids but several with the help of a timer.

We start with a normal and empty SceneKit Scene. The SceneKit Control is located in the middle of our window. We add a timer to our window and open its action event where we want to insert our code.

First we create our pyramid geometry. Then we place the pyramid as a normal node in the scene with the position (5,0,0) on the right side. We repeat it with the second pyramid and place it at the point (-5,0,0) on the left side:

Dim PyramidGeometry As New SCNPyramidMBS(1, 1, 1)
PyramidGeometry.firstMaterial.diffuse.contents = NSColorMBS.redColor
Dim Pyramid1 As New SCNNodeMBS(PyramidGeometry)
Pyramid1.Position = New SCNVector3MBS(5, 0, 0)

Dim Pyramid2 As New SCNNodeMBS(PyramidGeometry)
Pyramid2.Position = New SCNVector3MBS(-5, 0, 0)

Then we create another pyramid geometry. We use this one to assign the nodes physical shape. This physical shape does not necessarily have to be the same geometry as the node. For example you can use the shape of a sphere. In this case the node would be displayed as a pyramid in the scene, but would physically behave like a sphere.

But in this example we want the pyramid to behave physically like a pyramid, too.

Dim phGeometry As New SCNPyramidMBS(1, 1, 1)

Then we connect in the property physic Body of the nodes to the physical shape.

Pyramid1.physicsBody = New SCNPhysicsBodyMBS(1, New SCNPhysicsShapeMBS(phGeometry))
Pyramid2.physicsBody = New SCNPhysicsBodyMBS(1, New SCNPhysicsShapeMBS(phGeometry))

Then we have to indicate how our pyramids should move. That means what is the start impulse the pyramids get. So we set the vector with the direction of motion. If we would only set values on the y-axis, our pyramid would first be moved upwards and then would fall down without an arc. If we additionally specify an x-vector we see that an arc movement is created. This is because the object moves forward with a certain force. During the flight the force decreases, so that the object falls down after reaching the peak.

With the method applyForce we set the previously defined vector.

Dim force1 As New SCNVector3MBS(-10, 10, 0)
Dim force2 As New SCNVector3MBS(10, 10, 0)
Pyramid1.physicsBody.applyForce(force1, True)
Pyramid2.physicsBody.applyForce(force2, True)

You can also specify other physical properties such as the mass of a node and see what effect this property has.

Pyramid1.physicsBody.mass = 3.2

Finally we insert the nodes into our scene and make settings for the timer.
If we now run our application we see that the pyramids influence each other' s fall

I wish you a lot of fun with the new physics functions in SceneKit. The example is included with 20.2 pre-release version of MBS Xojo Plugins.
by Stefanie Juchmes

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 20.2pr2

New in this prerelease of the 20.2 plugins: Download:
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

MacOS System Preference Links

Since MacOS 10.10 we got links to open system preferences and point user to a specific preference panels.

In general you have "x-apple.systempreferences:" as URL scheme followed by the bundle ID of the preferences panel. Not all preference panes can be accessed this way and some have special parameters for sub panels. Here is the list:
Preference PaneBundle IdentifierCan be opened via URL?

Connect Xojo to SAP via RFC

For next MBS Xojo Plugins 20.2, we will have a new set of classes to connect to SAP systems via the SAP NetWeaver RFC SDK 7.50. The SDK allows to call remote functions in the SAP application and move data to/from SAP.

By connecting Xojo applications to SAP, we enable a whole new field of collaboration. Xojo developers can lookup records or call functions to trigger actions in SAP. Developers using SAP on a daily basis can now optionally use Xojo to develop utility applications to help their daily routine. We imaging a lot of import/export applications may be doable as well as interface applications to connect to other devices. e.g. let a Xojo app measure something and send results to the SAP application.

To get the SDK and development access to SAP applications you need to be registered SAP user. The company with the SAP license needs to have user licenses for this usage. And the SDK is available for MacOS, Windows and Linux and so are our plugin classes.

Check the RFCModuleMBS module to load the libraries and check global parameters like the location of the INI file. Then use RFCConnectionMBS class for a connections, query function descriptions and call functions. Use classes for tables and structures to work on records.

Here a screenshot of the sample project we made with a client:

Please let us know if you like to learn more.
SAP and SAP NetWeaver are trademarks from SAP SE.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 20.2pr1

New in this prerelease of the 20.2 plugins: Download:
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.
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