02. Setup [10:03]

Description: This video explains the following:

  1. How to manually install (FileMaker 11 or earlier) and register the Biometric Fingerprint plug-in on a Windows machine.
  2. How to install the libraries for the Digital Persona 4500 Fingerprint Reader device.
  3. Where to access the external plug-in functions.
  4. How to create a plug-in checker script and hard code the registration process in FileMaker.
YouTube Preview Image


Let’s take a look at the basic set up of the Biometric Fingerprint Reader Plug-in. This video will address these four areas:

-          How to install and register  the plug-in on a Windows machine (FileMaker 11 or earlier)

-          How to install the necessary device libraries

-          Where to find all available external plug-in functions

-          How to create a plug-in checker script and hardcode the registration process

0:33 Window plug-in installation and registration: In order to manually install the Biometric Fingerprint Reader Plug-in on a Windows machine, you will first need to download the bundle from our site which will look something like this. Since the bundle is zipped up for protection the next step is to unzip or extract the contents of this bundle. This can be done by either right clicking on the bundle and selecting Extract All or by double clicking on the zip file and selecting Extract All Files here. This is an important and necessary step on a Windows machine. With FileMaker closed; I then can copy the actual plug-in, which is found in the Biometric Fingerprint Reader Plug-in and Installer folder; and my plug-in is called PCFP_Biometric.fmx file, and I’ll just go ahead and right click and select copy, and then I’m going to paste this in my C drive > Program Files > FileMaker > select your FileMaker version > and then the Extensions folder. Here is the holding tank where all of FileMaker Pro plug-ins gets installed. And we have now successfully installed the plug-in on our machine, so let’s go ahead and register. We have the option to manually register the plug-in from our demo file provided or your developer can hardcode the registration process in your solution for you which is discussed later in this video. For demonstration purposes let’s go ahead and begin FileMaker and register from our demo file. This plug-in splash screen will disappear once you have registered a licensed copy of the plug-in. I will select browse and let’s go ahead and browse for our demo file which is going to be on our desktop in our Biometric folder; and it’s in a folder called plug-in demo file and it’s PCFP_Demo.  Go ahead and open the demo file, navigate to the set up tab and here in step one is the Registration Process. So as you can currently see I’m operating in UNREGISTERD mode; which means I haven’t registered the plug-in. When you purchase the plug-in you will receive a licensed ID and simply enter that license ID here and select register. I’m going to register a demo copy of the plug-in and simply keep the license ID with the Demo license ID and select the register plug-in button.  Registration is successful and my operating mode is now DEMO mode. If you are running in demo mode, then please be mindful of the demo limitations and timeouts.

3:36 Next let’s take a look at how to install the device libraries. I’m going to close FileMaker completely, open up our folder called Biometric on our desktop and in there I’ll go into the Plug-in and Installer folder and you’ll find a PCBiometric.exe. Simply going to double click that, select run, allow everything that prompts up and we’ll look at a few of these prompts here. Going to go ahead and select next; this is an important step in that you must select your FileMaker version that you would like to install into. So I’m going to go ahead and select browse, and let’s go ahead and select FileMaker Pro 11 because I do have multiple copies of FileMaker on my machine. So I’m going to go ahead and select ok and now that I’ve selected my exact version of FileMaker to install the device libraries in, I can go ahead and select next and install. The installer may take a moment to run; as all the necessary UAREU and companion DDL files are being unpacked and installed in your FileMaker Pro version. And then I will select Finish to complete the installer. For those who are curious, let’s see what was installed in your FileMaker version. We’ll go into your Program files > FileMaker > and we’ll select FileMaker Pro 11 and what the installer put into your FileMaker Pro 11 folder  was this Bin folder and all files found in that Bin folder. And we also installed a UAREU Manager DDL right in your FileMaker Pro 11 folder; so if we were to scroll down you can see here is the UAREUManager.dll that was installed. These are the necessary files that get installed when you run the Biometric installer. Please do not alter or move these files; if you want to uninstall these files please uninstall the PC_Biometric from your programs area found in your actual control panel.

5:51 Plug-in External Functions: Let’s go ahead and open up FileMaker Pro one more time; we’ll get our demo file opened here and take a look at all the External Plug-in Functions. Since I have FileMaker Pro Advanced installed, I can utilize the various additional development tools. I highly recommend that all developers obtain a copy of FileMaker Pro Advanced to aid and assist during the development process. Let’s go ahead and open the data viewer; select watch and then we will select the Add Expression here. In the upper right hand corner; here I will go ahead and select External Functions from the drop down list and here I will find a list of all available External Plug-in Functions. I already had a credit card plug-in installed, so let’s go ahead and scroll down to the PC Biometric here and we can see that all Biometric Plug-in Functions are neatly organized beneath the plug-in name and all begin with PCFP as shown here. The naming convention of the plug-in functions are determined by the plug-in manufacturer. Now that I have the plug-in installed and registered, I can use these additional plug-in functions in my script steps. For a detailed description of each plug-in function, please refer to the plug-in documentation that we provide.

7:24 Lastly let’s discuss the Plug-in Checker Script. This script insures that the plug-in has been properly installed and registered before attempting to use any plug-in functions. This script is highly recommended in a multiuser environment in order to alleviate user frustration or error. The three functions used to create this plug-in checker script are: PCFP_Version which in this case determines if the plug-in has been properly installed;  PCFP_GetOperatingMode which determines the operating mode of the plug-in and PCFP_Register which registers the plug-in behind the scenes if needed. Let’s look at the script steps of a sample checker script. First let’s check to see if the plug-in is installed by calling the version function; this function will return empty results or a question mark if the plug-in is not installed. We can show a custom dialog if the plug-in is not installed alerting the user; and it might even be a good idea to go back to the main setup layout and halt the script. Next let’s check to see if the plug-in has been properly registered by determining the operating mode. If GetOperatingMode does not equal live, then we will call the register function, hardcode the four parameters including your license ID and register the plug-in behind the scenes. If the registration result does not equal 0(zero) then we can display a dialog that the plug-in registration failed. Once you have created the appropriate plug-in checker script, you can simply add this script step at the beginning of any scripts using the plug-in functions. There are various ways you can write and implement a Plug-in Checker Script depending on your environment and needs: The Version, GetOperatingMode and Register functions are explained in further detail in the plug-in documentation. This is just one example to get your creative juices flowing.

9:25 Now we can begin to integrate the plug-in into your FileMaker solution. Please make sure you utilize all available tools we provide: such as additional training videos, documentation and reverse engineer our demo file. If you need additional assistance; contact us via email, phone or browse our forum for answers. We are happy to assist you in any integration scripts or even design a solution for you. Thank you for watching and Happy FileMaking!

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