02. Setup [7:32]

Description: This video explains the following:

  1. How to manually install (FileMaker 11 or earlier) and register the Mail Manipulator plug-in on a Mac machine.
  2. Where to access the external plug-in functions.
  3. How to create a plug-in checker script and hard code the registration process in FileMaker.


Let’s take a look at the basic setup of the Mail Manipulator Plug-in. This video will address these three areas: How to install and register the plug-in on a Mac machine; Where to find all available external plug-in functions; and how to create a plug-in checker script and hardcode the registration process.

0:30 Mac Plug-in Installation & Registration: In order to manually install the Mail Manipulator on a Mac; we’ll first need to download the bundle from our site, which will look something like this. First let’s insure that FileMaker is closed; next we’ll double click the zip file to go ahead and decompress the files here; open up the MailManip folder, and I’ll move that over here so we can see it; we will go into the folder called Plug-in; and here is the actual plug-in that we’re going to install; I will simply copy the plug-in, navigate to my applications folder; select the FileMaker version, in this case we will install the plug-in into my FileMaker Pro 11 version; select extensions, and then I will simply paste the Mail Manipulator plug-in into the extensions folder, and you’ll notice that I already have a few other plug-ins installed in this folder. This is the primary location where you will install plug-ins for FileMaker. Now that we’ve successfully installed the plug-in, let’s go ahead and register. We’ll navigate back to my desktop here; open up the MailManip folder; select the FileMaker Demo File, it’s called PCMM_Demo; and when we go ahead and launch this demo file, it’s going to open FileMaker. Here I can see that the plug-in is operating in UNREGISTERED mode and you can also see the version and name of the plug-in that is currently installed and that we’re working with in this demo file. For demonstration purposes, we’re just going to register the plug-in with the demo license code right here that comes with the plug-in. Now if you are registering a licensed plug-in copy, you would simply enter your license ID; select the register plug-in button; we’ll get a message that the registration was successful; a result of 0(zero); and as you can now see I am operating in DEMO mode. If you registered a licensed version, you would be running in LIVE mode; and that’s further explained in the documentation. If running in DEMO mode please be mindful of the demo limitations and timeouts and discussed later in this video we will tell you how your developer can hardcode the registration process in your solution; so you don’t need to manually register in the demo each time.

3:08 Next let’s take a look at all the External Mail Manipulator Plug-in Functions that are made available by our plug-in. Since I have FileMaker Pro Advanced installed, I can utilize 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; and I’ll just move that over here; we’ll go ahead and select the Watch from the top; select Add Expression here, I’ll move this window here so it’s in view. From the upper right hand corner we’ll go ahead and select External Functions; here is where a list of all available external functions can be found. As you can see I have other plug-ins installed giving me additional external plug-in functions.  And we’ll just actually scroll down to the Mail Manipulator Plug-in here; and here I can see that all Mail Manipulator Plug-in functions are neatly organized beneath the plug-in name and all begin with PCMM as shown here. The naming conventions of the plug-in functions are determined by the plug-in manufacturer. But what’s important to know is that now I have the plug-in installed and I can now access all of the additional functions made available by the plug-in. For additional documentation on these plug-in functions, please refer to the additional documentation which is provided by Productive Computing.

4:48 Lastly let’s discuss the Plug-in Checker Script. This script ensures that it’s been properly installed and registered before attempting to use any of the plug-in functions. This script can be created in less than 10 minutes and is highly recommended in a multi-user environment to alleviate any user frustration or error. The three functions used to create this script are: PCMM_Version, which we will use to determine if the plug-in has been properly installed; PCMM_GetOperatingMode, which determines the operating mode of the plug-in; and PCMM_Register, which registers the plug-in behind the scenes if needed. Let’s look at the FileMaker script steps involved to create a simple plug-in 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 to a different 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 zero (0), then we can display a dialog that the plug-in registration failed. Once you have created the appropriate plug-in checker script, you can now simple add this script step at the beginning of any scripts using the plug-in functions.  There are various ways you can implement and write a plug-in checker script; 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.

6:54 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, please contact via email, phone or browse our forum for answers. We are happy to assist you in any integration steps or even design a solution for you. Thank you for watching and happy FileMaking!