02. Setup [9:59]

Description: This video explains the following:

  1. How to manually install (FileMaker 11 or earlier) and register the FM Credit Card plug-in on a Windows machine.
  2. How to manually install (FileMaker 11 or earlier) and register the FM Credit Card plug-in on a Mac machine.
  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.

Transcript:

Let’s take a look at the basic setup of the FM Credit Card Plug-in. This video will address these four areas: How to install and register the plug-in on a windows machine; How to install and register the plug-in on a Mac machine; Where to find all external plug-in functions; and How to create a Plug-in Checker Script and hardcode the registration process.

0:33 Windows Plug-in Installation & Registration: In order to manually install the FM Credit Card Plug-in on a Windows machine, you will first need to download the plug-in bundle from our site, which will look something like this. Since the bundle is zipped up for protection, the next step is to un-zip or extract the contents of the bundle. This can be done by either right clicking on the zip file and selecting Extract All or by double clicking on the zip file and selecting Extract all files. This is an important and necessary step on a Windows machine. With FileMaker closed I will copy the actual plug-in, which is found in the FM_CreditCard_ Win Plug-in folder, and I’ll simply right click and select copy and then I will paste the plug-in into the FileMaker Pro Extensions folder which is located in the C drive > Program Files > FileMaker > select your FileMaker version > and then the Extensions folder. Here is where you can right click and select paste and paste the actual plug-in into the FileMaker Extensions folder. This is the traditional default location where all FileMaker plug-ins are installed. You have now successfully installed the plug-in, so let’s go ahead and register.  You have the option to manually register the plug-in from the demo file provided or your developer can hardcode the registration process in your solution, which will be discussed later in this video. For demonstration purposes we are going to begin FileMaker and register from the FileMaker Demo provided. This plug-in splash screen will disappear once we have registered a licensed plug-in version. I’m going to select browse and let’s go to my desktop > FM_CreditCard_ Win > and in here I have a folder called FileMaker Demo File; I’m going to go ahead and open the PCCC_Demo file and that’s just a notification we get about FileMaker Sharing; and here on the Setup tab in Step 1 is where we are actually going to register the plug-in.  We populate the demo with the demo license already here. Once you purchase the plug-in you can actually put your license ID in here and simply select the register button. As you can see I’m currently operating in UNREGISTERED mode. If I go ahead and select Register, I’ve received a message that says I have successfully registered and you’ll see the operating mode is going to switch from UNREGISTERED to DEMO mode. If you were to enter your license ID here and then select register, your operating mode is going to be LIVE. You only need to register the plug-in one time per user, per machine; and an easy way to see if you are registered or not is simply to find out the operating mode of your plug-in which is going to be discussed later in the video. And that is how you install and register the plug-in on a Windows machine.

3:48 Next let’s demonstrate how you install and register the plug-in on a Mac machine. Download the bundle from our site which will look something like this. Let’s double click to extract or unzip the contents of this bundle which will happen automatically; and when we open up this folder here, move this over here so you can see it, we have a folder called Plug-in. Here we are actually going to copy the actual plug-in and we’ll paste it into the FileMaker Extensions folder which is located here. In Applications go ahead and select your FileMaker version you’re working with > then Extensions and you will right click and select paste, to paste the plug-in right into your Extensions folder. You can also drag the plug-in over or do a copy/paste or right click; whatever options are available to you on your Mac. Now that we’ve successfully installed the plug-in, let’s go back to our plug-in bundle; we’ll go into the FileMaker demo file folder and we will actually register from our FileMaker Demo file. Now your developer can hardcode the registration process and that’s going to be discussed later in this video, but for demonstration purposes we are going to open our FileMaker demo file and manually register. This is the splash screen that will appear and this splash screen disappears once you register a fully licensed copy of the plug-in. Now we are looking at our FileMaker demo file; if you have a license ID provided by Productive Computing, Inc., you will simply enter that into the License ID field and select register. Please note the operating mode is currently UNREGISTERED;  in this video I’m going to register a demo copy by simply keeping the demo license ID in there and selecting the Register the plug-in button. Registration is successful and as you can see my operating mode is now in DEMO mode. Please be mindful of the demo limitations and timeouts. And that’s it, now we’ve successfully installed and registered the plug-in on a Mac machine.

6:05 Next let’s take a look at all External FM CreditCard 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 open the data viewer, navigate to watch and select Add Expression here. Under the upper right hand corner from the drop down list, I will select External Functions. Here I will find a list of all available external plug-in functions. All functions are prefixed with their unique function header. For example, here we can see that all FM Credit Card plug-in functions are neatly organized beneath the plug-in name and all begin with PCCC_ 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 functions made available by the plug-in in FileMaker. For a detailed description of each plug-in function, please refer to the plug-in documentation provided by Productive Computing, Inc.

7:23 Lastly let’s discuss the Plug-in Checker Script: This script ensures that that the plug-in has been properly installed and registered before attempting to use any of the plug-in functions. A plug-in checker script of some sort is highly recommended in a multi-user environment to alleviate user frustration or error.  The 3 functions used to create this script are: PCCC_Verson, which determines if the plug-in has been properly installed; PCCC_GetOperatingMode, which determines the operating mode of the plug-in; and PCCC_Register, which registers the plug-in behind the scenes if needed. Let’s take a look at the FileMaker script steps of a plug-in checker script. First we will 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 dialogue if the plug-in is not installed alerting the user, and it might 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 zero, then we can display a dialogue that the plug-in registration failed; and again we may want to go back to the main setup layout and halt the script. Once you have created the appropriate plug-in checker script, you can now simply 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.

9:22 Now we can begin to integrate the plug-in into your FileMaker solution. Please make sure you utilize all tools available, 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 with any integration steps or even design a solution for you. Thank you for watching and Happy FileMaking!