02. Setup [9:48]

**This product has been discontinued as of May 10, 2016.**

Description: This video explains the following:

  1. How to manually install (FileMaker 11 or earlier) and register the eMail Marketing Connector on a Windows machine.
  2. How to manually install (FileMaker 11 or earlier) and register the eMail Marketing Connector 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 eMail Marketing Connector; a plug-in for FileMaker. This video will address these four areas: 1) How to install and register the plug-in on a Windows machine, 2) How to install and register the plug-in on a Mac machine, 3) Where to find all available external plug-in functions, 4) How to create a plug-in checker script and hard code the registration process.

0:39 Windows Plug-in Installation & Registration:  In order to manually install the eMail Marketing Connecter 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 unzip or extract the contents of the bundle.  This can be done by either by right clicking on the file and selecting “extract all”, or by double clicking on the file and selecting “extract all files” as shown here on the left. This is an important and necessary step on a Windows machine. With FileMaker closed, I will copy the actual plug-in which can be found inside of the unzipped plug-in bundle here in a folder called Plug-in. Here I will copy the actual plug-in, navigate to my C Drive > Program Files > FileMaker > select your FileMaker version > Extensions, and here in the Extensions folder is where we right click and select paste in order to paste the actual plug-in into your FileMaker Extensions folder. You have now successfully installed the plug-in.

2:08 So let’s go ahead and close these windows and I will open FileMaker Pro here, and what I’m going to do is open up the demo file so we can register the plug-in from the demo file. When you first launch FileMaker this plug-in splash screen will appear, this splash screen will disappear once we register a licensed copy of the plug-in.  I will simply browse for my bundle that we unzipped on my desktop, go into the eMail Marketing Connector folder, navigate to the FileMaker demo file and I will select the demo file to go ahead and open a demo file so we can manually register. Now remember your developer can hard code the registration process in your solution which will be discussed later in this video. Here I can see that the plug-in operating mode is UNREGISTERED and you would simply enter your License ID here in the License ID field or since I’m registering a demo license, I’ll just keep the demo license ID in there.  Select the Register plug-in button. I’ve now successfully registered the plug-in and my operating mode is now DEMO mode. If you are running in demo mode please be mindful of the demo limitations and timeouts. And those are the simple steps to install and register the eMail Connector plug-in on your machine.

3:35 Mac Plug-in Installation & Registration:  Next let’s demonstrate how you install and register the plug-in on a Mac. First you will download the plug-in bundle from our site which will look something like this. Simply double click the bundle; that will extract or unzip the contents from the bundle. And if we open up this folder I can see that I have three folders here. I go into the Plug-in folder, this is the actual plug-in so I’m going to copy the plug-in, navigate to the applications FileMaker Pro, select my FileMaker version, Extensions folder, and I’m going to paste the actual plug-in downloaded from our site into the Extensions folder. But first let me ensure that FileMaker is closed, and I can see that FileMaker is not currently open. And then you’re going to paste the plug-in into the actual extensions folder here. You have now successfully installed the plug-in so let’s go ahead and register.

4:43 You can go back into our plug-in bundle here, and navigate to the FileMaker Demo File folder. Simply double click the Demo File, that’s going to open FileMaker. This plug-in splash screen you’ll see when you’re registered in demo or unregistered mode, so that plug-in splash screen disappears with the licensed version of the plug-in. Then you’re simply going to enter your license ID here and hit the Register button. I’m going to register a demo license of the plug-in so I’ll keep the demo License ID in there, and you’ll note my Operating Mode is “UNREGISTERED” when I select the Register button I have now successfully registered the plug-in and I am operating in demo mode.  Remember, your developer can also hard code the registration process in your solution which is discussed later in this video.  And installing and registering the plug-in is really that simple.

5:42 Plug-in External Functions:      Next let’s take a look at all external eMail Marketing Connector 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 first open the Data Viewer, navigate to Watch, and select Add Expression here. In the upper right hand corner I will select from the drop down list External functions.  Here I will find a list of all available external plug-in functions.  All plug-in functions are prefixed with their unique function header.  For example here we can see all eMail Marketing Connector functions are neatly organized beneath the plug-in name and all begin with PCXP 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 our plug-in. For a detailed description of each plug-in function please refer to the plug-in documentation provided by Productive Computing.

7:06 Lastly, let’s discuss the Plug-in Checker Script. This script ensures that the plug-in has been properly installed and registered before attempting to use any of the plug-in functions. I highly recommend this script in a multi-user environment in order to alleviate any user frustration or error.  The three functions used to create this script are PCXP_Version, which we’re using to determine if the plug-in has been properly installed.  PCXP_GetOperatingMode; which determines the operating mode of the plug-in, and PCXP_Register; which registers the plug-in behind the scenes if needed. Let’s look at a sample plug-in checker script. First we’ll 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.

8:14 Next let’s check to see that the plug-in has been properly registered by determining the operating mode. If the GetOperatingMode function does not equal LIVE than we will call the register function, hard code the four parameters including your license ID which registers the plug-in behind the scenes. If the registration result does not equal zero then we can display a dialog that the plug-in registration failed, go to a different 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 depending on your environment.  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.

9:12 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 us via email, phone, or browse our forum for answers. We’re happy to assist you with any integration steps or even design a solution for you. Thank you for watching and Happy FileMaking!