02. Setup [6:29]

Description: This video explains the following:

  1.  How to manually install (FileMaker 11 or earlier) and register the Outlook Manipulator for Mac plug-in.
  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.
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Transcript:

Let’s take a look at the basic setup of the Outlook Manipulator for Mac plug-in. This video will address these 3 areas:

  1. How to install and register the plug-in on a Mac.
  2. Where to find all available External Plug-in Functions.
  3. How to create a Plug-in Checker Script and hard code the registration process.
0:34 Mac Plug-in Installation & Registration:  In order to manually install this plug-in, you will first need to download the plug-in from our site which will look something like this. Since the bundle is zipped up for protection the next step is to un-zip the bundle. This can be done by right-clicking on the zip file and selecting Open With > Archive Utility. With FileMaker closed, I will then move the actual plug-in to the FileMaker Extensions folder located here. You have now successfully installed the plug-in. Let’s go ahead and register. For demonstration purposes let’s begin FileMaker. We can open up the demo file that came with the plug-in and manually register. This plug-in splash screen will disappear once we have registered a licensed plug-in version. You do have the option to manually register the plug-in from the demo file provided, or your developer can hard code the registration process which will be discussed later in this video. Here I can see the plug-in Operating Mode and the plug-in Version installed. Currently I am running in “unregistered” mode. To manually register, simply enter your License ID here, or use the demo license provided and select the “Register the Plug-in” button. If running in demo mode, please be mindful of the demo limitations and timeouts.

2:26 Next let’s take a look at all External Outlook Manipulator for Mac functions that are made available in FileMaker by our plug-in. Since I have FileMaker Pro Advanced installed, I can utilize various additional development tools. Let’s open the Data Viewer, navigate to Watch, and select Add Expression. In the upper right hand corner of 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, we can see that all Outlook Manipulator for Mac functions are organized beneath the plug-in name, and all begin with “PCEM” as shown here. The naming conventions 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 that we provide.

3:42 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. This script can be created in less than 10 minutes, and is recommended in a multi-user environment in order to alleviate user frustration or error. The 3 functions used to create this script are:

  1. “PCEM_Version” which determines if the plug-in has been properly installed.
  2. “PCEM_GetOperatingMode” which determines the operating mode of the plug-in.
  3. “PCEM_Register” which registers the plug-in behind the scenes if needed.
4:22 Let’s look at these FileMaker script steps. First we’ll check to see if the plug-in is installed by calling the Version function. This function will return an empty result 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. It might even be a good idea to go back to the main setup layout and halt the script if the plug-in is not installed. Next let’s check 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, hard code the 4 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, alerting the user and halting the script. Once you have created the appropriate plug-in checker script you can now 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 provided by Productive Computing. This is just one example to get your creative juices flowing. Now we can begin to integrate the plug-in into your FileMaker solution.

5:57 Please ensure that you utilize all available tools such as additional training videos, documentation, and reverse-engineer our demo file.

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