02. Setup [6:03]

Description: This video explains the following:

  1.  How to manually install (FileMaker 11 or earlier) and register the Address Book Manipulator 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.


0.0  Let’s take a look at the basic set up of the Address Book Manipulator plug-in. This video will address these three areas:

  1. How to manually install (FileMaker 11 or earlier) and register the plug in on a Mac machine.
  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.

0:22 Mac plug in installation and registration. In order to manually install the Address Book Manipulator plug-in on a Mac machine, you will first need to download the bundle from our site which will look something like this. Quit FileMaker, copy the actual plug- in, and past the plug in into the FileMaker extensions folder located here. You have now successfully installed the plug-in, so let’s go ahead and register. You have the option manually register the plug-in from the demo file provided or your developer can hard code the registration process in your solution which will be discussed later in this video.

1:19 For demonstration purposes let’s start FileMaker, open 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. Here I can see the plug-in operating mode and the plug-in version installed on this machine. 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 plug-in button. If running in demo mode, please be mindful of the demo limitations and timeouts.

2:04 Next let’s take a look at all external Address Book Manipulator plug-in functions that are made available in FileMaker for our plug-in. 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 open the data viewer, navigate to watch and select ad expression here. In 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 Address Book Manipulator functions are neatly organized beneath the plug-in name and all begin with PCAB as shown here. The naming convention of the plug-in functions is 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.

3:26 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 can be created in less than 10 minutes and in recommended in order to alleviate any user frustration or error. The three functions used to create this script are: PCAB_Version- which determines if the plug-in has been properly installed. PCAB_GetOperatingMode- which determines the operating mode of the plug-in. And PCAB_Register- which registers the plug-in behind the scenes if needed.

4:07 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. 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 the GetOperatingMode function does not equal LIVE, we will then call the register function, hard code the four parameters, including your license ID, and register the plug-in behind the scenes. If the registration result does not equal zero, we can then display a dialogue that the plug-in registration failed and halt the script alerting the user.

5:01 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 of the many examples to get your creative juices flowing. Now we can begin to integrate the plug-in to your FileMaker solution. Please make sure you utilize all available tools such as additional trainer 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 integrations steps, or even design a solution for you. Thank you for watching and Happy FileMaking!