02. Setup [5:42]

Description: This video explains the following:

  1.  How to manually install (FileMaker 11 or earlier) and register the Entourage 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.


Let’s take a look at the basic setup of the Entourage 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; How to create a plug-in checker script and hardcode the registration process.

0:25 Mac Plug-in Installation & Registration: In order to manually install Entourage Manipulator Plug-in on a Mac machine, you will first need to download the bundle from our website, which will look like this. Next quit FileMaker completely and copy the actual plug-in and paste the plug-in into the FileMaker Extensions folder located here. You have now successfully installed the plug-in, let’s go ahead and register next. You have the option to 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. For demonstration purposes, let’s begin FileMaker, open the demo file that came with the plug-in and manually register. The 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 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.

1:53 Next let’s take a look at all External Entourage Manipulator Plug-in functions that are made available in FileMaker. Since i have FileMaker Pro Advanced installed, I can utilize various additional development tools. I 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. 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 Entourage Manipulator Plug-in functions are neatly 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 in FileMaker. For a detailed description of each plug-in function please refer to the documentation provided by Productive Computing.

3:10 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 order to alleviate any user frustration or error. The three functions used to create this script are: PCEM_Version which determines if the plug-in has been properly installed; PCEM_GetOperatingMode which determines the operating mode of the plug-in; and PCEM_Register which registers the plug-in behind the scenes if needed. Let’s look at these simple FileMaker script steps. 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 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, then we will 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, then we can display a dialogue that the plug-in registration failed alerting the user. 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 function are explained in further details in the plug-in documentation. This is just one example to get your creative juices flowing.

5:10 Now we can begin to integrate the plug-in into your FileMaker solution. Please make sure you utilize all available tools 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 scripts or even design a solution for you. Thank you for watching and Happy FileMaking.