02. Setup [6:52]

Description: This video explains the following:

  1.  How to manually install (FileMaker 11 or earlier) and register the eSign Signatue Capture plug-in on a Windows machine.
  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 have a look at the basic setup of the eSign Signature Capture plug-in. This video will address these 3 areas:

-How to manually install (FileMaker 11 or earlier) and register the plug-in on a Windows machine

-Where to find all available external plug-in functions

-How to create a plug-in checker script and hardcode the registration process

0:23 Windows Plug-in Installation & Registration: In order to manually install the eSign plug-in on a windows machine, you will first need to download the plug-in bundle from our site which looks 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 right clicking on the zip file and Extract All or by double clicking on the zip file and select Extract All Files. This is an important and necessary step on a Windows machine. Will FileMaker closed I will 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. Please note the plug-in you use is dependent on your hardware device. If using a non-LCD device you will use this plug-in here, if using a LCD device you will install this plug-in instead. If you are using a Tablet PC, you’ll install this plug-in right here into your FileMaker extensions folder. For demonstration purposes let’s begin FileMaker, open the demo file that came with the plug-in and manually register. This plug-in splash screen will disappear once we’ve registered a licensed plug-in version. 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 the plug-in simple 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. 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. Next, please run the CD that came with your signature capture device and connect your device. If you are using a Tablet PC, then please run the Tablet PC software now.

2:58 Next let’s take a look at all external eSign plug-in 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. 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 eSign plug-in functions are neatly organized beneath the plug-in name and all begin with PCES_ 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 plug-in documentation provided by Productive Computing, Inc.

4:15 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 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 the script are: PCES_Version which determines if the plug-in has been properly installed; PCES_GetOperatingMode which determines the operating mode of the plug-in; and PCES_Register which registers the plug-in behind the scenes if needed. Let’s look at these FileMaker script steps. 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 even be a good idea to go back to the main setup layout and halt the script. Let’s then 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 parameter values 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 has failed, alert the user 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 documentation. This is just one example to get your creative juices flowing.

6:18 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 steps or even design a solution for you. Thank you for watching and Happy FileMaking!

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