02. Setup [5:21]

Description: This video explains the following:

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

Transcript:

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

0:21 First let’s demonstrate how you install and register the plug-in on a Mac machine. Download the bundle from our site, which will look like this. Close FileMaker, 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. So let’s go ahead and register. Let’s first begin 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 my machine is running in unregistered mode. Simply enter your license ID here or use the demo license ID and select the register button. Remember your developer can also hard code the registration process and your solution which will be discussed later in this video.

1:40 Next let’s take a look at the External iCal Manipulator 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 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 iCal Manipulator plug-in functions are neatly organized beneath the plug-in name and all begin with PCiM 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. For a detailed description of each plug-in function, please refer to the plug-in documentation provided by Productive Computing, Inc.

2:59 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 of the plug-in functions. This script can be created in less then 10 minutes and is highly recommended in a multi user environment in order to alleviate frustration or error. The 3 functions used to create this script are: PCIM_Version-which determines if the plug-in has been properly installed; PCIM_GetOperatingMode-which determines if the plug-in has been registered; and PCIM_Resgister-which registers the plug-in behind the scenes if needed.

3:38 Let’s look at these FileMaker script steps. First check to see if the plug-in is installed by calling this version function. This function will return empty results or 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 set up 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 get operating mode function does not equal LIVE, then we will call the register function, hardcode 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.

4:27 Once you have created the appropriate plug-in checker script you can now simply add this script step and the beginning of any scripts using the plug-in functions. There is 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 example to get your creative juices flowing. 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 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.