FileMaker Conference in Montreal, Canada

Thursday 30 April 2015 at 9:06 pm
In a few weeks FileMaker developer from Québec in Kanada meet for a conference in Montréal:


The 5th edition of theConférence québécoise des développeurs FileMaker (CQDF) will take place on 25, 26 and 27 May 2015 Hotel Le St-Sulpice, located in Old Montreal. MBS will be present with a short presentation and available all days for questions and personal demonstration of the plugin features you like to learn more about.

Tip of day: Save Xojo report to PDF

Thursday 30 April 2015 at 5:25 pm
Yesterday one of the attendees of the conference asked if we could update his Mac app to write a Xojo report to PDF directly. OS X can print to PDF, so we use our MBS Plugin classes to redirect printing to a PDF file with code like this:
Dim ds As New GasDataSet Dim ps As New PrinterSetup Dim rpt As New GasPricesReport 'this is a report editor project item 'set the resolution to 300 DPI for printing ps.MaxHorizontalResolution = 300 ps.MaxVerticalResolution = 300 // change PrinterSetup to point to print to PDF file dim s as new NSPrintInfoMBS s.SetupString = ps.SetupString s.SetSaveDestination SpecialFolder.Desktop.Child("test.pdf") ps.SetupString = s.SetupString // now print report Dim g As Graphics = OpenPrinter(ps) If g <> Nil Then If rpt.Run( ds, ps ) Then 'if the report runs successfully rpt.Document.Print(g) End If End If
As you see we use the NSPrintInfoMBS class to manipulate PrinterSetup's setupString to target the PDF file. The code above is from the modified Gas Reports example coming with Xojo.

Quickly copy lots of records

Thursday 30 April 2015 at 12:30 am
We got a new idea on how to copy a lot of records from one FileMaker table to another. And those tables can be in different fields. We can preserve the data type, so everything is not converted to text while copying. And we can do modifications like have source and dest use different field names. Finally you can include calculations and join data from several tables.

How we do it?

We combine a SQL select query with insert commands. So we can make a query and use result to create new records.
For that we got two new functions for next plugin version: FM.InsertRecord and FM.InsertRecordQuery.

Now you can call it like this:
MBS( "FM.InsertRecordQuery"; ""; "ExportContacts"; "First¶Last¶Company"; ""; "SELECT \"First\", \"Last\", \"Company\" FROM Contacts" )

This will query the fields First, Last and Company from a table called Company in current file. Than it will insert those as new records into the table ExportContacts.

Another example here:
MBS( "FM.InsertRecordQuery"; ""; "SalesReport"; "SumSales¶CustomerID"; ""; "SELECT sum(\"InvoiceTotal\"), \"CustomerID\" FROM Contacts, Invoices GROUP by CustomerID" )

This does create records in table SalesReport. For the query we use SQL features like grouping by CustomerID and summing up the InvoiceTotal fields. This way we can easily collect data for a sales report into a new table. This table can than feed a chart or be exported.

What do you think? Is this useful? Will be included in 5.1pr7 soon. Or just email for a copy if you like to try.

Notes from the Xojo Keynote

Wednesday 29 April 2015 at 4:33 pm

You probably read more soon from Xojo's blog, Marc Zeedar's magazine or Bob Keeney's blog, but here are some notes from me:

For Xojo Cloud gets an updated price list and will double RAM and bandwidth numbers and get more virtual CPUs.

New in Web Apps: Drag and Drop. Asynchronous API without drag events. Just specify allowed data types and drag types (copy, link, move) and wait for drop events. You can specify a style for the control for drag being over.

On 64-bit support, Geoff showed a Feedback app in 64-bit running both on OS X and Windows built with LLVM.

The IDE get improvements soon with less tabs, less mouse usage and more keyboard use and less palettes/panes and better project navigation.

Xojo will add support for Linux ARM for targeting raspberry pi platform and similar.

There will be a new plugin format, written in Xojo including C libraries, images and sounds. And new plugins are per project. Source code is not included, just LLVM compiled code. That is the new plugin format for the future, but the old SDK will also be updated for 64-bit, too.

For iOS a few new changes are on the way to go including container controls, custom alert dialogs and custom table cells.

Retina support should finally come in Q4 and they also work on Windows high dpi support.

FileMaker meeting in Dallas

Tuesday 28 April 2015 at 4:01 pm
Yesterday we met with a couple of FileMaker developers from Dallas and enjoyed some excellent Mexican food:



Talking about FileMaker's future, problems and chances, new plugin ideas and use cases, about differences between Germany and USA and a lot of more.
It was a great time and well worth a 3 hour drive.

FileMaker Developer meeting in Dallas

Monday 27 April 2015 at 03:52 am
Are you a FileMaker from Dallas, Texas area?

We meet with a group of FileMaker developers on Monday night, April 27th, and we're having a casual dinner get together. The meeting is at 6:30pm at Chiladas at 4448 Lovers Lane, Dallas, TX 75225 where Taylor Sharpe reserved a table for us.


If you like to come, please be sure to contact us so we know how many seats we need.

PS: Friday (1st May) is the regular meeting at 11am with FMNUG which you also can attend.

MBS Releases the MBS Xojo AudioPlayer Kit in version 1.0

Sunday 26 April 2015 at 4:41 pm
Nickenich, Germany (April 26th, 2015) -- Monkeybread Software releases version 1.0 of the MBS Xojo AudioPlayer Kit.

The MBS Xojo AudioPlayer Kit provides you with a few useful classes for audio playback for your Xojo iOS application.
  • Wrapper for iOS AudioPlayer class in AVFoundation
    • Play sounds loaded from memory and file
    • Events like DidFinishPlaying
    • Audio Channel assignment
    • average and peak power per channel
    • volume, pan and rate controls
    • play, pause and stop methods
    • query/set current position
  • Midi Player class to use Appleā€™s midi synthesizer
    • Open digital synthesizer for midi note playback
    • query instruments and set instrument per channel
    • send midi notes
    • Start and Stop method
    • Volume, Tuning, Reverbvolume properties
    • query CPU load

Wrapper Features
  • For Xojo 2015r1
  • Using exception handling to track error
  • Test code included
  • All classes with MB postfix to avoid name conflicts.
  • All module definitions are protected to avoid conflicts
  • Inline documentation
  • Full Source code, no encryption
  • Works for 32bit and 64bit targets.
Our AudioPlayer Kit requires Xojo 2015r1 or newer.

The AudioPlayer Kit is available for $49 USD or 39 Euro (+VAT if needed).

You can learn more and try the sample application on our website.
Please do not hesitate to send us comments, questions or feedback.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 15.1pr6

Thursday 23 April 2015 at 8:39 pm
New in this prerelease of the 15.1 plugins:
  • Fixed bug with FTPParseMBS class not giving right name.
  • Upgraded Xcode to version 6.3.1
  • Added TesseractMBS.SetResolution.
  • Fixed MacHIDMBS to run also when a modal dialog is visible.
  • Fixed a bug where Calls plugin part would be included always for some projects.
  • Fixed crash with InitJPEG function introduced in pr5.
  • Added QCCompositionRepositoryMBS.loadPlugIn function.
Download: macsw.de/plugin. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 5.1pr6

Thursday 23 April 2015 at 3:55 pm
New in this prerelease of the 5.1 plugins:
  • Added Clipboard.GetFiles and Clipboard.SetFiles functions.
  • Upgraded Xcode to version 6.3.1
  • Fixed Twain.SetDuplexEnabled so you can now disable duplex.
  • Added OCR.SetResolution function.
  • Added parameter to Text.DecodeFromHTML to decode html entities, but leave xml entities there.
  • Added function FM.NULL to get null values to pass to SQL.SetParamValue(s).
  • Added parameter to XML.Query to ignore errors in parsing.
  • Added SQL.GetFieldValue, SQL.GetParamValue, SQL.SetParamValue and SQL.SetParamValues.
  • Added FM.SQL functions to get SQL results in native data types.
  • Added SerialPort.SetDataAvailableHandler and SerialPort.ClearDataAvailableHandler functions.
  • The Audit.Change function now returns an error message if the given table name is invalid.
Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

REALbasic and Real Studio still supported

Monday 20 April 2015 at 5:03 pm
While Xojo Inc. just delivered their release 2015r2 version, we still support REALbasic and Real Studio.

The reasons why people don't use the lastest version are very different. Some don't like the new IDE, some have older OS versions or older hardware to support and some don't want to spend money on a new license as long as their existing version works fine. For all of them, we have plugins at hand.

So even our latest addition to the plugin, the markdown classes, are available for REALbasic 2006r4 and even PowerPC. Enjoy it!

Execute SQL in FileMaker and get back native field types

Saturday 18 April 2015 at 1:15 pm
Yesterday I met some FileMaker developers in Munich and in our discussion at one point there was a talk about the fact that executing SQL in FileMaker gives you only text. No way to get back the field value in it's original type. Containers are returned as file name, dates/times converted to text as well as numbers.

So today I wrote a few new plugin functions:

FM.SQL.Execute takes a SQL query and optional a file name and parameters. The query is executed and the function returns an error message or on success a reference number. This reference number can be used to query data from the result. FM.SQL.RowCount tells you the number of rows while FM.SQL.FieldCount tells you the number of fields in each row. FM.SQL.Field returns a field value and FM.SQL.FieldType the type of that field. Finally you use FM.SQL.Release to release the result from memory.

The great thing is that you can now use the plugin to run queries and get containers, dates, times and numbers back from the result without conversion to text. With next prerelease plugins we'll include an example database which shows this.

FileMaker and Xojo Meetings for Munich and Nuremberg

Thursday 16 April 2015 at 2:11 pm
We arrived in Munich and enjoy the city. Tonight is our Xojo meeting followed by the FileMaker meeting tomorrow.
Someone wants to join? We already have a couple of people on the list, but one or two can be added spontaneously.

16th April, Xojo meeting in Munich
17th April, FileMaker meeting in Munich
20th April, Xojo meeting in Nuremberg
21st April, FileMaker meeting in Nuremberg

If you like to join us for dinner, please add yourself. We'll reserve a table in a nearby restaurant, meet and chat about development. Entry is free, but you have to pay for your dinner and drinks.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 5.1pr5

Tuesday 14 April 2015 at 11:56 pm
New in this prerelease of the 5.1 plugins:
  • Fixed a problem with Audit function not writing data in FileMaker 12.
  • Optimized some functions for future FileMaker version.
  • Functions like IsServer now also work if demo mode expired.
  • Improved some of the Windows Webviewer functions to handle memory usage better.
  • Added Windows support for WebView.LoadHTML.
  • Fixed a bug with WebView.GetFormTextAreaValue on Windows which did crash sometimes.
  • Added MarkDown functions.
  • Fixed WebView.SetFormSelectValue to work also if there is no form name given.
  • The Webviewer Form and Field functions now find fields and forms by ID on Mac and not just by name.
  • Fixed bug in Text.EncodeToHTML.
  • Upgraded Xcode to version 6.3
  • Future plugin versions may decide to query server for update information while in development.
  • Added EnvironmentVariables functions.
Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 15.1pr5

Tuesday 14 April 2015 at 9:27 pm
New in this prerelease of the 15.1 plugins:
  • Improved some of the Windows Internet Explorer HTMLViewer functions to handle memory usage better.
  • Added HTMLViewer.IELoadHTMLMBS function to load html into HTMLViewer on Windows without temp file.
  • Added FieldID caching for Audit logging to speed up some queries for Field IDs.
  • Fixed memory leak if you use JPEGImporterMBS.InitJPEG twice without FinishJPEG in-between.
  • Added checks to SUUpdaterMBS to raise exceptions if you use class without loading framework.
  • Added markdown classes.
  • Added CIImageMBS.RenderPictureWithAlphaMT function.
  • Upgraded Xcode to version 6.3
  • Added properties and constants to NSEventMBS for force touch.
  • Future plugin versions may decide to query server for update information when used in the IDE.
Download: macsw.de/plugin. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Bug of the day: onbeforeunload crash

Monday 13 April 2015 at 11:17 pm
Today I spend a couple of hours tracking down a bug with FileMaker and webviewer.

So if you load a webpage in a webviewer and this website installs window.onbeforeunload event and you close the FileMaker window or switch to layout mode, FileMaker crashes.
Normally the onbeforeunload event is used to warn user that closing window will loose form data. This is normally very useful, but FileMaker doesn't wait for the dialog to complete. Instead it crashes.
To solve this problem I found after a few hours that you only need to clear the onbeforeunload event like this:

MBS( "WebView.RunJavaScript" ; "HTMLEditor"; "window.onbeforeunload = null;")

So the solution for client we simply call this whenever we do something with webview and especially before we switch layout.

German FileMaker Conference in Hamburg

Sunday 12 April 2015 at 8:09 pm
The German Filemaker conference is scheduled for Hamburg from 8th to 10th October 2015.


Registration is opened and 180 guests are expected to come. Last year sold out, so be quick.

MBS Xojo / Real Studio Plugins, version 15.1pr4

Wednesday 08 April 2015 at 5:58 pm
New in this prerelease of the 15.1 plugins:
  • Added functions for WebUIDelegateMBS class to support multiple selection in file dialog.
  • Added CaseSensitive parameter for Map and Set classes.
  • Added new Map, Set, HashMap and HashSet classes supporting text data type.
  • Fixed memory with substring functions in RegExMBS class.
  • Improved error message handling for Firebird database connector part in SQL Plugin.
  • Added more methods for NSTextAttachmentMBS class.
  • Fixed bug in NSTextAttachmentMBS.attributedStringWithAttachment.
  • Fixed NotifcationObserverMBS.
  • Setting Modality property in NavigationDialogOptionsMBS to app modal by default now.
  • Added Destination MemoryBlock parameter for ReadRGB and ReadRGBMemoryStep in TiffPictureMBS class.
  • Added CGDisplayMBS.RefreshRate function.
  • Added enabled, color and image properties to NSTabViewItemMBS.
  • Improved NSTabViewItemMBS to have debugger visible properties.
  • Added option MySQLRetryAutomaticallyOnDeadLock for SQLCommandMBS. If true, the plugin will retry query 3 times in case MySQL reports a deadlock.
  • Added WindowBitmapMBS module with HBITMAP and HDIB related functions.
  • Added HBitmapToPictureMBS and PictureToHBitmapMBS functions.
  • Added CreateHBITMAP functions for GM16ImageMBS, GMImageMBS, IMImageQ8MBS, IMImageQ16MBS and IMImageQ32MBS.
Download: macsw.de/plugin. Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

MBS FileMaker Plugin, version 5.1pr4

Wednesday 08 April 2015 at 11:52 am
New in this prerelease of the 5.1 plugins:
  • Added SQL.GetFieldNameList, SQL.GetFieldValueList, SQL.GetParamNameList and SQL.GetParamValueList functions.
  • Added Plugin.SetSuccessReturn function.
  • Added Folders.UserTrash function.
  • Added WebView.InstallMultiFileOpenDialog function to allow multiple selection file dialogs in a webviewer.
  • Changed PDFKit preview rendering of PDF pages to take care of rotation.
  • Added FM.DisableMouseWheel for Windows to block mouse wheel usage.
  • Improved error message handling for Firebird database connector part in SQL functions.
  • Changed RegEx.FindMatches to switch ReturnWholeMatch parameter to true if you don't have captures in your search pattern.
  • Added Plugin.SetSuccessReturn and Plugin.GetSuccessReturn to modify what plugin returns for success.
  • Added SQL error code into error messages for SQL.Execute and other functions.
  • Fixed problem in Files.GetPathFromNodeID function.
  • Added text encoding parameter for Barcode functions. Default stays at UTF-8.
Download at monkeybreadsoftware.de/filemaker/files/Prerelease/ or ask for being added to the dropbox shared folder.

Multiple file selection for WebViewer/HTMLViewer

Tuesday 07 April 2015 at 7:46 pm
With HTML 5 the HTML Input File tag can have a multiple attribute and allow multiple files to be selected. But you only get that in an application if the application supports it. FileMaker and Xojo don't not really support it, but we can add it with our plugin:


For MBS FileMaker Plugin you can use the WebView.InstallMultiFileOpenDialog function. The next time you click such a file button, the dialog allows multiple selection if website supports it also.

With MBS Xojo Plugin, you can use WebUIDelegateMBS class. We'll add there new methods and parameters for multiple files support.
All coming soon with new plugin prerelease.

Bug of the day: Not enough arguments

Friday 03 April 2015 at 6:19 pm
A normal day in work. I already filled a few new bug cases for both Xojo and FileMaker.
And some things drive you crazy. Like this one:



What do I now? Double clicking it brings me to the window editor. This happened in a huge project with dozens of windows and this window with that error reported has something like 50 controls on it and tons of methods and properties. To show the size of the project, well printed source code would fill over 3500 pages here. No idea what modifications causes this and how to find it, but we can check svn for recent changes. What do you do if project is not in a version tracker? Get a copy from last backup?

Well, first I'd like to point out that a compiler has to report errors as detailed as possible. I personally hate an error where compiler doesn't tell me where something happened. Web projects love to tell me that there was an exception, but can't tell me where, because it's somewhere in the framework and a secret. Over time some developers including me made feedback cases for more helpful errors and exceptions with messages giving details. For example OutOfBoundsException (Case 12703), Illegalcastexception (Case 31571, implemented), TypeMismatchException (Case 38829) and NilObjectException (Case 18190).

Now the problem above. It's a method calling a method in parent class via super and it's missing parameters. A small problem and normally those missing parameters are reported correctly. Just with super there are problems. I hope it's fixed soon.

PS: Feedback case 38824.

Tip of the day: MySQL Error 1213

Wednesday 01 April 2015 at 5:52 pm
With MySQL it can happen that you get an error 1213 with message "Deadlock found when trying to get lock; try restarting transaction". Our MBS Xojo SQL Plugin will report that as exception or through error properties. Now we had the idea that we do the restart of the operation for you. So if you set with next plugins (15.1pr4) the option MySQLRetryAutomaticallyOnDeadLock to true for either Command or Connection, the plugin will try three times. If it gets error 1213, it will automatically try again after waiting 10 milliseconds.

The reason we put it in the plugin right in the execute method is to make sure all attempts can happen in background on the same thread. Using ExecuteMT we do the operation on a preemptive helper thread and if we need two or three attempts the other threads of your application are not influenced and do their work as usual.

Update: This is for a small application which does not use transactions. If you use transactions, this switch may result in problems as it does only repeat last SQL command. If you use transactions, please code it yourself and do proper rollback and start again with a new transaction.

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