Our free FileMaker plugin has had another not so minor update to add more useful functionality. Normally of the additional functionality we add is directly from our own requirements for either BaseElements or RefreshFM or potential future features of those. This update is not so minor but includes extra functionality requested by others. I’ll explain more in a sec, but first onto the new features :
This allows you to submit data to websites using the POST method instead of a GET. Basically GET is when you send a plain url, and all of the info that you’re submitting to the url is actually in the url itself. POST allows you to submit extra data and so you can send to many other urls and get data back. POST is especially useful in that there is no way to submit a POST from within FileMaker. You can do a GET from a webviewer, or within the url of an import step, but no POST. So this will be handy.
Which brings us to the other function :
Base64 encode and decode
If you’re not familiar with POST, you probably won’t know or care about Base64. Basically it’s a method to convert a binary file into text ( encode ) and then to retrieve the file back again from the text. It’s really handy when you want to send a file to a website via POST.
This one I hadn’t seen before, but I think is really handy. It’s a way of using the built in OS level commands to set and get preferences that are stored in the user’s preference folder. It means you can store things on disk related specifically to this user only without a user table, and without worrying about which user is currently logged in. I’m using this in BaseElements already to set some values like the last registration code and which choices they had made for smart find etc.
Zip and Unzip
These are basic functionality options, but still quite handy. You can’t create a zip file and then add things individually to it, you only get to pick a folder or file and zip it, but when you combine this with the existing functionality of moving or copying files and creating folders, there is plenty there to work with.
But wait there’s more
There’s always some other little bits. We’ve added HTTPS to some of the url functions ( not POST … yet ), added a new “Open File” function, added an optional starting folder for the Select File or Select folder, added encoding for other text file formats, and some more error functionality. So lots more for everyone.
What excites me most about this release is not all of the new features, it’s that we are starting to see more widespread use of the plugin as others find out about it. And as often happens with these, that leads to more requests for features.
BaseElements plug-in is free, open source, and is a terrific option when looking to extend FileMaker
is quickly becoming the Swiss Army knife of FileMaker plug-ins
Their post outlines how the new HTTP POST functionality now allows you to access a whole range of web services from within FileMaker. There’s so many opportunities there for data integration with other services, so this a very useful addition to the feature set.
As always, there is a change list with all the major updates listed, a full listing showing how to use each function, downloads for Mac or Windows and a github hosted issues page if you’ve got support type questions.
We’ve got new updates for RefreshFM coming ASAP, and some longer term ones for BaseElements. Hopefully in between those two I may even have something new and exciting, so looking forward to that too.