We get lots of notes appended to emails about our free FileMaker plugin, that say things like :
We can’t live without our BE plugin
I am testing your plugin and I have to say it is a wonderful piece of software.
Which is always wonderful to hear ( those are real quotes from emails I’ve received, but I didn’t ask their permission, so they’re anonymous for now. )
And occasionally our plugin pops up in others public work, like it did this week in an article by the extremely talented Todd Geist. He’s writing about his GoSign product for capturing signatures on the iPad and how the plugin lets him put FileMaker layout data onto the clipboard ready for people to paste into their own solutions.
This is exactly the same technique we use in BaseElements for copying and pasting Scripts or Custom Functions out of BE into your own solutions, or in RefreshFM for putting the entire import script onto the clipboard for you to paste into the file. It’s a great way for developer tool providers to really simplify the installation of their product that no native FileMaker method provides.
And more importantly I think this really shows how a free and open source plugin option really helps the whole developer community. People like Todd, or anyone with a neat idea, can include a copy of the BE plugin with no cost to them or their users, and with no restrictions or requirements for licences that would just get in the way and cause support issues.
Where is the FileMaker API?
I think this really gets to the point that Todd made in the previous post about comparing FileMaker to WordPress, and the idea of FileMaker as a platform. This method of putting XML onto the clipboard works, but shouldn’t be the way this is done. The whole idea of an extensible FileMaker is something we’re very interested in, being developer tool producers, but I think it’s worthy of it’s own post and proposal, so look for that soon.