ScriptMaster is a free, general-purpose, modular plugin. It includes modules for file manipulation (reading, writing, copying, deleting, zipping/unzipping, and moving files on the hard drive); downloading URLs and submitting forms online; XML Web Services; shell scripting; and many others including screen capture, encryption, SQL access and clipboard access. Modules for ScriptMaster are written in a programming language called Groovy, which is very similar to Java. Because they are so similar, we often use the terms Java and Groovy interchangeably in this documentation, although it is more technically accurate to refer to it as Groovy. You do not need to be a Java programmer to use ScriptMaster, but if you are, you can write your own modules or enhance the ones that come with it.
ScriptMaster modules work just like FileMaker custom functions: You pass in some inputs and get back an output. They appear in your FileMaker function list, just like custom functions.
In other ways, however, they improve on what you can do with custom functions. Custom functions only allow you to do things you can already do with features built into FileMaker, but ScriptMaster modules can access all of the power in the Java language and class libraries. It's also easier to share ScriptMaster modules across all of your FileMaker files than sharing custom functions, because custom functions must be duplicated into every FileMaker file, while ScriptMaster modules are available to every file running in FileMaker.
To get started with ScriptMaster, install the ScriptMaster plugin by copying it into your FileMaker extensions directory (complete installation instructions can be found below). Then open the ScriptMaster.fp7 file that comes with it. At the top, click on 'ScriptMaster Modules' which will show you a list of all of the modules that come with ScriptMaster listed in order by Category. To try one out, click on it in the list view. 'Screen Capture' under the 'Containers' Category is a good one to start with. This module will take a picture of some section of your screen and store it into a container field in FileMaker. You supply parameters for left, top, width, and height, which tells the module which section of your screen to capture. This is a good module to start with because the Java code is very short and easy to understand, and it also demonstrates how to work with data in container fields. Click the 'Run Script' button with the green arrow to run the module, which will run the module based on the values set for the input variables. After you run this, you should see a screen shot in the result area at the bottom of the screen (click on 'Enlarge' to see the full screen shot). Experiment with changing the inputs (left, top, width, and height) to see the result, and try out some of the other modules that come with ScriptMaster.
The 'Run Script' button is a very easy way to try out modules in the development file, but it's not how you would use it within your own FileMaker solution. For that, we'll talk about registering this module as a function, which makes the module appear in your list of available FileMaker functions. Because it compiles the code, it will also run much faster as a registered function than by using the 'Run Script' button. To register a module, simply click the 'Register Function' button at the bottom of any module's screen. This compiles the code for the module, adds it to the list of available FileMaker functions, and takes you to a screen showing that the module has been registered successfully. You can see your registered ScriptMaster functions anywhere you'd get a calculation dialog in FileMaker (such as a calculation field or a 'set variable' script step) by pulling down to the 'External functions' grouping. The registered function will appear under the 'ScriptMaster' section, and can be called just like any other built-in FileMaker function.
Now that you've registered the function, you're almost ready to start using it in your solution. The only problem is that functions only remain registered while FileMaker is running - if you were to quit FileMaker and start it back up, the module you just registered would no longer appear in the FileMaker functions list. We'll discuss three options for registering ScriptMaster modules every time you open your solution file.
The first option requires ScriptMaster Advanced Edition. This is available for purchase for $95 per developer per year from http://www.360works.com/scriptmaster, and is included in the 360Works Portfolio License Bundle. See the licensing section for more details. With the Advanced Edition, click the 'plugin generation' button from the registration screen or the top of any other screen. This will create a new plugin that you can name whatever you want and distribute to your customers along with your FileMaker solutions royalty-free. This plugin is completely self-contained, and does not require either the ScriptMaster plugin or the ScriptMaster.fp7 FileMaker file.
The second option is to simply check the 'register on startup' box from the registration screen (the layout that you are taken to after clicking the 'register' button). All modules with this option enabled are registered every time you open the ScriptMaster.fp7 file, so you can just include the ScriptMaster.fp7 file with your solution, open it in your startup script, and then immediately close it (it doesn't need to stay open after the functions have been registered). Here's an example of what you would put in your startup script:
Open File ["ScriptMaster"] Close File ["ScriptMaster"]
The third option is the most complex, but it does not require ScriptMaster Advanced Edition, and it does not require you to include the ScriptMaster.fp7 file with your solution. In the module registration screen, click the button that says 'Copy to clipboard', which puts all of the registration code onto your clipboard. Now go to the startup script in your FileMaker solution, add a 'set variable' script step (you can name the variable anything you like), and paste in the registration code as the formula to calculate. Now the function will be registered every time that your startup script runs. Here's what that script step would look like:
Set Variable [$result; Value:RegisterGroovy( "GetURLasText( url )"; "new URL(url).getText();" )]It is a good idea to check for errors after registering the function, in case there is any problem compiling the Java code. See the section below on error reporting, or watch the Youtube movie in this documentation to see an example of this complete setup. Here is an example that does the same thing as the previous one, but checks for errors and displays them to the user in case the function cannot be compiled:
If [RegisterGroovy( "GetURLasText( url )"; "new URL(url).getText();" ) = "ERROR"] Show Custom Dialog ["Could not register ScriptMaster function"; SMLastError] End If
The ScriptMaster plugin is completely free. You may distribute it with your own solution. It would be great if you mention 360Works or ScriptMaster in your documentation / about screen, but there is no requirement that you do this. This plugin may be deployed with the Web Publishing Engine, for scripts that will be called from Instant Web Publishing or Custom Web Publishing. It may also be deployed on FileMaker Server for use with scripts that are scheduled to run on the server. See the installation section below for more information on how to do this.
There is also a ScriptMaster Advanced Edition available. This is available for purchase for $95 per developer per year from http://www.360works.com/scriptmaster. If you own a 360Works Portfolio License, that includes ScriptMaster Advanced for one developer. Purchasing the advanced edition gives you all the same features as the free version, plus three new capabilities:
Plugins created with ScriptMaster Advanced cannot be distributed by themselves, for free or commercially. They can only be distributed with a FileMaker Solution that utilizes the plugin. The FileMaker Solution cannot be just a wrapper or demo of the plugin functionality, it must be a full-fledged solution in its own right that uses the plugin for additional functionality.
Plugins created with ScriptMaster Advanced can utilize the SQL and Clipboard features. Once generated, they will never expire. However, the ScriptMaster Advanced plugin itself will not be able to generate new plugins after one year until the license key is renewed for an annual cost of $95 per developer.
We've created a video showing how to use ScriptMaster. This is a quick (8:15 minute) jump-start showing you how to create a plugin with ScriptMaster Advanced and use it to screen scrape images from a web site.
ScriptMaster 4 has added a new feature to load ScriptMaster modules from a network URL. You can use the SMLoadJar function to register
all ScriptMaster modules found in the jar file. The jar file can also contain 3rd party classes referenced by the ScriptMaster modules in
that jar file. Todd Geist has published his set of commonly used ScriptMaster modules at this URL:
If you would like to publish your own favorite ScriptMaster modules for others to share, please read the SMLoadJar function description for instructions on this.
Your ScriptMaster functions can reference compiled Java libraries (stored in a the .jar format) by using the SMLoadJar function. Pass in a container field containing a .jar file, or a URL pointing to a .jar file, and any scripts you execute will have access to the classes in that .jar. This means you can access libraries like iText (a powerful PDF manipulation library) or qtjava (QuickTime for Java) from within FileMaker. You could also easily write your own java code, package it as a .jar, and distribute it with your FileMaker solution! And since the .jar is stored in FileMaker, deploying new versions of the java code to the FileMaker clients is as easy as updating a single container field.
Keep in mind that if you are copying and pasting the function registration into your startup script, and that module requires any jar libraries, you will need to add those jar files to container fields in your solution and use SMLoadJar to load them before registering the function. This is not an issue if using the 'register on startup' option with the ScriptMaster.fp7 development file, since that file includes all of the jar files needed for the modules that come with ScriptMaster.
After a ScriptMaster function executes, you can access any of the named variables which were set during execution using the SMGetVariable function. This can be very useful for returning multiple output values, similar to setting global variables in a FileMaker script.
If you get the word 'ERROR' as the result of a ScriptMaster function, be sure to read the section below on Error reporting for how to get more information on that.
Phone and e-mail support for ScriptMaster are available at our standard hourly rate of $165. There is also a free ScriptMaster discussion forum where you can get help from the growing community of ScriptMaster users.
If you create your own module that you think would be useful to others, post it on the fmforums discussion group! If it seems like it will have broad appeal, we'll include it with the next release of ScriptMaster (preference will be given to modules that do not require 3rd party libraries).
In addition to the many existing modules that come free with ScriptMaster, 360Works is available to create custom modules suited to your specific needs. Send us an email ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) or give us a call at 866-662-9185 and let us know what you're looking for, and we'll get you an estimate at no charge.
The other choice is to do it yourself! We want to start off by stressing that you can skip the rest of this section if you're not interested in learning Groovy or Java. ScriptMaster comes with tons of useful modules that you can use without having to learn a new programming language. However, if the built in modules have stirred your curiosity, you'll be able to take your FileMaker solutions to a whole new level with the power of Groovy and Java. Because Groovy is cross-platform, modules you create will run on both Windows and Mac OS X.
To create your own module, just create a new record from the menu. Give it a title and start coding! You can learn about Groovy at http://groovy.codehaus.org/Beginners+Tutorial (you can skip all of the steps about setting up your Java and Groovy environment; that's all taken care of by ScriptMaster).
Here are a few tips about using ScriptMaster with FileMaker:
In the 'Screen Capture' module, one thing you'll notice is that the Integer.valueOf() calls at the beginning. This is because all ScriptMaster functions are transmitted as text. The Integer.valueOf(someText) translates this into a numeric value. Java is much stricter about data types than FileMaker, so this can take some getting used to for FileMaker programmers.
In addition to setting variables prior to script execution, you can access the FileMaker calculation engine directly from within your Groovy
script. This is accomplished using the reserved
Every Groovy script which is executed will have an
fmpro variable set to an instance of an
which has these important methods:
fmcalculationparameter can be any valid FileMaker calculation string.
paramStringas a parameter. Note:
<<table::field>>. If an error occurs during evaluation, the field is left as is.
A script evaluated in ScriptMaster always returns the value of the last line, or the value which is implicitly returned by the script. This can be any type of Java object. ScriptMaster does its best to convert this to a FileMaker object.
The following conversions occur:
Readersare returned as Filemaker
TEXTfields, with newline characters (
\n) converted to carriage returns (
\r). If you are returning a very large block of text, you should return a Reader, which streams in chunks so that it will not run out of memory.
Numbers and numeric primitives are returned as FileMaker
Booleanvalues are returned as a 0 or 1
Fileobjects are converted to embedded containers
Collections are converted to return-separated lists
URLs are converted to embedded containers
Colors are converted to a string like
BufferedImageare converted to container images. If the image has transparency, it is converted to a
PNGimage. Otherwise it is converted to a
FMTypeobjects are returned as-is.
Stringand returned as Text.
When something unexpected happens, a plugin function returns a result of
"ERROR". This makes it easy to check for errors.
If a plugin function returns "ERROR", call the
SMLastError function to get a detailed description of what went wrong.
Here is an example of basic error reporting:
Set Variable [ $result = MyPluginFunction("x" ; "y" ; "z") ] If [ $result = "ERROR" ] Show Custom Dialog [ "An error occurred: " & SMLastError ] End If
Since the string
"ERROR" evaluates to false when evaluated by FileMaker, and most plugin functions return a
1 when successful, you can chain multiple dependent plugin operations together using the
However, in this case the result will be a
1 or a
"ERROR". For example:
// chain multiple calls together // if any of the functions fail, the calculation will // short-circuit with a result of
false, // and none of the subsequent function calls will be evaluated. Set Variable [ $success = FirstPluginFunction("x") and SecondPluginFunction("y") and ThirdPluginFunction("z") ] If [not $success] Show Custom Dialog [ "An error occurred: " & SMLastError ] End If
Note: the above only works for plugin functions which return
1 on success! Check the documentation for each function used in this manner.
If a plugin is not installed correctly, calls to a plugin function will return "?". As part of your startup script, you should check for this occurrence and display a warning accordingly that the plugin needs to be installed. Note: when treated as a boolean true/false value, FileMaker will treat
FileMaker version 7 or higher.
Java Virtual Machine (JVM) version 1.5 or later (32-bit). If you are running a JVM earlier than 1.5, you should upgrade.
Download a JVM from http://www.java.com/en/download/. If you are not sure what
version of Java you have installed, you can do
java -version on the command line in Windows or OS X.
Windows, or Mac OS X version 10.4 or higher.
Note to intel Mac users: running this plugin under Rosetta is not supported. Upgrade to FileMaker 8.5 to run our plugin in native Intel mode.
Drag the plugin from the MAC or WIN folder into your FileMaker extensions, and restart FileMaker.
If the plugin does not load correctly, double-check that you meet the system requirements.
You do not need to do this step unless you plan on using the plugin with Instant Web Publishing or Custom Web Publishing with FileMaker Server Advanced. You will need an Enterprise License to use this feature.
For installing into the Web Publishing Engine with FileMaker Server or FileMaker Server Advanced, drag the plugin from the MAC (.fmplugin file) or WIN (.fmx file) folder
FileMaker Server/Web Publishing/publishing-engine/wpc/Plugins folder. If there is no
Plugins folder inside the
wpc folder, then create it manually.
Restart FileMaker Web Publishing, and now the plugins should be ready to go.
Note that due to a bug which we and other plugin vendors have reported to FileMaker, web plugins do not work in FileMaker Web Publishing Engine 8.0v4 on Mac OS X. You will need to use a later version, like 9, or an earlier version, like 8.0v3. The Windows FileMaker Server 8.0v4 does not have this bug, and will work correctly.
The easiest way to test whether the plugin is working is to have a calculation which calls the version function of the plugin, and display that on an IWP layout. If it shows "?", then the plugin is not working. If it shows a number, then the plugin has been installed successfully.
You do not need to do this step unless you plan on using the plugin with scheduled script triggering, a new feature in FileMaker Server 9. You will need an Enterprise License to use this feature.
/Library/FileMaker Server/Database Server/Extensionsfolder. On Windows, this is at
C:\Program Files\FileMaker\FileMaker Server\Database Server\Extensions.
Configuration -> Database Server->Server Plug-insand check the box that says 'Enable FileMaker Server to use plug-ins', and then check the 'enabled' box for this plugin. Click the 'save' button and wait a few seconds to make sure that the 'enabled' check box stays checked. If it does not, then there was an error loading the plugin and you should contact us for help troubleshooting. You should now be able to write schedules that trigger scripts which use the plugin.
360Works has created an AutoUpdate helper database which makes setting up Auto Update much easier. This file includes pre-configured plugin files which you can place on your server, and an auto-update script for each of our plugins which you can paste into your own solution.
You can get the AutoUpdate360Works file at fmp7://autoupdate.360works.com/AutoUpdate360Works. Follow the instructions included in the file to either host your own Auto Update server or pull the files from ours.
Plugins will run in demo mode until they are registered. While running in Demo mode, the product will run for 2 hours every time you launch FileMaker / FileMaker Server / FileMaker Web Publishing Engine. The 2 hour time limit will reset every time you relaunch FileMaker. There is no expiration date when Demo mode stops working. There are no feature differences between the Demo version and the licensed version.
Once you have purchased the plugin, you can register it with the license key. Once a valid license key is entered, the product will run for as long as FileMaker is running. After FileMaker starts up with the plugin installed, open FileMaker preferences, click on the Plug-ins tab, select the plugin from the list, and click the Configure button. Enter your license key and company name in this dialog. You will only need to do this once on a given machine. Alternately, you can use the registration function to register the plugin during a startup script.
Note that if you are running the plugin with FileMaker Server / FileMaker Web Publishing Engine, you must use the registration function to register the plugin, since there is no preferences dialog on FileMaker Server to enter the license key and company name.
We love to hear your suggestions for improving our products! If you are experiencing problems with this plugin, or have a feature request, or are happy with it, we'd appreciate hearing about it. Send us a message on our website, or email us!
Call SMLastError to get a detailed description of the compilation error.
Call SMLastStackTrace to get a detailed description of any exception which occurs during script execution.
groovyScript- a block of groovy/java code
You must pass in a signature for the function being registered. This is the full signature of the function, including any parameters. For example:
Set Variable[$result = RegisterGroovy ( "logMessage ( text )" ; "System.out.println(text)" )Note that the name of the function must not conflict with any pre-existing FileMaker functions.
The ScriptMaster.fp7 file included in the ScriptMaster download will take care of registering your ScriptMaster scripts as dynamic plugin functions at startup.
Calling RegisterGroovy twice with the same function name will overwrite the previously registered function. The function is uniquely identified by its name (case sensitive). You can change the arguments of a function without changing its unique id.
You can pass in additional parameters to this function in a key=value format. Currently, the only supported additional parameter is 'isGui'. By default, all ScriptMaster functions are treated as GUI functions, which means that they may potentially access the drawing functions of the operating system. However, there is significant overhead in running a GUI function. If you are positive that a ScriptMaster module does not access the GUI, you can pass in a parameter of 'isGui=false' to run it as a non-GUI function. Be aware that this can cause FileMaker to hang if you do access GUI functions from the ScriptMaster module, so do not set this parameter unless you are confident that it is correct.
signature- the full signature of the plugin function, as it appears in the FileMaker list of functions.
script- the actual script.
pluginName- The name of the new plugin. For example, 'My Plugin'
quadChar- 4 alphanumeric characters that uniquely identify your plugin. Use your best guess to come up with a quadChar that is unlikely to be the same as something else, ie. 'mHz7'. Users will never see this quadChar.
pluginPrefix- A piece of text that will appear before before standard functions. For example, if your plugin prefix is 'ABC', then you will have plugin functions 'ABCVersion', 'ABCLastError', and 'ABCRegister' instead of 'SMVersion', 'SMLastError', and 'SMRegister'.
helpText- The text that should appear in the plugin preferences dialog when somebody selects your plugin, for example 'This plugin has many useful networking functions'
versionString- This should be a decimal value that appears after the help text in the plugin preferences, for example '1.02'
folderToWriteTo- The folder where the plugins should be written to. A MAC and/or WIN subfolder will be created, depending on the crossPlatform setting.
crossPlatform- Pass in a 0 to only create a plugin for the current platform (ie. a Windows plugin if you are running on Windows, and a Mac plugin if you are running on Mac OS X). If you pass in a 1, you will be prompted for the location of the plugin for the other platform, and then both a Mac and Windows plugin will be created.
variableName- the name of the variable whose value is being gotten.
A jar file can also contain ScriptMaster modules, which will be registered when this function is used. Since jar files can be loaded from the network (see below), this allows you to use ScriptMaster functions in your solution without needing to explicitly register any functions at all in your solution.
Here is a list of the publicly available ScriptMaster modules (currently only one, more will be added):
To create a jar file that can be loaded with this function, use the SMCreatePlugin feature to create a Mac plugin with the functions that you want. Then upload the plugin file to http://www.360works.com/upload/. We will create a signed jar file and send it back to you, usually within 24 hours. Once you receive that jar file, you can then register the functions in that jar file using this SMLoadJar function.
To add your own ScriptMaster functions to the list of publicly available modules, please contact 360Works.
There are three methods of loading the driver .jar file: from a URL, from a container field, or from a file on the hard drive.
externalJarparameter. The URL should be of the form
You can embed any java .jar file into a container field in your FileMaker solution, and load the .jar from there.
You can pass in an OS-specific path, like C:\Documents and Settings\Joe\My.jar or /Users/Joe/My.jar to load the jar from your hard drive.
licenseKey- The license key returned by the SMCreatePlugin function
registeredTo- The name of your company, as you entered onto the web form when you ordered ScriptMaster Advanced.
Note that the value will always be converted to a String. If you need to use this as some other object type (date, etc) you are responsible for converting it within your script.
All variables are cleared after every call to an Evaluate function. Setting a variable also clears the named variables from the previous script execution. If a script dealing with memory-intensive objects has been completed, it's a good idea to set a dummy variable to free up this memory.
variableName- the name of the variable being set
value- the value of the variable being set