MBS FileMaker Plugins - FAQ


Do I need a license to develop or try your plugin?

No. You can try and develop your solution. Simply click away the nag screens. Once you have a license those dialogs will no longer show.

Sign up for a trial license here.

Do I need to order updates?

You can download newer plugins for one year after purchase of a license. If you need further updates, you need to extend your license with buying an update. Old plugins will of course continue to work except FileMaker, Apple or Microsoft changes something which breaks our plugins. (like a new FileMaker version with a new Plugin API).

A change in CPU technology like 32 to 64 bit or Intel to Apple Silicon may also force you to pay for a new plugin license.

When the renewal is due, we will remind you with an email including a link to pay for the updates.

Do I need a Mac, Linux and Windows license of the plugin?

No, our licenses are cross platform. THe license price includes both MacOS, Linux and Windows. And sorry, we don't reduce price for the case you use only one platform.

DynaPDF licenses are sold per developer and are cross-platform. LibXL licenses are sold per developer and per platform except the LibXL Enterprise license.

Calculations return ? only. How to analyze and fix?

If you get a ? back, the most likely reason is that the plugin is not loaded or activated in FileMaker's preferences dialog or for server in admin-console. Of the plugin version is too old and doesn't work with the FileMaker version.

The best is to enable tracing. See Trace function. You call MBS( "Trace" ) once and all the plugin calls are logged to the debug console. Or you pass a path and a text file is created for logging. Those log entries tell you exactly what functions you call, what parameters you pass and what result you get. This way you may see that there is an error happing.

Starting with version 4.2 the plugin will no longer return ? and provide only textual errorm essages with [MBS] tag in front. To know if a function returned an error, you can sue the MBS("Error") function.

Will plugins work with FileMaker X?

In general plugins work with new versions. We usually start updating the plugin for whatever change Claris makes while FileMaker is in beta testing.

What are the release versions? 9th July 2024 May 2024 March 2024 January 2024*7th November 2023 September 2023 July 2023 May 2023 March 2023 January 2023 November 2022 September 2022 July 2022 May 2022 March 2022 January 2022 November 2021 September 2021 July 2021 May 2021 March 2021 January 2021

* the Windows version may show

Can we hire you for custom plugin functions?

Yes. If you want a function to be added quickly, you can simply pay for it and it's added for the next release. And we offer custom plugin development of your own plugin.

Where do I find/learn alpha/beta releases for new plugins?

You can download prerelease plugins here. To get notified about new details, please check mailing list or blog.

Can I disable the MBS plugins in FileMaker's preferences?

This issue should be fixed for version 2.9 of our plugin. Still FileMaker may crash if you have installed two versions of the MBS FileMaker Plugin in different locations.

Sorry, no. At least not on MacOS. Our plugin registers Cocoa classes with the Cocoa framework and once FileMaker unloads the plugin from memory, those registered classes point to nowhere. Accessing them for any reason leads to a crash. In that case, simply move the plugin out of the extensions folder and restart FileMaker.

Is the plugin universal for macOS?

Yes, we provide one plugin file for both MacOS on Intel and Apple Silicon.

What license do I need for creating runtimes?

You need a runtime license. Our per seat licenses will not work for runtimes.

What license do I need for using a FileMaker Server?

You need a server license. Our per seat licenses will not work for servers.

And if you use the plugin both on server and client, you need of course both licenses.

How to send FTP commands with CURL?

With quote commands (CURL.SetOptionQuote, CURL.SetOptionPostQuote or CURL.SetOptionPreQuote) you can send FTP commands. For example DELE command to delete a file or MKD command to create directory.

Do I need to order SQLAPI license for using your plugin's SQL functions?

No, we have a license to offer SQLAPI through our plugin, so you don't need a license. Except when you want to use SQLAPI yourself in C/C++ applications. Also if you order our MBS Xojo SQL Plugin, you also don't need your own SQLAPI license.

Can I buy just a license for the part x and not all functions?

From time to time people ask us whether they can order a cheaper license for only a little part of the plugin collection. Well, we could do that, but in that case a part would cost what the whole collection costs today. Because nearly everyone who uses our plugins, uses only a little fraction, typically just a handful functions. We don't want to waste our time keeping track who licensed which part. So if you like the plugin for a few functions, please order a license. It's quite likely that you come back in a few month needing another function. And in that case you may be lucky to know that your function needs are already part of the plugin.

Can you hide the title bar of a FileMaker window via plugin?

Technically yes. But the function is disabled for the plugin as FileMaker does not work well with hidden title bar. The window will stop to accept mouse clicks and keyboard input.

Is the plugin getting bigger?

Yes. With every release, the plugin is getting bigger and bigger. New functions simply need new code. But this is not big issue. The download times is increased, but all the code you don't use is not even loaded. Our plugin uses lazy initialization everywhere. So features are loaded or initialized the first time you use them. This way the plugin only needs a few megabyte. Our measurements show that FileMaker uses only 3 MB more memory with having the plugin installed, even when the plugin is around 10 MB big.

Can I get a smaller copy of the plugin?

Yes, we offer a service for customized plugin. For that we need to know a list of the functions you need and than we can produce a special version for you which has only the functions you need. This way the plugin can be as small as 2 MB.

Where to I get libXL license for XL functions?

You can order libXL licenses, here: for Windows, for Mac OS or for enterprises the cross-platform license.

You need a libXL licenses in addition to our normal plugin licenses in order to use XL functions.

What text encodings are supported?

Several plugin functions take text encoding parameter. You can pass ANSI, Mac, Latin1, ISO-8859-1, Windows, Native, UTF-8 and DOS. Some functions even accept UTF-16, UTF-16BE or UTF-16LE. With plugin version 3.2 you can also pass: ShiftJIS-Mac, ShiftJIS-Win, Korean-Mac, Korean-Win, Korean-Johab, ChineseTrad-Mac, ChineseTrad-Win, ChineseSimp-Mac, ChineseSimp-Win, Cyrillic-Mac, Cyrillic-Win, ISO-8859-5, CentralEurope-Mac, EasternEurope-Win, ISO-8859-2, Turkish-Mac, Turkish-Win, ISO-8859-3, ISO-8859-9, Baltic-Win, ISO-8859-4, Arabic-Mac, Arabic-Win, ISO-8859-6, Greek-Mac, Greek-Win, ISO-8859-7, Hebrew-Mac, Hebrew-Win, ISO-8859-8 or ISO-8859-15.

For more encodings, please check Text.ConvertToTextEncoding function.

With version 10.3a lot of functions accept Hex and Base64 as encoding, too.

Are there plans to add syntax coloring to the windows plug-in?

Sorry. No.
On MacOS FileMaker uses standard Cocoa controls where we can register to be notified if text needs to be drawn. And there we simply change the colors before the system draws the text for FileMaker.

Do you have a demo/trial version?

Yes, please download the plugin and try it. Without a license you are in free tier.

How long can I test the plugin?

As long as you want. The plugin will not stop working.

Why does PDF preview not show annotations?

The MBS Plugin provides JPEG previews to FileMaker for all PDFs stored in a container. Now FileMaker on Windows seems to use them to show the preview of the PDF. But on Mac FileMaker creates its own preview picture. And this preview image has no annotations visible currently.

Why are scripts in your examples not accessible?

The menu entry for opening scripts is grayed out?

Please copy the examples outside the disk image or zip archive. If you open files inside the archive, you can't edit the file as it is read only. But once you make a copy to your computer (e.g. copy to desktop), you can open the scripts.

Can the plugin work with compressed containers?

With plugin version 4.3 we add the ability to read compressed containers. Older versions can't read compressed container data.

How many server licenses do I need?

Please buy as many plugin service licenses as you have FileMaker Servers.

For a failover server, you should not need an extra license key as both servers are not active at the same time.

If you have a development, a test and a production server, you can order our 3 Server pack license.

Does a Server license for the plugin work for clients?

The Server license is only for use on a FileMaker Server to run plugin functions in script with WebDirect, Perform Script on Server and Scheduled Scripts.

For clients, you need client licenses.

Does installing the plugin on a server provide it to clients?

No. When you install the plugin on a server, you only get the functionality on the server. FileMaker does not forward plugin calls automatically from client to server.

To distribute the plugin to clients, you can use the Install Plugin Script Step in FileMaker. See the example database "Install Plugin Update if needed.fmp12" for details on how to check versions and install if needed. The plugin is stored in a container on the database on the server and on startup of solution, you can install a plugin update.

What is deprecated?

Please stop using the following parts soon and move to replacements:

See also deprecated functions list.

How to know end date from license key?

You can easily spot the end date for a license on our license key:

"Test"; "Complete"; "5 seats"; 201810; "KR0R3RYpMGE..."

For MBS Plugin license keys, the month it expires is coded as year-month in the license key as 4th value.


For DynaPDF, you have the end date with day-month-year in the licens key as second value. First value is customer ID, third value what license (0 = Starter, 1 = Lite, 2 = Pro, 3 = Enterprise), forth value the flags (e.g. wether PDF/A is included) and fifth value is the OS flags.

Which FileMaker version needs which plugin version?

Best is to always use latest plugins, even for older FileMaker versions. Minimum recommended version:

Claris FileMaker Version
Minimum recommended
MBS Plugin Version
FileMaker 21.0 14.2
FileMaker 20.3 13.5
FileMaker 20.2 13.4
FileMaker 20.1 13.2
FileMaker 19.6 12.5
FileMaker 19.5 12.2
FileMaker 19.4 11.5
FileMaker 19.3 11.2
FileMaker 19.2 11.1
FileMaker 19.1 10.5
FileMaker 19.0 10.2
FileMaker 18 9.2
FileMaker 17 8.2
FileMaker 16 7.2
FileMaker 15 6.0
FileMaker 14 5.1
Claris Pro Version
Minimum recommended
MBS Plugin Version
Claris 40.2 12.5
Claris 40.1 12.5

Older versions may work in some cases, but we can't recommend that as they miss the changes we made to work better with new versions. Functions for web viewer, container, Java or SQL may just not work.


  • While v11.4 may load in FMP 19.4 on Windows, the updated code for the WebView functions were added in v11.5.
  • If you update to FileMaker running native on Apple Silicon, you need version 11.2 or newer. Older plugins will not load at all.
  • We may find an issue when beta testing a new FileMaker version and change the plugin to keep it working. But these changes are not going into release notes due to the secrecy around the beta testing.
  • While you could deploy an iOS app with MBS Plugin 13.0, updating Xcode would break this until you get the adjusted plugin with v13.1 or newer.
  • You could use server scripts in parallel with older versions, but you may see random crashes until the fix in 12.4.

What happens if Monkeybread Software ceases to exist tomorrow?

Well, we all hope this will not happen and we make plugins for at least another decade.

All licenses are perpetual. Although some people buy them like a subscription and renew each year, the individual license key will unlock the plugins with the matching release dates permanently.

So when you have a combination of FileMaker, OS and MBS Plugin, which works today, it is very likely, that it will work in a few years unless something big changes. We can't predict whether the plugin works on a future FileMaker version or is compatible with a future OS updates. It is possible, that some functions may break, but with over 5000 functions, you may never notice.

If Monkeybread Software ceases to exist tomorrow, you probably have a few years to look for replacements to the features you use.

Nevertheless, we make plans for succession and another C++ developer could take over the project and make fixes for you if needed.

Can we use MBS Plugin functions with Data API?

Since version 19.3.1 the FileMaker Server supports plugins for Data API. Please install the plugin by copying it in the publishing-engine/wip/Plugins folder and enable plugins in Data API.

The plugin does not load on Mac?

If the plugin does not load on a Mac, you may have the wrong version installed. Please check Console.app for an error message, which may look like the following:

Mac 64-bit Plugin in FileMaker 11, which is 32-bit:

Error loading /Applications/FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced/Extensions/MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS: dlopen(/Applications/FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced/Extensions/MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS, 262): no suitable image found. Did find:
    /Applications/FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced/Extensions/MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS: mach-o, but wrong architecture
    /Applications/FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced/Extensions/MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS: stat() failed with errno=1

Mac 32-bit Plugin on older MacOS version before 10.9:

Error loading /Applications/FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced/Extensions/MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS: dlopen(/Applications/FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced/Extensions/MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS, 262): no suitable image found. Did find:
    /Applications/FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced/Extensions/MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS: mach-o, but wrong architecture
    /Applications/FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced/Extensions/MBS.fmplugin/Contents/MacOS/MBS: stat() failed with errno=1

How can I add more seats?

We usually allow you to up- and downgrade as your requirements change.

You can add seats in two ways:

  • You buy an update for more seats than you have to pay the difference between license levels and upgrade the old license to more seats. This does not change the end date of the license.
  • You buy one of the upgrade seats products on the web-store. This includes paying the difference and the maintenance extension for another year. For buying both together, there is a little discount.

Example: 5 seats license valid till end of 2018. 20 seats update bought gives 20 seats license, valid till end of 2018. Buying a 5 to 20 seats upgrade provides a 20 seats license key valid till 2019.

Does the MBS Plugin use Java?

The MBS Plugin does not need Java to be installed and does not load Java on startup.

We do have Java functions. The Java.Initialize function can optionally load a Java library in any version, so you can either use the version included with FileMaker Server or with another plugin.

Do you support MacOS in 32-bit?

MBS Plugin download for Mac is 64-bit only since version 9.0. The download for 32-bit is available on request.

Versions from 9.0 to 10.2 are available in 32-bit as a separate download.

But plugins since version 8.5 need macOS 10.9 as minimum.

Does MBS Plugin support the FileMaker Cloud?

MBS Plugin supports FileMaker Cloud for AWS since its introduction (no longer available).

For Cloud 2.0 there is no plugin support for the server as far as we know. You can still use the plugin client side in FileMaker Pro.

If you look for an alternative Cloud, you can go to fmcloud.fm.

Do you provide discounts for members of Claris Partner program?

Sorry, no. Nearly every developer is in the program.

But if you start buying over 10 licenses per year from us, you can contact us for a reseller discount. Please order first and we review your orders later with you.

What version of Visual Studio Runtimes does the plugin need?

The 64-bit version of MBS FileMaker Plugin for Windows needs the Visual Studio Runtime Libraries from 2019.

You can download them here: The latest supported Visual C++ downloads or direct download.

The MBS Plugin has been confirmed to run in version 11.2 in FileMaker 7 and newer on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008r2.

FileMaker Server doesn't load the plugin?

For Windows, please check above that Visual Studio Runtime Libraries are fresh enough.

For macOS, the server may not load plugins in quarantine. Please only use plugins from notarized and properly code signed dmg files.

If you got a plugin with quarantine (listed with xattr -l followed by path in Terminal), you can clear it via xattr command line tool. Here is a sample call in Terminal to clear quarantine status:

xattr -cr /Library/FileMaker\ Server/Database\ Server/Extensions/MBS.fmplugin

This recursively clears the extended attributes in MBS.fmplugin.

Where can I find an invoice for my order?

Emails get lost, so your invoice may be lost in your spam folder. Look there first.

If you paid through the web shop provided by MyCommerce (ShareIt), you may go to mycommerce.com/shopper-support/ and you can access your personal MyAccount and/or find specific orders:

  • Clicking "Customer Self-Service Login" will refer them to the login page account.mycommerce.com/providing where they simply provide their User ID and password or their order number and password for login to their MyAccount. They can also request login information there, if necessary.
  • If customers have a charge on their credit card that they do not recognize they can click "Find MyOrder" on to access account.mycommerce.com/FindMyOrder/GetInfo where they provide their email address and the last 4 digits of their credit card number to be taken to an overview where all orders with this credit card number and e-mail address used are displayed. From there the customers can login to their MyAccount to view the order details.

Once logged in to their individual MyAccount the customers can download their invoices from there.

If you paid through the web shop provided by FastSpring, you may find a link to your invoice in the order confirmation emails. Otherwise check with FastSpring customer support.

If you paid through the web shop provided by 2checkout for LibXL, you may find your order here secure.2co.com/myaccount/order_lookup/.

If you paid directly to Monkeybread Software by wired bank transfer or Paypal, you can contact us by email to ask about a missing invoice..

The plugin doesn't activate?

Our plugin may not load or activate in FileMaker with various reasons:

  • You got plugin for wrong platform, e.g. put Linux plugin into extension foler on Windows.
  • You a mismatch of 32 vs 64-bit version. The plugin needs to be of same architecture as FileMaker.
  • On Windows we need Visual Studio Runtime Libraries in version 2015. Those are also needed by FileMaker 19.x, so the installer installs them automatically. Windows 10 also includes a version by default. Older Windows versions may a manual installation. See question 41 above.
  • Older plugins may not activate in newer version of FileMaker due to changes in plugin SDK. Especially when we load SDK functions dynamically and exit when one is missing.
  • On macOS you can have multiple versions of MBS plugins in different install locations. FileMaker picks one, but the older plugin may not work.
  • The plugin may not be code signed (older plugin) or got modified after code signing, so FileMaker refuses to load it.
  • The plugin file may be an incomplete download and can't load.
  • The plugin may require a certain library (DLL) installed and can't find it.
  • If you have multiple plugins installed from different vendors and FileMaker got an error loading one of them, it may not continue loading other plugins.

Do you support Apple Silicon for M1 or M2 CPUs?

Yes, we do support Apple Silicon.

Our plugin works fine on all the variants including M1 and M2 CPUs.

Please make sure you have a recent plugin version. You need version 11.2 or newer.

How to cancel subscription at MyCommerce?

While we don't do subscriptions ourselves, the web shop we use offers them, so we are legally obligated to point you to a form to cancel a subscription:


That may be useful if you have a subscription for other services using MyCommerce.

How to lookup LibXL invoice?

First go to secure.2co.com/myaccount/order_lookup to lookup the order. Put in the order number and email used for order or alternative the credit card details.

Once you see the order, use the login button. Then put in email or order number to get a link sent to you with the link to access the order detail page, where you can find invoices as PDF documents.

What is the last version to run on Windows 7?

Please download a special plugin to use on older Windows versions like Windows 7, Windows 8.x and Windows Server 2012:

This version has Preview, WindowsML, WindowsUserNotification, WinPDF and WindowsOCR functions disabled as they require Windows 10. Please download the regular archive above for examples and other files. It can be used on Windows Server 2012, too.

Why may the plugin fail to load?

See blog article: Why may the plugin fail to load?

Why do I see a message about too many seats?

While the majority of plugin licensees are correctly buying the required licenses, there are a few trying to trick the system. We try to track both servers in use as well as seats in use.

Seats in use is checked locally as far as possible and if you are over the limit, you may see a warning dialog and the plugin falls back to our free tier. You can apply the license again later.

Please contact us to upgrade the license in that case, either buy paying the difference to the higher license, buying an additional 5 seats license or one of the upgrades with additional time.

If a PC or Mac crashes and disappears without properly signing out, this computer will continued to be counted for the seats in use for some time. If you quit FileMaker correctly, the used seat is freed up within seconds. But if FileMaker or the computer crashes, you have to wait for a timeout which may take a few minutes. For that reason we tolerate going over the limit temporary for a few minutes for a few seats before we complain.

You may also hit the limit if you run multiple copies of FileMaker as each one counts as a seat in use.

What is the last version to run on Windows XP?

For Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, please use plugin version 8.4.

Available on request to people with current license.