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.

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).

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

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

Calculations return ? only. How to analyze and fix?

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 12?

In general plugins work with new versions. We never had big problems so far. But of course some internal things can change. Like the change we needed to make for FileMaker 11 to run the callback functions. But we don't know that in advance, so please tell us if something stops working.

As FileMaker 12 is now available, we can update this: Functions to Show/Hide Scrollbars in FileMaker windows need to be updated. Everything else works fine as far as we know or tested.

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 Mac OS X. 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.

Should I use universal or intel only plugin?

If you still use PPC Macs, you need Universal one. If you only use Intel Macs, you can save a little bit disk space by using the intel plugin. But both variants will work on an Intel Mac. For the Mac App Store, you need to use the Intel only variant.

Version 2.4 is the last plugin coming with PPC code. Future versions will not support PPC.

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 also 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 Real Studio 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 X 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 Mac OS X 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 demo mode.

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 Server licenses.

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:

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:

FileMaker VersionMBS Plugin Version
FileMaker Pro 1910.2
FileMaker Pro 189.2
FileMaker Pro 178.1
FileMaker Pro 167.2
FileMaker Pro 156.0
FileMaker Pro 145.1

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?

The Data API runs in it's own process which as of FileMaker 17 does not load plugins. But in the scripts triggered via data API, you can use Perform Script on Server script step, which executes the script in the server scripting engine. Than the normal plugin loading happens and you can use plugin functions. Sadly any calculation for fields can't use the plugins for Data API, too.

Please upvote our request Support plugins in Data API in the FileMaker community.

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.

Does MBS Plugin support the FileMaker Cloud?

MBS Plugin supports FileMaker Cloud for AWS since its introduction.

For Cloud 2.0 there is no plugin support for the server as far as we know.

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.

MBS FileMaker tutorial videos