75th Country

We welcome our first plugin customer in Uganda.
MBS FileMaker and Xojo plugins are now used in 75 countries.

Top five countries are for Xojo:
  1. 🇺🇸 United States of America
  2. 🇩🇪 Germany
  3. 🇬🇧 United Kingdom
  4. 🇮🇹 Italy
  5. 🇫🇷 France
And for FileMaker plugin:
  1. 🇺🇸 United States of America
  2. 🇩🇪 Germany
  3. 🇨🇭 Switzerland
  4. 🇬🇧 United Kingdom
  5. 🇳🇱 The Netherlands
Usually the distribution follows the knowledge of english (for reading documentation), education (for programming) and money (for paying license fees). German speaking countries are usually higher due to me offering support in German. Although of course everyone is welcome to create and translate tutorials for all languages.

Looking forward to what the 76th country will be! Any volunteers?

Next chance to meet me is the Xojo event in Wimbledon. Even if you don’t take part, you can still arrange a meeting with me or just say hello at the hotel bar.

FileMaker Server Security and plugins

On a FileMaker Server plugins can do a lot. Whether you use our MBS Plugin or a few of the others available. They all may offer functions to delete files, to upload files via FTP or to encrypt files. All functions you may use yourself to do backups to remote locations in your scripts.

For all your solutions you must make sure that:
  • You do not simply pass user entered text to evaluate or SQL function in FileMaker.
  • You do not allow databases on servers with user accounts who can edit scripts or layouts.
  • You make sure you limit the plugin features to those you need.
For the first point, well you can let the user enter a calculation and use Evaluate to get the result. e.g. your user enters a number and you multiply it. But what if they enter a plugin call instead? Well, using GetAsNumber first may help to convert input to a number first and strip function calls. Or other cases you may need to remove brackets to remove function calls.
Same for text used in SQL statements, where user can enter SQL commands in text fields and they are executed. But you pass values as parameters and not put them in the SQL directly, right?

Second point means if an user has the chance to modify a script, they could write anything there, including calls to sabotage, steal or delete data. Not to mention creating new scripts which they can trigger anything anywhere. So please limit permissions.

Third, for the MBS Plugin, you can use Plugin.SetFunctions function to limit the list of functions to the ones you need. So maybe instead of 4900 functions, you may only need 20 of them. So you can pass a list of function names and the plugin disables all other functions and you can’t call them anymore. With Plugin.LimitFunction you can limit a function to be only called by a certain function. For example you can limit Files.Delete to a script which needs deleting files, but disallow it for all other scripts.

See also an older blog post: Shared FileMaker Server Hosting and Plugin Security

Windows Touch Events

As you may know you can use Xojo for applications running on Windows tables with x86 CPU. You may design your user interface with big buttons and the user can use the application with touch instead of a mouse pointer. Windows may even show a keyboard on screen to enter text for your text fields. Windows provides mouse events for you automatically.

Now you may need more and our WinPointerEventsMBS, WinGestureConfigMBS, WinGestureInfoMBS and WinPointerInfoMBS classes can help you. We actually have two interfaces there united. First, we have gesture events for Windows 7 and newer. You can get gestures like rotate, two finder tap, zoom and pan. Second, we have for Windows 8/8.1 or newer the pointer API wrapped, so you can get events from a pointer device. The device can be a mouse, a pen or a finger.

To use those events, you subclass WinPointerEventsMBS class and add events as needed. This includes events for receiving pointer and gesture events. You instantiate your subclass and pass to constructor the reference to the one window you like to receive events from. The plugin will attach to the window and redirect events to the class. Please use one instance of your subclass per window.

Next you can use WinGestureConfigMBS class objects to register for gestures and specify which gestures you support. Our sample application registers for all gestures to show you what is detected. But if you need only one or two gesture types, you may increase detection rate for your gesture types if you clearly state you are not expecting some others.

So you may see pointer events coming in. First, we have events like PointerInRange and PointerOutOfRange to let you know when a pen is coming or leaving screen. PointerDeviceChange informs you about changes to the configuration, e.g. about orientation changes. When device enters your window, you get PointerEnter events and PointerLeave event, when it leaves. While the pointer is over your window, you may receive down and up events as well as update for movement. Each event brings WinPointerInfoMBS object to describe the event with details.

So while mouse events in Xojo are good for most applications, you can make the extra effort to support pointer devices for Windows and get more details on touch events.

If needed we could add more, e.g. to query pressure for touch events or tilt for a pen.

Just four weeks till Xojo Training and Conference in London

Monkeybread Software is pleased to announce to host a little MBS Xojo Developer Conference. We meet once again in the nice Antoinette Hotel in Wimbledon for a meeting day and a training day.

We have a Xojo training day on 9th November 2017. We talk a close look on Xojo and show you in little projects how to work with advanced Xojo language features, databases, sockets and threads. Please bring your own ideas and topic wishes to be added to schedule.

On 10th November 2017, we meet with Xojo developers from all over UK to talk about Xojo on our conference day. We have a few nice sessions in the pipeline for you. We will soon add more sessions, so keep an eye on the schedule. If you like to speak, please contact us soon.

If you like to join the events, please register with us. More than 20 people from 7 countries are already registered for this event and we also hope to see a lot of people for the dinner on the evenings.

If you like to attend a bigger conference, check out the MBS Xojo Conference planned for September 2018 in Munich.

Xojo will get 64-bit IDE

Xojo Inc. announced to ship Xojo 2017r3 in 64-bit soon, as you can read on the blog article: The 64-bit Xojo IDE. If you in the beta program*, you may be able to take a look soon on this. The 64-bit version of the IDE can use much more memory and load bigger projects.

A check here with a few huge projects shows the loading time for one of them is down from about 2:40 to 1:30 minutes. This compares a really big project with 32bit vs. 64bit Xojo IDE. Probably due to faster code generated by the LLVM compiler for 64-bit and faster string handling functions.

For the plugins, I expect we have updated plugins ready before 2017r3 ships later this year, so everything should work smooth. I can’t predict if older plugins will work, but I expect to modify my plugins if needed.

The blog post doesn’t say it, but Xojo may drop 32-bit IDE and only allow you to compile 32-bit apps on a 64-bit computer. I have no idea how many Xojo developers still need 32-bit IDE, e.g. running on a Windows 10 in 32-bit. Using the remote debuggers you can still debug on 32-bit, but may no longer run the IDE on it. And you can of course debug a 32-bit app on a 64-bit computer, but no longer debug on a 32-bit computer without remote debugging.

* you can get on the beta program by signing up in your account settings when you have a Pro license.

Big SQLite Cache for 64-bit in Xojo

Whenever you open a SQLite database in your application, please remember to first send this command via SQL Execute:

PRAGMA cache_size = 20000

this will increase the cache. Default is 2000 pages and with a page size of 1024 bytes that's only 2 MB of cache. You can easily set it to 20000 pages on modern computers for 20 MB. This way you increase SQLite performance a lot!

Now the best cache for SQLite is one where the whole database fits in. On the other side if you set cache bigger, it will only grow until the whole database is in memory. So for one of our projects here, we now use 2 GB cache limit for SQLite:

#if Target64Bit then
  db.SQLExecute "PRAGMA cache_size = 2000000" // 2 GB
  db.SQLExecute "PRAGMA cache_size = 20000" // 20 MB

If the database is 10 MB, of course the cache will only be 10 MB. But if the database is 50 MB for a table and this table is queried, it helps a lot of the whole table fits into the cache. And with 64-bit memory is available and you do not risk running out of it soon, so using it for the database cache is a good idea.

This works for SQLiteDatabase, iOSSQLiteDatabase, SQLDatabaseMBS and SQLConnectionMBS in Xojo as well as with our MBS Filemaker Plugin when used with SQLite.

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 17.5pr2

New in this prerelease of the 17.5 plugins:
  • Fixed leaked file handle in MimeEmailMBS constructor.
  • Improved SpotLightFileInfoMBS to support newer interface and query with newer Spotlight plugins. Can now return HTML preview for emails.
  • Fixed bug with SQLite Prepare command with extra spaces in SQL commands.
  • Improved OpenSSLMBS.GeneratePrivateKey to allow you to specify algorithm and encrypt keys.
  • Fixed console applications to no longer initialize NSApplication.
  • Enabled P12 files for certificates in CURL for Windows.
  • Updated CURL library to version 7.56.0.
  • Added overlay methods to CustomPDFViewMBS class and PDFViewControlMBS control.
  • Added MT methods to XLBookMBS class to load/save thread friendly.
  • Changed NSViewMBS constructors to raise exception if called on Windows.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.de/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.

Reise in die Schweiz zu FileMaker und Xojo Entwickler Treffen

Wieder mal bin ich in der Schweiz, u.a. zum FileMaker Experience Event am 21. November in Meilen.

Wer Interesse hat an einem Termin mit mir für Softwareentwicklung, Schulungen, Entwicklungshilfe, Plugin Empfehlungen, assistierte Fehlersuche, Code-Review und IT-Beratung, der darf sich gerne melden für eine baldige Terminfindung.

Für Xojo Entwickler organisiere ich gerne noch einen Stammtisch: Doodle Umfrage

Alle FileMaker Entwickler sind natürlich gerne eingeladen mit nach Meilen zu kommen, wo ich auch gerne die ein oder andere MBS Plugin Funktion zeige. Mal sehen, was es in einem Monat alles neues gibt!

Conference discount offer

As usual with every conference we offer licenses at a discount to conference attendees: 20% on everything.

You can find the coupon code on our flyers at the booth. The coupon code is valid till end of October and can be used with the Share-It web store.
For PayPal or orders using invoices, we will create individual invoices on request.

If you don't have a flyer and you attend one of the current conferences, you can always email us a picture of the badge as proof to get the coupon.
Please note that the discount is to help attendees to get a bigger return of investment out of the conference trip.

Detect PrinterSetup data format

As you may know Xojo 2016r4 to 2017r2 made a move to use DirectDraw for printing. Xojo 2016r3 and older use DEVMODE structure to describe the printer setup in the ANSI version. Xojo 2016r4 and newer use the unicode version. You run into problems if you use an older SetupString with newer Xojo versions. Sadly Xojo missed to increment the version number in their string to ignore older setup strings automatically!

While the exact format of SetupString is not published, you can see it’s text with an embedded binary part. One of the values listed is DevModeStructureSizePS which shows the size of the binary data. Values are for example 1292 for older format and 1356 for newer format of the same printer. Please note the format can be printer specific and change depending on which fields are checked in the printer dialog!

In the byte stream you see first 32 characters in both versions, either unicode (64 bytes!) or ANSI text. Followed is the spec version &h0401 for Windows 2000 and newer. Next value is driver version. The following field is the size of the structure, not including any private, driver-specified data. This value can be &h00DC for size of DEVMODEW structure for Xojo 2017r2 and &h009C for size of DEVMODEA structure for Xojo 2016r3. The next number is the driver’s data size in bytes, e.g. &h0470 for my printer in both cases. If you sum it up, you get &h054C and &h50C, which are exactly the sizes above.

To detect the format of a setup string, you can do the following: You find the string DevModeStructurePS= in the setup string. If you don’t have it, this is an incomplete setup string, e.g. from a new PrinterSetup object and you can simply use it. But if you find it, you look in the binary data, if you find the bytes &h01 and &h04 exactly 32 or 64 bytes after the start of the binary data. Skipping two bytes the next two bytes should be &hDC &h00 for Xojo 2017r2 and &h9C &h00 for Xojo 2016r3.

Implementing the proper function to test a setup string is left as homework to the reader.

PS: If SetupString odes not start with "DoNotAlterThis=SetupString.2" or you are not on TargetWindows, you should not touch it as that may be a new future format.

PPS: The WindowsDeviceModeMBS class in MBS Win Plugin can help to convert from ANSI to Unicode and back if needed.

Plugin Reorganization Summary

With last release we reorganized the Xojo plugins a little bit.

First, we renamed a few plugins

Plugin PartRenamed to

This makes it more clear that all those plugins are for Mac.

Second, we removed QuickTime and QTKit plugin parts, as Apple deprecated them years ago and Xojo dropped support for QuickTime long ago.

Third, we merged some plugin into others:

Plugin PartMoved to

This reduced the number of plugins a lot.

We moved few parts to new plugins, e.g. CoreAnimation and ImageKit classes. This way we reduced the dependencies between plugins.

In general the reorganization was well received and no class was missing even as we removed 5% of the plugin parts.

FileMaker Conference .fmp[x]Berlin 2018

We just got announcement for the FileMaker Conference .fmp[x]Berlin 2018.

This conference is organized by Egbert Friedrich and takes place from 7th to 9th June 2018 in Berlin, Germany.

As the conference is in english, this is your chance to meet people from around the world at a conference in Europe. And for a lot of people it's easier to get to Berlin than to cross the atlantic and deal with US immigration officers.

dotfmp is an effort of various leading European FileMaker Developers. It is meant to bring all kinds of higher level developers together to share knowledge, educate and challenge each other.
dotfmp starts at the 6th June 2018 in the later afternoon with a relaxed "Beer and Sausages" in one of the most famous Berlin Beergarden.The session days itself last from 7th until 9th June with various socialising events in the evenings. Additionally we offer support on 10th June to see more from Berlin and its surroundings.
dotfmp is a 3 Day-Unconference, Meetup, Hangout or Barcamp. It is an informal and self-organized effort to meet on a personal base.
dotfmp takes place in one of the most famous spots in Berlin. The GLS Campus is located in a vibrant area with a very short walking distance to all the famous restaurants.
We feel there are far too few possibilities to talk to, learn from, and hangout with fellow developers in a relaxed and informal environment. And we'd like to share work and get feedback from people chewing on similar challenges.

If you like to join the conference and present something, please register soon.

Xojo Forum now with 18000 members

The Xojo forum has been growing over the last years.

Since June 2013, the new forum is growing with content and it got huge.
The old Real Studio forum had 7542 members and 45738 topics and needed twelve years for that.

But the new Xojo forum got over double the members in a fraction of the time.
With now 18000 members and over 40000 conversations, it got the much more posts: 341349 postings vs. 265843. And only 9% are from Michel Bujardet, the current top poster.

Congratulations to the community for such a vital forum!

MBS Xojo Plugins, version 17.5pr1

New in this prerelease of the 17.5 plugins:
  • Added ReplaceICCProfileEx, ReplaceImage and ReplaceImageEx to DynaPDFMBS class.
  • Updated DynaPDF to version version
  • Updated XL Plugin for ARM 32-bit to use LibXl 3.8.1, too.
  • Fixed TagLibFileRefMBS to work on Windows.
  • Updated LCMS library to version 2.9rc1.
Download: monkeybreadsoftware.de/xojo/download/plugin/Prerelease/.
Or ask us to be added to our shared Dropbox folder.


It’s Thanksgiving this weekend in Germany. Time to say thank you to all the good things that happen in live. Thanks for the wife and three healthy kids, thanks for having a great job and thanks to you my customers, who keep this company running.

Thanks for my father's colleagues who recommend him to buy a Mac 20 years ago. Thanks to Geoff for buying CrossBasic, making it REALbasic and thanks for Macwelt magazine to pointing me to it. Thanks for the first customers who hired me in 1999 to code for them, so I started a company in April 2000. Thanks to customers pushing me to learn C++ and writing plugins for Xojo and FileMaker. And thanks to everyone who bought a license. Over the years we can keep doing this, because people support us with their purchases. Thanks to keep me doing this instead of applying for a regular job somewhere to pay my bills.

And thanks for the travel around the world and the conferences. Organizing a conference is a lot of work, so thanks to all people who organize conferences. And of course thanks to everyone leaving their office to go to a conference. Only attending conferences makes them great and keeps them going!

So lets keep this running and see you at conferences in Salzburg, Madrid, London, Montreal, Denver, Munich and wherever another one will be!


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