What is a FileMaker Plugin?
FileMaker Pro has had an interface for plug-ins that extend the functionality of FileMaker for more than a decade. Plug-ins provide new functions in FileMaker that can be called in the Formula Editor under the heading “External Functions”. The handling for the developer corresponds thereby to that of any normal other FileMaker function.
Functional extensions for FileMaker databases
Most FileMaker plug-ins offer a collection of functions in a specific area. For example, many plug-ins are available for receiving and sending email or using FileMaker with groupware servers. Some FileMaker plug-ins provide a tremendous amount of new commands for FileMaker databases – for example, the free Base Elements Plugin now includes more than 50 functions, and the MBS FileMaker Plugin now offers more than 4,000 new features.
32-bit and 64-bit versions available
FileMaker plug-ins can be available in 32-bit or 64-bit versions. The 64-bit version runs with FileMaker 14 and FileMaker 15. 32-bit plug-ins can run in 32-bit mode with FileMaker 14 and often with all previous versions (up to FileMaker 7). The 32-bit mode of FileMaker 14 can be enabled in Mac OS X in the Info dialog of the application file in the Finder. On Windows, a separate 32-bit version of FileMaker Pro must be installed.
Installing FileMaker Plugins
FileMaker plug-ins can be installed in newer versions of FileMaker in several ways. All versions of FileMaker contain an Extensions directory in the Applications directory, where any FileMaker plug-ins can be copied. After restarting FileMaker, the plug-ins copied into this directory are available in FileMaker.
In FileMaker 15 and FileMaker 16, FileMaker plug-ins can also be installed via the dialog [File/Folder > Preferences > Plug-ins]. After clicking on the button [Show Plugin Folder] in this dialog, a window opens where the desired plugins can be copied.
FileMaker plugins can also be stored in a container field and installed via script. To do this, use the script command “Install plug-in file” and select the container field in which the FileMaker plug-in was saved as an option.