360Works ScriptMaster/Documentation

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360Works ScriptMaster User Guide


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.</p>

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.

Registering Modules As Functions

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.

<img src="doc_images/ExternalFunctions.png" />


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.</p> The first option requires ScriptMaster Advanced Edition. This is available for purchase for $95 per developer per year from <a target="360site" href="http://www.360works.com/scriptmaster">http://www.360works.com/scriptmaster</a>, and is included in the <a target="360site" href="http://www.360works.com/portfolio">360Works Portfolio License Bundle</a>. See the <a href="#licensing">licensing section</a> 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.</p> <img src="doc_images/GeneratedPlugin.png" /></p> 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"]

</p> 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
<a name="licensing">

Licensing and pricing

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.</p> There is also a ScriptMaster Advanced Edition available. This is available for purchase for $95 per developer per year from <a target="360site" href="http://www.360works.com/scriptmaster">http://www.360works.com/scriptmaster</a>. If you own a <a target="360site" href="http://www.360works.com/portfolio">360Works Portfolio License</a>, 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:</p>
  • The Advanced Edition will allow you to easily generate your own branded plugins. Just register the modules you want and click the 'Make Plugin' button, and you've got a plugin with all of your favorite modules pre-compiled into it. You can distribute this generated plugin royalty-free with all of your custom solutions.
  • The Advanced Edition allows direct access to the FileMaker SQL engine, which allows you to execute SQL commands directly from any script.
  • The Advanced Edition allows direct access

    to the FileMaker clipboard, allowing you to read clipboard contents at runtime. You can even modify the clipboard

    items and then push the modified versions back onto the clipboard.
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.</p> 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.</p>

Tutorial video

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.</p> <object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/dKLJz-Ak9n8&hl=en_US&fs=1?rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/dKLJz-Ak9n8&hl=en_US&fs=1?rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"

allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

Loading modules from the Internet

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:

http://www.360works.com/static/ScriptMaster/core/plugin.jar</p> 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.</p>

Advanced techniques


ScriptMaster functions can reference compiled Java libraries (stored in the .jar format) by using the {@link

  1. 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.</p> 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.</p> 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.</p>

Getting help

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.</p> Phone and e-mail support for ScriptMaster are available at our standard hourly rate of $165. There is also a <a href="http://fmforums.com/forum/showforum.php?fid/215/" target="fmforums">free ScriptMaster discussion forum</a> where you can get help from the growing community of ScriptMaster users.</p> 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).</p>

Writing your own modules

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 ( plugins@360works.com ) or give us a call at 770-234-9293 and let us know what you're looking for, and we'll get you an estimate at no charge.</p> 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.</p> 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).</p> Here are a few tips about using ScriptMaster with FileMaker:</p> 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.</p> 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 fmpro object. Every Groovy script which is executed will have an fmpro variable set to an instance of an FMPro object, which has these important methods:</p>

Evaluates the supplied FileMaker calculation text, returning the result as a String. The fmcalculation parameter can be any valid FileMaker calculation string.</dd>
performScript(fileName, scriptName [ , paramString ])</dt>
Performs a FileMaker script in the current file, passing in the optional paramString as a parameter. Note: fileName is required.</dd>
Processes some text with merge fields embedded, replacing the merge fields with their evaluated values. An example of a merge field is <<table::field>>. If an error occurs during evaluation, the field is left as is.</dd>
getContainerStream( fieldName )</dt>
Gets an input stream with bytes from the container field. Be sure to pass in the NAME of the container field, ie fmpro.getContainerStream( "Person::Photo" )</dd>
getContainerFileName( fieldName )</dt>
Gets the name of the file stored in a container field. Be sure to pass in the NAME of the container field, ie fmpro.getContainerFileName( "Person::Photo" ) might return 'jesse.jpg'</dd>
executeSql(sql, columnDelimiter, rowDelimiter)</dt>
Advanced Edition only: Executes the SQL code in the current FileMaker file. The results are returned as delimited text, using the provided delimiters.</dd>
Advanced Edition only: Executes the SQL code in the current FileMaker file. The results are returned as a String[][] array. If you're going to be processing the results within your Groovy code, this is simpler to work with than getting delimited text.</dd>
Advanced Edition only: Gets the list of available formats for the current clipboard data.</dd>
Advanced Edition only: Gets the format id corresponding to the XML FileMaker clipboard data</dd>
getClipboardContents( format )</dt>
Advanced Edition only: Gets the clipboard data for the requested format.</dd>
setClipboardContents( format, data )</dt>
Advanced Edition only: Sets the clipboard data for the requested format.</dd>
setFileMakerClipboard( data )</dt>
Advanced Edition only: Sets the clipboard data from the supplied FileMaker XML data. This will parse the XML data to determine what type of data it is, so a format specifier is not required.</dd>
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.</p> The following conversions occur:
  • Strings and Readers are returned as Filemaker TEXT fields, 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 NUMBER fields
  • Boolean values are returned as a 0 or 1
  • File objects are converted to embedded containers
  • Arrays and Collections are converted to return-separated lists
  • URLs are converted to embedded containers
  • Colors are converted to a string like RGB(204,102,255)
  • RenderedImage, BufferedImage are converted to

    container images. If the image has transparency, it is converted to a PNG image. Otherwise it is

    converted to a JPEG.
  • FMType objects are returned as-is.
  • Any other object is converted to a String and returned as Text.

360Works Plugin Setup Guides

See Plugins_101 for Error reporting, installation, registration, and more.

Function Summary

  • EvaluateGroovy ( groovyScript ) — Compiles and Evaluates a Groovy script in the foreground.
  • SMCreatePlugin ( pluginName; quadChar; pluginPrefix; helpText; versionString; folderToWriteTo; isCrossPlatform{; is64Bit} ) — Creates a new plugin that contains all of the currently registered plugin functions.
  • SMGetLoadedJars — Gets a list of all jars that have been loaded with the {@link #SMLoadJar(com.
  • SMGetRegisteredModules — Gets a list of all modules that have been registered with the {@link #RegisterGroovy(String, String, String[])}
  • SMGetVariable ( variableName ) — Returns the value of a named variable which was set in the previously executed call to {@link
  • SMLastError — Returns detailed information about the last error generated by this plugin.
  • SMLastStackTrace — Returns the stack trace of the last generated exception, if any.
  • SMVersion — Returns the version number of the plugin.

Function Detail

EvaluateGroovy ( groovyScript )

Compiles and Evaluates a Groovy script in the foreground. This is the primary method in ScriptMaster, which is responsible for executing the actual groovy script. It is recommended that this only be used for testing purposes. For production use, register your scripts using the RegisterGroovy function, which avoids the compilation overhead and is much more convenient.

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.


a block of groovy/java code

Returns: The return value of the evaluated expression, or "ERROR" on failure.

FileMaker Errors: <p>

Error 1552 - Script has thrown a Runtime Exception</dd>
Error 1553 - Script does not compile.</dd>

SMCreatePlugin ( pluginName; quadChar; pluginPrefix; helpText; versionString; folderToWriteTo; isCrossPlatform{; is64Bit} )

Creates a new plugin that contains all of the currently registered plugin functions. This feature is only available with the Advanced Edition of ScriptMaster. You must be online with working internet access to use this feature.


The name of the new plugin. For example, 'My Plugin'
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.

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'.

The text that should appear in the plugin preferences dialog when somebody selects your

                       plugin, for example 'This plugin has many useful networking functions'

This should be a decimal value that appears after the help text in the plugin preferences,

                       for example '1.02'

The folder where the plugins should be written to. A MAC and/or WIN subfolder will be

                       created, depending on the crossPlatform setting.

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.

Optional parameter. Pass in a 0 to create a 32-bit plugin or a 1 to spawn a file chooser

                       dialog used to select the 64-bit SM plugin needed to create a 64-bit plugin. Only applies
                       when building plugins on Windows.
Returns: The license key to use for registering the generated plugin, or the word 'ERROR' if something went wrong.
In this case, use the SMLastError function to get more details about what went wrong.
FileMaker Errors:
Error 1552 - SMCreatePlugin was called with an empty plugin name.</dd>
Error 1553 - QuadChar is not exactly 4 characters in length.</dd>
Error 1554 - Version String is empty.</dd>
Error 1555 - Plugin Output folder is empty.</dd>
Error 1556 - Plugin generation failed.</dd>


Gets a list of all jars that have been loaded with the SMLoadJar function. This list is cleared out when SMReset is called.


Gets a list of all modules that have been registered with the RegisterGroovy function. This list is cleared out when SMReset is called.

SMGetVariable ( variableName )

Returns the value of a named variable which was set in the previously executed call to {@link

  1. EvaluateGroovy(String)}. This can be very useful if your custom script needs to return multiple values, or for

debugging purposes. You can set any named variable within your script and retrieve the value of that value after evaluation has been completed.


the name of the variable whose value is being gotten.

Returns: the value which was assigned to the named variable during the last script execution.
FileMaker Errors:
Error 1552 - {@link #SMGetVariable(String)} was called before {@link #EvaluateGroovy(String)}.</dd>


Returns detailed information about the last error generated by this plugin. If another plugin function returns the text "ERROR", call this function to get a user-presentable description of what went wrong.

Returns: Error text, or an empty string if there was no error.


Returns the stack trace of the last generated exception, if any. This can be handy for troubleshooting cryptic error messages, when SMLastError does not return enough info.

Returns: the stack trace of the last execution.


Returns the version number of the plugin.

Returns: a string representation of the version number

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