8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 23, 2012 4:41 AM by Nico_Kobes

    FileMaker 12v3 updater and automatic plug-in deployment

    Michael Frankel

      Hi Everyone -

       

      One of the things I've been most enjoying about FileMaker 12 is the ability to automatically deploy plug-ins to client machines when a solution is launched. I've got a series of scripts written that faithfully perform these tasks without issue.

       

      When the v3 updater came out, I noted the change in behaviour about where the user-level plug-ins were deployed. By user-level, I mean ones that are installed in the user's "home" folder on Mac or Windows.

       

      I thought that since it was clear that FM 11 and FM 12 would have different places to store plug-ins, I would copy the Extensions folder from the old to the new location, leaving the plug-ins in the old location for FileMaker 11. That is where I discovered an issue. Whether or not it is critical is, I suppose, dependent on the individual deployment.

       

      Here's what I noticed:

       

      1. FileMaker 12 seems to look for plug-ins in both the old and the new location.
      2. If you have the same plug-in installed in both folders, there is a possibility that FileMaker will crash immediately upon launch. For me, this happened every time. I do not know if this is plug-in specific since I did not do extensive testing.
      3. Since this is now the new behaviour of FileMaker 12 after the v3 update, there appears to be no way to control where it is looking.

       

      So that brings me to my dilemma. Let's say that I have deployed a solution where plug-ins have already been automatically installed. Since this was done prior to the v3 release, the plug-ins are all installed in the "old" location. While I am not currently doing version checking in my solution I do plan on implementing that in the near future.

       

      If I update the client to 12v3, then "update" a plug-in that's already installed (i.e., place a new version of the plug-in in a container field), then launch the solution, I would expect that the updated plug-in would be installed in the "new" location. That then means there would be 2 copies of the plug-in installed - one at the old location and one at the new location - which based on my initial tests may compromise the stability of the FileMaker 12 application or, at the very least, cause it to crash.

       

      My primary issue here is that it makes automatic plug-in deployment more involved, perhaps impossible if the client does not have at least 12.0v3 installed.

       

      I would be curious to know if anyone else has come across this situation or if anyone at FileMaker has any input on this.

       

      Thanks,

      --

      Michael Frankel

      Wizard Consulting Group, Inc.

      Certified FileMaker Developer

      Office: 818-706-8877

      Skype-In: 818-483-4686

      Skype: michaelfrankel

      Mobile: 310-291-3419

      Website: www.wizardconsultinggroup.com

        • 1. Re: FileMaker 12v3 updater and automatic plug-in deployment
          BowdenData

          Michael,

           

          Yes to all 3 of your points for me. I have not tested on Windows though. I tried removing duplicate plugins one by one, but it kept crashing every time at startup, so I gave up after removing 3 of the 6 plugins I typically have loaded.

           

          I agree that it seems like a bug that it looks in both locations for plugins or if this part is not a bug, then certainly the crashing is. There is a precendent in that in the past (at least with FMP7-11), you could have the same plugin in the "systems" extensions folder inside the FM application folder and also in the local "user" folder. I am almost positive that it would load plugins found in the "systems" folder first and then in the local "user" folder and not give errors.

           

          HTH.

           

          Doug

          • 2. Re: FileMaker 12v3 updater and automatic plug-in deployment
            iamsloper

            I am having this same issue once i installed FM12.0v3 on a mac. I tested on Windows 12.0v3 and it worked correctly.   So i submitted as a bug.

             

            Michael Sloper

            • 3. Re: FileMaker 12v3 updater and automatic plug-in deployment
              BowdenData

              Thanks for testing on Windows. I submitted a bug report as well. I am pretty surprised that this was not caught during internal testing. I have never understood why FileMaker doesn't release updates to the developer community for one last round of testing before final release. I found this bug within about 10 minutes of updating to 12.0v3. I have been lax in reporting it until now. We'll see what happens.

               

              Doug

              • 4. Re: FileMaker 12v3 updater and automatic plug-in deployment
                iamsloper

                After further testing and prodding from FM support, i tested each plugin and found that only Troi Activator caused the crashing. Do either of you have Activator installed?

                • 5. Re: FileMaker 12v3 updater and automatic plug-in deployment
                  Michael Frankel

                  I do not have Troi Activator installed on any of my computers, so I have resigned myself to the fact that I must test each one.

                   

                  I currently have the following plug-ins installed:

                   

                  2empowerFM Clipboard Explorer, 2empowerFM Developer Assistant, 2empowerFM SQL Runner, 2empowerFM Text Toolkit, 2empowerFM, Base Elements, myFMButler ClipManager Bridge, Fusion Reactor, SMTPit Pro, Theme Studio, (24U) Toolbox, Troi Dialog, Troi File, Troi URL

                   

                  Here is a visual:

                   

                  Screen Shot 2012-11-15 at 1.38.50 PM.png

                   

                  As you can see from the picture above, I created an Extensions folder in the user-level FileMaker 12 folder, then loaded each of the plug-ins above into it one at a time.

                   

                  Based on my testing of the plug-ins I am using, it appears that only the 2empowerFM plug-ins have a problem with being installed in 2 locations. All of the other ones do not mind (although Reactor is NOT enabled in FM12).

                   

                  The next question is which one gets loaded first. That will require more testing.

                   

                  Thanks,

                  --

                  Michael Frankel

                  Wizard Consulting Group, Inc.

                  Certified FileMaker Developer

                  Office: 818-706-8877

                  Skype-In: 818-483-4686

                  Skype: michaelfrankel

                  Mobile: 310-291-3419

                  Website: www.wizardconsultinggroup.com

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker 12v3 updater and automatic plug-in deployment
                    databuzz

                    Hi Michael,

                     

                    I'm a heavy plug-in user as well and had also noticed this change with the 12.0v3 updater. Based on my tests so far FileMaker Pro 12.0v3 will always load plug-ins from the new location first:

                     

                    /Users/username/Library/Application Support/FileMaker/FileMaker Pro Advanced/12.0/Extensions/

                     

                    then it will load them from the previously shared location that FileMaker Pro v9/10/11/12.0v1/12.0v2 used:

                     

                    /Users/username/Library/Application Support/FileMaker/Extensions/

                     

                    (These are the Mac OS X paths)

                     

                    Finally it will then load plug-ins found in the Application Extensions folder, e.g:

                     

                    /Applications/FileMaker Pro 12 Advanced/Extensions/

                     

                    It appears that when using the Install Plugin File script step under 12.0v3 it will not move any plugins that were installed in the:

                     

                    /Users/username/Library/Application Support/FileMaker/Extensions/

                     

                    to the appropriate "Saved" folder, so we will probably have to get users to delete these manually if there are issues of FileMaker crashing as a result. I need to do some more testing but that's what I've found so far. It looks like from now on each version of FileMaker Pro will have it's own Extensions folder in the user's Application Support directory.

                     

                    cheers,

                    Andrew

                     

                    FileMaker 12/11/10/9/8 Certified Developer

                    Databuzz

                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                    Phone: +61 2 9484 6565

                    Mobile: +61 418 468 103

                    Email: andrew@databuzz.com.au

                    http://www.databuzz.com.au

                    • 7. Re: FileMaker 12v3 updater and automatic plug-in deployment
                      BowdenData

                      My testing also shows FMP12 loading plugins from the new 12 specific location first and then the old location. I put older versions of a couple of plugins in the new 12 location and newer versions in the old location and when viewing the plugins tab in preferences, it shows the version loaded as being the older one. I did not test using the Extensions folder inside the FM Application folder.

                       

                      As for the crashing, I now can't reproduce it. I too have several 2empowerFM plugins installed and thought for sure that when I loaded those on both places, it would crash again. But it didn't... So strange! I will monitor it for a bit to see what happens.

                       

                      Doug

                      • 8. Re: FileMaker 12v3 updater and automatic plug-in deployment
                        Nico_Kobes

                        And also we have a other problem that we use Homefolders on the server (mac os 10.6 server)

                        When the plug-in tries to update we get error 1551.

                         

                        In:

                        /user/Library/Application Support/FileMaker/FileMaker Pro Advanced/12.0/Extensions/


                        there is a folder Temp created with the updated plug-in in it.

                         

                        I think the proccess tries to move the plug-in from the Temp folder to the Exntensions folder but can't do it for some reason.