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FileMaker 12v3 updater and automatic plug-in deployment

Question asked by Michael Frankel on Nov 14, 2012
Latest reply on Nov 23, 2012 by Nico_Kobes

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

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