Using cURL and FileMaker Pro Together
Believe it or not, cURL and FileMaker know each other. FileMaker makes use of cURL, but developer access to the commands is limited – hopefully that will change in the next release of FileMaker.
cURL (originally from "see-URL") is pretty much the glue that holds the internet together. Or as the official cURL website puts it:
What's curl used for?
curl is used in command lines or scripts to transfer data. It is also used in cars, television sets, routers, printers, audio equipment, mobile phones, tablets, settop boxes, media players and is the internet transfer backbone for thousands of software applications affecting billions of humans daily.
Who makes curl?
curl is free and open source software and exists thanks to thousands of contributors. The curl project follows well established open source best practises.
That makes cURL quite possibly the most used and least known critical product in the world. And to use it with FileMaker, we need a plugin to use and control all the features.
Which plugin is best?
Three plugins come to mind right away:
Since the Base Elements Plugin is free and a great plugin with a lot of functions, most developers use it for cURL and other things, like SOAP, JSON, and more.
But don't just blow off the MBS plugin because you have to buy it. It has well over 2400 plugins along with plenty of example files, and lets you do things no other plugin offers. And it has a great blog post on using cURL with FileMaker.
bBox (also free) lets you run Python, AppleScript, Perl, PHP, Ruby and shell scripts in addition to cURL, and dozens of other functions, too.
Watch this video first
But to get started using cURL and FileMaker together, watch this video from Matt Petrowsky. Trust me, it will save you a lot of time, as will any video from Matt.
Learn cURL to communicate with the rest of the internet world –it will come in handy. Here are a couple of more links to help you get started:
- Nick Lightbody's use of cURL in DeskSpaceCMS
- This custom function from Brian Dunning's uses cURL and AppleScript for an easy ftp upload
Don't wait, get started.
Connecting FileMaker Pro to the rest of the world via different, existing technologies is becoming more important, mainly due to clients demand for more connectivity. And future versions of FileMaker will be making this easier to do. Get a jump-start now.
Culture is a gravitational force, and it resists your efforts to make things work better.
So what? Persist.