One of the most powerful and, probably, least appreciated features of FileMaker 16 is the support of cURL. So what is cURL? Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:
cURL is a computer software project providing a library and command-line tool for transferring data using various protocols. The cURL project produces two products, libcurl and cURL. It was first released in 1997. The name originally stood for “see URL”.
All of which means you can now use some native cURL to get and send files over the internet. Combine that with the FileMaker 16 JSON functions and it opens a whole new world of connectivity without using custom functions or plugins.
Steve Winters, of Matatiro Solutions, presented on FileMaker cURL at FileMaker DevCon 2017. And if you need to get or send files, or connect easily to online services, or other communications with the world outside FileMaker, watch this video. Download the example files and work along with him in the video. Read up on some documentation…and save yourself a lot of time and frustration, because Winter gives you incredible code AND shows you all the ‘gotchas’ involved with making connections like these:
Winters provides code and guidance for several different services:
- Connect to Google Calendars using OAuth (the open standard for access delegation, which allows you a way grant website or application access without giving away passwords)
- Connect to Dropbox to upload and download files
- Simple synch of databases using the FileMaker Data API (REST). Or you can use fmREST, as well.
All of these techniques are basically the same, but it’s the exceptions that lead to a lot of frustration and “creative language”, as Winters calls it. And all of it is in the demo file available at the link below. And everything you learn will take you further down the path of connecting to the thousands of API’s available in the rest of the digital world.
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