How to install the BaseElements Plugin
You've downloaded the plugin file, and got a .fmx64 or a .fmplugin file, now what do you do?
Open the FileMaker application preferences, and go to the plugins tab. You'll see a dialog much like this one :
Click on the Reveal Plug-in Folder button at the bottom of that window. That will open a folder that you can copy the BaseElements plugin file into.
Restart FileMaker Pro, and when you re-open the dialog, BaseElements should appear in the list like the one above.
The scripted install is the best way to keep plugins up to date on any system that is being used constantly and where you want to check that the plugin is active before you let a user do tasks that require the plugin. You can use a script that runs via the On First Window Open trigger, to check for the latest version and install it if required.
If you're starting from scratch to build this yourself, it's not complex, but there are a few steps.
Create a FileMaker file ( or use a table in an existing file, or create a new table) with container fields to store all of the versions of the plugin you need to install. So one for Win32, Win64, Mac and Linux, or only one if you are only ever on a single platform. This could be a single record Plugins table you create just for this purpose, or could be global fields that you set in the file when it's not hosted.
Then drag and drop the relevant plugins into the corresponding container fields.
Create a script that checks what version of the plugin is installed via the BE_Version function, and then uses the Install Plug-in File script step to install the right plugin for each platform if required. This script could be called on startup, or just prior to any plugin action that is being done.
For example, our sponsors get access to a sample file that does this, along with some easy to read Custom Functions for determining the current platform. This table and script could be added to any other FileMaker file via copy and paste.
How do I know if the BaseElements plugin is installed?
There are two places to check : in the FileMaker Application Preferences dialog, as per the above, and in the Calculation Editor dialog box, as per the screenshot below.
Note : there are NO BaseElements Plugin Script steps, so it won't add any steps to the Script Editor, BaseElements only adds Functions to the calculation editor.