Getting started

How to install the plug-in and check that it works.

Downloading the plug-in#Back to top

Download the appropriate version:

Installing the plug-in#Back to top

For the moment there's no installer and you have to install the plug-in manually.

The downloaded file is a Zip archive. Start by unzipping it. You'll see the following files:

  • PyFM.fmx (the plug-in)

  • PyFM Tools.fp7

  • PyFM License.pdf

Make sure to read the license and keep it for further reference. Move the PyFM Tools file where you plan to keep it. Note that you can use PyFM tools during installation to locate the required folders; see below.

Deinstalling the previous versions#Back to top

At the first launch the plug-in extracts required files in a support folder. If you already have an older versions of PyFM, you need to remove this support folder before you'll be able to use the new version. This is a temporary inconvenience during the alpha stage.

In Windows Vista, 7 and later the folder is here:


In Windows XP the folder is here:

C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\PyFM

To quickly locate the folder use the PyFM Tools file. Open it, switch to the ‘How to install the plug-in’ section, and find the path to the support folder there:

Click the path to reveal this folder in Windows Explorer.

Installing#Back to top

To install the plug-in you need to put the plug-in file (PyFM.fmx file into the FileMaker Extensions folder. Depending on your FileMaker version there could be more than one such a folder and one is better than another.

In new FileMaker versions,, starting with v10, the preferred Extensions folder resides in the user folder:

  • On Windows Vista, 7 and later the folder is here:

  • On Windows XP the folder is here:

    C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application

Note that these subfolders of the user folder are normally invisible; see below how to use PyFM Tools to quickly locate them.

In old FileMaker versions,, prior to v10 at least, the Extensions folder resides in FileMaker folder itself:

  • On Windows:

    C:\Program Files\FileMaker\FileMaker Pro 9\Extensions

The new location in the user folder is better for two reasons. First, it is shared by different FileMaker versions, so if you have both Pro and Advanced or v11 and v12, or any other combination of editions and versions, you only have to install the plug-in once to access it from anywhere.

Second, this is a user folder, not a system folder, like Program Files, so it does not require Admin rights to write to. This means the plug-ins can be easily installed at runtime even if the current user account has no Admin rights.

Noe that at the same time this can be a potential security breach; one can easily prepare a malicious plug-in, have it installed (in v12 this can happen as soon as you open a FileMaker file) and then execute any code. Make sure to only use files and plug-ins from trusted sources.

To quickly locate the Extensions folder use PyFM Tools file. Open the file. If it complains that the plug-in is not installed, dismiss the dialog. If necessary switch to the ‘How to install the plug-in’ tab:

The tab provides a short version of the instructions and also shows the actual path to the Extensions folder for the current computer. For example, on my computer the path looks so:

Click the path to reveal it Windows Explorer.

Checking that the plug-in works#Back to top

If you installed the plug-in when FileMaker was open, restart FileMaker first. The first start will take slightly longer because the plug-in extracts support files. This only happens once.

Open the supplied ‘PyFM Tools’ file. If the plug-in works, it should open without error and show the following screen:

Note the status widget in the top right corner. Here's how it looks if the plug-in works: it shows the plug-in version and status of the PyRun function, which can be ‘Trial,’ ‘Expired,’ or, if it's registered, ‘OK’:

By default PyRun() works in trial mode, limited to 120 uses or 2 hours, whichever comes first. If the limits are too tight for you, write to me and I'll send you a test license.

Where to go next#Back to top

If everything is OK, continue to the How to write your first module to start writing your own external functions in Python.

Troubleshooting#Back to top

If something is wrong, the PyFM Tools file will open with an error message and the status widget will indicate that the plug-in is not installed:

If this happened, open FileMaker preferences, switch to the plug-ins tab and see if PyFM is there. If yes, try to enable it manually.

If the plug-in is not there or you cannot enable it, or if the plug-in works, but crashes, please report this to

Gettging plug-in logs#Back to top

If possible, attach the plug-in logs; they should be stored in the following folder:

  • On Windows Vista, 7 and later:

  • On Windows XP:

    C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application

Note that these subfolders of your user folder are normally invisible; see below how to use PyFM Tools to locate them.

The plug-in tries to start logging as soon as possible, but it still can fail before this, so it may happen there won't be any logs.

The alpha version may generate up to 12 MB of logs. If you use DropBox, you can send me the files by sharing a DropBox folder with me using the same e-mail address as above.

To quickly locate the folder and create an e-mail to support use the ‘PyFM Tools’ file. Open the file and switch to the ‘Where to send feedback’ tab:

The tab has links to create an e-mail message and to locate the folder with the plug-in logs on the current computer:

Click the path to the logs to reveal the folder in Windows Explorer. Click the e-mail address to create a new e-mail message.