Creating a custom app > Working with plug-ins > Creating custom plug-ins

Creating custom plug-ins

If you are a C or C++ programmer and familiar with calculations and scripts in FileMaker Pro Advanced, you can create plug-ins that extend the feature set of the FileMaker application. The plug-ins can take advantage of recursion and looping, or hook into other programming interfaces. To create a custom plug-in, you will need the FileMaker plug-in SDK.

To use plug-ins, FileMaker Pro Advanced users need to allow solution files to install and enable plug-ins. For hosted files, the server administrator needs to allow the Install Plug-In File script step to update plug-ins installed on the server in FileMaker Server Admin Console or FileMaker Cloud Admin Console.

To prepare your custom plug-ins:

1. Using C or C++, create a plug-in file.

Windows: The plug-in extension must be .fmx (32-bit FileMaker Pro Advanced) or .fmx64 (64-bit FileMaker Pro Advanced).

macOS: The plug-in extension must be .fmplugin.

2. Compile and test the plug-in.

3. Install the compiled plug-in file in a container field in your FileMaker solution. See Installing plug-ins.

4. (optional) Set up the solution file to check the version of installed plug-ins and update them if needed. See Plug-in update example.

To make plug-ins available in a file, users need to:

1. Enable and configure plug-ins in the Preferences dialog box in FileMaker Pro Advanced. See Setting plug-in preferences.

2. (optional) Select Allow Solutions to Install Files in the plug-in preferences to have plug-in updates installed automatically. See Plug-in update example.

3. Do one of the following:

To use a function provided by the plug-in, sort the list of functions in the Specify Calculation dialog box by type. Under the name of the plug-in, choose a function.

To use a script step provided by the plug-in, sort the list of script steps in the Script Workspace by category. Under the name of the plug-in, choose a script step.


For security reasons, system administrators might require users to disable Allow Solutions to Install Files. Contact the system administrator at your customer site for more information.

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