FileMaker Pro serial port programming

Posted on 2004-10-26
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Where can I find FileMaker Pro commands to talk to the serial port? Is there such a thing? or should i use a plug-in? All I was able to find was Troi serial plug-in - it's expensive. Maybe there's a native command in FileMaker Pro (5 or 6) to communicate to the serial port?


Question by:edudatph
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    There's not a built-in way to address the serial port specifically. FileMaker is pretty high-level, and is also cross-platform, so it doesn't have much hardware-specific stuff.

    There's a free plugin that does serial IO on the Macintosh, but it's not available for Windows. Also, if you're on a Mac you can use Applescript, which can do just about anything. Assuming you're on Windows though...

    You can probably talk to your serial port by writing a vbscript or batch to do the port IO, then use FileMaker's "Send Message" and GoToField[Select/Perform] options to activate the utility as needed. If you have a DDE-enabled terminal program, you can use the "Send DDE Execute" script step. I don't know of any DDE server terminals off hand though.

    Here's a site that has some serial IO utilities for Windows that may help you. Many of them are free.

    If you just want to write to a serial port and don't care about reading, you can do this by configuring a generic/text only printer on the serial port and sending print jobs to it.

    Author Comment

    Ayt! Thanks very much for the quick reply. Was actually gonna do an SMS program connecting the cellphone using a DLR-3P connected to the serial port. Since it's "not possible" to do it native, it think I'll use 4th Dimension instead, since I have it already there, and just link the 2 programs to get data from each other.

    Thanks very much, it's really a big help. I'm not really familiar with Filemaker, in fact I haven't used it. It's just my client uses it and he wants me to see if there's any possibility that I do it in Filemaker. It is possible but it will take some time for me to develop it. Again, my thanks.

    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    If you can find or write a utility that does SMS and accepts command-line parameters, you can call it from within FileMaker and pass it FileMaker fields as parameters. You might want to take a look at the Nokia PC-Suite SDK, it's got APIs and utilities to do all sorts of stuff to your phone via any of several types of connections. It will probably also give you some info on Nokia-specific features too.

    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    Ooops, I forgot the link:,6566,034-20,00.html

    This is the Nokia PC-Suite SDK.
    The PC-Suite itself might also be useful, don't know much about it though.

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