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24U SimpleFile Plug-In Overview

24U SimpleFile Plug-In lets your FileMaker solutions easily access files stored anywhere on your hard drive, server, or network, allowing your users to keep their files and documents organized without ever leaving your solution’s user interface.

  • Keith Caldwell

Whether you want to import or export documents that are not natively supported, or just extend the import and export abilities of FileMaker WebDirect FileMaker Custom Web Publishing, or FileMaker Go, 24U SimpleFile Plug-In will let you achieve your goals without feeling limited.

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Manage files and folders

With 24U SimpleFile Plug-In your solution can easily create, delete, copy, move, and rename files and folders anywhere on your hard disk, on the FileMaker Server’s hard disk, or any other network connected shared folder. You don’t even have to care about converting between different file path notations as our plug-in understands them and can easily convert between them.

Without having to deal with file path syntax issues, your solutions can easily:

  • maintain connection between your data and your externally stored documents
  • keep your files and folders perfectly organized
  • let users focus on their work without leaving your solution’s interface

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Read and write text and binary files

24U SimpleFile Plug-In lets you directly read from or write to any file, whether it contains text, picture, or any kind of binary data. You can specify text encoding when working with text files, choose between Base64 or hexadecimal dump for binary files, and import to and export from container fields.

With SimpleFile you’re no longer limited to import and export abilities natively supported by FileMaker Pro. You can import anything and export anything, even on FileMaker Server, so that your solution can easily integrate with other systems.

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Open File and Save File dialogs

24U SimpleFile Plug-In lets your solution prompt the user for a file to open, or to choose a name and target folder for a new file to create, using the standard Open File and Save File dialogs. You can provide the user with a descriptive prompt and limit the selectable files to only certain typesds.

Unlike using the built-in import & export script steps, you can let your users organize their files the way they like, while still maintaining full control over the other import & export settings. You can also retain the imported or exported file’s name and location for further processing or easy automated updates.

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Convert, resize, and rotate images

24U SimpleFile Plug-In can convert a picture from one file format to another, while also resizing it to the dimensions you specify and rotating it based on the EXIF rotation flag.

Resizing and converting images lets you import different manually-sized image thumbnails to your database and present them on the web, saving space and network bandwidth, while leaving the full-size originals on the disk. EXIF-based rotation lets you display scanned images properly rotated even in applications that ignore the EXIF metadata.

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Mount network volumes

With 24U SimpleFile Plug-In your solution can mount a network shared folder as a new volume, using any of the protocols supported by the current operating system. On OS X at least Samba, AFP, WebDAV, and FTP are supported, Windows support at least Samba by default, but support for additional protocols can be installed on each platform.

Whether you are using Mac, Windows, or a NAS to hold your shared files, your FileMaker solution can access them and keep them organized just like if they were sitting on your local hard drive, without any assistance from the user.

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Import and export styled text using RTF

One of the file formats supported by SimpleFile’s read and write functions is RTF, a format understood by Microsoft Word, Pages, and all other word processing applications. When using this file format, the plug-in automatically converts styles, such as font size, color, and typeface, between RTF and the styled text understood by FileMaker Pro.

You can start your workflow in a text editor, import your document to FileMaker Pro, add database data, then export it back as a word processing document, all without losing the text formatting attributes.

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NEW! 24U SimpleFile Plug-In 3

24U SimpleFile Plug-In 3 is the new version of our file manipulation plug-in for FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server, improved to provide all the following new features and more:

  • Better stability and full compatibility with
    FileMaker Server 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16
  • Full compatibility with FileMaker Pro 16 in both
    32-bit and 64-bit architectures
  • More options in file/folder selection dialogs
  • Interaction with OS X Finder, Windows Explorer, and other apps
  • ZIP compressing files and folders

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Reliable with FileMaker Server 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16

Thanks to the support for the 64-bit architecture 24U SimpleFile Plug-In 3.0 can now be used with FileMaker Server both in server-side scripts and with web publishing. Most of its features have been redesigned to work reliably when the same plug-in is accessed from multiple threads and sessions at the same time.

Whether you are accessing your solution with FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, FileMaker WebDirect, or a PHP-based web, 24U SimpleFile Plug-In installed on the server will let you:

  • safely access files stored locally on the server.
  • upload pictures over web and import them to your database
  • export your data as a CSV file and download them over web
  • perform complex imports and exports on the server
  • perform multiple tasks at once without crashing the server

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Compatible with 64-bit FileMaker Pro 16

24U SimpleFile Plug-In 3 works on both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, making it fully compatible with FileMaker Pro 16. On OS X the plug-in comes as universal binary just like FileMaker Pro. On Windows you have to install the version matching your FileMaker Pro architecture.

You can upgrade to the most recent version of FileMaker Pro as soon as you are ready. 24U SimpleFile Plug-In 3 will simply work with it, letting you to keep your files organized and connected to your data.

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More guidance in Open File and Save File dialogs

With 24U SimpleFile Plug-In 3 your solution can now display Open File and Save File dialogs with a customized prompt, specify the default folder to show in the dialog, pre-fill the new file’s name, and specify file types to enable for selection.

Your solution can now provide a native user interface for opening and saving files, that is easy enough for the user to understand and saves the user’s time by pre-filing the dialogs with the best possible defaults.

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Interact with Finder, Windows Explorer, and apps

24U SimpleFile Plug-In 3 enables your solution to reveal files and folders in Finder on Mac and Windows Explorer on Windows, open specific files with specific applications, and run other applications with custom parameters.

Your solution can keep the user’s documents organized and access them quickly and easily without having to browse through complex folder structures manually. When your solution knows where the file is, the user doesn’t have to bother. Just provide a button to either show the file in its folder, or open it for editing in the proper application.

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ZIP compressing and decompressing

The new version of 24U SimpleFile Plug-in can compress files and folders into ZIP archives and extract compressed files from a ZIP archive.

You can not only save hard disk space by compressing large files, but also provide a whole folder of files to a task that’s designed to work with a single file, to do things like:

  • importing multiple files into a single container field
  • sending multiple files as an e-mail attachment
  • downloading multiple files as a single package using Insert From URL
  • installing a whole multi-file solution from a single container
  • providing a set of exported files as a single web download

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Plug-In Functions

24U SimpleFile Plug-In provides all its functionality to FileMaker Pro via the following set of external calculation functions:

  • SFile_Version( { versionFormat } )
  • SFile_Register ( selector )
  • SFile_Choose( itemKind { ; prompt { ; initialPath { ; additionalOptions } } } )
  • SFile_New( path { ; itemKind } )
  • SFile_Delete( path )
  • SFile_Copy( sourcePath ; targetPath )
  • SFile_Move( sourcePath ; targetPath )
  • SFile_Read( path { ; startIndex { ; maxLength } } { ; encoding } )
  • SFile_Write( path ; data { ; startIndex } { ; encoding } )
  • SFile_Convert( sourcePath ; targetPath { ; name ; value } { ; name ; value } … )
  • SFile_Open( path { ; pathToApplication } )
  • SFile_Reveal( path )
  • SFile_Run( path { ; arguments } )
  • SFile_Mount( URL { ; mountDirPath} { ; username ; password } )
  • SFile_Unmount( mountPath )
  • SFile_Get( selector { ; path } { ; parameter } )
  • SFile_Set( selector ; path ; newValue )
  • SFile_Compress( archivePath ; sourcePath )
  • SFile_Decompress( path { ; targetDirectory } )

Click here to examine the whole syntax description

System Requirements


  • Recommended: Any Intel Mac, 4 GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.12 Sierra, FileMaker Pro 16 Advanced.
  • Minimum: Any Intel Mac since 2008, 2 GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.9 Mountain Lion, FileMaker Pro 14.


  • Recommended: Dual Core 1.6 GHz processor, 2048 MB RAM, Windows 10, FileMaker Pro 16 Advanced.
  • Minimum: 1 GHz processor, 2 GB RAM, Windows 7, FileMaker Pro 14.

FileMaker Pro compatibility:

  • Fully compatible with FileMaker Pro 8.5-17.
  • Compatible with FileMaker Pro 15-17 in both 32-bit and 64-bit architecture
  • Older versions with limited functionality are available for FileMaker Pro 4-8

FileMaker Server compatibility:

  • Fully compatible with FileMaker Server 12 – 17
Click here for detailed compatibility table
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