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John Kornhaus

zippTools releases Mac UB shell scripting plug-in, zippShell 1.1

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San Antonio, TX–July 19, 2007

zippTools is pleased to announce the release of a Mac Universal Binary shell scripting plug-in, zippShell 1.1. It is available for immediate download from our new web site, http://www.zipptools.com.

What is zippShell?

zippShell is a plug-in for FileMaker Pro® that allows developers to harness the full power of the operating system by executing shell scripting commands from within any calculation dialog.

With zippShell you can:

• Perform file-manipulation functions

• Perform complex text processing with grep or perl

• Send and receive files from FTP sites and Web Servers

• Return the result of a shell script from a calculation

• Schedule a shell script to be performed at a specific date and time

... and much more.

System Requirements

FileMaker Pro 7 and later; Mac OS X (PPC) or Mac OS X (Intel).

zippShell is provided free of charge to the FileMaker community. See the license information included in the example file for further details.


John Kornhaus



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Hello John,

I have 2 questions regarding ZippShell:

1) I am looking for a solution to upload files with ftp, and i need a feedback in filemaker for the customer: Is this possible with ZippShell?

2) Will there be a Windows Version of this plugIn too?


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1) I've used AppleScript and the do shell script command for this. But zippShell would do it also. You'd want to script it, ie., not a calculation. zippShell is a door to the built-in command line tools. There's a couple of tools on a Mac that will do ftp, either ftp or curl. I've used curl. Look at its manual page for its options.*

curl -T 'local path' 'ftp://user:password@server.net/path/image.gif'

// or just let curl name the file; destination must end with slash /

curl -T 'local path' 'ftp://user:password@server.net/path/'

// you can specify the port, though 21 is the default

curl -T 'local path' 'ftp://user:password@server.net:21/path/'

2) Yes, it would be nice if it was cross-platform, and I have no idea whether/when that would happen, though I thought I saw somewhere that he wanted to do that.

On Windows you can use the Abstrakt plug-in, at least with Windows XP. There is a version of curl for Windows also, but you have to go get it and install it yourself (clunky). There's also another tool, Wget, which does the same thing, and has better documentation, IMHO.

*Launch the Terminal app and type: man curl

Or, if you want to read it properly, get the free Bwana app, which lets you read manual pages in Safari.

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