Modular FileMaker – A New Mailchimp Module


If you are not familiar with the web site called Modular FileMaker, you owe it to yourself to check out some of the great code residing there. A Mailchimp module was recently added from FMSimplicity. It is, as advertised, modular and offers the potential of a less complicated installation procedure. I haven’t actually tried installing it yet, but it looks promising. If you are in the process of integrating Mailchimp with your FileMaker solution, check this out as an alternative to the methods I have demo-ed previously on this blog.

Features:

  • Based on sending JSON to Mailchimp, which brings the potential to send batches of changes, rather than loading a web page (or Insert from URL) for each individual update
  • Built on the v2 API, an update to the latest version from Mailchimp
  • Uses the wonderful Base Element’s free plugin to send requests with HTTPPOST
  • Covers similar List Management territory including:
    • Interest/Groupings
    • Lists
    • Member Info
    • Subscribe
    • Unsubscribe
    • Update Member
  • Potentially saves me re-writing my demo solution for v2 API calls and FileMaker Pro 13’s httppost capability.

mailchimp-v2-api

Some organizations are dead set against using plugins, so there still may be an argument to use FileMaker Pro 13’s built-in httppost function, despite the limitations of not being able to set the HTTP headers. Instead of just using JSON like the rest of the web universe, FileMaker Pro 13’s httppost data must be formatted using x-www-form-urlencoded syntax. According to Stack Overflow:

For application/x-www-form-urlencoded, the body of the HTTP message sent to the server is essentially one giant query string — name/value pairs are separated by the ampersand (&), and names are separated from values by the equal symbal (=). 
 

With the help of my web-savvy son Cory of Davander Mobile, I had started to look at how to do this, but haven’t had time to get very far. So far, I have only achieved a very basic PING command.

"https://us1.api.mailchimp.com/2.0/helper/ping?apikey=" 
& Settings::MailChimp_Global_API

2014-11-05 Update: Was looking through FileMaker’s list of plugins and developer tools today and stumbled on a European company that sells a packaged solution for 249 Euros that purports to link up with MailChimp. I cannot attest to the quality of it, but the short demo on their website looks good. Source: Kempen Automatisering

2014-12-17 Update: Mail Kimp Remix

 

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