Snap2FM: Scanning directly into FileMaker with ScanSnap Scanners

Many of our clients have expressed interest in scanning directly into FileMaker Pro and we’ve been able to assemble tools to assist them in doing so for 10+ years. This is specifically relevant for industries involving contract management, legal documentation and – even more so – those in the medical field. While there have been solutions in the past for this direct scanning, none of them have been consistently supporting the latest versions of FileMaker or changing TWAIN drivers put developers into a perpetual game of scanner driver Whack-a-Mole.

Our team is happy to announce that we will be sharing a direct scanning solution we’ve had in our toolkit for FileMaker Pro 12 and 13 – the Snap2FM FileMaker “helper app”. Snap2FM was something our team decided to execute because of its huge value-add. Granted, it’s only compatible with Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners (due to the idiosyncrasies and technical challenges involved with interfacing with TWAIN compatible scanners) but this has not proved to be an issue for customers seeking elegant all in one desktop scanning solutions.

Why Snap2FM?

We are enthusiastic users of GoogleApps and we took note when a ScanToGoogleDocs application was developed, allowing direct scanning into Google Docs from a ScanSnap.

The new ScanToGoogleDocs application created an immediate boom in our workflow – and what’s good for us, can often be good for our customers. At this point, Adam Aronson proposed that we investigate the possibility of doing something similar with FileMaker and the ScanSnap scanner.

Up until now, users have had to scan their files to their hard drive and then insert them into FileMaker, browsing for the file with an Open dialog – a multi-step, cumbersome process. With our new FileMaker solution, Snap2FM, users will now be able to scan documents into FileMaker Pro quickly and easily to streamline their workflow.

Document management is an important, evolving portion of our space, and increased capabilities for scanning and storing files are a requirement that many more customers are asking us to fulfill. Snap2FM, along with the FileMaker remote storage feature dovetail well so we can now offer increased document management solutions.

For more document management assistance that we love here at FullCity, check out Document Snap for ideas on how to take advantage of customized paperless workflow solutions.

The Development of Snap2FM

The ScanSnap scanner software allows you to create a configuration that points to any application. If that application is capable of opening a jpeg or a PDF, you can execute a scan and it will open within the application. However, the challenge with FileMaker is that it opens database files, not image or PDF files. You can insert these into a database, but that requires scripting to automate.

With some work, we managed to come up with a connector application, Snap2FM, which does the following:

  1. Receives the path to the scanned file, when the app is called by ScanSnap.
  2. Runs a script in a FileMaker Pro file, and passes that script the path to the scanned file.
  3. Reads the name/address of the FileMaker server, the FileMaker filename, and the script name from a preferences file. We wanted these parameters to be read from preferences so that we could automatically deploy the scanning solution from FileMaker.

To automate the import of the scanned file, we’re using the updated FMP Script Protocol in FileMaker 12 and 13. Prior to FileMaker 12, it would have been necessary to use AppleScript on a Mac and VisualBasic on Windows, along with a cumbersome scripting process due to limited capabilities with the API and parameters. With the newly FileMaker FMP Script Protocol, we can use a URL to execute a script and pass the filepath to that script. One method works on both platforms.

The URL we’re using in ScanSnap2FM is:


Please keep in mind that FMP Script Protocol will only run a script if the specified file is being hosted by FMP or FMS and is opened remotely. This may change in the future, but for now, the protocol runs on a client, and only executes scripts on a file that is Opened Remotely.


Snap2FM Documentation

Some of the people who downloaded Snap2FM have requested documentation beyond out script comments and we’ve heard you loud and clear. Honestly, we underestimated the enthusiasm there would be for Snap2FM and were caught a bit behind the proverbial 8 ball in regards to how much documentation we provided.

With that said… we’re working on a set of videos that will explain various aspects of the ways that Snap2FM works with FileMaker and along with the script comments will hopefully address the questions that have lead you all to ask for documentation. We greatly appreciate your support and patience! Stay tuned…

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21 Responses to Snap2FM: Scanning directly into FileMaker with ScanSnap Scanners

  1. Stephan says:

    Thank you for providing this wonderful tool. Just wonder whether it will work with the new ScanSnap iX500 using WLAN?

    Thanks, Stephan

  2. Adam Aronson says:

    Hi Stephan,

    Thanks for your inquiry! We are also very excited by the features offered in the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 and – are awaiting delivery of ours as we speak. Once we have it in house and have had a chance to test it with Snap2FM we’ll check back here and let you know.

  3. Andreas Haandlykken says:

    Thank you for a smart solution. Does Snap2FM support ScanSnap N1800?

    Thanks, Andreas

  4. Adam Aronson says:

    Hi Stephan,

    It is my understanding that the WLAN scanning offered by the iX500 is only allowed from iOS devices at this time. Stay tuned – if there is an update that allows scanning over the wireless LAN from OS X or Windows we’ll be sure to look into ways to leverage that.


  5. Adam Aronson says:

    Hi Andreas,

    Snap2FM currently only supports scanning through the ScanSnap Manager interface so if the N1800 uses that or its tools have “ScanSnap Mode” available as an option you should be able to. Unfortunately, we don’t have access to an N1800 at this time.


  6. Andreas Haandlykken says:

    Have you been able to test Snap2FM with the iX500 yet?

    Thanks, Andreas

  7. Todd Duell says:

    Which ScanSnap models have you validated to work?

  8. Adam Aronson says:

    Hi Nick,

    I personally can confirm that it will as I use the iX500 and Snap2FM on my Mac when I’m in the office.


  9. Adam Aronson says:

    Hi Todd,

    The quick answer is… Any Fujitsu scanner that utilizes the ScanSnap Manager application (Windows or Mac) should be able to be configured to work with Snap2FM.


  10. Matts A says:


    Is there any additional documentation on the Scan2FM setup? I feel like I´m missing something here.

    Best! // Matts

  11. Jens Rasmussen says:

    Thanks a bunch. Is Snap2FM really free to use in my own solution? Great stuff.
    Like Andreas, I was looking for a network-based solution, like we already have with our HP Color LaserJet CM4540 MFP. However, it just scans to a network folder (via SMB), not directly into FM.

  12. Hi:

    We have a new non-profit FM 13 app that will require loads of document scanning. We are on PC and using 2 fi-6130’s but are considering an fi-7160 but the cost benefit of the ix500 is appealing – have you had success with either or both and any network testing?


  13. Adam Aronson says:

    Hi Larry,

    We haven’t had an opportunity to test with the Fujitsu fi series scanners. I personally have an ix500 on my desk and it works wonderfully with Snap2FM.

    We’re hoping to get a chance to test with the fi series scanners in the near future so stay tuned!


  14. In your FM Script “Export connector App” I had some problems due to the fact that I changed my HD name, so I changed the script line to “filemac:” & Get(SystemDrive)&”/Applications/” and that did the trick, you delivered a really nice and elegant solution for the FM users, thanks

  15. Stuart Gripman says:

    Good solution Humberto. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Rainer Hoffmann says:

    Beautiful solution. Runs smoothly with iX500 both via USB and WLAN. Thank you very much.

  17. Composer says:

    I can confirm that Snap2FM does work with the ScanSnap iX500. I got it working but my Filemaker chops need some refinement. I keep checking here for some video tutorials. Hopefully Adam will find the time.

    @Adam: If you post it, make sure to include a PayPal link. 😉

  18. Looks like a good app, but can’t seem to get it to work on a locally hosted file with just plain old FileMaker Pro. From your description, it seems that it is set up to target a server version of the database. Any chance of adding a parameter for a locally hosted file now that FileMaker Pro’s URL scheme has been improved?

    Also, did you ever do the setup videos mentioned in 2012 posting? Is there a link?



  19. Composer says:

    @Douglas Alder
    I have gotten it to work using 2 files. One that acts as the container repository (The record[s] aka your db solution) where you will insert the scan and the other is the file which FullCityConsulting provides (The file you download here). FCCs file will handle the heavy lifting which can then be inserted into the container field in your database. I did test using the file hosted on the same computer as my solution. It worked.

    I found several videos on youtube from people who had provided some explanation. This video may help – it’s a later version of the one I found (so you might check the authors other videos in his channel). Unfortunately it’s not in English and it’s now based on FMP 14. However you may be able to gain some insight from the video.

    I am still hoping they will post a basic setup sheet for developers or an install package with full documentation that they could sell and make a profit from.

    I would think they would see the value in being the expert source that people will turn to – thus elevating their position as a leader and trusted FMP resource. If not eventually some other developer will crack the case and Snap2FM will lose the opportunity to gain higher visibility due to lack of a market. I am surprised they haven’t posted a Paypal link even just as a test or as a simple means to generate some income to cover the cost of making better documentation. Everyone deserves to profit from their labor. I certainly would have sent them a payment when I downloaded it.

  20. Jeff Adler says:

    Works like a charm! Thank you Adam and Jonathan for a great program and for giving me pointers on getting this set up. My next challenge is to find a way for this to work with our scanner through Terminal Services. It works great when connected locally to a workstation running a FileMaker client. But our usual setup is to have staff connect to FileMaker through a remote desktop. We are struggling a bit with installing the scanner so that it can be recognized through the remote desktop. We will continue to experiment and hopefully we will find a solution. Again, thanks for providing this great “helper app.”

    All the best, Jeff Adler

  21. admin says:

    Hi Jeff! You’re very welcome. A pleasure meeting you at Devcon.


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