is it possible to call an external (Java-)program from within a Natural plugin ???
If yes, how can i do that ?
It would be possible to invoke the external program, but I’m not sure if there could be any type of interaction between them (windows clipboard maybe?). That type of functionality may be where developing a plugin using the other interfaces (VB or C++) would come in to play.
By combining the native call interfaces of Natural and Java it is possible to bridge between the two. The general direction is writing a user library in C (see the documentation of the Natural CALL statement in the Statements Manual) and from this library instantiating a Java class and calling its methods through the Java Native Interface JNI (see for instance http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/docs/guide/jni/index.html). If you are interested in direct access from Natural to Java, it might be a good idea to submit an official enhancement proposal.
Oops, there was a small accident with the URL: It’s http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/docs/guide/jni/index.html
Another possible option could be to look at using the ActiveX bridge, documentation is at:
Please let me (us?) know if/how you end up solving this.