FileMaker Go: Optimising Data Entry

With FileMaker Go an iOS device offers a superb platform for efficiently entering data on the go. It is easy, however, to overlook behavioral differences between desktop and IOS platforms.

So whether you are converting an existing solution or creating a new solution for specific use on an iOS device, you should be aware of these factors and ensure that data entry processes are as streamlined as possible.

  • Try to avoid using radio buttons, as there is no way to deselect an option so that no options are selected.
  • Inserting values into a field from an index is not possible.
  • Be aware that drop down lists automatically activates the iOS keyboard while pop-up menus do not.
  • Asian languages: sideways text and Furigana are not supported.
  • The auto-complete functionality using existing values is not supported.
  • Calendars will highlight todays date but will not commit this value until it is modified and re-selected. An appraisal as to whether a default date is set via a script trigger may well be worth consideration.
  • Do not use mixing text styles in a text field. FileMaker Go may not display all text formatting if there are mixed text styles or paragraph styles in one text object. Editing a text field in FileMaker Go reverts all styles in a given field to plain text.
  • You are only able edit about 64K of text at a time. The amount of text that you can edit changes as the text editor tries to keep the truncation point at a word break location.
  • Input method editors (IMEs) will not work in text fields that have script triggers set up to catch keystrokes.

These factors should all be wrapped up in a design package that is complimentary to iOS use. Ensuring that layouts, field sizes, fonts, etc. are conducive to ease of use is essential too.

Simon Ward

Simon has been developing FileMaker databases since the late 90s and joined Linear Blue in 2006. Over this time he has developed database systems for clients in many different industries from Order Processing to Book Publishing. Simon’s BSc in Chemistry from Thames Valley University comes to the fore in his analytical skills and he is certified in FileMaker versions 7 through 12.

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