FileMaker 16 – Card Tricks part 1

With the unveiling of FileMaker 16 it is clear that the focus is to stay up to date with current UI design and functionality.  At the core of this release is a drive to give developers more creative design and development control. What then is better than a new version? A new set interface tools.

The two new features that will be covered in part 1 of this blog will be the addition of animations to the ‘Go to Layout’ script step for FileMaker Go and the new card window.

Go to Layout Animations

Animations have been added to the Go to Layout script step allowing developers to customise and enhance the user’s experience (for FileMaker Go on iOS only). With the addition of 12 new animation styles, each time a new layout is called a different style can now be selected.

The new format is as follows.

Go to Layout [“<layout name or layout number>”; Animation: <animation option>]

FileMaker 16 Go To Layout Animation

Keep in mind, that any navigation utilised via the status tool bar or the Go to Layout menus will not trigger these transitions.  This functionality must all be defined at the script level.

Animations are currently only accessible via FileMaker Go and we hope to see this expand further in future releases. In the meantime, new solutions will certainly benefit from this enhancement as FileMaker Go allows us to create a more interactive app like experience.

To see some of these effects in action, open the Demo_Mobile.fmp12 file in FileMaker Go 16 on an iPad and navigate around the Customer and Enquiry areas of the file.

Cards

The “New Window” script step has had a significant make over.  The new card option is now a part of a selection of 4 different window styles.  By selecting the familiar cog icon, the following options are now available:

  1. Document
  2. Floating Document
  3. Dialog
  4. Card

FileMaker 16 New Window DocumentFileMaker 16 New Window Document Options

At LinearBlue we have been playing around with utilising Cards for navigation menus.  It came up in discussions that the card functionality would pair well with navigational menus especially when differentiating between different permission levels.

For example, a layout could be created for each permission level and called upon via a script. Layouts accessed via the card could then be managed in a single admin area eliminating the tedious task of replacing objects on every client visible layout through out the system.  Note: Hiding would also no longer be required allowing for a cleaner system and saving time on development.

Even differentiating between platforms can be managed by this process. On the desktop, it may be more aesthetically pleasing for the menu to appear from top while from a mobile device it may make sense for it to appear in a more centralised location (see demo files).  What we like is the that the choice has been left to developers allowing for flexibility, creativity and a much more responsive UI.

Key things to keep in mind

  1. When setting the position of the card note FileMaker forces a top and left starting point.
  2. The dimensions of a card cannot exceed the parent window
  3. Cards cannot be maximised or minimised – all resizing takes place at script level.
  4. Only one card can be opened at a time on the same parent window
  5. If a script is written to close the parent window FileMaker will attempt to close the card window first. Look out for Error codes!
  6. The Close option is exactly that…an option.  If not selected be sure to add a button on the layout so that users don’t get stuck on the page.

7) In FileMaker Pro:  There is not an option to display title, status or formatting toolbar, or a window frame. However in these options are available in FileMaker Go.  All settings must be scripted before the card is actually displayed.

Note that if the position values of the card are set to blank the card will appear in the centre of the parent window.  To make the card appear from the top simply set the top position to 0.

(See below)

FileMaker 16 Card Menu Script

FileMaker 16 New Window Card Center

FileMaker 16 New Window Card Top

Two demo files have been created for this blog.  Both show examples of cards and Go to Layout animations and how they differ between desktop and mobile devices.

Card Tricks Part two will be out shortly where we will be looking into more uses for cards and how to get a little more clever with their placement.

Happy coding!

Download FM16 Card Demos

FileMaker Demo File Logins are as follows:
Account: Full Access
Password: fullaccess
Account: User
Password: user

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