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Topic: FileMaker Layout Design
So, why is the Scriptology Theme Studio so helpful?
With its combination of useful tools and ever growing collection of attractive layouts, the value of the Theme Studio is pretty high. "I just wanted to save time when working in Layout mode - I wanted to do things faster." said Matt Petrowsky of ISO FileMaker Magazine.
The product pretty much speaks for itself as soon as you start to use it. Since it is itself, a FileMaker database, it centralizes all of your graphical efforts. This really impacts the design process...More information >>
Use the menus above to navigate this site or scroll down this front page for the most recent video articles.
Posted by: Editor / Wednesday, March 17, 2010 – 6:49pm
Before you think the thought "Oh, I'll just add another calculation", you need to ask yourself, "Seriously, how many calculations is too many?", and while the real answer to that question is entirely subjective, there is a real consideration when it comes to solution bloat. I'm sure you've never experienced that - right?
As you likely already know (or maybe you don't), one of the biggest challenges of any growing solution is the management of its multiple facets. Too many table occurrences on the graph -- it seems messy. Too many fields in a table -- you end up asking "What does that field do now?". Too many hidden tabs on a layout -- you're scratching your head about what you did and hoping you don't mess things up.
Simply, there are times when all you need is some type of calculated value. When you finally realize this, the solution is simple. Just one convenient script may be all you need.
Watch this video for a great technique for passing calculated information between files. This works not only for a Data/Interface separation model, but also for useful FileMaker development tools - of which one is included with this video.
Details: Released - 3/17/2010 / Size - 43.59 MB / Length - 22 min
Posted by: Editor / Tuesday, March 9, 2010 – 10:00am
Want to hear top developers discuss this new release?
Posted by: Editor / Tuesday, March 2, 2010 – 4:38pm
A native FileMaker solution is certainly capable of creating progress bars. I've seen all kinds of solutions. From those using the text "pipe" character to those using repeating container fields with each stage of a growing, multi-colored progress bar.
Lately, I've been working on my Theme Library solution and I was reminded of a technique where I could use a web viewer to show the progress of a long process - in my case downloading and importing a file. This worked out perfect for my solution because I could simply open a new window and show an indeterminate progress spinner.
In this video, I present all the tools and knowledge to replicate this same feature into your own solutions. Enjoy the progress!
Details: Released - 3/2/2010 / Size - 24.02 MB / Length - 19 min
Posted by: Editor / Tuesday, March 2, 2010 – 4:24pm
One of the most helpful aspects of creating any FileMaker solution is taking the time to create reusable scripts as you code along. While it does take a bit more effort to think things through, it creates a repository of resources you can pull from any time you start a new project or add a similar feature to your current one.
Leverage is what you're after. If you've seen any code you've written once before, and you start to enter that same code somewhere else, then you need to figure out how you can isolate the code so it can be reused.
In this video, I walk through the steps I take to make sure as much of my code (scripts and calculations - including custom functions) can be reused.
Details: Released - 3/2/2010 / Size - 35.42 MB / Length - 25 min
Posted by: Editor / Monday, February 15, 2010 – 3:53pm
Software users want to accomplish things as painlessly as possible. They want the big picture, they want it fast, and they becoming quite used to it. With companies like Google making it seem so simple to manage so much information, you can't afford to have your database look and feel like a software dinosaur.
You need to present the information from your solution in the most accessible and efficient manner possible. The most popular method of doing this is via a user Dashboard. A central location where each user of the software can call it their "home". It used to be that providing a menu of options, or the "Button Jungle" as I like to call it, was the "common thing to do" in a software solution - especially a database.
In this new world of software sophistication, presenting a user Dashboard is par for the course. The question you may have is "How can I add this to my solution as painlessly as possible?". Well, I'm always glad you ask, because it affords me the opportunity to simply show you how. Here's a video which walks through the finer points, and easy steps, to implement a fully flexible user Dashboard!
Details: Released - 2/15/2010 / Size - 41.71 MB / Length - 26 min
Posted by: Editor / Monday, February 15, 2010 – 3:51pm
If you haven't used them before, then it's probably time you should check them out. What I'm talking about are Hidden Utility Windows or the more commonly referred to "Off-screen Windows".
This has been a common developer trick in many software solutions. FileMaker is no stranger to this process. The know-how behind this trick, however, may be more simple than you think - or could be more simple than you're used to.
By creating some generalized routines, we can optimize the process of creating and using off-screen windows for the purpose of state-saving scripting. This video will present all the information you need in order to get a handle on using these useful tools!
Details: Released - 2/15/2010 / Size - 17.76 MB / Length - 12 min
Posted by: Editor / Tuesday, February 2, 2010 – 3:45pm
Ok, I'll admit it. Unless you know you need localization for your FileMaker solution, this isn't a sexy topic. But WAIT! There's MORE...
This topic isn't just about localization. This topic could also be considered "User Interface Strings" or "Optimized Layout Display". Essentially, the big deal about the content presented in this video, is the fact that the concept shown can be leveraged in a variety of ways.
Watch this video if you're interested in knowing one of the many ways you can optimize your visual design process and gain some extra benefits in terms of managing the visual development and growth of your solution. With good naming conventions, the flexibility presented offers a number of benefits over adding static text to your layouts.
Details: Released - 2/2/2010 / Size - 28.23 MB / Length - 15 min
Posted by: Editor / Tuesday, February 2, 2010 – 3:35pm
Adding the extra bit of class and appeal to your database can be accomplished quite easily. In most cases, you're using some neutral color as a base for your layouts because it's the easiest to view for extended periods of time. While simply selecting the layout part and choosing a light gray may be easy, there's certainly more you can do.
In this video, I go through some of the foundations for enhancing your layouts to make more effective use of gray. While the color doesn't specifically have to be gray per se, the trick here is to make layouts look like any other attractive software design. Presented are some of the tips to make your solution look that much better no matter what color you are using - gray just happens to be one of the most popular.
Details: Released - 2/2/2010 / Size - 14.96 MB / Length - 15 min
Posted by: Editor / Tuesday, January 26, 2010 – 8:35pm
Adding the finer details to the look and feel of your interface should certainly be a serious consideration. If you want your FileMaker solution to look just as good as the rest of the software your users are using, then add the things they've already come to expect.
On both operating systems, gradients are taken for granted. In this video, I showcase how I added a gradient-based portal row highlight. This is an easy thing to accomplish and only requires a few considerations before making the addition.
Using a bit of creativity, you can have as many different colors of gradient rows in the whole of your solution, and handle it efficiently. If you're seeking that extra bit of appeal in your solution, then watch this video for the information you need!
Details: Released - 1/26/2010 / Size - 16.3 MB / Length - 16 min
Posted by: Editor / Thursday, January 14, 2010 – 6:04pm
FileMaker's error handling (or better known as exception handling) isn't as sexy as creating a really killer user interface. It's not as fun either. It's something you don't really realize you need, until you REALLY start managing an ever growing collection of scripts - many of which might break if an error happens.
This is when you think to yourself, "Shouldn't I just put in some error handling from the start?". Well, yes you should.
That's exactly what this video is all about. Implementing a good error trapping system which provides the flexibility you'll need down the road. Sure, you can add in a "If ( Get ( LastError ) = this or Get ( LastError ) = that )", and do it for a few hundred scripts, but it's much easier to handle errors if you have a solid approach at the start.
If you've got your own error handling advice then please leave a comment on this article.
Details: Released - 1/14/2010 / Size - 23.1 MB / Length - 24 min
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