New in 14: Recommendations

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    Thank you for trying some of the top features of the FileMaker 14 Platform! As you explore them on your own, please share your discoveries here in the FileMaker Community. It's great to hear about your innovations and to learn what you've been up to.


    Please be sure to check out FileMaker WebDirect as well, which now works for a range of mobile devices. Its interface has been completely reworked along the same lines as FileMaker Go, with changes under the hood for improved performance.


    Likewise, FileMaker Server offers exciting new features with this release, such as security improvements, the ability to reconnect to hosted databases after a network disruption, and convenient standby server functionality allowing you to maintain a secondary server ready for deployment should your primary server fail or need maintenance.


    Here's a recap of what this training covered. To assist with your review, we've added recommendations about immediate actions you can take when upgrading your solutions:

     

    1)  Launch Center

    • Add icons to your files because they help users identify your solutions quickly.
    • Consider designing a custom icon because a unique image is even easier to recognize and helps to establish your brand.

    2)  Navigation parts

    • If your header or footer is primarily used for navigation, change it to a navigation part.
    • Because navigation parts do not print, you will want to keep any printable layout objects in your header or footer parts. You can include navigation parts, headers, and footers on the same layout — though sometimes you may choose to design separate layouts intended for printing.

    3)  Button bars and icons

    • Use button bars anywhere it makes sense to group buttons that have a similar function. Typical uses include navigation, customized alternatives to radio buttons or checkbox sets, and switching between tabs or slide panels.
    • Replace button fill images with button icons because they provide standardized formatting options and display states. If you are still layering images on top of buttons, change to button icons because they will work properly in WebDirect.

    4)  Object Components

    • Familiarize yourself with the new combinations of objects and display states, as well as the new object component parts.
    • Take the time to review the object display states built into the theme you are using, and customize as needed to get the ideal interactive experience for your solution. When building themes from scratch, don't neglect display states -- including those for component objects.

    5)  Placeholder text

    • Replace field labels with placeholder text if the field is easy to identify when populated.
    • Don't replace field labels with placeholder text for fields that contain similar values (like multiple phone numbers on the same layout).
    • Use placeholder text to provide formatting instructions.
    • Don't replace field labels with placeholder text in long forms that require the user to scroll when reviewing their answers.

    6)  Hidden scroll bars

    • Use the "when scrolling" option to simplify your layout, helping to focus the user's attention on the elements that matter.

    7)  Script Workspace

    • Take the time to familiarize yourself with the new auto-complete functionality and keyboard shortcuts. Working almost exclusively from the keyboard can speed up your script entry time considerably.
    • To view a script in a second window, command-click (OS X) or right-click (Windows) on its name in the left pane or its tab in the center pane and then choose "Open in New Window".

    8)  FileMaker Go interface

    • Swipe upwards with three fingers for an immersive iOS-like experience, or script the same behavior using two script steps (Show/Hide Menubar and Show/Hide Toolbar).

    9)  Signature screen text

    • Since signature screen text can be calculated, it lends itself well to localization.
    • Consider seeking legal advice regarding any text that you place on the signature screen.

    10 & 11)  Allowed orientations

    • Limit allowed device orientation for specific layouts in FileMaker Go when you want to take full advantage of screen real estate.
    • Consider pairing Set Allowed Orientations with script triggers such as OnFirstWindowOpen, OnLayoutEnter, OnRecordLoad, etc.

    12)  AV playback interaction

    • Capturing user viewing information (such as pause position) can be useful for asset review, training authentication, and other use cases. This information supports automated playback and provides context for review comments.
    • Code defensively when managing user interaction with AV playback, adding steps to handle unexpected playback states.
    • Consider whether to enable media interaction on the lock screen, which is permitted by default.