Open FileMaker 15's Help window. Note how on the left side of the Help screen FMI makes use of a great data organization/presentation tool called a hierarchical menu/list. Let's note how long that has been a standard in the web and data world, pretty much everywhere except in FileMaker...where it can be replicated by a talented developer with a LOT of work, but it should just be a standard UI object. My vision is that the portal definition would allow us to specify 2-3+ fields that will be used to define each level of the hierarchy. Extra points for a UI that also allows us to specify content for those rows (like sub-summary parts), but this is NOT NEARLY as critical as just being able to specify categories and sub-categories!!
Totally agree with this! Customers actually EXPECT this, but it is near impossible for us to build this functionality into our solutions, without jumping through TONS of fragile scripting & calculation workarounds, which I would never add into my solutions.
Being able to create hierarchical menus on layouts as below (forgive the poor diagram but it should convey the idea adequately) would save lots of display estate when it comes to selecting options from menus with many possibilities.
There are two particular instances I am trying to solve within an asset database system I have developed at the company I work for, both would benefit from having this hierarchical approach available within the interface. Firstly we have a huge number of suppliers that we need to keep track of and given that suppliers is a reporting field the use of a normal edit box with freeform text entry isn't workable due to users making typos when entering data. So we have them select from a very long drop down list, which could be sliced up using a hierarchical menu into distinct alphabetic groups thus speeding up the menu selection process for the user as well as being vastly superior from a cosmetic point of view.
The second issue is the recording of the type of asset itself. We need to record the asset category (infrastructure, staff, facilities etc.) as well as the asset type (switch, server, desktop, laptop etc.) again this is for reporting purposes so freeform text entry here is not usable in order to avoid the inevitable typo by the users. At the moment I'm having to use two drop downs, the first dictating the category of the asset which then contextually drives the content of the second drop down where the user selects the asset type. This could be replaced by a single dropdown menu if we had hierarchical menus available. Given that my requirement is currently quite basic (I'm sure there are devs out there who are pushing this type of contextual data entry much harder) not in part due to the fact that I would need to dedicate a significant portion of screen space to be able to further drill down using yet more drop down menus, then having this hierarchical menu functionality natively available within Filemaker would be most useful and allow devs to push solutions in directions that they wouldn't have been able to before and ultimately improving the end user experience.
The menu selection above would equate to the row highlighted in yellow from the menu data below.
Data used to create menu.
Retrieving data ...