Every FileMaker Pro Application Interface, a Layout Interface

Idea created by eric on Mar 12, 2018

    If FileMaker Inc. is working toward having superior FileMaker Pro application interfaces in the application environment it provides,


    If FileMaker Pro developers are working towards developing superior custom app interfaces in the development they do,

    Then shouldn't most FileMaker Pro interface objects and behaviors be available in every FileMaker Pro developer's toolbox?


    If most FileMaker Pro interface objects and behaviors are available in every FileMaker Pro developer's toolbox,

    Then shouldn't most FileMaker Pro interfaces simply be layouts themselves?


    It's a sort of Lewis-Caroll-like paradox to be developing on a workplace innovation platform that has never quite caught up to itself.


    For example, don't all the following look kind of like they could have been list layouts?:

    The dialogs on the Tables and Fields tab of Manage Database; all the tabs in Manage Security, Manage Value Lists, Manage Layouts, Manage External Data Sources, Manage Custom Functions, Manage Custom Menus, Manage Themes, etc.

    Only, by contrast the FileMaker developer is crippled in being able to reproduce interfaces that actually look and work like any of these examples in FileMaker Pro.


    Grid.pngAnother example is the Launch Center. With some new layout features and calculation functions, shouldn't the Launch Center simply be another app that developers can easily duplicate and modify https://community.filemaker.com/ideas/2050#comment-32405


    What should keep a FileMaker developer, with the appropriate access from designing layouts that look and work just like almost any other dialog box and interface in the FileMaker Pro application—especially if all those dialogs and behaviors are good examples of interface design?

    And then, if most of FileMaker Pro's good examples of interface design already existed as layouts themselves, then developers would have a richer toolset, not only for developing data applications, but (as an astounding byproduct) even for reinventing some of FileMaker Pro's own management interfaces.

    Changes to FileMaker Pro's own interface tends to be a frequent kind of product idea that many developers hope and wait long to see, and most will never fully realize, because it's impossible to make a single common interface that can fully please even most of the developers most of the time. And yet this is one product idea that could help accomplish the impossible.


    I know, this is not a simple single product idea, but more of a strategy for the future direction of FileMaker Pro's feature set and functionality that would make solutions more functional and more deeply self-referential.


    This idea goes hand in hand with another idea with some overlap:

    Manage from Database Design Tables & Layouts (DDT & DDL)


    Examples of product ideas and problems that could at least be fulfilled partially by this product idea strategy:

    1. Security Tables & Layouts
    2. restore column width in custom function window
    3. Retain the resized width of columns in lists
    4. Re: column width in custom function window not stored
    5. Keep in memory the width of columns in FileMaker dialogs
    6. Modernized Schema Management
    7. Horizontal portals
    8. Re: FileMaker 17 Article
    9. TextFormatting Functions (Tabs/Outdents/Reverse Tabs)d
    10. I'd Like To Print a List of My Layouts
    11. Re: FileMaker Commercial?
    12. Slider bar field control style
    13. Customizable Script Workspace, Debugger, Data Viewer UI
    14. Always show Launch Center window when activating FileMaker Pro
    15. Field Labels
    16. Etc.