7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 14, 2012 9:11 AM by philmodjunk

    Multi Department Solution

    EP

      Title

      Multi Department Solution

      Post

           Working on a solution that will be 1 file for an entire company.  This solution will served with FMS12 and used with FMP clients and FM Go.  There will be many departments (Human resources, Office, Marketing, Project management, etc etc.) involved and each user will be assigned to an appropriate privilge set.  I am trying to brainstorm the best apporach to do this and have brainstormed the folllowing ideas:

           -Make separate layouts for each privilege set that would be identical except for one button that brings the user to a "dashboard" to choose whch department they would like to access (some users will have access to 2 or more depts).  The users that only have access to one dept, would have their own layout without the button to bring them to the "dashboard."

           -Not sure if it is possible, but maybe a dropdown list that shows each department?  This would prevent clutter (no need for buttons) and allow for quicker navigation for users that access more than one dept.

           Any ideas from the more experienced Devs?

            

           Thanks

        • 1. Re: Multi Department Solution
          philmodjunk
               

                    -Make separate layouts for each privilege set that would be identical except for one button that brings the user to a "dashboard" to choose whch department they would like to access (some users will have access to 2 or more depts).  The users that only have access to one dept, would have their own layout without the button to bring them to the "dashboard."

               This will be a lot of work--especially when you need to change the layout design in identical fashion for each of these layouts. It should not be necessary to do it this way. Explain why you think you should set it up this way, and then maybe we can suggest ways to make this work for you in a single layout.

               

                    -Not sure if it is possible, but maybe a dropdown list that shows each department?  This would prevent clutter (no need for buttons) and allow for quicker navigation for users that access more than one dept.

               That's simply a matter of defining a value list--possibly a conditional value list if it should limit choices to those appropriate for the current user, but maybe you won't need it if you can get one layout to work for all departments.

          • 2. Re: Multi Department Solution
            EP

            This will be a lot of work--especially when you need to change the layout design in identical fashion for each of these layouts. It should not be necessary to do it this way. Explain why you think you should set it up this way, and then maybe we can suggest ways to make this work for you in a single layout.

                  

            I guess I don't want to do it this way.  My question should have been: What is the best way to manage a solution for an entire company with many departments?

            To answer your question, I thought I had to set it up that way so that the user interface would be friendly.  It would be poor design if a marketer (who only accesses the marketing layouts) clicked a button called "Start Screen" and nothing happened; whereas a manager clicks the same button and is taken to a navigation layout so he/she can click on the Human Resources button to be taken to those layouts.  

            Thanks for the help as always.

            • 3. Re: Multi Department Solution
              philmodjunk

                   The buttons that the user clicks can perform scripts that include if steps that check the user's account name and/or privilege set name to select a task appropriate to the user. Buttons that don't have any options appropriate to the current user's privilege set can use a conditional format to look disabled or there are ways to make that button completely disappear for those users.

              • 4. Re: Multi Department Solution
                EP

                     Can you elaborate on making a button disappear for certain users ?

                     If I go this route and achieve this via scripting, what would you recommend for navigation? Perhaps a navigation layout for each privilege set? Or a drop down where the user can select the dept they want to view?  Ay ideas? Thanks.

                • 5. Re: Multi Department Solution
                  philmodjunk

                       One navigation layout for all privilege sets should be possible and that can save you some work maintaining things.

                       There are several ways that you can hide layout objects--including buttons. Here's a demo file that illustrates a number of such techniques: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8levaz6deiyzjr8/LayoutObjectVisibilityControlDemo.fp7

                       If you are using FileMaker 12, open this file from your File menu to produce a converted copy you can open and experiment with in Filemaker 12.

                  • 6. Re: Multi Department Solution
                    EP

                         Phil, I'm considering a dropdown list, Navigation bar at the top of each layout (takes up screen real estate), or a Navigation layout ( each layour would have a button to navigate back to this layout).  Is there a "best" method, or is it all personal pref? Thanks

                    • 7. Re: Multi Department Solution
                      philmodjunk

                           Both work and they are not mutually exclusive options. I prefer the nav bar myself for any navigation tasks that are common to all layouts. But I often include a "Main Menu" or "Dashboard" layout as well for navigation to locations/tasks/reports that are not common to each user. And I've also added an extra "navigation" menu as a custom menu to some of my solutions (Requires FileMaker Advanced to create and install), for changing files and/or layouts.

                           A typical "nav bar" might look like this:

                           3 of 234     [<< ][ < ][ > ][>>] [MainMenu] [Find][Report "A"]  

                           Note that the leftmost buttons show up on every layout, some on the right may be specific to a given layout.

                           I then hide the status area tool bar so that while I lose space on my layout to make room for the Navigation bar, I gain it back and more by hiding the tool bar. And I'll copy and paste these buttons from layout to layout, checking their top and left position figures in pixels or points to make sure that there isn't the slightest "flicker" to their position when a user changes to a different layout.