4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 4, 2011 6:42 AM by rs2.pt

    Small question to experienced FM Pro developer - layouts and themes



      Small question to experienced FM Pro developer - layouts and themes


      From some time ago that I am in develop of an app for a local family business that use Macs. My background was some years in SQL and C# develop in windows world. After some readings, learnings and understanding some important diferences in doing things on File Maker I designed the database diagram, relations, did some tests etc... But I need to start designing the layouts for good.

      I want to give a look and feel as OSX like, but mantain usability on Windows or Web (I am developing as Web compatible as possible), and the possibility to use the same app on an iPad (I think that is same as Web)

      I dont know if at this point is important to decide the Theme/Skin (creating or purchasing one), didnt understand If later I can change it, or if it is painfull to do it if I discover the my layout is not ok on Web.

      Also is it better/possible to create a better desktop layout and alternative one use on web or iPad version? maybe with diferente layouts... I know it could give me double of the work, but my Web app version will not have all desktop functionality also.

      I ask that because on some comercial Theme packages, some themes stated as Web compatible ones... So I am assuming that others could not be so ok on Web.

      I am using File Maker Pro 11 Advanced, what should I do?

      - decide better my layout at this point of start, and if I want web compatibility get a more limited/simple one
      - no worries, later is possible to change??
      - do distinct layouts desktop and Web or iPad ones. (if is technicaly possible to the app recognise the client)

      my app will need to use some scripts and triggers 

      thanx in advance

        • 1. Re: Small question to experienced FM Pro developer - layouts and themes

          in my experience the layouts do not look the same on iPad vs the computer  or even from windows to Mac.

          I have been designing a solution to be used on iPad, Macs and Windows and have found that I needed to customize layouts for each platform, then use a platform checking script to direct it to the correct version of that layout.  There is some work in customizing the layouts, but for the other two versions you just have minor tweaks to field positions and some fonts.

          • 2. Re: Small question to experienced FM Pro developer - layouts and themes


            As Mark pointed out The size of the screen between PC/Mac  and IPAD is different.  So, to keep things fit to screen, if there are two many controls on the screen then you might split it to tab for the purpose of Ipad/Iphone, Generally, you need to have two/three layouts of the same screen (say Customer_entry_IPAD, Customer_entry_PC, Customer_entry_IPHONE).  Using the platform check script/function, you can direct the user to corresponding layout.  But this will work fine for small to medium sized apps.  But for others, you may have to have seperate fp7 files.

            To know more about this by yourself, I would suggest, please investigate the download of free template from this link.  It may be too much for a beginner, but still it will give good idea of the approach.  Have look at the screenshots of Desktop/Ipad/Iphone.




            • 3. Re: Small question to experienced FM Pro developer - layouts and themes

              If you use IWP you will discover browser issues where some things must be adjusted for the individual browser but Filemaker does not provide the tools to tell you what browser is being used. Also, various designs will not work in IWP.

              The best method is not to throw a finished layout at IOS or IWP but to build and test unique layouts for each platform and test as you go. A layout for Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, IWP (yikes) is not unusual and is prefered. One layout can work cross-all but not as well as one specifically designed for the platform and device.

              Filemaker does not update its software often enough to keep up with changes in browsers, html or css so IWP can be a challenge.

              • 4. Re: Small question to experienced FM Pro developer - layouts and themes
                 Thanx to all, for the replies. The work of making custom layouts for different platforms is not unknown to me, it is something that I was used to do web developing SQL/c# desktop apps with a "child" webapp. It was important to find my primary route at this point since I was not aware of the web features on FMPro engine. So I will keep my first goal to do a desktop Mac friendly layouts, then as needed, design the layout to the requiered platforms. Thanx all