I can't quite believe it - but FM have screwed me (and I think many others) - and I just need to rant and plead to FM to bring back MDI for Windows.
I 'thought' that good db design was to have multiple databases - each doing their own specific job - and then link them all together for 1 big project.
I did this and now have a very nice custom made CRM solution (done by me and one of the world's best FM developers, who I call on now and then to help with the heavy lifting - to be fair, I haven't been in touch with him for a year and so this just came up now when I tested V16).
Now, I have about 5 databases - and all would be open and reside within the 1 single FM 'parent' window. They would be full screen *within* the FileMaker application. So, when I hit a button to switch between different dbs' - the screen would just switch easily and nicely to the other database. This then 'looks' like there is no difference when working with one database or another - it's just the one solution - all neat and tidy.
I will add, most people now have multiple or large (or multiple & large) monitors. So, they have many different applications open at once. So, is the case for FM. FM just lives on one of my many monitors, and the application itself is not even full screen on any particular monitor.
This has now all changed and is terrible with SDI with V16 for Windows.
This change means that I have 1 distinct window for each and every individual database. It breaks the 'good' design of database management (or was as I thought good design). If I try to switch between databases, I now have to hunt which window I'm in and it's terrible. I know this is what Mac users have had for many years (and I understand from my developer that many FM users wanted this SDI) - but, Please FM - if you make such a radical change, can't you have *BOTH* options - MDI and SDI? Please!
The end result for me is that I would need to do either of the following:
- Dump FM (don't want to after so many years and so much development)
- Completely redesign my project to include ALL databases into 1 single Database. Huge work to recreate all the relationships etc. And is bad design.
- Work with calculations and screen control within FM to try to layer each window on top of eachother. This looks like the best workaround solution at present.
Now, this is NOT a problem if FM16 is run at Full Screen. Each database is shown as it should and just switches nicely between eachother. But again, most of us have big and multiple monitors so this is not an option.
I just can't understand FM breaking something that (to me) wasn't broken - and was fundamental to the product that has been shipping (on Win) since Day 1. And with no option to continue as it was in the past.
So, this is just a rant post and a plea to FM (since you can't actually call them on the phone to complain [no one ever answers] - yet they are always calling you to get you to renew their Maintenance). Plus, I wanted to gauge if there was any interest from others (as I couldn't find any complaints so far).
I hope I've described the situation clearly enough.
(I’ve been using FM since 1990 – but for this project for about 5 years).