When FileMaker 17 launched this was one of our new favorite features. What part of FileMaker 17 do you guys love?
Show Custom Dialog Variables in FileMaker® 17 - The Scarpetta Group, Inc.
While it is nice to have, custom dialogs are still very, very limited and I doubt that this change will lead me to make much more use of them. The lack of any support for value lists or error validation while the dialog is still open has me using popovers and card windows in their place and the inclusion of variables doesn't alter that crucial flaw in their capabilities.
The point of the Show Custom Dialog script step is to offer a simple option. If they get more complicated, they won't be an easy option anymore. It's about deciding how much work you have to or want to do. If a custom dialog is good enough then use it. If you need something more powerful (which usually equates to more work) then use a window card or a popover. In other words, use the right tool for the right job.
BTW, my favorite new FileMaker 17 feature is Master-Detail layout portals but placing values in variables instead of a field is pretty cool too!
But of course.
For simple messages that only need a button click response, I use them all the time. It’s just that using a custom dialog for data entry is rarely the best option for the reasons stated in my previous reply. It’s nice that we finally have a way for the user to enter data directly into a variable, but the feature’s other shortcomings undermine the usefulness of that new feature.
As a result, it’s almost never the right tool for the job when data entry is needed.
Different developers, different approaches. I hardly use window cards in favor of the simplicity of custom dialogs. Almost always gets the job done. My next choice would be popovers since they are easier to create than window cards and take up less interface space than an entire layout.
And what do you do with your data entered via custom dialog when incorrect data is entered?
That’s why I usually make an extra bit of effort to use a card or popover. I can use interface features such as a value list to prevent errors, plus I can use both field and interface based validation techniques to trap for errors while the dialog is still open.
You can’t use value lists in a custom dialog and if a user enters bad data that can‘t be auto-corrected, you have to display an error message and open yet another dialog so that the user can correct the error. That, in my opinion, makes for both an awkward user experience and an unnecessarily complex script.
In my experience, the number of cases where the user is free to enter any text that they want with only auto-correction options for handling errors is a very small fraction of the total.
It all depends on the job at hand. Not everything needs validation. In fact, most of the time data entry doesn't need validation. Most of the time I don't need a value list. Just simple data entry into a text field. I just don't want people on these forums to think custom dialogs don't have their place. In fact, I use them quite a bit more than popovers or window cards because they better fit the simple jobs I throw at them.
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