1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply on Jul 6, 2013 3:51 PM by sechrisman

    To make FM GO solutions more app-like

    CarstenLevin

      I am giving a few inputs here, and hope that some of you can come up with more issues and chalenges and/or even better work-arounds and good ideas.

       

      We want to distribute smaller and larger solutions - stand alone or integrated - using FileMaker GO to make our FileMaker based desktop and server solutions even more interesting for our customers.

       

      But when developing for iOS and other mobile platforms we need to make sure that our UI and UX are at least as good as what you would expect from the better 20% of the apps out there.

       

      The challenges

      With GO 11 and 12 there are still some issues that are causing us some problems. But we have found work-arounds for most of them. Just want to mention a few of them:

      • The field changes size even when it is already very large challenge. Point to enter a standard text field: The textfield expands and is getting larger. This is confusing to the user and makes the UI very disturbing. Is it a bug?
      • The menu and your field takes up all the available room challange. On the iPhone, when entering a field and writing the keyboard will take up a lot of room. And when you have finished writing it can be very difficult to close the keyboard ... you can close it by pointing to a "passive" area outside the text field - but with the keyboard and your text field, there may not be a lot of free space to point to.
      • The Tripple menu challenge. Other apps wil usually not expect the user to understand a framework and other app-irrelevant-interface-elements. With an "out of the box" FileMaker Go solution from you, the user vil see a menu at the top and another at the bottom with a lot of active or passive options. + Apples top menu with time, network and battery status. This is a serios set of information overload - taking focus from your "app".

       

      Some solutions to the chalenges mentioned here

      • The text field getting larger when opening for editing: Activate scroll bars and make the right line invisible. The right line will still be visible on FileMaker Pro/Advanced on the desktop, but will be invisible on iOS/GO. Now the field will not expand.
      • We have tried to solve the problem of the keyboard and the field you are writing into taking up all the space by not letting the user enter data directly in the display fields on the layout. The field is a button that takes the user to another layout where the field takes up the upper part of the screen, then there is a continue button that brings you back to the original display when editing is done. The space taken up by the keyboard is left empty. This works fine and is giving a very easy/steady flow.
      • The tripple menu issue are also easy to handle with FileMakers own tools. First create a custom menu set - probably absolutely empty. Now you are in charge and have to make the options available in a standard app way. Secondly use FileMaker Pro Advanced and the developer tools. Generate a new version with Kiosk mode enabled. If your solution is intended to work as a stadard app, then consider to set login as guest as default. After implementing Kiosk mode the menus will still be available when the file is opened with full access.

       

       

      What is your experiences, your tips and ideas - or unsolved issues when it comes to making FileMaker GO as applike as possible?

       

      Question

      Would it be good if we could save a solution as a runtime - a full selfcontained FileMaker GO based app that could be distributed through App Store or installed via dragging into iTunes (the last option is probably not possible for security reasons ... Apple)?

       

      Tip of the day:-)

      When using Kiosk Mode, remember to give your end user an easy way out. A quit button should probably be available on all layouts unless they are a part of a work-flow-procedure where you do not want to permit the user to stop before being finished.

        • 1. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
          sebastijan

          Few other tips...

           

          Issue:

          box shadow on selected field

           

          Solution:

          always start with Classic theme to get rid of box shadow on seleted field (focus)

           

          Issue:

          text reposition on selection

           

          Solution:

          to prevent this, use left indent, vertical center and field height, depending on the font size

           

          Exampe:

          font size 18 pt need to have left indent 2 pt, vertical center and field height 30 pt

           

          Issue:

          FileMaker charts are too blurry and without option to create a custom color scheme

           

          Solution:

          use Web Viewer and create your own chart with CSS

          • 2. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
            NickLightbody

            Hi Carsten

             

            I thanks for the above thoughts - I have used your suggestion of kiosk mode and it works great - only quibble is the blank black area where the FMGo title bar was - hopefully one day FMGo will slide up and stretch down to fill the screen.

             

            I will try your idea about invisible scroll bar to stop the input field gaining vertical height - sounds good.

             

            My single real issue is preventing the focus from remaining within a field which is the only open field on the layout when activating a triggered script with the Next keyboard key.

             

            The focus leaves the field when the script is triggered but returns when the script has completed - it only leaves the field when you actually tap the screen.

             

            Any thoughts?

             

            Best regards

             

            Nick

            • 3. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like

              Have you tried to use

                Commit Records

              as a last script step to avoid entering the field again?

               

              Winfried

              • 4. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
                AlanStirling

                Hi Nick

                 

                I have had a similar problem recently and found that a 'Halt Script' as the last line of the script fixed it.

                 

                When I first tried it, I told myself this should make no difference, but it did ...

                 

                Maybe this will also work for you.

                 

                Best wishes - Alan

                 

                 

                Alan Stirling Technology Ltd, 135 Lisson Grove, London NW1 6UP

                +44 (0) 20 7724 2456 - alan@ast.fm - www.ast.fm.

                FileMaker Certified Developer for versions 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.

                • 5. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
                  CarstenLevin

                  Carsten Levin wrote:

                  ...

                  • The menu and your field takes up all the available room challange. On the iPhone, when entering a field and writing the keyboard will take up a lot of room. And when you have finished writing it can be very difficult to close the keyboard ... you can close it by pointing to a "passive" area outside the text field - but with the keyboard and your text field, there may not be a lot of free space to point to....

                  If it is numbers we want our user to enter we are using this method:

                  Instead of giving them an input field and thereby displaying the keyboad, we are displaying our own input layout with the numbers, a C button + a comma (,). Yes, here in Europe we use comma as decimal separator:-)

                   

                  This is just a demo-layout, sorry for the strange language and the peculiar letters.

                   

                   

                  numbers.png

                  • 6. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
                    djones

                    Where a drop calendar or drop menu can be used, I take advantage of an On Object Modify script trigger to commit the record for example, which will remove the keyboard. I'm using script triggers a lot more with Go, to make data entry more directed.

                    David

                    • 7. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
                      NickLightbody

                      Carsten said:

                      Some solutions to the chalenges mentioned here

                      • The text field getting larger when opening for editing: Activate scroll bars and make the right line invisible. The right line will still be visible on FileMaker Pro/Advanced on the desktop, but will be invisible on iOS/GO. Now the field will not expand.

                       

                      Thanks Carsten - a great idea which works very well!

                       

                      As an addition as no doubt you have noticed by now - if you play with the colours of the right line edge to the field in the four different field states in the inspector you can make the scroll bar invisible on both FMGo and FMPro - generally we find that including the righthand line edges / scroll bar stuff but making the colours match the background - as opposed to removing them - is the best way of making them effective but invisible on iPad.

                      • 8. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
                        YannLiqueurSalzedo

                        for me the main issue is the speed of any action and the refresh of  the screen for each new record.

                        FileMaker Go as a great potential to help us delivers iOS apps like solutions but :

                         

                        1) for now the UI is not reactive enough,

                        a basic script (for exemple writing into a field with a data from a GetParameterScript) is too long for a user

                         

                        my experience with my GoTip solution where I created my own keyboard teach me that FMGo is too slow for now.

                        (Many of us have to create our how keyboard )

                         

                        IMG_2052 2.PNG

                         

                        2) to commit a list or a menu is tricky... I don't want my user to double clic or clic outside to commit any data modification

                         

                        my tip is to use a script to activate a field - the field is outside the layout (on the right side of user layout limit) - the field is not editable

                        and on the layout my user see the result is seen in a merge field.

                         

                        with that trick on iphone I can have a nice one-clic menu that doesn't move all my layout up or down

                        this trick is a little bit different on iPad...

                         

                        IMG_2031.PNG

                         

                         

                        3) my third request is the bug in iPad kiosk mode.

                        I use a lot kiosk mode on FileMaker Go, on iPhone it's perfect but on  iPad we still have the black bar instead of FMGo menu... a bug not fixed yet...

                        • 9. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
                          steve_ssh

                          That (#2) is a really nice technique for how you implement the value list.  I like how it looks.  Thank you for showing it -- I had not seen that technique before.

                           

                          Best,

                           

                          -steve

                          • 10. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
                            YannLiqueurSalzedo

                            On a new iPad app i'm working on (med solution for eye surgeons) I had to create my own keyboard again - various keyboard for numbers and other for letters.

                             

                            see under the screenshot for login page

                            IMG_0021.PNG

                             

                            Cause I have to use menu or list popup I start with FileMaker native tools

                             

                            IMG_0020.PNG

                             

                            but as you see the native style is so different that it's upset me ...

                            so I tried to design my own menu/list requester using a portal..

                             

                            and...voila

                             

                            IMG_0022.PNG

                            this is a beta not the final design

                            My first objective and concern was to hide the slider of the portal, and  the new tab behaviour fix that issue

                            The second is I can choose color, size, position, transparency, fonts

                             

                            my trick is to use multiple tabs.

                            the first with all my bouton - not field so I can use rollover/select& clic behaviour

                            texts are merge field

                             

                            each clic bring me to another tab with the dedicated menu (I de-activate all other button in case user clic every where)

                             

                            I create my new menu object with a portal embed into a tab just smaller enough to hide the vertical slider of the portal I don't want to see.

                             

                            the behavior is perfect and fluid

                             

                            only 2 concerns :

                             

                            when I rotate the iPad there is a refresh by step ... cannot explain with words, just try it

                            In my exemple I design the portal with 5 rows, in case there are less than 5 values the menu seems to big...

                             

                            I will try later less rows in a resizable portal to find a much better solution

                            • 11. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
                              NickLightbody

                              Hi Alan

                               

                              Just seen your suggestion - haven't tried it yet but it sounds a very good idea - many thanks!

                               

                              Best regards

                               

                              Nick

                              • 12. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
                                sechrisman

                                Liqueur, Any chance you can elaborate on details or have a small demo file? I'm switching after 18 years of Access databases and VBScript. I love the idea of being able to create data input methods. I imagine there is some script that is triggered when the user sets focus on the field, then another script that is triggered when they press on the values on the number pad.  Thanks.

                                • 13. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
                                  YannLiqueurSalzedo

                                  give me fews weeks and I will post some new articles on my website www.infografix.eu

                                  no script trigger

                                  I explain pretty much the process in my text above

                                  a first tab panel with the my fields/bouton

                                  you clic on one to "goto tab panel" - on this tab panel my personnal pop with a portal

                                  • 14. Re: To make FM GO solutions more app-like
                                    gpupita@sestante.net

                                    Hello

                                     

                                    I've tried the trick you mention (#2, field outside the layout with a popumenu), but the layout gets moved to the top to make room for the list

                                     

                                    I guess I'm missing a part of the trick ...

                                     

                                    Thanks

                                    g. pupita

                                     

                                    PS: Congratulations for your tricks, very neat

                                    1 2 Previous Next