7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 6, 2013 11:25 PM by MartinBridges

    Dynamically generated layouts - is this possible?

    MartinBridges

      Interesting conundrum that I've been set. I have a critical path timeline with about 30 dates. These are in 5 groups. Artwork, Samples, Manufacture, Shipping and Packing. Each group has between 4 and 6 target dates. Naturally not all dates are relevant to every record and some groups can be missed out entirely. (who said clients were easy!?)

       

      Any way all 5 groups take up the width of 2 screens so the client has to scroll. The client doesn't want to do this and wants to see one or more of the groups at a time based on ??? - he hasn't got that far yet. By my calculations the permutations mean 31 different layouts or else one layout with a number of hidden portals on top of each other. (Still seems easier to me to scrol - as clicking checkboxes to choose which layout to go to must be harder work!). The client still wants it.

       

      Any way the client has some experience of Access and reckons I could 'do it dynamically as forms'. I have no experience of Access. I know with web technologies that you can dynamically change the layout on a page using spans, divs etc and making them conditional. Can this be done with FileMaker? I assume not and layouts are static. However one can play with... almost identical layouts, tabs, hidden conditional objects and the anchoring/stretching feature to give the semblance of dynamic layout.

       

      Can any one suggest an easier way of giving the client 31 permutations?

        • 1. Re: Dynamically generated layouts - is this possible?
          Mike_Mitchell

          Hello, Martin.

           

          I'm not entirely sure what your need is, based on your description, but here are some ideas you can knock around:

           

          1) Hidden tab panels - name the tabs, hide the actual tab itself, and switch between them using Go to Object.

          2) If editing records is not required, use the Virtual List technique and populate the related records that way.

          3) Use ExecuteSQL ( ) and some text formatting (or perhaps a Web Viewer) to repopulate the screen, based on whatever criteria the user has input.

           

          Maybe if you posted some screen shots, someone might be able to narrow down a good direction?

           

          Mike

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Dynamically generated layouts - is this possible?
            DrewTenenholz

            Martin --

             

            I suggest you check out Digital Fusion's 'Reactor' plugin.  It seems to me that it could give you the sort of 'Live Timeline' that you are looking for.  You would probably just need relationships that link together all of the dates for a project with some divisions for the subsections.  Pump that to the plugin and get a beautiful display that can be edited from the graphic representation. 

             

            There's certainly a learning curve involved.  But it may serve the need quite well, and get you down to a single layout.

             

            -- Drew Tenenholz

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Dynamically generated layouts - is this possible?
              MartinBridges

              Thanks Gents. All very useful answers, but as I thought, no simpler way of achieving the client's wishes. For info here's a screen shot of the current layout showing all the timeline (well most of it!) and a section of it

               

              Thanks again for you contributions.

              Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 06.13.43.png Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 06.28.40.png

              • 4. Re: Dynamically generated layouts - is this possible?
                PeterWindle

                I'm not sure if this helps, but I've acheived something similar, by using a table which I populate with records from various other tables, as I need them. (then delete them when done.)

                 

                Then, I can show related records from that table by setting globals that filter the relaed records, so that it dynamically changes the records it shows - it's not a layout change, but it does change what is being viewed... does this make sense?

                 

                So, in effect, it is a little like a 'switchboard console', the globals are the switches, the values in the table are the console results that match records that you switch on or off.

                I realise this is possibly not exactly what you're after, but it does give a lot of flexibility on how to show different data from different tables in different ways.

                • 5. Re: Dynamically generated layouts - is this possible?
                  MartinBridges

                  Thanks Peter

                   

                  This sounds very interesting. Can you post a simple example or say more? Are these individual fields on the layout that have individual relationships to other layouts or are they viewed through a number of portals?

                   

                  I did something similar once on one layout. An appointments calendar. Records were individual days so I had a vertical portal slowing the various timeslots for that day. Next to that was another portal showing the next day, next to that was another portal showing the following day etc. The portals were set by a global field which on opening inserted today's date in the first one, so I had 7 vertical portals showing the next 7 days. I could then with various scipts scroll forward or back a day, week or month. See image.

                   

                  I couldn't see a way of transferring that to the task in hand

                   

                  regards

                  Martin

                   

                  Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 07.10.39.png

                  • 6. Re: Dynamically generated layouts - is this possible?
                    PeterWindle

                    Sadly, I don't have anything readily available, but your calendar example is heading in the right direction. Lots of relationships and lots of portals was the trick.

                    • 7. Re: Dynamically generated layouts - is this possible?
                      MartinBridges

                      Thanks Peter

                       

                      As I thought... no 'simple' solution

                       

                      regards

                      Martin