9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 18, 2015 6:03 PM by mardikennedy

    Launch Center


      I'd welcome people's comments as to whether they feel that the Launch Center is an improvement over the old Quick Start screen?


      From our perspective, where we're setting up each user's account in Citrix on the Internet, in v13 we could preset each user's databases in the Quick Start screen and it would take quite a lot of effort from the user to undo this. This way we didn't need any form of launcher file, the Quick Start was easily accessible from the Help menu and use of the File:Favorites menu made it very easy to open other files if needed.


      Our biggest concern is how easy it is for a user to click on the star to remove a file from My Solutions - an accidental click to the left (in list view) or top left in icon view and the file has disappeared the next time the My Solutions tab is visited.


      The above thoughts have surfaced as we're currently having to write a 'cheat sheet' to explain to users across 4 continents how to access their files in the event that their favorites disappear - something we never had to do with the Quick Start screen.


      We're not fans of the prominence of the 'New' button or 'Hosts' tab. I'm sure this is fine when single company solutions are running on a network, but when hosting for multiple companies and multiple developers controlling access via FileMaker Server's built in security, it is encouraging access to areas we're prefer left alone.


      I know we still have the favourites menu (which retains the old favorites window option) but somehow with multi-file (separated) solutions, in particular the icon view, can be very confusing for a user when they are searching for their interface file.

        • 1. Re: Launch Center
          Mike Duncan

          I think it is an improvement. Especially nice is that it now looks consistent across the platform, especially Wed Direct, where it is MUCH improved.


          As for un-favoriting a solution, does it also show recently opened files there as well? For most users who access a couple solutions regularly, their files would usually show up there as well.



          • 2. Re: Launch Center
            Markus Schneider

            in my environment (custom solutions), users have a starter file in the dock or on their desktop. They won't deal with LaunchCenter...

            • 3. Re: Launch Center

              As ever, it is down to each person's particular needs. We're not keen on show recent files, particularly in an environment where we may be opening both live and development versions. However, as Mike points out it is useful for people who only ever open the same files every day.


              As we're streaming FileMaker over the Internet via Citrix we have no desktop or dock/task bar to launch from , so do rely on FileMaker's resources and we try to configure as much as possible for the users. Thankfully we have finally got rid of the dreaded 'save password' options, but we do perceive more support calls once we release v14 in the wild compared to the well proven features in v13.


              We've one customer who has duplicated their old multi-file system twice for alternative uses and if a user logs in with their password they will be presented with 3 x 12 files. If they deselect one of their favourites, we're pretty sure we know where they'll turn for an answer. Ideally we'd like some form of administrator lock that would ensure the favourites we've set up can't be deleted.



              • 4. Re: Launch Center

                The new launch center is easier to use and looks much nicer than the former quick start.


                However, I agree that in a corporate environment it may be undesirable to show a "New" button or give users the ability to (accidentally) delete items from their list of available databases. A more fine-grained setup for corporate deployments would be preferable, but I presume this would run against the marketing credo: letting everyone starting a solution on his own - no knowledge required, it only takes a few hours of office time.

                Keeping these features mandatory in a corporate environment does not help acceptance of FM-based solutions there.

                • 5. Re: Launch Center

                  Torsten you may have hit the nail on the head, I wish FMI would start pushing the power message not the simplicity one. It would be interesting to know the percentage of users (i.e. licenses sold) using systems that harness basic FMP features against script driven FMP applications.


                  We come across many enquiries from people expecting FM Pro and Go solutions with online/offline synchronisation for a few hundred pounds as it is 'so easy to do'. We're building off a CRM framework that has taken thousands of hours to evolve and runs international insurance companies amongst others. We really don't want to have to justify the complexity against the 'simplicity' message.


                  The v14 upgrade is very much a developer release, but this and the 'FileMaker Platform' message seems at odds with the way FMI push their (excellent) product. The Launch Center is just too simplistic for what can be built.




                  • 6. Re: Launch Center

                    Does anyone else have problems with the file custom icons disappearing?


                    The custom icons appear in Hosts (we're using favourite hosts in Windows - no Bonjour) but when added to 'My Solutions' the standard FileMaker icon appears. If you then open each file, the custom file icon appears one by one, but if you close FileMaker (14.0v3) and relaunch we're back to the standard FileMaker icons. Open one of the files, exit and select Open  again and the custom icons reappear (on all files within the My Solutions).


                    'Fraid still don't like Launch Center - bring back 'Quick Start'!

                    • 7. Re: Launch Center

                      I must admit that for my own use of FM, and that of my clients, I've never understood the attraction of Launch Center or Quick Start. They don't really bother me, I guess, but I don't rightly see the point.


                      As a developer working with multiple solutions locally and on multiple servers, I don't see them being easier than the standard open/open remote dialogs. Stuff I'm working on frequently is likely in my Open Recent menu. The Quick Start and Launch Center are just dialogs that I cancel immediately when I open FM. A quick keystroke, so not killing me or anything, but arguably wasteful for my use case.


                      For my clients, nearly all of them work in one and only one file, or at least enter the solution via one file. A pretty interface for picking a file doesn't make much sense to them, either, since "pick from a list of one" is pretty much a wasted step. When their solution has multiple files, we generally don't show any except the one they should open, but that's to keep the quick launch and such from confusing them. We'd generally just give them a shortcut file to get to the file they want, or teach them how to get through, or past, the launch center as painlessly as possible. The launch center isn't a huge inconvenience, but only because it's pretty easy to click through or cancel, not because it does anything useful for us.


                      So, I'm curious: who is the target audience for the launch center or quick start? Do other developers find that that's a quicker or easier way to find the file they're working on? Do others of you have a number of clients who have multiple files to choose from when they are opening?


                      I really am just puzzled and curious. I feel like the whole effort is targeted towards a FM user I don't seem to have met yet.


                      Chris Cain


                      • 8. Re: Launch Center

                        Oh, one thing I do like is the new consistency.


                        In FM13, if you taught somebody how to open your file with quick start (whether or not it was easier and useful), and then they closed the last window, they'd go File->Open and be lost, because for some reason they got an entirely different dialog.

                        • 9. Re: Launch Center

                          +1   ***this is for Chris' previous but one email; Jive keeps attaching this to the one below.