Sweet Sixteen, Part 1: Cards Up Your Sleeve

This is the first of our Sweet Sixteen posts, looking at some of our top favorite new features in FileMaker 16. This time around, we’re covering what’s rapidly becoming one of my top picks: a new window type called a card.

For years, we’ve had the ability to create new windows for our solutions. But cards are different. They combine several features that make it very, very easy to control the user interaction:

  • Modality (prevents user action outside the window)
  • Focus (the parent background window is dimmed to draw immediate attention where you want it)
  • Positional linking (the card window moves along with the parent window, so its relative position always stays put)
  • Compatibility with iOS (this is HUGE!!!)
  • Since cards are actually windows, instead of layout objects like popovers, they can point to any table occurrence via the layout you select for them (this is almost as huge)

To create a new card window, you select the appropriate option in the New Window script step:

At that point, the new window is created, and the background dims:

Now, there are some items to be aware of here. First, the new card is created in a position relative to the parent window (the window that was active at the time the card was created) rather than a position relative to the screen. That has significant advantages – no more worrying about screen sizes or resolutions – but you do have to manage it.

Another really important item is the option to include a close gadget. If you goof and accidentally leave this off on a layout with no script to close the window, you’ll be stuck. So mind that carefully.

To make it easier both to understand and implement cards in your solutions, we’ve attached a sample file with some scripting we developed to spawn card windows. Download and play with it (FileMaker 16 required).

Enjoy! And, as always, if we can be of any help to you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Sample file