New FileMaker Windows Acting Like Dialog Boxes

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
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There are times that the workflow of your FileMaker solution could benefit from a robust pop up message box for data entry. Say you are looking at an invoice that has multiple payments applied to it. You want a new data entry area to “pop up” when the user wants to apply another payment to the invoice. This way you can quickly capture all the payment options without having the user leave the primary invoice screen.

FileMaker provides something like this in the Show Custom Dialog box but it does not have a very robust feature set. What if you want options like pick menus and multiple buttons that interact with this information box?

The answer, for many a developer, is a layout designed to look like a dialogue box that comes up in a new foreground window. The user can do their data entry, make selections or any number of other tasks in that new window. When the user clicks a submit button (that you added to the layout), a script saves the data, performs what ever other actions you decided to include and closes the new window.

There are some variations on this in which a developer may keep the user in a paused script while the new window is open. This way, the user has to deal with the new window first, before clicking around in other options.

ABOUT THE NEW WINDOW COMMAND
For way too many years, FileMaker developers had to struggle with a one window per FileMaker file limitation. With the introduction of FileMaker 7, that is no longer the case and the options available to the inventive FileMaker developer are both wide and deep. So you can bring up an almost unlimited number of windows that show a layout in different views, sizes and locations on the computer screen. Like so many great features in FileMaker, you can activate the New Window feature in many ways including a menu command, a script step or a button action.  

There are some variations on this in which a developer may keep the user in a paused script while the new window is open. This way, the user has to deal with the new window first, before clicking around in other options

BTW - The WindowNames function gives you the name of each open FileMaker window. Each window name is listed separated by a carriage return. This function, like the DatabaseNames function, does not need a parameter. In FileMaker, you can have multiple windows open at a time. There are script steps that can open new windows and even give the windows specified names.

More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2008 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

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