FileMaker 13 brings with it many new innovative features. Building on the new design space innovations created in FileMaker 12 and a continued focus on database tools for mobile, FileMaker 13 offers a new layout object dubbed the “Popover Button”.
You may recall some months ago I wrote about pros and cons (mostly con) of using tab panels to hide and display pop-up content to assist in data entry and display.
The Popover Button
Well, now that rather kludgy technique has been rendered mostly obsolete with Popover Buttons. A Popover Button is a new layout object that creates a pop up within which you can place layout objects. This design pattern is seen frequently in the software, web, and mobile design worlds these days, and we are glad that FileMaker is keeping up by providing a simple tool to create this effect. What’s more, Popover Buttons can be used across the FileMaker platform: they work in FileMaker Pro client, FileMaker Go, and through a browser using Web Direct.
Here are just a few ideas of how we might use this new layout object:
- Display related or secondary data
- Display container data in a larger format
- Display additional button choices that don’t fit on a layout
- Provide the user with a popup to select a record for related record creation
- Display help text throughout a solution
Creating A Popover Object
True to FileMaker form, creating Popover Buttons is simple. They are created from the Toolbar object that also creates buttons. You can simply click and hold to toggle between Button and Popover Button.
A Popover Button can then be added to a layout just like a regular button. Once placed, you can click on the button in layout mode – this reveals the popover – and then content can placed within it, just as you would with a tab panel. Here is a screen shot from the Invoices starter solution provided with FileMaker 13:
There is a bit more to configuring a popover. Double click the popover and a Popover Setup HUD appears with the following features:
- Calculated title bar for the popover
- Check box to toggle display of title bar
- Selection of one of four preferred “directions” to display the popover. Note that a popover will display in a different direction if required to by the window size.
- On Object script triggers
Popover in Action
And here is a screen shot of the Popover Button as used in the Invoices starter solution that comes with FileMaker Go 13:
Popover buttons are just one of the features that enhance the user experience in FileMaker 13. We are also looking forward to using Slide Controls (for iOS swipe gestures), iOS Keyboards for FileMaker Go data entry, and FileMaker Go native barcode scanning.