I've now added table view layouts to 5 tables in a development version of Studio Manager. The results are even better than expected. Using tables with multiple subsummaries with sort and find buttons delivers an incredible browsing experience.
In the example of my Contacts Table View, I have subsummaries for industry and company. Sorting by Industry, Company with the button provided at the bottom of the screen yields this readable and still editable view of contacts.
Clicking the Industry column heading yields a subhead for each industry, but does not put in company headings. Clicking the Company column head shows Company headings with the employees in that company listed beneath it. The user chooses the sort and view that helps with the work at hand.
Excel vs. FileMaker 10 Table View. Move over Excel, Table View goes you one better in many situations. Excel's strength is ad hoc analysis with calculations involved. We know that lots of people use Excel as a list manager. It will even ask you if you want to make a list and switch into a lightweight database.
FileMaker is the king of the hill in the end-user database game. Excel database and standard Excel is no competition for the masters. The ease of putting buttons on the screen and making them do simple finds and sorts is unmatched. You get column resizing and reordering. You get adding columns from data in your database without going into Layout mode.
I've never experienced data browsing like this in my 25 years of building databases. One of my practices in building FileMaker systems is to have a list screen for every table in the database. I've used the List View for these so that I could label my columns the way I wanted. However, I may be replacing the list screens with my new Table Views because they are so much more dynamic and useful for quick analysis and reporting. [Part 1]
I heard about this but never got around to checking it out till today. Somehow or other I landed on John Mark Osborne's FileMaker Pro Beginner Tutorials page today. It lists about 40 free training segments of about 5 minutes each. Some of these are featured at the FileMaker.com site.
No matter. The point is John Mark Osborne does a great job and a lot of this beginner tutorial applies whether you are a beginner or not. It features a top FileMaker guru and master teacher talking about the new Features in FileMaker Pro 10.
That's not all. There are other topics like FileMaker Pro 10 Intermediate and another for Advanced. Again there are large numbers of free segments. The Intermediate and Advanced trainings are also taught by John Mark.
This is a try it and we think you will like it way of selling the VTC training. It's a gift. I don't know about you, but I'm watching these videos – the free ones at least. And, I'm telling my customers about them.
John Mark starts teaching FileMaker Pro 10 certification this Spring, so he knows the latest in a very thorough way. Even advanced developers will benefit from listening and watching John Mark teach the beginner, intermediate and advanced tutorial. He talks about a lot of fundamentals and expresses his opinions on best practices such as field naming.
This feature is a great one to implement the minute you purchase FileMaker Pro 10. You can drastically beef up the value of table views by adding sub-summary parts – lots of them. This feature is so good that I plan to add about 20 table view layouts to my own Studio Manager product.
Here's what you usually get in Table view:
In this example, the table is sorted by Filename which doesn't have a sub-summary on the layout. I tried adding a sub-summary above for the Drive field, so when I sort by Drive by clicking the Drive column heading, I get this:
I then added a sub-summary above for File Type and then a sub-summary below to allow me to show a record count. When I click the File Type column heading which causes a sort by File Type, I get this:
The layout I created looks like this in Layout mode:
I like this a lot because all I had to do was create this layout which takes about 5 minutes max. And I have multiple views based on the column my user clicks. This is browsing your data! This empowers the user. If your data is such that you really need multiple sorts to occur, you may need to add buttons for your sorts in the footer area.
Finally, the thing I like most is that I can do this with a single layout that is not complicated or hard to figure out. No tricks to remember or stacked fields or anything like that.
One more thing: the Modify Button. The user gets to add or remove fields to his or her view when he wants without going into Layout mode. Removing fields is especially great. You don't want a field? Just uncheck the checkbox:
Notice that you can add fields from here as well by clicking the plus button. If you do, you get this new Add Fields dialog:
This is ease of use folks! [Continue to: Part 2]