You know that it is on your FileMaker Platform features wish list. It’s THE feature you have been waiting for (along with the other 116 features you have been waiting for).
FileMaker, Inc. has introduced Cards, which provides you with a “window in window.” It lives inside the “New Window” script step and functions very similar to “Dialog.” The main difference is that this new window appears inside the current layout, in the size and position that you specify. You can state a specific size, or you can even use calculations to make the Card relative to the size of the parent window. It further has the option to dim the parent window, providing the modern interface element we have become oh so used to.
The behavior of the Card, like the Dialog, is modal, yet only modal to the window that it is in. This means that it takes over your window and will not permit you to interact with anything else in this window, including elements in the background, until you have dismissed the Card. The Dialog differs in that it will take over the FileMaker program, and not permit interaction with anything until released.
You will notice in the image above that we have been given the ability to select the Layout when opening a new window. No more having to load the current window’s contents again when opening the new one!
The Card window is also available in the Go To Related Record script step, under the Result Options: Show in new window.
The introduction of Cards opens up a whole new world of interface design. Previously, we used many hacks, such as hidden popovers that appear, showing fields from related records or global tables in order to create pickers, new record dialogs, or any number of uses. This necessitated the use of special relations to display results or complicated techniques such as “Selector/Connector”. With Cards, it is as simple as opening the new Card window, performing a find, and showing the results. You can basically treat the Card as a whole new layout in which you can interact in all the normal ways.
Another great use for Cards is to create menus that appear and block interaction with the rest of the window until you click a menu button or close the window.
The hacks are dead, long live the Card!
By Jorge Kluchnik