Tutorial 201:

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Tutorial 201: Lesson 9

Scripts

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Save users time and effort by automating tasks

Your app now has many features to help users view useful information: they can see related data for each client, see summaries of that data, and even report on it. But users still need to take many manual steps: they need to navigate through the app from the layout pop-up menu, run the report they need to navigate to the report layout, find the records they want to report on, and then sort those records.

Users expect an app to automate tasks like this, to help them perform tasks at the click of a button instead of needing to remember a complex series of actions. In FileMaker Pro, you can connect scripts to buttons so a user’s click will trigger a chain of pre-programmed steps. FileMaker Pro lets you create these scripts using simple commands that you can assemble by pointing and clicking.

In this lesson you’ll learn how to create buttons that let users navigate your app without using the layout pop-up menu, and you’ll duplicate and refine a script to help users easily run a report. You’ll also learn how button bars make it easier to organize and maintain buttons.

Why is this important?

  • When you create a script to help a user view a report, you ensure that report is run in a consistent manner each time. The only changes your user should be analyzing are data changes, not report parameters, sorting or formatting. This is one way scripts are not only faster, but are also more accurate than manual operations.
  • Creating buttons to navigate users through your app is the first step in managing their experience more closely. In the future, you can add script logic to the navigation buttons: for example, if the user is on an iPad, your navigation script can detect that and take them to an iPad-specific layout in your app.

Video 1

Working with scripts

Use the script FileMaker Pro created as part of your chart in Lesson 8 as a base, then expand its usability.

In this video, you will:

  • Explore the Script Workspace: learn the scripting tool (0:39)
  • Learn script steps: choose individual actions as building blocks (1:36)
  • Improve a script: create good user experience with automation (2:13)
  • Test a script: run the script from the workspace (4:40)
  • Refine and repeat: cycle through in small steps (5:39)

Video 2

Improving Navigation with Buttons and Button Bars

Practice adding and testing buttons and button bars for navigation on the sample app.

In this video, you will:

  • Create a button: draw and place the button (0:55)
  • Attach a script step: tell the button what to do (1:44)
  • Go to related record: use a relationship to switch layouts (5:14)
  • Create a button bar: manage multiple buttons in one place (6:53)
  • Add button segments: add text and actions (8:00)
  • Test the new buttons: make sure you can navigate through your app (9:18)
  • Complete the navigation: paste a bar on all your layouts (9:30)

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