Whats a Layout?

What s a Layout?

In the preceding chapter, we discussed how to define fields for holding the data you want to store in your database. In this chapter, we discuss the tools at your disposal for creating user interfaces to manage that data.

You use layouts to create user interfaces in FileMaker Pro. Layouts are similar in some ways to web pages, though they're structured quite differently. A layout is a collection of graphical objects that a user interacts with to view and modify data. These objects include things such as fields, buttons, static text blocks, graphic elements (such as lines or rectangles), and images. FileMaker Pro contains a rich set of tools for manipulating these objects, allowing you to create attractive and functional interfaces for your users easily.

You can create many kinds of layouts in FileMaker. Form layouts are useful for data entry; list layouts are generally used for reports and often contain summary parts. Some layouts may be designed for system administrators to clean up data quickly. Still others can serve as user navigation menus and contain no data at all.

One of the things that makes FileMaker unique among database products is that the layouts themselves are stored in a file, right along with data, scripts, access privileges, and other elements of application logic. Every FileMaker Pro file must have at least one layout; there is no practical limit to the number of layouts a file can contain. It's not unheard of, nor undesirable, to have anywhere from a dozen to a hundred or more layouts in a file.

Layouts are created and managed in what's known as Layout mode. To get to Layout mode, choose View, Layout Mode, or simply type (L) [Ctrl+L]. Almost all the material in this chapter deals with tools and functions that require you to be in Layout mode to access them, but for simplicity and brevity, we will not specifically mention that fact in conjunction with every tool and tip.

In this chapter, we take a top-down approach to learning about layouts. We begin by discussing layout creation and layout configuration options. We then move down to the level of the part, and finally down to the level of objects. Learning about layouts can entail "chicken and egg" problems: Most topics are intertwined to the extent that there's no convenient linear approach through the material. We therefore encourage you to skip around from topic to topic as necessary to fill out your knowledge.

Finally, this chapter does not comprehensively cover every layout tool or configuration option. Rather, our approach is to cover details that you might not otherwise discover on your own, and to present what we consider to be best practices for working with layouts.

Creating and Managing Layouts

Part I: Getting Started with FileMaker 8

FileMaker Overview

Using FileMaker Pro

Defining and Working with Fields

Working with Layouts

Part II: Developing Solutions with FileMaker

Relational Database Design

Working with Multiple Tables

Working with Relationships

Getting Started with Calculations

Getting Started with Scripting

Getting Started with Reporting

Part III: Developer Techniques

Developing for Multiuser Deployment

Implementing Security

Advanced Interface Techniques

Advanced Calculation Techniques

Advanced Scripting Techniques

Advanced Portal Techniques

Debugging and Troubleshooting

Converting Systems from Previous Versions of FileMaker Pro

Part IV: Data Integration and Publishing

Importing Data into FileMaker Pro

Exporting Data from FileMaker

Instant Web Publishing

FileMaker and Web Services

Custom Web Publishing

Part V: Deploying a FileMaker Solution

Deploying and Extending FileMaker

FileMaker Server and Server Advanced

FileMaker Mobile

Documenting Your FileMaker Solutions

Using FileMaker 8
Special Edition Using FileMaker 8
ISBN: 0789735121
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 296

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