NightWing Enterprises
Demo for FileMaker Pro™

FileMaker Native Custom Navigation!

Custom Status Panel

+ For FileMaker 13 and later +

For the benefit of clients and fellow developers, the following demonstration file is provided for free download.

The NightWing Custom Status Panel provides a way to replicate the familiar navigation functionality of the FileMaker Toolbar within your FileMaker layouts, including a slider that accepts both clicking and dragging actions to navigate among the found records.

We've used variations of the techniques previewed here in various client solutions over many years, but we've not previously made the system publicly available. However after numerous requests, we've agreed to license the code for this system - so here, for the first time, is a preview of what it is and what it does.

The techniques assembled here address a number of practical challenges:

1. The native toolbar uses up a lot of screen/window 'real estate' that could be used more effectively in many solutions;

2. Mouse-driven navigation widgets on the native toolbar are fixed at the top left of each window, which is not necessarily the most desirable or ergonomically appropriate location for some solutions and/or users;

3. The configuration of the native toolbar is user-customizable (via the 'View>Customize Status Toolbar...' menu command), so there's no way for a solution developer to predict (or predetermine) what the Status Toolbar will contain for a given user or on a given workstation;

4. Status Toolbar icons (on both Mac and Windows) respond to mouse clicks even when FileMaker Pro is not the frontmost application, and this can lead to unintended outcomes - whereas the Custom Status Panel affords greater control;

5. The appearance of the native toolbar is fixed - it cannot be adapted to accord with the colors, the chosen layout theme and/or the overall visual design of your solution.

The Custom Status Panel system allows a replication of the familiar native navigation toolset to be added to your layout using a footprint that's considerably smaller than the area the Status Toolbar takes up, leaving you ample room to add buttons of your own choosing - either for other toolbar functions (e.g. New Record, Delete Record, Find, Sort, etc.) or to serve the purposes of your solution in other ways. Moreover because this system is comprised of native FileMaker layout objects, its dimensions and appearance, as well as its placement, can be re-styled in accordance with your solution's UI design requirements. In addition, the system provides navigation functionality for Browse, Find and Preview modes as well as capabilities that go beyond the native toolbar functions, including related record navigation.

While other layout navigation techniques we've seen (including those featured in our own demos in the past) provide partial replication of the native toolbar navigation functions, this system goes further, offering a 'draggable' slider that works in browse and preview mode in FileMaker Pro, as well as a full-featured 'pie' system to control and visually represent the state of the found set.

Although you may choose to spend the many hours it takes to painstakingly build your own code to achieve what we show here, you now have another alternative - you can license the system from us and copy it into your solution(s). Implementing the record navigation system from scratch in a new solution typically takes less than half an hour for the first layout and a minute or so for each additional layout (following the implementation notes we provide to licensed users). Most of the code can be copied and pasted directly into your solutions without modification. Implementing the preview and related record navigation systems shown here is equally quick and straightforward. The standard browser and preview navigation systems require one custom function* and one field per data table as well as some global System table fields, along with native layout objects and scripts (note: related record navigation requires additional fields in the 'primary' table).

The version of the Custom Status Panel system shown here is updated and optimized for FIleMaker 13, however implementations in earlier versions of FileMaker (including FileMaker 11) are possible using similar principles.

Full access to the Custom Status Panel (its code and configuration) plus detailed implementation notes are provided when you license the system to incorporate into your own solutions. While the demo file is not provided in an unlocked state, it offers a preview of the enhanced functionality of three levels of implementation of the Custom Status Panel system. We encourage you to purchase a license** for the system to gain access to the code and to updates as they become available, as well as to support our ongoing research and development.

Installation of Custom Functions in your solution file(s) requires FileMaker Pro Advanced - however, once installed in a given file, they can be accessed and used in that file throughout the FileMaker platform.

**  Details of the licensing options, pricing and terms (and instructions for registration) of the Custom Status Panel system are available for download here.
  ZIP archive
Custom Status Panel preview download (.zip archive)

Note 1:

The .zip archive download (above) provides a copy of the demo file suitable for all supported platforms.
Note 2: Before opening the demo file, please ensure you extract it from the .zip archive (eg to a local drive) - otherwise it will open in read-only mode and will not function as intended.
Custom Status Panel preview for FileMaker Pro 13 and later

This product demo is provided for evaluation purposes. The code and techniques it shows may be licensed for deployment in your own solution(s). Should you require assistance implementing procedures such as those shown in our example files, please consider establishing an account with us for developer support.