Join Cris Ippolite for an in-depth discussion in this video Touring the Launch Center, part of FileMaker Pro 14 Essential Training.
- FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Pro Advanced, FileMaker Go, and FileMaker WebDirect in the FileMaker 14 platform all include a new way to visually organize all of your FileMaker Solutions in something that's called the new Launch Center. In order to access the Launch Center in FileMaker Pro, we just go under the File menu and select Open. Now you'll see this new window which is the Launch Center. First you'll notice that there are two tabs either My Solutions or Hosts. Let's stick with My Solutions for the moment.
My Solutions shows various different icons that are called Solution Icons. Each one of these represents a different FileMaker Solution. Within this viewing area, you see that they're broken down into two groups, Favorites or Recents. So all of the files that you see down here are files that have recently been opened by this copy of FileMaker Pro. Now you may not see these same recent files if you open up your copy of FileMaker Pro and that's because these are user-specific. Now if you want to make one of these files a favorite, all you have to do is hover over it and pin the Solution by clicking on the star in the upper left hand corner.
Next time you go back to the My Solutions tab, you'll notice now that that's under the Favorites section. You can unpin a Solution to have it removed from Favorites by simply clicking on the star again. The number of files that shows up under Recents is controlled under FileMaker Preferences. If you go to the Preferences you'll see under General, Show recently opened files has the default of 10 and that's the limit of how many will show up on the Launch Center under the Recents section.
You'll also notice in the toolbar of the Launch Center, that we have the ability to view more Solution Icons on screen at a time by viewing them in a list. You'll see that this fits a lot of different files on screen and it also actually shows us the path to those files or their location. Looking at the Solution Icons in a group with the larger icon is what's called looking at it as a tile. You can also collapse each one of these sections if you want to make more room for the tiles on screen. You can also isolate just the Favorite files by hitting the star icon which will show or hide any of the Favorites.
If you have a lot of different Solution Icons in your Favorites or Recents, you also have this search bar that allows you to type in values and then only matching files will appear in your list. You can then clear that to see all of the different solutions. Under the Hosts tab, you'll notice that we have on the left hand side a list of all the FileMaker servers that we have access to. Now when you open up your FileMaker Pro you won't see FileMaker Server 14 because that's a server that I have access to as I'm recording this.
If you only have one server and you don't need to pick from multiple servers you won't need this left hand column. So that way you can toggle to hide it. That way it shows the name of your server and you can actually make that server a Favorite if you'd like. You can see the different files that are on the server and I can make one of them a Favorite as well. That way I can just see my Favorites or, of course, just view these in a list view or tile view, but you'll notice that the Favorites that I've selected are now available under the Favorites section over in the My Solutions part of the Launch Center.
You can add multiple different servers by simply hitting the plus button, then entering in the server information. You can have an unlimited amount of Favorite servers stored here. Back under My Solutions, you can see in the bottom left hand corner if you don't have a file that's available under Recents or Favorites you can just hit Browse and your operating system's open file dialogue will navigate you to wherever you can find the file that you want to open. Also in the bottom left hand corner of the toolbar is a new drop-down.
This allows you to create a new Solution or create a new Solution from a starter Solution or create one from an existing file meaning that you want to convert, let's say, a spreadsheet into a FileMaker Solution. Choosing New from Starter Solution allows you to pick from all of the different Starter Solutions that ship with FileMaker Pro. So even if you have a trial version of FileMaker Pro or you have Pro or Advanced, you have access to create a Starter Solution. Two of the Starter Solutions were redesigned for FileMaker 14.
That's the Event Management Solution and the Project Solution. I'll be using those sparingly throughout this title. But if you want to create one of these Starter Solutions and check out how these things are built all you have to do is select one and hit Choose and save it to a certain location on your computer. Then it'll show up as one of your Recents. Now the Solution Icons, which are the images that you see representing Solutions here in my Launch Center, really come from FileMaker. Some of these options are available to you. Actually FileMaker 14 ships with 30 different attractive pre-built icons for you to represent your Solutions on Launch Center.
You can even add your own personal touch with custom icons if you'd like. So for example, if you go under the File menu to File options, there's this tab under File options called Icon. This is where you can choose from the 30 different pre-built ones or you can choose the default FileMaker one or you can select Custom and pick your own custom icon. So for example, I have this icon here and you should be aware that you can only use JPEGs or PNG files and ideally they should be sized at 288 by 288 pixels.
But if I pick one, then I see the preview of the icons and I can choose whether to Scale to Fit or Fill if they're not exactly 288. But now when I hit Okay, this Solution will be represented in my Launch Center with that Solution icon. That'll carry forward even if I Favorite that. Now in addition to FileMaker Pro, you should be aware that the Launch Center has a consistent user interface on the different technologies that are used to access FileMaker Solutions. So we've looked at the options in FileMaker Pro, but it looks very similar on FileMaker Go for iPad or even in FileMaker Go for iPhone.
FileMaker WebDirect in your browser also uses a facsimile of the Launch Center. All of these will help your users have a consistent experience when accessing your solutions using these different technologies. The FileMaker 14 platform's new Launch Center will allow you to visually organize all of your FileMaker Solutions in the new Launch Center over different technologies in order to help your users instantly find what they're looking for regardless of which technology they use to choose to access the files.
- Comparing flat vs. relational databases
- Creating databases from starter solutions
- Determining what tables you need
- Understanding relationship types
- Defining key fields and creating relationships between tables
- Creating and working with fields, including container fields
- Creating, duplicating, editing, and deleting records
- Importing and exporting data
- Working with layout themes
- Using layout parts and tools
- Formatting layout objects
- Finding and sorting data
- Creating value lists
- Printing and saving
- Building reports, including subsummary reports and quick charts
- Using the Calculation dialog
- Creating and triggering scripts in the Script workspace
- Working with script triggers