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Indicate Progress in FileMaker Go and 11

When I was preparing a sample file for the How To Prevent Support Calls video I wanted to make it as cool as possible, so I decided to optimize it for FileMaker Go. I quickly discovered that I need a plug-in free alternative for the progress dialog.

I wanted something nice looking while still as easy to implement as 24U SimpleDialog Plug-In. That really was the kind of challenge I like. I started getting ideas only to deny each of them in the very next second:

  • New window displaying a special “progress bar” layout – not good for Go, problem with maintaining script’s context.
  • Transparent web viewer in the front layer rendering CSS – too complicated to develop, may be hard to interact with objects behind the web viewer. I also thought that rendering HTML is a bit of overkill.
  • Collection of fields to display progress status and progress bar – the oldest approach, a little boring, and too difficult to copy across solutions.
Then I got this one which I implemented in the sample file: conditional formatting
In this implementation a single global text field displays the progress status, 10 text objects use conditional fill color to show the progress bar, 2 button objects use conditional fill color to serve as a dialog-like background and frame. To implement it into your solution you only need to copy one field, one group of layout objects and then update the progress field and refresh window from within your script. Fair enough, isn’t it? Well, not for me… ;-)
So I asked myself – can I make it even simpler? And I got another idea: merge variable


Then I created the final implementation:
  • No plug-ins
  • No fields
  • No dependency on the database schema
  • A single layout objects group to copy
  • No modifications necessary
  • Driven by a single global variable: $$progress
  • Works in FileMaker Pro 11 and FileMaker Go

And here it is for you to take and use for free:

(even directly to iPhone or iPad with FileMaker Go installed)



How do you like it?
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