Card Windows

Dear FileMaker Community,

I have a confession to make. As president of a Platinum-Level FileMaker firm that has been in business for almost three decades, you will hear me expound upon all of the amazing features that FileMaker has to offer the average organization, corporation or government entity. I am one to tout the awesome power of FileMaker’s reporting functionality and search capabilities. I’ve been known to brag about how I know just enough development to get myself in trouble. What you will never, ever hear me say, however, is that I love card windows. It’s true. 

FileMaker Community, card windows should only be to present information, not for a data entry screen

Let me take a step backwards, and start here: Just because there is a fancy new way to do something in FileMaker does not mean we SHOULD build it that way or have to build it. Shocking, I know. Some of you wait until all the possible bugs have been worked out before implementing something new, and others of you are amongst the first to hop on the updated bandwagon. Either way, I am still seeing the implementation of this particular tool used improperly, and it saddens me greatly.

Who here is old enough to remember the Dewey Decimal System? Remember the days where you’d go to the library and look up the subject, author or category on a card? You’d wander over to the card catalog drawers; read the info needed and be on your merry way. I believe that’s what card windows are intended for: read the info needed and be on your merry way. 

Card windows, however, have been out for a while now and I still see them being misused regularly, in my humble opinion. Just like the card catalogues, they are meant to present read-only data, not a place to enter new data. It’s not intuitive to a hardcore data entry user and requires too many extra steps. You have to move to your mouse and click into the newly presented field before entering the data. Then you have to close the window and move on to the next record. Or, you have to move your mouse over to “new record” and click on that before moving back to the field to click your cursor in again to enter more data.


Frustrated Data Entry User

Tl;dr: Card windows are for read-only data; not for data entry. Change my mind.