FileMaker Pro vs Zoho

Claris FileMaker Pro and Zoho are both popular database solutions. If you’re shopping around for a database that works well for your business, deciding between the two may feel overwhelming, or even confusing. But, there are several important differences between the two, and knowing these differences may help make your decision easier.


Zoho CRM’s Creator Tools are a low-code development platform designed for drag and drop application building. It comes with over 60 applications prebuilt, making it easy for those with no knowledge to snap something together (relatively) easy.

This accessibility translates to its entry fees. Zoho has a free trial that’s fairly limited: it only allows for a maximum of two users and three applications. However, it does allow small businesses to take it for a “test drive” at no cost. 

It also allows for slightly more flexibility in terms of pricing. Although it’s cost for individual users is more expensive ($25 per month per user for Zoho vs $19 per month per user for FileMaker Cloud), Zoho allows for single person accounts. FileMaker Cloud requires 5 users at minimum.

Zoho offers unlimited users which (pricing notwithstanding) makes scalability easy as businesses grow.

Zoho offers one major thing FileMaker does not: native Android support. There’s a Zoho app for both Apple and Android devices, making it easy to access regardless of the device employees are using. While Android users can use FileMaker, they have to do it via FileMaker’s web tool, WebDirect (as opposed to an application).

Claris FileMaker Pro

FileMaker Pro is also a database solution, this one a RDBMS (relational database management system) with its own front-end GUI. Frankly, it may not be as simple out-of-the-box as Zoho. Zoho prioritizes making things as easy as possible, while FileMaker can be incredibly powerful in the hands of the right developer. It may not be as intuitive for the average person, but virtually any database solution is possible through FileMaker.

Claris Connect also allows FileMaker Pro to interface with virtually any existing application. If your team already uses Outlook or Slack (or any other number of software), FileMaker Pro can easily communicate with them. It effectively slots into your existing infrastructure. It’s that simple.

That flexibility and simplicity can also be found in FileMaker’s reporting features. FileMaker Pro automatically creates table, list, and form views as databases and forms are added. Scripting and customization can all be done within the GUI with very limited coding knowledge.

FileMaker Pro also allows for scalability. The platform itself allows for nine simultaneous users, which at first glance, isn’t many. But FileMaker Server means that you can rent out servers as you grow, for hundreds of consecutive users accessing the database.

It should be no surprise that FileMaker Pro’s security measures are equally as flexible. Administrators can restrict users down to the most granular level, so departments or individual employees can access some databases, layouts, or fields and not others.


Zoho is a great alternative for smaller businesses and those who have no experience with building out low-code and no-code platforms. For small businesses that anticipate fewer than 4 users, it may even be cheaper.

Of course, Zoho doesn’t scale as well from a pricing perspective. FileMaker’s minimum of 5 users at $19 per month is  a total of $95. That’s already $5 less than 4 users on Zoho. As the number of users increases, so too will the pricing disparity.

While Zoho can be great (especially for smaller businesses), FileMaker Pro offers better pricing and potentially more flexibility and options in the long-term. This is especially true in the hands of a capable development team. If you want to learn more about developing custom platforms for your business, you can contact Kyo Logic here.

What it Means to Be a Platinum Certified Claris FileMaker Developer

“Developer” is a broad title. It’s so broad, in fact, that it’s sometimes difficult to parse, especially for industry outsiders. While all developers create software (or contribute to the creation of software in some way), there are dozens of branches and proficiencies. Individual developers may focus on writing code, strategizing, or providing quality assurance. There are a staggering number of programming languages that individuals or teams may choose to focus on.

And that’s all without mentioning the specializations within that. Entire companies may specialize in building customer experience portals, internal communications applications, or back-end sales tools. They may focus entirely on web development, and within that, focus on a handful of needs.

There’s nothing wrong with being highly specialized, of course. There’s such a breadth and depth of knowledge when it comes to development, that it’s essentially necessitated. But it’s precisely for this reason that Claris, the creator of FileMaker, has a certification process and a partner program. The certifications are tied to specific services offered, as well as overall knowledge. Currently, the certifications  and partner classifications available are as follows:

Certified: These partners have passed the FileMaker Certification exam. This is a timed, multiple-choice exam that tests for FileMaker understanding and application.

Consulting: These partners will work with you to create a custom application, including planning and eventual deployment.

Training: This certification goes to partners who focus on teaching custom application development. This includes teaching developers and non-developers alike.

Reselling: Resellers offer authorized licenses of Claris FileMaker and other Claris products. While you can purchase FileMaker directly from Claris, these resellers may offer Claris products alongside other software, often at a discount.

Hosting: Hosting partners will offer solutions for hosting your custom software in the cloud.

Connect: These partners focus on Claris Connect, which assists with workflow automation and integration.

As noted, there are a variety of certificates that individual developers and corporations can hold, but the highest honor is a platinum certification. 

Platinum partners are hand-picked by Claris for their technical prowess and excellent customer service— there are only a handful of Platinum Certified Claris FileMaker developers in the country. Furthermore, they’re innovators in the space, redefining what FileMaker can do and sharing these discoveries with Claris. They offer comprehensive services and complete, holistic solutions. Platinum partners will offer virtually all of the services and options listed above. 

For example, at Kyo Logic (a Platinum Certified Claris FileMaker Developer) we offer development, hosting, and license management. If you want to learn more about how a Platinum Certified developer can help you, please contact us here.

Claris FileMaker is About to Have a New Name

At its most recent Webinar update, Claris announced a name change that will impact its offerings. Long-time FileMaker users are probably aware this isn’t the first time the tech giant has changed names; Claris previously changed its name to “FileMaker” and then back to Claris in recent years.


What does this mean for Claris products? There’s a naming overhaul planned and a spiffy new gradient visual branding to go along with it. The name changes themselves are as follows:

  • FileMaker Pro is now Claris Pro
  • FileMaker Server is now Claris Server
  • FileMaker Go is now Claris Go
  • Claris Connect is now Claris Studio


It’s a pretty simple change to understand, and one that customers will pick up on quickly. Claris is ditching the “FileMaker” moniker and branding everything with the parent name. Interestingly, Claris promised that while Claris Studio will contain what used to be Connect, it will also be the umbrella for “new stuff.” Claris Vice President of Engineering, Peter Nelson, describes the new stuff as “functionality that will be available as part of the Claris platform.” While they didn’t get into the details, it sounds like they’ve got big plans in terms of expanding on what they offer their customers. Claris is anticipating the initial release of Claris Studio this fall.


Claris sees this as a way to create a central identity across all platforms while also allowing for better integration between platforms. This change will also make it easy for new clients to adopt these platforms. Claris also assures their existing users that nothing will fundamentally change for existing platforms. To put it more bluntly, these preexisting platforms won’t break as Claris updates their offerings.


Of course, this is just the foundation Claris is placing, and they promise to have more in store in the near future. At Kyo Logic, we’ll be sure to monitor and update as Claris rolls out new developments. We’re excited to continue to use Claris tools to create the best custom platforms and databases for our clients.

How FileMaker Powers Mobile Solutions

Claris FileMaker is designed to make custom databases available to virtually everyone. This accessibility is a key component, not just in terms of ease of use and flexibility (although it certainly checks those boxes), but also in terms of how end users can literally access these databases.

Currently, FileMaker offers built-in support for desktop, web, and mobile phones, allowing for interfacing from anywhere and from (almost) any device. This allows businesses to focus on use-cases and problem-solving, as opposed to worrying about device compatibility.

FileMaker Go is the specific application that allows for this, available on both Android and Apple phones or tablets. This allows for much more efficiency during development. As opposed to creating two similar applications in parallel, FileMaker can effectively automate the process of adapting a desktop application for mobile. There are a few steps required, but they’re simple and time efficient (especially in comparison to building a mobile application from the ground up).

It’s as simple as dropping existing windows into a container designed for mobile. Some designs might require tweaks to the layout, especially in terms of button placement and size, to make navigating on a touchscreen device more intuitive. 

These applications can then be shared with FileMaker Server, allowing users to navigate the application and update information in real time. This is perfect for businesses that have employees doing a variety of work in a variety of locations (like a warehouse and office), employees who do remote/hybrid work, and companies that have employees in the field. Conversely, feature sets and layouts can be turned into an offline, self-contained solution. 

By default, FileMaker Go also allows users to take pictures and record video, scan barcodes, use electronic signatures, and manage local files, all within the app. This allows for each of these items to be implemented into workflows.

For example, warehouse workers can use tablets to scan the barcodes of incoming or outgoing shipments. These shipments are then automatically updated in the database in real-time. Now everyone, from the sales team to the accountants, knows if an order has shipped, and can take next steps.

Similarly, employees can draft invoices while visiting a client, and the client can sign and provide payment all through the app. For businesses with employees in the field, FileMaker Go makes conducting business much more efficient.

It’s worth noting that FileMaker Go is designed to function as an extension of FileMaker, not a replacement. That is to say, users cannot add new files or create databases and feature sets within FileMaker Go. FileMaker Go still requires these platforms to be built out within FileMaker proper, but once they are, exporting them to the mobile application is easy.

If FileMaker and FileMaker Go sound like they’d be great additions to your business’s toolkit, Kyo Logic is happy to help. Just click here to request a consultation, and we’ll show you all the ways a custom application can streamline your operations.

What Do “Low-Code” and “No-Code” Mean?

If you’ve been looking at custom platform solutions like FileMaker, Quickbase, or Zoho, you’ve likely seen terms like “low-code” and “no-code” used. Put simply, these platforms allow users to create tools that would otherwise only be made possible via coding. 

Traditionally, software would have to be built by developers, a process that requires years of experience and hours and hours of manpower. These developers build software using a programming language. You may have heard of Java, C++, or Python, but there are dozens of programming languages. The operating system on your computer, Microsoft Word, and the apps on your phone were all coded using a programming language that tells it what to do and when.

For comparison, consider the early home computer that ran MSDOS. Users were presented with a black screen, and had to type command prompts to navigate the computer and run software. Microsoft’s Windows was revolutionary because it created an operating system with a GUI that made navigation much easier and much more intuitive.

Coding allows a person or team of people to create virtually anything imaginable, but as mentioned, the process is time consuming. Low-code and no-code solutions utilize a graphic user interface (or GUI) that simplifies the process while all the “coding” happens in the background. It’s a way to allow users with limited coding experience to create what they need. It also allows experienced developers to save time on projects by streamlining the coding process. 

Although low-code and no-code are often grouped together (and sometimes even erroneously used interchangeably), there is a difference. Low-code seeks to streamline the coding process. It makes creating platforms, databases, and applications require less time and involve less tinkering with strings of code. However, it still requires some understanding of coding to really get the most out of this software (this will vary by the software). While the average person could still make use of low-code software, a seasoned developer will still be able to do much, much more. FileMaker and Zoho are great examples of “low-code” platforms.

No-code removes coding from the equation entirely. While coding familiarity may help, the entire process is done within the confines of the software’s GUI. Of course, “no-code” could apply to just about any piece of software if the definition was truly that broad. It’s used to identify platforms like Airtable: databases that are possible to create without code, but are built for non-developers. They prioritize easy-to-understand solutions.

Both low-code and no-code platforms are changing the way businesses approach their software needs. These tools can still be very powerful, and by nature can create (and modify) custom tools in a fraction of the time it’d normally take to craft these solutions. It allows businesses to be much more nimble and dynamic; they can react quickly to new employee needs and customer demands.

If you’d like to learn more about how low-code platforms like FileMaker can help your business, you can reach out to Kyo Logic here for a free consultation.

8 Simple FileMaker Tips and Tricks for Beginners

FileMaker is a “low-code” platform, which means it’s designed to be used by virtually anyone. It operates through a GUI, or graphic user interface, which is a fancy way of saying someone can use it through an actual piece of software as opposed to typing out lines of code.

Of course, experienced developers will be able to do considerably more with the platform. But for beginners, there are a handful of easy-to-execute tips and tricks.

  1. Know your shortcuts. While this isn’t crucial to getting the most out of FileMaker, it is helpful in terms of spending less time clicking through menus and dropdowns or hunting for the right window. Some of these shortcuts may be familiar if you’ve used similar programs. A full list of shortcuts can be found on the FileMaker website. Please note that these keyboard shortcuts are for Apple users. Windows users use “CTRL” instead of .
  • +Z will undo the last command
  • +SHIFT+F opens the find/replace dialogue box
  • +SHIFT+L opens the manage layouts box
  • and “up” or “down” arrows allows you to flip through pages
  • +SHIFT+D opens Database Manager
  • +SHIFT+S opens Script Workplace
  • +SHIFT+L opens Layout Mode
  • +SHIFT+B opens Browse Mode
  • +SHIFT+F opens Find Mode
  • TAB will allow you to move between windows. Speaking of which…
  1. Familiarize Yourself with Different Layouts. When choosing “Window” and then “New Window” from the dropdown menu, you can use different layouts that allow you to see multiple windows at once.
  1. Keep the List of Error Codes Handy. You can find Claris’s official list here. This is incredibly helpful in understanding why something isn’t working, and what can be done to fix it.
  1. Use Table View. This effectively zooms out to give you a look at all the information you’re working with. This is especially handy when you’re working with lots of complex data..
  1. Know How to Use Search Functions. Right-clicking a field and selecting “Find Matching Records” will give you all fields that match what’s selected. This can even work with highlighting a particular word, phrase or number within a field, allowing you to find all fields that contain that particular query. Right-clicking and selecting “Constrain Found Set” will allow you to search with additional parameters in another field. Simply put, you can search items that contain your first AND second search terms or values. 
  2. Utilize Rulers, Guides, and Grids for Formatting. These tools allow you to design more accurately and make more granular tweaks to your layout. Rulers will show you the exact size of a particular layout, in points, inches, or centimeters. Guides will overlay a series of blue lines on the layout, allowing you to line up various elements. Grids places a layout of 1/10th inch boxes over the layout, for spacing accuracy. Together, these tools can save time and effort and give you the perfect layout.
  1. Change Your Theme. Choosing “Change Theme” from the Layout menu allows you to make a variety of changes, from sweeping alterations to the overall color palette, down to granular tweaks in font. This includes things like changing how text boxes react to inputs and adding a highlight when hovering over clickable objects. While you may not want (or need) to tweak everything available, the level of customization users have over the interface means you can really make it your own.
  1. Create Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts. You may find yourself needing to access different aspects of FileMaker often, at least compared to the default keyboard shortcuts mentioned above. Selecting “Specify” will allow you to use your own key combinations to perform commands. Note that this can even override existing commands.

Knowing the above should help make creating FileMaker databases easier for beginners. But the best way to get the most out of FileMaker is to have a team of experts at the helm. To really learn what FileMaker can do for your business, contact Kyo Logic today.

14 FileMaker Features Perfect for Your Business

FileMaker Pro was built for small-to-midsize businesses in mind. It’s the perfect tool to optimize resources, compile data, communication across teams, and more. It can function as a comprehensive solution for a company top-to-bottom, or slot into an existing suite of tools where needed.

1. Unparalleled Customization. While there are a variety of software options for everything from sales to communications, they take a one-size-fits all approach. For businesses or industries with specific needs, FileMaker can be used to customize every aspect of your platform. Beyond that, it ensures that these otherwise disparate pieces– inventory systems, customer portals, and more– can all work with each other in a singular ecosystem.

2. Affordability.  A lot of the software and platforms designed for businesses can get expensive. Typically, it means paying for licensing fees for every piece of software and every employee or workstation. With FileMaker, there’s an upfront cost, but you’ve created a platform you own. No annual renewal fees or licensing costs to worry about.

3. Integration with Third-Party Apps. While FileMaker can be used holistically to create a platform that services your company’s every need, it can also slot into an existing business. If you use Slack or Outlook or any number of other popular business applications, FileMaker can work with them. For example, FileMaker can alert staff via Slack when a customer has sent an invoice. It can pull info from Salesforce and update records. It’s malleable enough to fill in the gaps your systems currently have.

4. FileMaker Cloud. A virtual necessity in the modern age of working from home, FileMaker Cloud allows employees to access applications and systems via a web browser. It’s a simple feature that can be a lifesaver in emergency, off-hours situations. 

5. Out-of-the-Box Data Management. FileMaker makes it simple to store, organize and manage data. Store, modify, and share documents, databases, and more for easy collaboration 

6. Easy-to-Use Communications Management. FileMaker is fantastic at managing workflow communication across departments and channels.

7. Easy Add-On Integration. There are a whole host of add-ons available. Everything from signature capture to data API can work with FileMaker.

8. CRM Tools. FileMaker is capable of performing a wide variety of CRM-related actions. Manage customer contact info, orders, quotes, invoices, and more, all on a single platform.

9. Data Reporting. Create custom reports and analytics based on real-time data changes. See a bird’s-eye view of your company or deep dive into granular information quickly and easily.

10. Flexible Hosting. FileMaker works with a variety of hosting options, including Linux, making it easy for any company to integrate.

11. Voice Commands. A recent addition, FileMaker now works with Siri voice commands, making it easier to operate hands-free and integrate with phones.

12. FileMaker Go. Speaking of phones, FileMaker Go (currently only available for Apple devices) allows users to use FileMaker on their mobile devices. Paired with FileMaker Cloud and traditional options, it means your platform and applications can be accessed virtually anywhere.

13. Easy to Learn. FileMaker is designed to be “low-code,” with the intention that virtually anyone can pick it up and begin using it.

14. Limitless Possibilities. To really unlock it’s potential, FileMaker is best used with professional developers. That’s where Kyologic comes in. We can help you build a FileMaker platform specifically for your business. If you want to learn more, please reach out to us here.

Understanding the Nuances of Mobile Design

There are virtually countless considerations to make when designing a website or application: typefaces and font hierarchies, design elements, colorways, workflows, CTAs… the list is endless. Most importantly, brands must envision how these elements coalesce to provide a positive user experience that’s reflective of your offerings.

Half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, and Apple and Android applications are naturally being accessed from a phone or tablet. Understanding how users interact with a mobile device is critical in optimizing the user experience.

When designing a website intended for both desktop and mobile, the most obvious difference is alignment. Monitors and laptop screens are traditionally horizontal, while phones are vertical. A gorgeous pop-out menu with dozens of items might look amazing on desktop, but squished or cut-off on a phone. Intricate fonts that make your brand stand out might be virtually unreadable on a mobile device. Text can get squished. Buttons may feel out of reach.

Organize Content for Mobile

As mentioned, great desktop sites don’t translate well to an optimal mobile experience. Cramming detailed menus and complex infographics onto a tiny screen just doesn’t work. Vertical dropdown menus make navigating a website much simpler for mobile users. 

Collapsible categories are also incredibly useful. Browsing dozens of options on a desktop is fine, but daunting on mobile. Allowing users to hide or show relevant categories will ensure their precious screen real estate isn’t being taken over by info that isn’t necessary for their experience.

Be Mindful of Touchscreens

A critical button or menu at the top of a screen might not mean much for desktop users, but it’s effectively out of reach for visitors on mobile. People tend to browse on their phones with one hand. Their other hand might be preoccupied holding a subway pole, a baby, or any number of other things. As such, placing menus and CTAs at the bottom of the screen— where their thumbs can easily reach— makes for a much better user experience.


The faster a user can complete a task, the better. Mobile applications and sites should prioritize their primary function above all else. For example, an ecommerce app should make it easy for users to open the app, find their products, and make a purchase. This may involve placing a core group of popular items front and center, as opposed to the eye-catching graphics they would’ve seen on the desktop site.

Long, drawn-out forms are also discouraging for mobile users. Simplify the number of fields when possible, or place them on multiple screens.

Integrate Other Phone Applications

Mobile users expect certain functionalities when selecting them on their phone. For example, a contact page with a phone number and email should open those related applications. Links to relevant apps in their app store and addresses that open a map application are also considered standard integrations.

Optimized mobile designs mean less obstacles and pain points for customers to navigate. The easier an app is to use, the more likely a customer can access the information they need to have a successful interaction. If you’re looking for ways to design a fantastic mobile app for your company, Kyo Logic would love to hear from you. You can contact us here.

HIPAA and Claris FileMaker

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was a bill signed by Congress in 1996 that required the Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a set of regulations ensuring the privacy and security of electronic protected health information (e-PHI). As a result, HHS published its privacy and security standards in the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule. It is required that all applications that acquire and store any protected health information of individuals be compliant with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. 

Claris FileMaker, with security measures and customization built into the platform, make it a uniquely perfect platform to build and create HIPAA compliant applications. Here are the reasons why:


With FileMaker, you can turn on Encryption-at-Rest for the entire database that utilizes FileMaker’s Developer Utilities. By turning on Encryption-at-Rest, the application is given a security key (we recommend this be a strong, randomly generated password) that must be entered every time the application is opened. This ensures that even if the database does fall in the wrong hands, they will not be able to open the database or access any data inside of it without the encryption key.

Encrypted Container Documents

When creating container document fields in FileMaker, the developer has the option to store the documents inside of the database; externally secured or externally open. There are many performance-related reasons to store documents externally, so having both the option to store the documents externally and secured gives you the best of both worlds. The data can only be opened from within the database and will allow you to avoid any database performance issues.

Individualized Accounts and Privilege Sets

Within the database, the administrator has the ability to set up unique accounts and privilege sets for each individual accessing the database. This allows the administrator to quickly and easily add, remove, enable, disable, and adjust each user’s account in the database. Through the use of privilege sets, the administrator can limit each user’s access to different sections or segments of data. The administrator can assign some users to accounts that have access to ePHI data while assigning others to accounts with limited or no access.

Scripting within the Database

Because of the customizability of FileMaker, developers can give each user and/or privilege set a unique user experience through scripting. You can allow only authorized users to navigate to certain layouts in the database and view HIPAA compliant data for an individual. Through scripting, you can also create user session access and action auditing reports, both of which are required by the HIPAA Security Rule.

At Kyo Logic, we believe in developing and maintaining HIPAA compliant applications by successfully using FileMaker as a terrific platform for our clientele. If you are in need of support in building and maintaining a HIPAA compliant application and would like to learn more about what it takes to make a HIPAA compliant FileMaker database, please contact us.

FileMaker Tips: 6 Techniques for a Better UX

As FileMaker developers we pride ourselves with our ability to perform amazing feats of behind-the-scenes scripting and calculation dexterity. But, sometimes we forget that functionality is only half of a good design. The other half is what the user sees and interacts with. This half is the UI/UX.

For this discussion, let’s define the user interface (UI) as the workspace that contains objects (as well as their themes and styles) for data viewing and manipulation. These objects encompass everything from edit boxes to drop-down lists to tab controls, button bars, portals, web viewers, and so on.

The user experience (UX) is defined as how a user interacts with the UI. Foremost of UX is workflow, which is how a user moves from one object to the next in a logical fashion. UX also includes the layout’s “intuitiveness”, which is how easy (or not-so-easy) it is for a user to understand what they can do, where they can click, and what they can edit.

A good UX makes a user’s job easier. It reduces the learning curve of your app which reduces training time. It also increases “buy-in” from users. If they like what they see (UI) and feel comfortable using your app (UX), it increases its value to your client.

Let’s take a look at a few tips to enhance that comfort level. Below are six tips to consider when designing a good UX:


Never leave your user stranded.

When a user opens an additional window such as a report window or navigates to another layout to perform a task, always make sure to build obvious navigation tools so that your user can get back to where they started.  Leaving a user stranded on a dead-end layout can be confusing and frustrating. A user needs to feel at ease to explore areas of the app while always feeling comfortable that they can go back to start over.

Good workflow includes circular navigation, not linear. Linear navigation brings a user down a singular narrow path from one layout to the next but often leaves them stranded at a dead-end.

Circular navigation incorporates buttons to circle back to a previous step or go all the way back to the beginning to a dashboard or main menu to start over. It also allows a user to go forward to the next logical step, or branch off to a different section of the app.

Design the workflow of layouts to “read” from top to bottom, left to right. 

Place data that the user needs to know first in the upper left area of a layout. 

For example, on a form/detail layout of a “people” record, knowing the name of the person is most often the first thing a user needs to know. So, place the name fields in the upper left area so that the user “reads” that data first.

The additional data fields should flow in a cohesive way so that the user doesn’t have to jump their eyes around the screen to gather the next logical piece of the puzzle.

In action areas, place action buttons in the lower right or centered across the bottom.

Keeping with the concept of “top-to-bottom, left-to-right”; in dialog windows, card windows, popovers, tab panels, and slide panels it is best practice to place the action buttons in the lower right or center bottom of the action area. 

Clicking an action button such as “Okay”, “Cancel”, or “Save” is usually the last step your user will take when in an action area. Your user’s eyes will flow from top-to-bottom. So, their eyes will be positioned to see the action buttons when they need them. Placing the action buttons elsewhere forces the user to hunt around for the buttons.


Use tooltips. 

Always add a tooltip to a button that is an icon only, one without text. Icons can be interpreted different ways by different users – and developers. Many users are afraid of clicking blindly in fear of breaking something. To help users feel more comfortable clicking a button, add a tooltip to buttons, especially icon-only buttons, to make sure your user knows what a given button will do.

Add the Self tooltip to long text fields. Fields that can hold long strings of text sometimes get cutoff. A simple help is to use the Self function as the tooltip calculation. Then when a user hovers their mouse over the field the entire field contents is displayed for a few seconds. This allows a user to know there is more data to read.

In addition, using the calculation box for tooltips allows us to provide extra data that may be pertinent to a field but does not need to take up real estate on the layout. For example, hovering over a person’s name in a list view layout could display a tooltip that provides that person’s title, rank, phone number, or other additional info from other fields.

Disable Browse Mode access on calculation and summary fields

 Users new to your app can get confused and distracted from their task when they click into a calculation field and attempt to edit data. FileMaker will provide a dialog box with a message saying the field is not modifiable. This can cause them confusion as to what they are supposed to do next and derail their task at hand, slowing down their work.

Since a user cannot edit data in a calculation or summary field, why allow a user to click into the field to begin with? In the Inspector (on the Data tab, Behavior section) simply uncheck Browse Mode for field entry. When a user clicks on the field nothing will happen. They will immediately learn that field does not need to be edited without a scary distracting error message.

Add Close buttons to all Popovers and Card Windows.

Many users can get stuck after opening a popover because they do not know how to close it. They do not know that simply clicking outside the popover will close it, it is not intuitive.

Always add a simply close button – with a tooltip – in the header/title area of popovers. A single script step of Close Popover will do the trick (use the Close Window (current) script step for card windows). This makes the popover more user-friendly because it is easier to understand what the user needs to do. 

Building a close button only takes a minute or two and can then be copied and pasted into every popover to maintain a consistent look and function.

Consistency adds to intuitiveness since after learning it on one layout, users will more easily recognize the same functionality on other layouts.


These simply techniques help put a professional polish on your app. They can improve your user’s experience which in turn helps them do their job more comfortably and more efficiently.