FileMaker Placeholder Text and the Separation Model

I read a lot of blog posts every day, and see a lot of fine ideas well presented.  And once in a while I see an idea that is so faran outside the box that it it makes me say Oh My God, that’s brilliant! Or, as is so common in the texting world, OMG.

The concept put forth in this post by Kevin Frank falls into the OMG category.  Frank takes an innocuous new feature in FileMaker 14 – placeholder text – and solves an aggravating problem with the separation model:  the inability to make data in a portal in the interface file update (or, in this instance appear to update) on entry.

Today’s demo file is FM 14 Aggregates and Separation, and for demonstration purposes it has interface elements in both the Data file and the Interface file. Normally of course, in a separated solution, you wouldn’t have interface elements in the Data file (since that would defeat the purpose of separation). Here we are looking at a newly created parent record in the Data file, with a couple newly created portal rows, and the three calc fields below the portal are tracking the changes in real time….

Data file

But getting back to the above screen shot, what you see is pretty incredible if you stop to think about it, because new, uncommitted records don’t really exist, in the normal sense of the word… yet the aggregate calcs are updating as if those records really do exist, which is of course a highly desirable behavior as far as the user experience is concerned.

Be sure to study this concept and take apart the downloadable demo file.

Source: FM 14: Separation Aggregation Aggravation revisited | FileMakerHacks

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