FileMaker developers (and other app developers) are always looking for better ways to communicate information to their users. System level notifications have proven to be an effective way of sending short ‘dissolving’ messages to users. These Notification messages show up in the top right corner of the users screen, make a little chime, hang around for a few seconds and then disappear so that the user’s screen doesn’t get too cluttered with information.
Some uses for these Notifications for FileMaker developers might be:
- sending a message when a long script or process has been completed
- displaying an error message
- as an emphatic tool tip
Basically, wherever a script is currently employing a Show Custom Message step, a developer might consider replacing it with a Notification. The advantage of Notifications is that they are less disruptive to the user’s workflow. They go away after a short duration, hopefully having informed the user of what has happened (or didn’t happen).
One notable addition to Apple’s Mavericks (OS X 10.9) is the Notifications system. This capability is also available in Yosemite (OS X 10.10). Similar to Growl (which I have written about before here), Apple Notifications are addressable through Applescript. As you may recall, FileMaker Pro has a Perform Applescript step in its scripting tool chest. I have created a small demo database to illustrate how Apple Notifications can be sent from FileMaker Pro using Perform Applescript. This file will run in FileMaker Pro 12 or FileMaker Pro 13 and up.