Reworking Layouts - Comments About FileMaker Design Abstraction

From Dwayne Wright PMP
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

Please Note: If you are viewing this page in a news feeder, the images may get munged up a bit or other formatting of the posting may fail. For the best experience, please visit the journal directly by clicking (here).

TIP FOR REWORKING A LARGE NUMBER OF LAYOUTS
Say you have 50 report layouts that have to be reworked, something that has to happen every new year to reflect the upcoming years sales totals. With so much grunt work ahead of you, you likely cannot accomplish it with just one development session.

A quick technique involves the creation of a blank layout with a name that suggests where you left off. Then move that layout down the layout list in the Manage Layouts dialog box as you complete the rework on each layout.

Then you can exit the redesign with confidence that you know precisely where to start working again when you dive into the project the next day!


ANOTHER WAY TO THINK ABOUT IT IS TO EMBRACE ABSTRACTION

Oddly enough, there is a FileMaker Talk podcast episode out this week that discusses the benefits and methods of achieving abstraction. This could be easily applied to the above discussion to alleviate all the layout rework.

However, the podcast did not discuss some important potential negatives of adding abstraction methods to an existing working solution. I'm not saying these potential issues are deal breakers but should be noted before diving into a massive abstraction redesign effort.

- how much time is required?
- how much does it actually benefit the customer?
    (could this be developer gold plating?)
- how much time are you going to spend in QA for the redesign?
- how much risk is involved in regards to the business data?

If you don't listen to the FileMaker Talk podcast, you are really missing out. Here is a link to the website (click here) or subscribe via iTunes!

Cheers!
Dwayne

© 2011 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.