Standards! Standards! Read All About It!

With FileMaker being such a versatile and quick development application it is often too easy to develop a functional solution with little regard for its legacy and, in particular, how the solution is to be supported, maintained and developed in the future.

As developers, either commissioned or “in house” our support of a system may be shorter than the life cycle of the file itself and it is our obligation to ensure that the file structure and development process is as logical as possible.

I’m sure that we can all recount examples where we have been exposed to a file solution that has not met our own exacting standards. The problem being that our standards may be very different to those of other developers. And for this reason it is important that, if nothing else, there is consistency within the file itself in terms of the major factors that comprise a file.

Very few project budgets extend to the extent of having a purpose written manual. So when taking the reins of an existing solution we are often dependent upon the DDR and a hope that the solution developer has conformed to some logical coding standards.

Here at Linear Blue a set of coding standards have been refined over the years and these are openly published on our website [click here]. They include:

  • Tables
  • Fields
  • Scripts
  • Objects
  • Custom Functions

There are, however, other factors that in combination can greatly assist any future developer required to support or develop upon your code. These include:

  • Naming Conventions
  • Indenting & Use of White Space
  • Commenting [Calculations, Scripts and Custom Functions]
  • Relationship Graph Management.
  • Scripts & Layouts Structure

Each of the above are important considerations and so over coming installments I will look at these factors and give greater detail as to how they can both enhance the legacy of a solution and also provide efficiencies within the development process itself.

Simon Ward

Simon has been developing FileMaker databases since the late 90s and joined Linear Blue in 2006. Over this time he has developed database systems for clients in many different industries from Order Processing to Book Publishing. Simon’s BSc in Chemistry from Thames Valley University comes to the fore in his analytical skills and he is certified in FileMaker versions 7 through 12.

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