10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 23, 2017 11:18 AM by megcuddihee

    question about getting started


      We have decided to use Filemaker, and get a jump start on development by using the 10 hours + 5 licenses + advanced FMP license bundle.  I don't want to cut into the 10 hours with lengthy discussions of the minutiae of our business, but rather want to present the developer with a thorough hierarchy of the database relationships.  Is this a standard approach or am I making this too hard?

        • 1. Re: question about getting started

          I would think twice before telling your developer about relationships you want. The developers on that program are top notch. They know what they are doing.


          Time is better spent explaining what what you do and how you do it and what you need from the solution. Written documents are best.


          Drawings of what you expect of the basic layout style help as well. The developer can easily add good UI to your basic design desires.

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          • 2. Re: question about getting started

            I agree with BigTom.


            Focus on documenting how your organization works, what you want to put into the solution and what results you need to get out of it.


            Let the experts set up the needed tables and relationships. That's what you've hired them to do.


            "Database Design by Client" is one of those special headaches for consultants that can result in the consultant walking away from working for you as they usually know better than you what data model should be used.

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            • 3. Re: question about getting started

              I will disagree with bigtom and philmodjunk.

              it depends on the client and the developer. if the developer is new and you both are unsure of what can be contributed by either, then you need to have that conversation!

              but let the client/developer know that work done is work done and there will be expenses.


              I work frequently on a "tutorial" bases, training the client to do some of the work.


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              • 4. Re: question about getting started

                I have been asked to pickup where the FMI starter developers left off after 10 hours. I listen to the stories the client has and I mostly hear how the squandered the time they had chasing things the developer advised them not to. I never took any of those jobs and told those client to go back and pay the original developer.


                I get that it depends on the client, but I would say most of the time clients are better off leaving the development to the developer. The idea is that the client will have a function app with the 10 hours included.

                • 5. Re: question about getting started

                  If using Beverley's approach, there needs to be a clear agreement up front that "tutoring" is the service being provided and not just the delivery of a working solution.

                  • 6. Re: question about getting started

                    was I unclear on

                    need to have that conversation


                    All must discussed, all should be IN WRITING before work begins.

                    and there will be expenses

                    (for even the discussion, of course)


                    • 7. Re: question about getting started

                      need to have that conversation


                      That "discussion" can go in a lot of different directions. A expectation that the client will or will not be tutored in how to use FileMaker Database design needs to be "point one" of any such discussion.


                      Just trying to agree with you while emphasizing this one critical point.

                      • 8. Re: question about getting started

                        Thank you - I will focus more on business needs and relationships between the different groups and let the developer work out an actual hierarchy.  Since I already wrote one out, I'll be sure to let the developer know that this is what I believe the relationships are - but not hold him/her to following it.  I did work in Access about 10 years ago, so I'm not a complete novice when it comes to relational database construction.  That said, I have never developed in Filemaker, and I don't want to hamstring the experts.

                        • 9. Re: question about getting started

                          Thank you, Beverly.  I think I can work with the developer without getting in their way - I appreciate your insight.  I would never dictate tables and relationships, but I do have insight into the complexities and exceptions that will change how assumptions are used.

                          • 10. Re: question about getting started

                            There is a lot of good advise above.

                            A word on preparing data:


                            Often a developer of a new application is forced to spend lots of time just normalizing the data.


                            Some suggestions:

                            Before meeting - Get your data as organized as you possibly can - this will help you in two ways.  First, your data will be better.  Two, you'll begin to see development opportunities. 


                            At first meeting - Tell your developer that you are willing to clean-up any data issues any where along the process.  Even if that means the delivery date will have to be pushed out.