If you create small, simple solutions you don't need it that much.
If you create complex solutions it's a must.
Ibrahim Bittar Torres
Eikonsys, S.A. de C.V.
FileMaker 10 Certified Developer
FileMaker Business Alliance
I've been using Base Elements for a few years. I can't really imagine developing without it. The primary thing that I use it for is finding how some element in a database is used. For example, let's say I have a script that needs to be revised, but I don't know where that script is currently being used. BE shows me every button that calls on that script and every script that uses that script as a subroutine. Or maybe I want to change a field definition. BE shows me what layouts display that field, what fields reference that field, what relationships use that field, any value lists that depend on that field, etc.
Another primary and related use is to see if a database element is unreferenced such that it can be repurposed or deleted. You do have to be concerned about a concept called "indirection" where an element is referenced in ways that BE (or the Database Development Report that it depends on) can't see it.
The DDR you can generate from FileMaker Pro Advanced gets you the same data, but the BE interface to access this data makes it about 100 times easier. I recently was working on a database where I only had access to a remote workstation running FMP not FMPA so I couldn't generate the DDR needed by BE. I felt like I was developing in shackles and delayed one major revision by several months until I had the necessary access so I could use BE.
Ramki: As Ibrahim and gordon sugested... You might be able to get along without these for very simple solutions. Otherwise, regardless whether you're working on several solutions or just one major project, you shouldn't be without one or both of these tools. In the long run, you'll save a lot of troubleshooting time, headache and uncertainty, especially if you have to work on something someone else created.
I started out with Inspector, but switched to BaseElements a few years ago (just as a matter of timing, and this was prior to the latest overhaul to Inspector). I depend on it almost daily.
I, too, would like to hear from people who do use both and what they find best (or lacking) in the latest version of each.
I am new to FM (say only a year and half). But am in the industry since 1981. My feeling is that when somebody can get the DDR out of FM apps and can do magics with it to help the developers. Why not FM itself can. Atleast they can do certain crucial things like unreferenced things, list of references or calls for a script in the application. This should definately help individual consultants and developers. I found the cost of the 3rd party plugins are as much equivalent to price of FMPRO. I am really not against anyone in this.
I found this facility in most of the matured Sws.
What do you all think?.
Is there any comparison document available on the Web for the two products (Inspector Pro vs Base Elements)?
I'm the developer of BaseElements.
I don't think there is a good comparison document out, but if you have specific questions about BaseElements, feel free to ask them here or contact me directly. You can also get a demo version that is unrestricted for 30 days to try it out.
Goya Pty Ltd
BaseElements : www.baseelements.com
RefreshFM : www.refreshfm.com
What Gordon has posted above, hit the nail on the head for my usage too.
I have been using Base Elements for a few years (cant actually remember how long... time flies)
I moved over from an earlier version of Inspector (2.0) and have not looked back since, whilst their was nothing really wrong with Inspector in terms of what it could do, I was unhappy at the time due to the speed of the imports.. since I have not tried their latest version, I cannot judge it, but have had no reason to give it another go, since BE does what I need it to do.
Time = Money and Base Elements saves me time (a lot of it), therfore saving me money!
Yes, I could do without it, but I would rather not..
I guess the best way to move forward would be to download trials of them both and import your DDR, see how you get on.
I haven't use either of these two products extensively, but I would also check out the 2empowerFM Developer Assistant. It works a little different than Base Elements or Inspector Pro. It is a plugin, and has some very helpful features that speed up tracking down calcs, scripts etc. I'm not sure it may replace either of these tools...but has greatly assisted my development quite a bit.