3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 29, 2012 12:35 PM by Stephen Huston

    Live Calc fields on a screen?


      Hi all,

      In my school's solution, the administrators want a place to evaluate teachers and record a score. They want a school-wide average of all those scores. This is built just fine, with lots of tweaking here and there.


      I have a screen that they can visit all of their teacher's scores in a portal. The table is the school table, each record a different school, and the portal shows the calc fields for the evaluating system. Since, as i believe, calc fields do their work when called upon in another field or on screen, i wonder if having 30 teachers and their 6 calc (unstored) fields showing their average scores in dfferent categories, will slow down the database too much?


      So I'd like to know:

      When you do show a screen of the most current up-to-date info, do you use the live calc fields on the screen? Or do you set up a matching static field for each calc field and have an 'update' button that transfers the data from the calc field into a static field?


      Maybe these static fields would be in a new table, and every time i press an update button, it creates a new record in the new table (EvaluationsUpdate) and posts that on the screen for all to see. Programmatically that seems a lot of work, taking the data from the calc fields and put them into a new table, but that seems to be a solution to what i wonder will be a slow down to the system.



      When showing a report of fields calculated by changing info in the database, are they usually the live calc fields or something else?



        • 1. Re: Live Calc fields on a screen?
          Stephen Huston

          You might consider a combination of live and stored/updated data:

          1. Have a stored field which shows the last time & date the updater was run
          2. Have a button available to run the updater which resets the scores based on latest data.

          That way users will have no unstored calcs to deal with in the layout displays, just the latest stored results, but, if they see the updated amounts are not as recent as they want, they can run the script to update the values (SetField script steps) to what the unstored calcs would have displayed if you were using them.


          This also makes access via WAN very zippy as there are no calcs at all involved until the updater is run.


          If all of the data is stored on one server, you can even set a server-side schedule to run the updater script daily, preferably around 2am, but not during a scheduled backup.

          • 2. Re: Live Calc fields on a screen?

            thank You stephen.

            You are advocating for stored fields. That makes sense. I may use a new table in which to place to fields so that the admin can go back and look at the progres a teacher has made over time.


            I assume i don't have much access to place a server-side script that will update this since we are going to an exterally hosted file. I'm not even sure how to work with those yet. I'll explore that if it be the case i can do something with it.



            • 3. Re: Live Calc fields on a screen?
              Stephen Huston

              Your FM hosting service should allow you to administer your FM Server remotely with the Server Admin tool, which is where you set schedule server scripts. Ask them about this, as it is really useful to have updater scripts such as this set to run without requiring client action at regular periods.