5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 25, 2013 11:56 AM by mr_scott

    StartingPoint - adding modules

    jaylin

      Greetings all. 

       

      I am very excited about this forum, with its wealth of information and access to ready / willing experts. This was a factor in choosing FMr as our platform. I'm charged with developing a d/b and transitioning away from our current proprietary program.

       

      StartingPoint is what I'm working with in FMr 12 Pro Adv. It being a free starter solution, I am wondering if there are any samples of what others have done, or anyone who'd want to share. The missing pieces for us are purchasing, inventory and serialized product tracking.  Anyone?

       

      Also, any opinions on BaseElements, or other add-ons to consider?

       

      I am a novice at this, a fact that was driven home when I looked at the under-belly of StartingPoint. I will appreciate any direction and resources offered!  

        • 1. Re: StartingPoint - adding modules
          StephenWonfor

          Jaylin

           

          Welcome to the Filemaker World.  Base Elements is an excellent tool.  Also woud recommend Dracoventions 2EmpowerDeveloperAssistant - a truly great tool that should be part of FMP Advanced.

           

          The daunting bit.  I have used Starting Point for a number of projects and have tended to follow this logic:

           

          Duplicate a Table Occurence Group from a base table that is similar to your needs (Invoices/Purchase Orders) and park it on an empty space in the graph.  Do the same for InvoiceLineItems.

          Look at all the tables and duplicate the one that has the most matches of fields you need.  Invoices and Purchase Orders are farily similar.

          Rename fey fields as needed.

          Go to your copied TOG and change the main table to use your new table as a base.

          Change the related tables that use InvoiceLineItems to POLineItems and link appropriately.  Might be an idea to break the link to other tables in your new TOG untyil you need them - you can always refer to Invoices TOG to see what the link fields were.

           

          Duplicate the invoices layout.  I would strongly recommend selecting all objects below the main menu bar and ungrouping them - main reason is to kill all the invoices specific buttons as, I learned, there are many surprises in the layout objects.  I'd also turn of the layout script triggers.

           

          Nowe you change the context of the layout from Invoices to Purchase Orders.  All the fields are now from the wrong table but you address each one separately and make it one of the PO fields.  You can delete fields you do not need.  You can then change the context of the line items portal to the one where PO is linked to PO line items. Same process for fields in the portal except they come from the relationship that owns the portal.

           

          Eventually you get a layout that is consistent with all the other layouts and has fields from the PO and PO LineItems context.

           

          You may wish to consider how many of the modules you will use so you can manage the navigation system.  eg.  If you don't use Projects you could use the Go To Project navigation script to go to PO's instead.  You'll still need to edit the text "projects" on all relevant layouts (170 of them but you may not use some).

           

          It is a lot of work but surely less than building from scratch.

           

          Scripts can be copied and repurposed.  Pick ones that are similar to the process you are trying to do.

           

          You might wish to search "Filemaker Anchor Buoy" as that design methodology is more or less how Starting Point operates.  If you are not a full "code-head" you'l find that AB is understandable.

           

          http://www.kevinfrank.com/anchor-buoy.html

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4HjJP99HJA

           

          I could go on and on...but won't right now.  Anyway, a fairly major task for a novice, but it is doable.  One thing I found of great utility was having a second computer on hand.  You run a pristine copy of Starting Point in one computer and do your work on another.  Makes is easier to lookup what things do and how they work in the original so you can replicate in your development copy - especially if you are 5 or 6 windows deep and need to know something from another table.  You could also look at the Starter solution available with the FMP app itself - simpler than Starting Point and may well prove very useful in learning the tool.

           

          Good luck...

           

          Stephen

           

           

          "Believe you can and you're halfway there." ---Theodore Roosevelt

          • 2. Re: StartingPoint - adding modules
            jaylin

            Oh my goodness, Stephen! Thank you!

            The procedure you laid out is just what I had in mind, but your linear description and sensible methods make it feel less daunting already.  LOL

            You're a gem.  I'll keep you posted.

            Thanks.

            • 3. Re: StartingPoint - adding modules
              Vaughan

              StephenWonfor wrote:

               

              You might wish to search "Filemaker Anchor Buoy" as that design methodology is more or less how Starting Point operates.  If you are not a full "code-head" you'l find that AB is understandable.

               

              Not to start a religious war or anything... I'll agree that AB is "understandable" for almost all values of "understandable". What I don't like about AB is that the resulting repationship graph offers almost no clues as to how the tables work together to provide the solution. It's like reading lines of code.

              • 4. Re: StartingPoint - adding modules
                StephenWonfor

                Vaughan

                 

                I think it is all experiential.  I look after 20+ systems and sometimes I won't see one of them for a year or so.  AB sure helps get my head into it again - but perhaps that is recursive I suppose since AB makes sense to me.  I am currently working on an over-engineered developer-first system that is not AB and is barely comprehensible - after all, why name a table occurence as invoice_LINEITEM|id_invoice| when M8_A__t_d__D_Invoices is available.  ;-).

                 

                Stephen

                 

                "A good programmer is someone who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street". -- Doug Linder

                 

                Any code of your own that you haven't looked at for six or more months might as well have been written by someone else.- Eagleson's law


                • 5. Re: StartingPoint - adding modules
                  mr_scott

                  jaylin wrote:

                   

                  Also, any opinions on BaseElements, or other add-ons to consider?

                   

                  I am a novice at this, a fact that was driven home when I looked at the under-belly of StartingPoint. I will appreciate any direction and resources offered!  

                  Hi, Jaylin:

                   

                  I use both analysis tools, BaseElements 4 and Inspector Pro 4. I also find that fmXRaySpecs and DeveloperAssistant are essential tools. You should also look at ClipManager 4, and Mat Petrowsky's Theme Studio (as well as his FileMakerMagainze.com quarterly subscription site)

                   

                  Finally, take a look at Court Bowman's CC Pivot 2 for doing cross-tab reports and Pivot tables with your data.