11 Replies Latest reply on Apr 8, 2014 7:33 PM by kongphui

    Which is the commonly used development model for FileMaker developers?

    kongphui

      As FileMaker is considered a rapid application development tool, are developers generally using rapid application development model in their FM projects? I was trying to search the forum and google on the internet which is the most common software development process adpoted by FM developers, but could not find any at the moment. I am interested to find out if RAD model works well for FM, or other approaches like agile, waterfall,...etc works better/more prefered. I would be very grateful if anyone could share some light on this. Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Which is the commonly used development model for FileMaker developers?
          wimdecorte

          I don't think you'll find one commonly used method, at least one that is explicitly acknowledged as such.

           

          Much depends on the size and type of the project, the size of the development team, the familiarity of the team with any of those methods and the expectations of the clients.

           

          Most FM developers do not come from a traditional IT/IS/CS background and typically have not been formally introduced to any of these methods.

           

          Waterfall is the classic, typically also in the client's mind.  Agile works well.  I don't think there is one preferred method that FM by nature of the product would force to use.

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          • 2. Re: Which is the commonly used development model for FileMaker developers?
            Vyke

            I can't speak for everyone, but I find that agile works really well for smaller projects that I can have a good amount of contact with the client. For large projects, I prefer waterfall as the clients usually do not have enough time for me to be in relatively constant contact with them.

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            • 3. Re: Which is the commonly used development model for FileMaker developers?
              jlisburn

              I've found the RAD model is very effective. Filemaker is very UI centric nowadays (script triggers, pop-ups, slide, FM Go) so harnessing functionality through design can be a big construction driver.

               

              Key is active dedicated team members from business, as well as IT, their use and testing of your live prototype is essential is bigger more complex systems.

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              • 4. Re: Which is the commonly used development model for FileMaker developers?
                kongphui

                Hi folks!

                Thanks for your generous sharing.  I was using mostly the waterfall model in previous software development projects, and usually through lots of iterations of project plan changes and prolonged duration in the entire project.  With RAD, I am curious to find out if FileMaker has been able to help projects reduce the entire cycle and enabling quick-to-market apps.  I have attached a gantt chart template for my RAD project, and wish to find out if it is similar or differ in fellow developers' practice.  Thanks!Untitled.png

                • 5. Re: Which is the commonly used development model for FileMaker developers?
                  wimdecorte

                  I don't ususally split UI and script development.  I'd rather go by Use Cases and those involve UI and scripting at the same time.  Sometimes only scripting, sometimes only UI.

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                  • 6. Re: Which is the commonly used development model for FileMaker developers?
                    Mike_Mitchell

                    +1. I generally bundle the project into functional groups / feature sets and work from there.

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                    • 7. Re: Which is the commonly used development model for FileMaker developers?
                      ColinKeefe

                      What Wim said. 

                       

                      This project plan is only for a three week effort, so it doesn't matter much how you slice up the time - in some projects three weeks is a single iteration!

                       

                      The point of going by Use Cases rather than the work breakdown structure you've shared is this:

                       

                      By working from a Use Case perspective, your goal in any given iteration is to deliver features that fulfill that use case.  That means working UI, scripting and schema, whatever's required to provide completed, tested work at the end of the timebox you're working in.  That means every two or three weeks you're showing the client working software that they can approve (and perhaps deploy).

                       

                      If you used the proposed work breakdown structure on a large year long project, six months in you may have all the layouts completed but absolutely nothing is scripted.  If everything goes right, this isn't a problem.  The real problem is the risk of change - change in stakeholders, change in project vision, change in finances, change in development resources (the "hit by a bus" scenario).  If the change is big enough, the entire project can fail.

                       

                      And the risk of big changes that can impact a project is directly proportionate to the timeline of the project.  That's the argument for Agile-flavored PM methods in a nutshell.  If a project truly goes south, you still have working software up until that point of failure that the client has paid for and can use.

                       

                      I'd also argue that working from a use case perspective makes "doneness" more measurable, but that's probably another topic.

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                      • 8. Re: Which is the commonly used development model for FileMaker developers?
                        wimdecorte

                        ColinKeefe wrote:

                         

                         

                        I'd also argue that working from a use case perspective makes "doneness" more measurable, but that's probably another topic.

                         

                        Agreed.  And more "testable".  So your internal QA can keep up and sign off.  And it gives you nice testing scenarios for user testing.

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                        • 9. Re: Which is the commonly used development model for FileMaker developers?
                          Mike_Mitchell

                          Additionally, should the customer decide to cut scope out of the project, it’s much easier if he can say, “I don’t want that function over there,” rather than, “Well, I don’t want the UI.”   

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                          • 10. Re: Which is the commonly used development model for FileMaker developers?
                            hjgunn@mmedia.is

                            I must admit I don't know if I fully understand this discussion.

                            For example I have no idea as to what "Waterfall" or "Agile" means in this context.

                             

                            ===

                            I suspect that my development may be called  function oriented

                            Having said that I normally work like this:

                             

                            All script developement is divided into creating managers.

                             

                            System manager

                            Data manager

                            Import manager

                            Export manager

                            Report manager

                            Task specific managers that vary between solutions.

                             

                            This process I then partially repeat with the layouts, however  with some deviations from the scripts grouping as layouts may be used for by more than one process.

                             

                            Regarding time planning I'm at a some what stoneage like stage.

                            I usually create either a main menu or a master layout

                            I then prepare a skeleton to which I  first add basic functionality before adding task specific functionality.

                            And I pretty much create additional layouts as they are needed by the functionality.

                             

                            When creating  scripts I usually outline them using the comment script step

                            I then add the actual script steps.

                             

                            Don't hesitate to let me know if I'm misunderstanding the general idea of this thread.

                            • 11. Re: Which is the commonly used development model for FileMaker developers?
                              kongphui

                              Absolutely agreed that it should be going by use cases, and for finer granularity within them will be those of layout, script dev etc.

                              Thanks so much for the sharing!