1 2 3 Previous Next 32 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2015 3:51 PM by erolst

    FileMaker 14 starter solutions...best practices? Yikes!

    jgalt

      I decided to take a look at some of the FileMaker 14 starter solutions hoping to see some of the "official" techniques and ways to implement a FileMaker invoice solution.

       

      When creating a new invoice I notice that FileMaker is using a direct link to the related "contact" record instead of using a lookup. Would this be considered a terrible business practice?

       

      If a company moves or changes their name then all of the previous invoices would also change. This means that you would not have any accurate record of the invoice that was given to the customer. Even worse, if a customer has moved to a different city or state you would not have accurate tax information.

       

      How could a company the size of FileMaker put out something like this? It seems like it would be a major liability to any companies that are actually using these as starter solutions.

        • 1. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
          jgalt

          Also, why haven't the starter solutions all updated to show off the latest version's features? I assume FileMaker is a large company with the resources to make such updates...are they not?

           

          mq5cMD

          • 2. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
            ibrahim_bittar

            Here we go...

             

            Just kidding, I agree with you.

             

            Best regards

             

            Ibrahim

            • 3. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
              mikebeargie

              FYI, the tax information is stored on the invoice record, not calculated from a related value from the company, just to clarify your doomsday news.

               

              So while the contact data may change on the invoice because it's not stored, all the other (important) number values are stored and persistent.

              jgalt wrote:

               

              How could a company the size of FileMaker put out something like this? It seems like it would be a major liability to any companies that are actually using these as starter solutions.

              From the start solution detail page:

              Plus, you can easily modify the Starter Solutions for your own unique needs.

              IHMO, having persistent contact information on an invoice is a unique need, as if I ever historically reference an invoice to re-send to a customer, I don't necessarily want old contact info there. As long as the numbers are persistent (which they are in the invoices starter solution), it's fine for any audit/tax need I have.

              • 4. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
                mikebeargie

                Also if a static copy of the invoice of what was given to the customer is required, then it would be MUCH more desirable to save a PDF of said invoice to a container field or external location as a "hard" copy reference.

                 

                If you change it to a looked up value, malicious users, corruption and accidents could all have a negative effect on your "sacrosanct" invoices.

                • 5. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
                  beverly

                  I don't know if these are created in-house or by another development company. I agree! these should not to be taken as "official techniques" or even using "standard" conventions (I always seem to be arguing about the names used in the starter solutions). While these may or may not be intended for "ready-to-use" and not really as starter for further development, I don't know either.

                   

                  I may use starter solutions as examples of what forms and reports look like when discussing with potential clients. And I may also discuss business logic & navigation flow based on these examples. But these are just examples and not used when developing by me.

                   

                  If you want to see GOOD examples:

                   

                  http://fmstartingpoint.com/

                   

                  beverly

                  • 7. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
                    rrrichie

                    The starter solution seems to make use of a lot of different techniques!  It also used all sort of triggers on record/layout change, specially on the iPad screens.

                     

                    I once created a solution for a customer based on the Invoice Starter solution,  that was a big mistake :-).  The next project I just copied the cool icons and started a fresh :-)

                     

                    The invoice starter solution kinda dies on you if you get a lot of records.  I changed many unstored calculations to regular fields and nightly scripts to update stock levels and sales data.  Also added extra tables to collect sales/stock data. 

                     

                    I think you have to see them as showing a lot of different techniques to do stuff, but not as example files of how an ideal solution can be done.

                    • 8. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
                      Markus Schneider

                      well.. it depends on the country... here, an invoice created from the starter solution won't fit the needs.

                      If a customer changes the address, it's sometimes important to know to what address something was shipped - but there are two sides of everything (-:

                      • 9. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
                        Extensitech

                        Coincidentally, I think this is the second time I've said this recently.

                         

                        I really believe the "starter" solutions should be called "demo" solutions. They're not a bad way to find out about features and see features work, but I can't imagine a solution with these as a "starter" becoming anything but a disaster.

                         

                        Even where the solutions do give a nod to best practices in business and database design, "starter" implies that the solutions can easily be built upon and grow into something larger and more comprehensive. (As could be determined from our company name, our emphasis is on building for extensibility and flexibility.) The "starter" solutions fall flat on their faces in this regard.

                         

                        Still, I don't think those solutions are worthless. They're a great way to get a look at various functions and see them in action. In all fairness, our own solutions would make horrible "demo" solutions, since they don't often highlight one particular FM function and how it works. I just think that their name leads people to believe they are something they're not, and often gets new users into trouble.

                         

                        Chris Cain

                        Extensitech

                        • 10. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
                          jgalt

                          Mike Beargie wrote:

                           

                          FYI, the tax information is stored on the invoice record, not calculated from a related value from the company, just to clarify your doomsday news.

                           

                          My point was that you could have tax information that does not match the contact information. Resume doomsday scenario.

                          • 11. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
                            CarstenLevin

                            Yes!!!!!

                             

                            I feel terrible bad about this. Tried the invoice starter solution. Made and invoice, changed the address of the customer ... and yes, it is changed on the Invoice.

                             

                            Case:

                            1. You send the invoice to a customer to the address that is valid in your system.
                            2. somebody change their address to the new address they moved to 1/2 year ago.
                            3. You complain that they do not pay.
                            4. They ask where did you send it.
                            5. You say: Your present address .... but it is not!

                             

                            Not good.

                             

                            But I must admit that I love the thought of:

                            1. Create an invoice based on your current tarif.
                            2. Get paid.
                            3. Change your tarif to - 10%
                            4. Now the customer only paid apex 90% of the invoice.
                            5. Your solution will send payment instruction to the customer.

                             

                            No, all links to invoices should be dead. Look Up is OK, but we are using an even more fixation, we transfer all values to the invoice via variables and put them into the relevant fields of the invoice and the invoice lines. And ... very well documented via the script.

                             

                            But, FileMaker, please!

                             

                            Best regards

                             

                            Carsten

                            • 12. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
                              ibrahim_bittar

                              I agree with you, naming is important. "Tutorial" or "Demo" should be better names.

                               

                              On the other hand, when I saw the new FMI website, I was expecting that the starter solution would look like the ones showed on the website, which are gorgeous:

                               

                              BasicTutorial 2015-06-18 at 10.02.54 AM.png

                               

                              Communicate or not communicate, that is the question...

                              • 13. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
                                Markus Schneider

                                since FileMaker has some problems with the locale settings, if one creates an invoice here (locale: German, Swiss German - but with '.' instead of ',' as a decimal), FM calculates 800% tax instead of 8%

                                 

                                EAsy to be fixed - but leaves a bad taste (newcomers will use the starter solutions, not the experts..)

                                • 14. Re: FileMaker 14 stater solutions...best practices? Yikes!
                                  CarstenLevin

                                  Yes, and even without a very long tread on this, the starter solutions, I am afraid that we can conclude that while they may be good to have a look at for a first time user, and for some smaller companies they may even be a little miracle they are very bad examples when you look at the inside.

                                   

                                  But they are very good layout/design examples!!!

                                   

                                  They should at least be build as small examples to follow, and they should be adhering to a simple set of conventions. And then they should be filled with notes and explanations.

                                   

                                  And for Markus: This single comment

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