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Custom Solution Hints and Tips


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I am not sure if this is the right forum to be posting into, so please re-direct me if need be...

I am creating a set of multiple databases as a custom solution for my company. I was hoping you could all share any tips and tricks you've found useful as your databases have grown in size (things you wish you had known or done earlier), thanks in advance to everyone that shares. Cheers!

Version: v5.x

Platform: Windows 2000

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Big subject. This is probably the right forum. Because much of what you do now has to be carefully planned.

One of the most important things is to decide what naming conventions you want to use for your fields. I won't go into the different "standards," partly 'cause I have my own, which is a stripped-down version of the "official" Core-Solutions standards (don't know the URL).

You must be able to find your fields and recognize their basic function from their name; it must be consistent. Another factor is that FM 7 supports fewer special characters in field names, so stay away from those.

You say version 5.x. But eventually it's going to be 7. You should think about what that might mean, both pros: many new features, many things easier to do, some things (like text formatting in calculations, new graphics formats) never before possible; and cons: Server not ready yet; conversion may not be smooth; new features may not be available without extensive changes to existing files, older files may have lots of work-arounds that are now junk; a learning curve, for all of us.

The other big consideration is what files you need and what relational structure. Once again, you might want to structure these much differently in 7 (multiple tables in a file). But maybe you've got to deliver something in v5 or 6 sooner than the company is willing/able to upgrade.

If I had to build a new large solution in v.6 now, I would want to keep the structure pretty basic. I would not want to add complicated work-arounds for things which were not essential, only to have to junk them and start over in a few months or a year. I'd leave the troublesome bells and whistles for later, esp. if you know 7 will do them easily.

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