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Server Hosted Files Trick


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Dealing with FM Server hosted files for many years, I have developed a trick that I do before turning a hosted file "on" - especially production files. I add several "extra" fields. I add these fields to a file just before hosting the file:

ExtraText1 = text

ExtraText2 = text

ExtraText3 = text

ExtraText4 = text

ExtraText5 = text

ExtraNum1 = Number

ExtraNum2 = Number

ExtraNum3 = Number

ExtraNum4 = Number

ExtraNum5 = Number

ExtraGlobalText1 = Global Text

ExtraGlobalText2 = Global Text

ExtraGlobalText3 = Global Text

ExtraGlobalText4 = Global Text

ExtraGlobalText5 = Global Text

ExtraGlobalNum1 = Global Number

ExtraGlobalNum2 = Global Number

ExtraGlobalNum3 = Global Number

ExtraGlobalNum4 = Global Number

ExtraGlobalNum5 = Global Number

ExtraContainer1 = Container

ExtraContainer2 = Container

ExtraContainer3 = Container

ExtraContainer4 = Container

ExtraContainer5 = Container

I don't know how many times I've been asked to add "just one more field" and have to either disconnect everyone or wait until they all close the file - just to add "one more field". With these extra fields, I can just grab an appropriate type and use that one. Calculations can use one of the fields and be set with a script temporarily until I can get into the field definitions a create the calculation field. Later on I can go back and rename the field(s) appropriately when I get a chance.

The addition of the fields adds only 2.5k to the file size and if the fields are not used, there is no performance or storage issues.

We have a couple of production files that are nearly impossible to get everyone off and the boss wants this new field added "NOW!". This inevitably happens when an application is first put into actual production.

This little trick has been a lifesaver on many occassions once I started doing this as part of my final checklist for hosted files. I thought it might help others...

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While in theory this is a good idea, there are a couple of caveats:

1. Make sure that you make a note of what there fields get used for and name them properly at the earliest opportunity. Otherwise you will forget and the field will not get named.

2. If multiple people can make use of these fields, make sure to coordinate amongst each other. Overwise you will use the same fields for different purposes.

I know someone who violates both of these and it causes major problems. Luckily I just delete them and waste that person's development efforts anyway, so no real harm done.

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