How to build your own Filemaker Pro system

Orchard with blossoming apple trees in spring time. Thurgau, Switzerland. © Karsten Risseeuw

How to build your own Filemaker Pro system

 

If you are working as a Filemaker Pro developer, you will most likely make all the mistakes everyone else also makes. There is nothing wrong about that, and even helps to understand what you need to improve and why you should improve things. This is called experience and it is wonderful to move yourself to better levels of understanding.

There are several reasons why you probably find out that using or creating a system will have many benefits. It is not about conventions, but more about a certain approach. There are frequently many ways to achieve a certain goal, but some ways are more efficient than other ways. Improving your approach means, that you strive to implement better practices, find more convenient ways to solve a certain challenge, and generally to simplify all your efforts.

FM Starter can be one approach, and – even if it is certainly not perfect – is has solved a number of issues I myself and others have been struggling with for many years. Today I think that FM Starter can be drastically simplified. To simplify things is probably the most important asset you can bring to developing. Mastering complexity is one thing, and sometimes projects require complex steps to solve something. I found that some developers are doing crazy stuff which I much admire. But to make something work can often be achieved by understanding well what is needed. If you understand something well, you probably will be able to keep it less complex, to simplify, to break a workflow into smaller pieces, which are not only easier to implement, but also easier to understand in two or three years on from now.

If you work to create a system, keep it simple. Allow for integration of new functionality, but keep your solution lean and clean, well organized and reduced to the max.

If you start building a system, you probably favor own components, or you use FM Starter or other solutions as a start. It does not matter what you start with, as it will grow naturally, according to what you understand and what you need. Some people told me they use FM Starter as it is, and start working with it right away. Others never use it for projects, but took it as a source of ideas for projects which were running already. There is no right or wrong here. Plant single trees, so to say, and in the end you might have an orchard.

What is the approach you favor yourself?