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Best way to develop Multiple Systems


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Not sure where to post this, so here is where I have put it.


In my quest to build multiple "Systems", such as a "Product Resource System", and a "Project Management System", I have been developing them as follows:


I have built about 20 FileMaker 8.5 DB files - and that number is growing. Each of these I call "modules". I have an "Employees" module, an "Offices" module, a "Chart of Accounts" module, a "Vendors" module, etc. I chose this method for a few reasons:


1. I can assign one person to be the "Publisher" of a particular "module". They would be the most proficient at that "Module's" topic. For example, a Human Resources type person would publish the "Employees" module as that is their data field of expertise. This module feed data to either of the bigger systems: "Product Resource System" and "Project Management System", and so forth.


2. Trying to develop a "Projects Management System" lead me to realize that the system would need data from many different areas - or "modules" - such as Employees, Vendors, Offices, Chart of accounts, etc.


3. When I started building my first "Project Management System" in one DB - it became apparent after hundreds of rookie hours that I was overwhelmed and appeared that I was trapping my data. For example, I had over 1000 fields, dozens of scripts, dozens of relationships that looked like a circuitboard, etc. My mind was growing numb. My value lists where crazy. I realized that the data in my value lists could be separate DBs or tables. So I went the route of separate DBs instead of tables in the Project Management System since I could tie the data from separate DBs via relationships to other DBs.


Keep in mind, I may have went down the wrong road, but so far it appears I made the right choice: separating the data into separate manageable DBs. These separate modules feed whatever system I build from the available modules already built. If anyone sees an error in my thinking - please let me know.


As I continue developing this, I can see some disadvantages:


1. Accounts and Privileges in 20 DBs that I have to manage and integrate with the other Dbs


2. Duplicate script creation - I know I can import them but I am not sure which one has the best variation of the script steps I created, etc.


3. Duplicate layout work and modification. Change a design element in one means revising the others to stay consistent


Am i going about this in the right way?


If so, should I build a separate "Module" for accounts and privileges and only use that for my reference? I can always export the accounts and privileges particular to a module, and import it in to update the module.


Any light you can shed is appreciated and all comments are welcome: the good, the bad, the ugly. I need to hear it straight.


Thanks in advance.

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Thanks Ender! Those threads are perfect for the feedback I was looking for.


I think I will continue along with a modular approach. I do really like that I can keep my mind focused on one "Topic" and the fact that I can assign a "Publisher" to maintain the data. I would Administer all modules in terms of design and functionality - and assign "publishers" that maintain the data.


I can see that what I was running up agaisnt - script duplication, custom finctions, duplicate layouts, privileges, etc - are a downside, but I have a feeling that I will learn over time what the more advanced developers do to streamline this process. I can see that an all in one solution "may" be a performance issue - if not at the user level, it seems at the development level things could slow down. From either CPU load or the shear human aspect of parsing through fields, scripts, and what not to see whay was done.


I am thinking that maybe a database about my databases may be a good idea. This DB could contain all the scripts for all databases (organized somehow), layouts, calcs, buttons, custom functions, privileges, etc. I could export or cut and paste as needed.


Obviously being highly organized and methodical would be key - otherwise it would just be an extension of a mess.


By the way, the method that you have taken makes a lot of sense. I have a feeling that since I am a real novice and I struggle with just trying to identify the data that shoud be in a table and how that data would interact with other tables is task enough. Therefore, my method of modules for each topic really helps keep my head clear - for a little while at least.


Once again, I appreciate your feedback.

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You might want to have a look at this website in preparation. Read about the services offered, and check out the Downloads section there, too. The free DeveloperStorage solution could really help you keep track whatever else you might need to do. If I were taking your approach I would most certainly want someone to supervise what I was doing.

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