The objective in preparing this Style Manual is to set a standard for FileMaker development in the Office of International Programs (OIP). Developers come and go and in order to maintain and advance the work of many hands, a consistent standard must be applied.
The style manual borrows heavily from the FileMaker Development Conventions (FDC) and adapts it to match the needs of the OIP. On some topics, it parallels the recommendations of the FDC, in others it departs completely. The reasons for straying from the FDC is to:
- Keep it simple. While the FDC is geered to many developers moving from project to project, the OIP supports no more than two developers working consistently on the same project. The FDC recommends a complex system of meta data and just-in-time documentation. It's more than what's needed for the relatively simple and straight-forward solutions of the OIP.
- Retain FileMaker's celebrated ease of use. Maintaining the FDCs methods adds overhead to your solution,making even simple changes time-consuming and burdensome. Speed and adaptability are the hallmarks of FileMaker and the reason it's perfect for the OIP's limited time and budget.
- Affirm the working styles of the current developers. Combined, the OIP's two current developers have many years of experience. Each has evolved proven techniques for building solid database solutions. This style manual codifies and affirms some of their habits and practices.
- Be relevant. The OIP is a unique mixure of people, processes, tools and technical architecture. How we develop FileMaker solutions needs to blend with and support these systems.
Despite these differences, the FDC remains a companion to this style manual. It addresses topics not covered here such as custom function naming and SQL terms to avoid in field naming.
This a living document. Submit suggestions and challenges. While the overall objective is to create consistency, this should not prevent us from adopting better techniques and reacting to improvements in the application.