How MetaSys Software Helped Merge Multiple FileMaker Files to a Single FileMaker Formula File – Case Study
Our client, is in the textile business and manages their manufacturing processes using multiple FileMaker application files. We helped them migrate from the FileMaker 5 version to the then latest FileMaker version. Their biggest pain point was, they had thousands of Formula files as separate FileMaker files. Each Formula file contained a formula/recipe for a program used by this 24x7 operation.
The shop floor used a base template that was modified for each specific program. Each program had different processes. The layout design, as well as the placement of processes and some values on the layout, varied from program to program. Some formulas required added steps like preheating before adding specific dye material, whereas some formulas need it after adding the material. Due to these differences, they maintained separate Formulas or Program files.
This blog describes how we provided them with a solution by addressing their pain points.
The Old Process:
- For every new formula, the user had to create a copy of the FileMaker file, rename it and make modifications to suit the new program.
- The user had to manually enter the Program Number.
The Pain Points:
- A huge number of files as a new file had to be created for each new Program.
- Time was spent in creating new formula files.
- Files could not be hosted on one FileMaker server since there were more than a thousand files generated.
- Manual backups were needed.
- Risk of file corruption.
- Additional memory needed to store and back up files.
- Upgrades were time consuming and difficult in a 24x7 operations.
- We provided them with a solution which reduced the number of files required.
- Instead of creating new FileMaker files for each new Program, we suggested they create a new layout in the same FileMaker file.
- Each layout name was to follow a naming pattern starting with the Program number. Ex. for Program number 111, the layout name would be 111.
- The naming convention could also include specific attributes of the Program which helped in easy identification.
- Program numbers were auto-generated, and manual entry and duplication avoided.
So, instead of creating new FileMaker files each time, few common FileMaker files were created for different fabric types (ex. Cotton, Polyester) and then hosted on the FileMaker server. These files would then be used to create new layouts. The common files were further customized as needed and they were matched to the behavior of separate files—for example, functionality to find a specific program and to generate a found set that belonged to it.
We found the batch number as defined in the Program. Every time a new layout was created for a program, the system would generate a default record for that Program.
- Formula files were reduced to 4-5 from thousands.
- Files were hosted on the server and were more secure.
- No manual backup needed.
- No risk of damage or corruption of the files.
- Time was saved since no new files needed to be generated for every program.
- Auto-generated program numbers made it more user friendly.
- Since then the client has been able to upgrade to the later FileMaker versions very smoothly.
MetaSys has a large team of experienced and certified FileMaker developers,with experience in FileMaker 5 to the latest FileMaker versions. For any queries, please feel free to contact us.