How was it to convert from Filemaker to Servoy?

Share business templates, ideas, experiences, etc with fellow Servoy developers here

How was it to convert from Filemaker to Servoy?

Postby swingman » Sun May 09, 2004 9:16 pm

Dear Servoy developers,

I have now done a couple of small to medium-sized projects using Servoy, and will soon have to look into converting a very large FileMaker system which is getting very slow under heavy use.

I would like to hear you experiences of converting to Servoy.

- What took shorter/longer to develop in Servoy?
- What was the preformance increase?
- How did the users respond to the change?
- How has the version management of servoy affected your work? (I do much work out-of-hours, when databases are not is use...)

And last -- How long should I expect to spend converting one man-year of FileMaker work to Servoy?

I will be very grateful for any feedback...
User avatar
swingman
 
Posts: 1177
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:20 am
Location: London

Re: How was it to convert from Filemaker to Servoy?

Postby Riccardino » Sun May 09, 2004 10:05 pm

swingman wrote:Dear Servoy developers,

I would like to hear you experiences of converting to Servoy.

- What took shorter/longer to develop in Servoy?

Longer: form design especially print-related ones
Short: tables, field definition, re-using methods
swingman wrote:- What was the preformance increase?

It depends: if your database is not very large, you won't notice huge differences in searching. But when you switch to reporting, especially if you use SQL, there's a real boost, even 3/400 % on relatively small datasets.
swingman wrote:- How did the users respond to the change?

It's up to you make them aware of the potential of this new tool. On the interface side, if you need it, you can reproduce a FileMaker layout on a Servoy form with no substancial differences.
swingman wrote:- How has the version management of servoy affected your work? (I do much work out-of-hours, when databases are not is use...)

I expect to receive great benefits from this kind of architecture.
swingman wrote:And last -- How long should I expect to spend converting one man-year of FileMaker work to Servoy?


It depends on how expert you are on SQL databases and javascript. If you're not (just like me :wink: ), let's say two/three months.
ciao, ric
User avatar
Riccardino
 
Posts: 911
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:42 am
Location: Ferrara, Italy

Re: How was it to convert from Filemaker to Servoy?

Postby swingman » Mon May 10, 2004 9:31 pm

Riccardino wrote:
swingman wrote:And last -- How long should I expect to spend converting one man-year of FileMaker work to Servoy?


It depends on how expert you are on SQL databases and javascript. If you're not (just like me :wink: ), let's say two/three months.


Wow :-) Based on my experience, my conservative guess is that the conversion will take me 8-10 months, as there are lots of forms and reports.
User avatar
swingman
 
Posts: 1177
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:20 am
Location: London

Re: How was it to convert from Filemaker to Servoy?

Postby Jan Aleman » Mon May 10, 2004 11:03 pm

swingman wrote:Wow :-) Based on my experience, my conservative guess is that the conversion will take me 8-10 months, as there are lots of forms and reports.


If it was one man year work in Filemaker it will certainly be doable in much less than 8 months. Alternatively you could consider using a converted version (www.fmp2sql.com) as the basis for your conversion.
Jan Aleman
Servoy
Jan Aleman
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2071
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 9:49 pm
Location: Planet Earth

Postby Harry Catharell » Mon May 10, 2004 11:13 pm

I would suggest that there are too many unknowns to say one way or another.

What level of Servoy expertise would you say you possessed now and how much extra effort will it take to acquire the skills and experience necessary to be as comfortable with Servoy as you are with FM ?

How fundamentally do you understand the differences between the two applications ?

How would you redesign your FM solution now that you have less constraints re FM file limits (<= v6.x) and lack of event control etc ?

Harry
Harry Catharell
 
Posts: 812
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:23 am
Location: Milton Keynes, England

Re: How was it to convert from Filemaker to Servoy?

Postby Riccardino » Mon May 10, 2004 11:43 pm

swingman wrote:Wow :-) Based on my experience, my conservative guess is that the conversion will take me 8-10 months, as there are lots of forms and reports.


Yes, but consider that you can count on an extra help not available when you were developing your FM application: your FM application itself! :-)
To have this as a guideline is a great time-saver that can help you a lot in your Servoy development.
ciao, ric
User avatar
Riccardino
 
Posts: 911
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:42 am
Location: Ferrara, Italy

Postby swingman » Mon May 10, 2004 11:54 pm

Harry Catharell wrote:What level of Servoy expertise would you say you possessed now and how much extra effort will it take to acquire the skills and experience necessary to be as comfortable with Servoy as you are with FM ?


I'm getting very confortable and confident with Servoy, learning new things every day, but there is a risk I will get stuck trying to solve certain issues. Like I was trying to import a folder of pictures and found that the Servoy documentation lacked an example with source code -- should have posted a question on the forum :-)

Anyway, a big thanks to all on the list who have helped me out at various times!
User avatar
swingman
 
Posts: 1177
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:20 am
Location: London

Re: How was it to convert from Filemaker to Servoy?

Postby swingman » Mon May 10, 2004 11:59 pm

Riccardino wrote:
swingman wrote:Wow :-) Based on my experience, my conservative guess is that the conversion will take me 8-10 months, as there are lots of forms and reports.


Yes, but consider that you can count on an extra help not available when you were developing your FM application: your FM application itself! :-)


Good point, Riccardino, but this database has already taken over 2 years to develop, so I had sort of calculated that in :-)
User avatar
swingman
 
Posts: 1177
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:20 am
Location: London

Postby bcusick » Wed May 12, 2004 10:49 am

I've done a few FileMaker -> Servoy conversions - and my overall finding is: LESS time overall - by 25%-50%.

Data Entry Forms: About the same to slightly faster (assuming you make your own style).

Reports: Sort of all over the place - depending if you stick with the "conventional FMP-way" of doing it - or whether you convert to SQL Queries and HTML (50% of my reports are straight HTML using CSS to control the look/feel).

The REAL benefit/timesaver is "coding." You can do a single elements.button.enabled = false and save yourself 1 relationship, 1 calc, 2 graphics and a global repeating container! Not only that - but because of all the event handling - you can create applications that function BETTER, or more smoothly, at least. Hiding/showing/coloring things based on dynamic conditions, using a single "google-type" search field across the solution, having your own controller form, having "real" dialogs and the ability to open forms as dialogs, etc. All the stuff that makes an application an application.

Performance increases on searches - basically zip. Performance increases in sorting, aggregating, and sub-summarizing - UNBELIEVABLE. A single report with 6 calculated columns, sub-summarized based on a calculated field ( Case(acct=2001, "General", acct=2002, "Studio", etc., etc) - over 240,000 records took 54 minutes in FileMaker, and 2 minutes with Servoy/Sybase.

The users - LOVED the Servoy application - because I'm ususally able to do things that really help their productivity (i.e. "when I hit return, can it just do the search?"). Also, for the first version - I try to stick close to the FMP design (where it makes sense) and not change the UI 100%.

Version management is HEAVEN. I can roll out a new rev on a server remotely - and then call up the "inside" team - they load up the new (not activated) build using Developer - and they can do internal testing against the new build while the clients are connected to the current build! I've also worked with customer who (as most of the world does with anything SQL) - set up a staging server with "bogus" data, and they have an install of Servoy Server on that machine as well. This lets me do two things:

1) Connect to that server during development;
2) Deploy a "test" build there and have LOTS of people test it.

Once it's been "OK'd" on the test server - I simply import the solution on to the live server (takes about 30 seconds), and activate the release (again, about 15-30 seconds). Done. This is versus the way I did things with the FileMaker maintenance program - which was 8:00pm - 7:00am or over the weekend (so I didn't have to "kick users out")... etc, etc. We've all been there.

One more thing I should mention - a customer moved from using MS SQL to Sybase - and after the data was moved over (by their IT department) - it took exactly 5 minutes to "migrate" the Servoy solution and get everyone back up using the solution. Try doing THAT in ANYTHING else. :D

Bob Cusick
bcusick
 
Posts: 1190
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 11:27 pm
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA USA

Postby swingman » Wed May 12, 2004 11:17 am

Thanks, Bob, for your comments!

bcusick wrote:Reports: Sort of all over the place - depending if you stick with the "conventional FMP-way" of doing it - or whether you convert to SQL Queries and HTML (50% of my reports are straight HTML using CSS to control the look/feel).


Do you build the HTML with SQL or in Servoy?
I see there are some functions in Servoy to return data as HTML tables, are those the ones you use?

How does the HTML method work with
- large data sets? such as 120-page invoice :-) ?
- what about page breaks when printing?
User avatar
swingman
 
Posts: 1177
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:20 am
Location: London


Return to Sharing Central

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests