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Thread: a system consists of several Apps

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2012
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    130

    a system consists of several Apps

    I work on such a system. I donít know the question about it yet, but Iím seriously curious about Hankís (HankFay) opinion.

  2. #2
    Lianja MVP
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Berea, KY, USA
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    2,028
    Hi strato,

    As Barry describes in a post today, and also in the Lianja docs, a large app in VFP becomes a number of smaller apps, each suited to their own purpose. You can put them under one project. The project as of 5.6 can contain files that ensure consistency among the apps by setting certain app properties when an app is created as part of a project.

    Aiding this process, visual components can be created to be used throughout the apps.

    Modern app development starts with looking at usage patterns. Who does what? In the old days, all the functions of application were in one program. The person who did receiving in the warehouse had to navigate to a form that this person used. Perhaps they also did ticketing, perhaps not: ticketing in a Lianja project could be a link on the receiving app that brings up ticketing. That mapping of the ecology of the application, who does what, should inform how the apps of a project are created.

    With modern UI, the UI should teach the person what to do, just as with our phones. Our phones don't come with a manual. That means keeping each "page" simple and obvious.

    A related issue: there are very few scenarios that justify the creation of desktop-only applications simply on a cost basis. Updating apps on 100 desktops, dealing with permissions issues and other stuff that crops up, is expensive. Putting the desktop app in RDS instances is expensive. While Defer Loading of pages keeps web traffic down, and caching will usually capture the initial HTML download, keeping separate apps still helps keep things fast enough for business apps. Our web/mobile apps load as quickly as our VFP forms in the legacy app, overall.

    Those VFP monoliths were quite the thing back in the day. What we have found in the last 18 years since we launched our VFP monolith (the 3rd generation of this particular application) is that we have been making the forms much more like what they will be in Lianja as we transition over. We did that in response to feedback from our customers, from our trainers, and from our Support people. So when Lianja redefined the way to build apps we nodded our heads and said "yup, that's the way to go." What we have realized is that in a company with 300 users of the application there may be 5 to 10 power users. All the rest just want to get their particular jobs done, as simply as possible. And even for the power users, typically one function occupies most of their activity, and having the "informational" pieces that help them do that app fit nicely in other apps.

    It's easy as a developer to do what we've always done. What saved us, made us ready for the current era of UI, was getting enough feedback over the years that it finally got through our thick skulls.

    Hank

    Hank

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    130
    Hi Hank,
    First of all, thank you very much for this post. It was very helpful and inspiring for me to rethink my own work as well.
    Itís especially exciting what youíre writing about the new project features, and Iím happy to see that this version has already been released in beta. Maybe thatís exactly what Iíve been missing so far and I wonít even need a ďresetĒ (see previous topics).
    It is thought-provoking that you write about "old" and "new" programming methods and structures. But everything has more perspectives. For example, what you write about modern phone applications is very important and true for personal use, but for business applications, I am reminded of Murphy's law: "The easier the rules of the game the fewer will want to play." I find that in the case of a company, they prefer displays with higher resolutions and sizes to have ďsingle-screenĒ applications rather than multi-windows (multiple tabs, pages).
    Nevertheless, some things have changed the programming logic and application architecture already in VFP, especially advanced databases, the world of objects, and event control. That is, I don't think we can say for a long time that "VFP monolith" = "all the functions of the application were in one program". However, a modern, 3-tier application model can only be implemented in a LAN environment. Thin client (web) use is only possible with some RDP solution. That's why Lianja is very important to me - but maybe to others as well.
    I hope I can fully and accurately understand Lianja and turn to the "Lianja way". Thanks again for all the help I get from you, the developers!

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