Advice for the m-Power Newbie… from the m-Power Experts

 

  1. Initial Success
    1. Make the first project a fat, slow pitch down the middle of the plate, so you can hit a solid single on your first swing!
      1. Make it visible to lots of important people.
      2. Allow yourself time to experiment and play while you build the application. This way, you can lock in what you learn.
      3. The success you earn on the first project will build good will toward future projects from management and the user community.
    2. Don't over-stretch at the beginning. Singles, Doubles, and then Home Runs. Play for long term success. A series of small successes that build one upon another will do much to build confidence and self-reliance. If business conditions/projects require over-stretching, call in the bullpen. mrc can help through a consulting or mentoring program until you can put yourself in a position to play for long term success.
      1. Start with simple reports and retrievals. (Singles)
      2. Step up to summaries, advanced reporting, and simple maintenance. (Doubles)
      3. Graduate to heavy maintenance. (Home Runs)
  2. Screen Design
    1. With m-Power, design is now the crucial aspect in application development, not coding.
    2. Use the m-Power Application Design Sheet.
    3. Draw the screens roughly on paper with only general info. This should reveal a total screen count and provide an idea of the total project size/scope.
    4. Refine those screens with table/field/logic info.
    5. Decide which table is the primary driver of each screen or screen section.
    6. Decide which application type and template should be used for each screen. Several small apps might need to be pieced together (using m-Power's Import feature) to create complex screens.
  3. Data First, Paint Last
    1. Use m-Power to create the basic screens with a mind for getting the screen flow and the data right, with little regard for appearance.
    2. Ensure that you get the data accurate on the screen first, testing the different scenarios/parameters.
    3. Then paint the screen for necessary functionality.
    4. Finally, paint the screen for look.
    5. Make backups of heavily-painted screens.
  4. Be Flexible
    1. Maybe the template choices do not match exactly what you'd like to create. Choose the one that is closest to your needs and then plan to modify the generated result with m-Painter. Use the Import and AJAX features to fill-in-the-gaps and get exactly what is needed.
    2. Use external objects where necessary to include specific business logic.
    3. Think like a business person, not like a programmer. The business person imagines how to accomplish the main goals fast; the programmer sometimes buries himself in the smallest details.
  5. Design User-Friendly Screens
    1. Web screens with small data sets are easier to digest.
    2. Create drill-downs to see the details behind the higher level views, passing key values to the lower level to see details. Keep those data sets small also.
    3. Create simple screens that execute fast, even if it leads to more screens.
    4. Spend your time wisely, by allocating most of your time on the screens that are used the most by end users.
  6. Consider m-Power Services
    1. Training – mrc offers a basic 3-day training class and custom classes for more advanced topics.
    2. Hotline – if you run into a problem, the mrc Hotline is staffed by knowledgeable m-Power application consultants who can help you get back on track.
    3. Mentoring – An m-Power consultant can work side-by-side with you at any stage of the project to help guide you to success.
    4. Consulting – mrc can do the work for you to efficiently deliver outstanding Web applications.
  7. Mindset
    1. Do not let yourself get frustrated. With a tool like m-Power that can create screens so quickly, it is easy to get frustrated if you reach a stumbling point. Reconsider your design. If you can't imagine how to achieve what you need, please consider our mentoring services; our consultants have done it all with m-Power already.
    2. Enjoy your success. When you finish a screen or an application, take a few moments and consider how long it took. Compare that versus a traditional method of application development. Then, smile.

Created: January 20, 2010 | Modified: December 21, 2011