11.22 Work Practices
Most 4GL products use much more machine resource during application development than 3GL development techniques do.
This is because the machine is doing much of the work that was formerly done on paper, or done by hand coding.
This probably means that an adjustment of existing work practices is required.
In LANSA specifically, some of the adjusted work practices might include:
- If your machine already runs slowly, introducing a 4GL tool will make it worse. Be prepared to invest in hardware as well as software to support a better development cycle.
- Be realistic and have a development environment large enough to support the number of developers that are going to be used.
- If your application design efforts already suffer from lack of training and skills, introducing a 4GL tool without investing in proper training and education will only help to make a mess faster than was previously possible.
- Be prepared to invest time and money in education. Some of this will directly involve LANSA, but some of it may involve the acquisition of general data and application design skills.
- Use small, skilled project teams.
- Do not run multiple concurrent compilations on small machines.
- Minimize compiles by the extensive use of application templates.
- Paint final screen and report layouts after the application is functionally complete and tested.
- Do not run the online full function checker on functions of more than 500 lines (except to paint screen panels).
- When something is not required immediately, schedule it for compilation in off peak hours.
- Use application templates for all standard transactions. This will enforce your standards and minimize error rates.
- Invest the time and effort required to set up a good set of application development standards.
- Invest the time and effort required to set up a good set of application templates.
- Allow time for the implementation and distribution of new systems. This can be quite a lengthy process and many developers fail to allow for it in their schedules.
- Allow time for the proper training of end users.
- Use small programs. If you are continually creating programs of more than 300 lines, then something is going wrong. Large programs take much longer to compile, and this will in turn irritate other members of the development team.
- Do not try to solve problems with 3GL approaches.
- Never translate 3GL code into 4GL code.
- Never translate 3GL "logic" into 4GL "logic".
- Get standard program structures from templates. This way you are gaining from the experience of more skilled developers.