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LukeN57LukeN57 

The Limits of Force.com Builder - Project Management App

I'm a noob programmer so, this may seem like a dumb question. 

 

I'm trying to assess how I should build my app and if I should use the Force.com builder or another scripting technology to integrate into Force.com.  I'm building a project management app that will have multiple calculations and resource assignments. 

 

Is there a simple way to assess what the limits of the builder are?  Something like, if you want to build an app with (x) capabilities, then you can use Force.com builder, but if you want to build an app with (y) capabilities, then you should use a different technology.

 

Additional (though perhaps unnecessary) background:  I have resources who are comfortable scripting in PHP, AJAX, C#, and ASP.NET, and I'm trying to assess if I can just use the native Force.com builder or API, or if the app produced will be too cumbersome.  At the end of the day, users will be entering multiple tasks, assigning resources, and running calculations. 

 

Thanks for your help!

DTCFDTCF

I've built numerous project management applications on top of force.com. It's a great platform, but if you don't know what you are doing you can hit many different limits and roadblocks, especially if this is your first app.

 

For example, for one of the apps that I built it had the ability to assign different resources as you suggest, and then many different rates for different projects, with the ability to override different rates for different periods for different roles for different projects, with financial reporting "rolling up" to the top of the project.

 

When you get into that level of complexity, it makes it even more important to know all of the ins and outs of Apex and VisualForce. I have yet really to see anything that couldn't fundamentally be done inside the platform, but I've seen situations where something that would take ten minutes in another technology could easily take a week because of the nature of the environment. It all comes down to knowing what you are doing and possibly having someone experienced to guide you.

 

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by your resources, meaning that they will be assisting in the development, but if they are not somewhat familiar with the Force.com environment (especially Apex) the project will definitely not go as smoothly as otherwise and there is a very, very high chance that it will not be successful.

 

If the project is high profile and significant delays and failure would come at a high cost (financially or politically), I would strongly recommend finding someone experienced that can mentor your team and the project and help set the architecture and provide support in case anything goes wrong or the team hits substantial roadblocks. Depending on the circumstances, you might also want to consider getting someone on your team certified for Apex development.

 

Feel free to contact me at 617 407 5149 if you have any other questions or concerns.