best practices question

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pherms
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best practices question

Post by pherms » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:53 am

Hi,

I am currently working on and maintaining a Nicelabel 2017 solution and due to some regulation requirements I need to add some additional data to the labels in that solution.
While I am working on these questions keep on bothering me:
- When you have multiple production lines, what is the best way to setup your solutions? 1 solution where you have multiple forms for each production line, or a separate solution per production line?

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards,
Pascal Herms

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Kyleodonnell
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Re: best practices question

Post by Kyleodonnell » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:20 pm

Pascal,

It all comes down to how easy you want to make it for your users in order to run the forms. If they have to click through forms, it may be a bit confusing based on the form. You can do separate forms, but you will have to manage changes on each form. The usual best practice is create on solution for all lines.

highfrost
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Re: best practices question

Post by highfrost » Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:35 am

Hi Pascal,

I had the same dilemma.
We have 19 production lines that use niceform.

When we were using nicelabel 6 I had a niceform for every production line.
And yes if 1 little thing had to be changed all 19 forms, lots of work. Especially since we also have our product specifications / workinstructions integrated in our niceforms.

With the coming of layers in nicelabel 2017/2019 I redesigned the 19 forms into a single form. Basic layers like product specifications, planning, example labels, THT adjustments etc. are all the same for every line.
The line specific parts such as printer control I made a layer for every line. Tthis could also be made into 1 if your lines are similar or you base lots of different buttons placements / visibility etc. In my opinion you will lose the overview you would have with different layers per line.

On every production pc I have a CSV file with some startup variables like line number. This file is read when Niceform starts and based on for example line number I show the production layer for that line.

It feels like the startup of the form has become a bit slower, but the development time for new features is so much shorter that I would recommend this to anyone.

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Kyleodonnell
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Re: best practices question

Post by Kyleodonnell » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:00 pm

Pascal,

just to clarify, layers are only available in NiceLabel 2019. NiceLabel 2017 was when conditional visibility for objects was built in

highfrost
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Re: best practices question

Post by highfrost » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:10 pm

My apologies, I thought the layers were also in the 2017 version.
Really happy I went from 6 to 2019 now :D

pherms
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Re: best practices question

Post by pherms » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:44 am

Hi Highfrost and Kyleodonnell,

Thank you for your answers.

I have not done much development work in Nicelabel 6 or earlier, although we are in the processing of migrating to Nicelabel 2017 or up. But the things I a had to do in the older versions are so much more work than in the versions from 2017 and up. I absolutely love it.

It is good to know I am not the only one with this question on my mind and I am glad to read I have seem to have made the right decision to go for the 1 solution approach. I have setup a separate DB table where I keep the user settings when the form is being loaded. The username I read from the env variables.

One additional question though regarding this 1 solution approach. When you develop your solution, do you keep a development solution on the side and export your changes to the production solution? Or do you copy the production solution, make changes and then copy it back?
I am just curious, because I am running into this because my colleague is making minor changes in the production solution, while I am making larger changes in a copy of our production version first.

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards.

highfrost
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Re: best practices question

Post by highfrost » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:46 pm

I have the "luxury" of being the only one here that works with nicelabel so i don't have the problem of someone messing with my solutions.

However, i always keep a development solution and a in production solution.
Even if the changes are small i do them in my development solution first.

I have a global parameter TestMode and for all print action / sending messages over tcp/ip etc the condition that testmode must be off for the production form. This way if i developed a new function and tested it i can simple set this parameter and copy the development solution over the production solution. When nicelabel is reloaded on the production line the new functionality is live.

If your colleague makes small changes in the production form i would first slap him, because you never ever touch a running machine :)
And when it is just an adjustment in a action trigger or a vb script i would simply copy this into my development solution.

Also if you still have the choice of 2017 or 2019 go with 2019 (not working for nicelabel! haha).
Layers are heaven for making different tabs etc in your form by simply hide/show layer.

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Kyleodonnell
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Re: best practices question

Post by Kyleodonnell » Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:25 pm

Pherms

We agree with Highfrost, layers make everything much simpler and you do not need to create several separate forms. The layers will allow you show/hide different "forms" and will make things much more streamlined . I worked with a customer where we took 17 different labels and turned it into one label just using layers

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Re: best practices question

Post by pherms » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:15 am

I was already convinced of layers in Nicelabel when I first read about it. It seems to be an awesome feature and we are in the process of upgrading from Nicelabel 2017 to 2019.

It is somewhat of a bummer when you work with 2 or more people on a solution and one of them makes little adjustments to the production version.
If you know this, than it is a but less of a hassle.

Anyway, I would like to thank both of you for your input on this topic. It has really helped me a lot.

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