In our last article on “Use Case Planning“, we outlined a use case for Arbor Tree Care Services. We are clear about what problems we need to address and what a great solution would look like. So now we move on to assessing possible platforms for our solution.
In the real world, we would look at a range of platforms. We should consider platforms that allow us to build custom solutions (aka anything we want). We should also look for “off the shelf” solutions – someone may have already built exactly what we need.
For now, let’s imagine that we have come across the Claris platform and that it looks like it offers many of the things we are looking for. So we add it to our list of platforms to consider. We have connected with a Claris Developer who can provide some advice on what can be done.
Review the Claris platform
We start by visiting the claris.com web site. The front page talks about custom apps and automated workflows. It mentions Claris FileMaker, Claris Connect and the Claris platform. At the bottom of the page are links to get a free trial, find a partner to help, and various product links.
When looking at the Claris platform, there is a link to “Try for free” but that is not available yet. Fortunately, our Claris Developer is a Claris Partner and already has an NFR version to demonstrate the product capabilities.
We are also directed to the Claris Community and a learning path for the Claris platform.
- contact name
- preferred contact method – phone or email
- location of the work
- type of work required – with other details for specific work (e.g. tree height/girth for tree felling)
- suggested time frame for work (e.g. emergency, this week, next month…)
- any relevant comments (with examples e.g. site access, known issues)
- how they found us
Claris Studio Forms are quite capable:
- range of field types for text, value lists, phone number, etc – all we need
- simple tools for making the pages look good and fit with our logo and colour scheme
- conditional visibility of fields – will allow us to present a simple form but with more fields if required, dependent on what is filled in
- customisable page path – allowing for people to ask for a particular type of job and then be presented with a page with questions specific to that work
- plan and set up a web form to service requests
- create and host a sample Claris Pro file on Claris Server
- demonstrate how Claris Studio data can be pulled into Claris Pro and pushed back
- plan and set up a Claris Studio dashboard view of sample data