addedValues Plugin

...Powerful Free! Database Expansion for Manila
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1 Sure Way of Saving Time

What follows is a procedural outline which, if followed, will allow you to get and addedValues-powered Manila Website off and running with the minimal amount of wasted time. Yes, matters are procedural; to handle the database correctly there are a number of things that are interdependent and cross-checked. If your data is structured incorrectly or has wrong input, imagine the time it takes to identify the problems, deconstruct & rebuild ...

In other words, we learned it the hard way and want to pass along the savings to you! P.S. We followed our own instructions and managed to get a site with 1400 records up in 2-3 hours (excluding the time to make sure the input data was squeaky-clean)

To get your database installed and running you should:

  1. define your variables first. It cannot be overstressed how important defining your database is. It is really not a happy-go-lucky process. You must know what data you want to deal with, what it is going to look like, and what functions you are trying to achieve. Attempt to seriously define all your variables before loading any data. Remember, the time you invest at this stage will save you much, much more time ahead trying to patch forgotten things up. Investment. Return. When doing so...
    • do not define a variable with the name body
    • do not define a variable with the name text
    • do not define a variable with the name subject
  2. define two reports. Reports let you view your database. You need these to test your queries and outputs. These need not be fancy reports; simply consider what you'd like to see as an output. Later you can clone the report, tweak & get fancy as required. If you build a tunnel, you better know where it is going to end up before you start digging...
    1. The first report will contain all your variables. It will allow you to consult (and eventually edit) all your variables. Call it something like 'myObjectsDetail'
    2. The second report is one used to output search results. Again, this will be a starting point to view data. Call it something like 'myObjectsSearchResults'
  3. define two forms. Again, these need not be fancy forms... You may want to give the form a name similar to the report, particularly if they are going to be associated, so that you can recognize them easily...
    1. The first will contain all your variables, so that you can edit them as required... 'myObjectsDetailEntry'
    2. The second is a form for querying your data. This way you can test what will eventually be loaded... 'myObjectsSearch'
  4. If, and only if you are going to use templates, create at least one basic template that can apply to most pages on your website.
  5. Before importing any data, deal with the Manila legacies. Huh? When one creates a new site with Manila, a number of objects are already created and may lead to some forms of confusion. Following are some things to look out for:
    • when a Manila site is created, before you activate the addedValues plugIn, check your preferences and set them according to your needs - for example, do you prefer to edit with HTML tags or in WYSIWYG...
    • Once addedValues is activated, after having defined variables, reports and forms, edit all existing pages of the site. Most sites have the 'Home' and 'About' pages automatically created. You want to ensure that these (and eventually others) have the appropriate addedValues data, so that they be indexed properly if need be.
These pages will allow you to work and then create other ones by simply cloning the *complete* one and removing unwanted components (or doing a more sophisticated layout)

When you proceed to importing your data, please make sure:

Finally, use a better browser. Avoid Microsoft Internet Explorer; they are abandoning an already broken version for the Mac and they are going to try to make you a prisoner / Windows developer if you use their Windows version, which is bound to be badly implemented anyways. You will get a lot more mileage from your work if you: