For those of you who are developers by trade ( like myself ), you enjoy the features of your favorite IDE to make development easier. And when we looked at Formula Builder, we saw the same thing and said to ourselves “What simple things can we do to make the experience of creating Sugar Logic formulas easier?”. Our engineering team tackled this for 6.5, and came back with a few nice enhancements I’ll detail in this blog post.
As you can see, it’s similar to before but there’s a few changes we’ve made to make editing formula easier. Let’s take a look at them.
You’ll notice two buttons at the top of the editor ‘Related Field’ and ‘Rollup’. These fields make it super easy add related and rollup fields by showing a list of all the options available and using that to build the formula. For related fields, the popup asks you for the module the field you are looking for is in and the field to pull in.
For editing rollups, you can specify the function to use as well as the module and field to operate on.
Clicking ‘Insert’ on either of these dialogs will put the formula in the editor window, without you having to know the details of the relationships or fields like you did before.
Speaking of the editor window, the other nice feature we add was type-ahead hinting and autocomplete. So now when you start typing a function name or field, it will try to autocomplete what you are typing, including adding function hints on the functions in the list. See the image below.
This makes formula building much easier, as the editor helps support you in getting the formulas right the first time.
And for those of you who are writing complex formulas, you all know how much easier it is to break it apart on multiple lines and tab indent the formula to make it easier to read. Now in Sugar 6.5, this is possible.
We hope these enhancements make it easier to edit formula. Have any other feedback on what we can do to make the Formula Builder easier to use? Sound off in the comments below.