Everything Else
Which Helix Functions Do You Use?

See the January 13th, 2007 edition of The Latest Word for the full background.


The purpose of this survey was to determine which parts of Helix tools are considered most important by the largest set of users.

It is our plan to focus on the things you need for us to give you a functional macOS native Helix Client & Engine and to ship a ‘working, but limited’ version of those programs as soon as possible. In order to do that, we have to know which features you need, and which ones we can safely set on a back burner for now.

Time Frame

This is the first in a series of surveys designed to determine where we need to focus our testing efforts before we release a ‘preview’ Helix macOS Client & Engine. This survey covers very broad topics. Subsequent surveys will focus on specifics.

This survey ran January 13 – February 19, 2007.

334 unique and identifiable customers participated in this survey. Thank you.

Survey Summary

The bars below show how the relative importance of each area of Helix, according to your votes. Each vote was registered on a scale of 0-9. All votes were tallied and converted to a 0-100 percentage scale for ease of comprehension. (It's easier to understand "Printing has a relative importance of 96%" than "Printing averaged 8.66/9.")

What this doesn't tell you is the spread of the results. For example: Picture Fields have a relative importance of 45%, but that doesn't tell you whether everybody ranked them in the mid-range, or half of you rated them as critical and the other half rated them as unneeded. If you want to examine the dispersion of responses in greater detail, you can log in to our tech support database and look at the ‘Survey Stats’ list. Double click a line to drill into the specifics.

Amazingly, there is nothing in the survey that everybody said they need. Even a basic function like Entry Views received 2 "I don't need that" votes! Others at this end of the spectrum are List Views (3), Printing (4), and Posting (8).

Of course, we wouldn't send out you a Helix that can't handle those basic functions. What we were really interested in finding out about are the features that are not used at all by a large segment of customers. The least-required item in our list is (not-surprisingly) Apple events (35% say they don't need them at all) followed by Document & Picture fields (27% each), and the Copy/Paste Record group (22% on average). Also worth noting were Styled Text fields & Power Queries (17% each).

So, what was deemed ‘absolutely essential’ by the most respondents? Entry Views (90%) List Views (88%), Printing (87%) and Posting (80%) topped the list. The rest of the functions deemed absolutely essential by more than 2/3 of the voters are (in descending order): Subforms, Double Clickable Lists, Dynamic Popups, Quick Queries, Inert Fields, Static Popups, Export Data, Sequence Buttons, Checkboxes, Selectable Lists, Import Data, Open Queries, Radio Buttons & Sequences in Menus.

Armed with this information, we can turn our focus on making sure that our first preview release meets the needs of the widest possible user group. The items marked ‘Essential’ in the results list below will have to be functional before we ship.

The Results
Which Parts of Helix Do You Use, and How Essential Are They To You? < I don’t need that … I must have that >
Core Functionality Longer Bar Signifies Greater Need
Entry Views Essential
List Views Essential
Subforms Essential
Quick Query Essential
Open Query Essential
Power Query
Posting Essential
Printing Essential
Sequences (In Buttons) Essential
Sequences (In Menus) Essential
Esoteric Field Types
Styled Text Fields
Picture Fields
Document Fields
Inert Fields Essential
Keyword Fields
Custom Field Types
Radio Buttons Essential
Checkboxes Essential
Static Popup Menus Essential
Dynamic Popup Menus Essential
Human Interface Elements
Command Rectangles (Buttons) Essential
Double-Clickable Lists (To Open Entry View) Essential
Selectable Lists (for Open/Copy/Post/Delete Selections) Essential
Data I/O
Apple events
Import Data Essential
Export Data Essential
Copy Record -> Entry View
Paste Record -> Entry View
Copy Record -> List View
Paste Record -> List View