Standard Naming Conventions for InForm Trials

This document is intended to provide a common set of rules to apply to the naming of clinical trials build using InForm EDC system.

Why use naming conventions?

Naming objects consistently, logically and in a predictable way will distinguish similar records from one another at a glance, and by doing so will facilitate the storage and retrieval of records, which will enable users to browse clinical objects more effectively and efficiently. Naming records according to agreed conventions should also make object naming easier for colleagues because they will not have to ‘re-think’ the process each time.

It has been said that InForm follows the “Hungarian” notation because it is one of Microsoft’s “Best Practices” for .Net standards when defining objects (the code to support those objects use it).

Component Prefix
Form (e.g., frmDemo…) frm
Section sct
Itemset its
Radio Control rdc
Item itm
Pulldown Control pdc
Text box txt
Date and time dtm
Group Control grp
Checkbox chk
Calculated Control cal
Simples smp
Study Element elm
Codelist cl
Study Event evt
Codelist Item citm
Workflow Rule wr
Global Conditions gc
Data Entry Rules (e.g., rulDMConsDTCompare) rul
DataType Prefix
Boolean bln
Byte byt
Character chr
Date dtm
Decimal dec
Double Precision dbl
Integer int
Long Integer lng
Object obj
Short Integer sht
Single Precision sng
String str
User-defined Type udt
Object Prefix
Button btn
CheckBox chk
ComboBox cbo
Control ctr
DataSet ds
DataTable dt
Form frm
GroupBox grp
Label lbl
ListBox lst
PictureBox pic
RadioButton rdb
String str
TextBox txt

Remember keep it consistent. This means that you stick to one particular pattern through out your clinical project. This also includes the words you use for namespaces, classes, methods, interfaces, properties and variables. A prerequisite is that they should be meaningful, significant, descriptive and easily understood with respect to purpose and functionality by anyone who reads the source code.

Happy Programming!

Anayansi Gamboa has an extensive background in clinical data management as well as experience with different EDC systems including Oracle InForm, InForm Architect, Central Designer, CIS, Clintrial, Medidata Rave, Central Coding, OpenClinica Open Source and Oracle Clinical.

3 thoughts on “Standard Naming Conventions for InForm Trials

  1. Microsoft has actually been moving away from Hungarian notation, but, especially in the examples of components and objects above, I think it makes the most sense and is by far the easiest to read.

    Especially thanks to code completion. For example, when you are coding up a form, and you want to change all of your textboxs to some value, it is a nightmare to remember that you have nameText and eMailText, and oops, I forgot phoneText. However, with statement completion I can type in txt and instantly get a list of all the textboxes on the page.

    With Hungarian notation, its easy to see at a glance the what your name is, and what it applies to, so I am still a fan.

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