View Full Version : Phone Dialer with non comited records


05-11-2000, 04:01 AM
I have a problem with the A4v6.2 dialer.

Basically I would like to invoke the dialer on a record that has not been saved yet. We are running a CATI system (computer aided telephone interviewing) using A4 for a couple of years, but we would like to include pre-emptive dialing. The system works by draging up the next available record for a selected area from a pool, if the number dragged up is not available for some reason then a flag is sent back to the pool and the record is not saved on the output db. The address details are retreived using an xlookup script so the telephone number is in a variable and I would like to dial this. The dialer only gets invoked when you are in view mode and not in mid enter. Any ideas?

Thanks for the help.

Ken L Herrold
05-12-2000, 06:31 PM

I've done what you want - that is, get Alpha to dial a variable. I'll tell you what I did and maybe you can find a work-a-round.

With the DB that's involved loaded on the desktop - get to Alpha's main menu and do 'Other', 'Configuration','Telephone','Phone' keystrokes are O C T P. when you Get there enter a description on the left and on the right, the variable - I.E. %aphone. When the dialer displays, cursor to that one and dial it. The number displayed with be the value of %aphone.

I've never done it in change or enter mode, however you could write a script that saves the record, runs the phone, and then opens that same record in change mode using 'field_go_to' to get you back where you started.

Interesting Idea. Let me know how you do with it.


Ken L Herrold
05-15-2000, 03:44 AM

Been a couple/three days since my post. Had any luck? E-Mail me if you need more help.


05-15-2000, 05:14 AM

Just picked up this morning, no luck so far, I am going to try and change the app when I get some time, so it saves the record then dials, but this goes against our current system, the only records that get saved in the output file are the completed interviews and any other outcome (no reply, engaged etc) are flagged and sent back to the main sample pool. My other option was to execute an external dialer. Ive found a couple of little dos apps that can execute a dial from the command prompt. I am goining to try and get a4 to pass the paramaters to these apps, havent had much luck so far but this may be due to win98 or our modems? Also the ones Ive tried have an option to cut off when a key is pressed, this does not work in the current work flow of the app!


Ken L Herrold
05-15-2000, 06:59 PM

Here's another idea using Windows Own Dialer.exe

Place a calculated field on the form you're using. The calc definition is %aphone (or whatever that variable's value is as drawn from the pool) Use this script....

Prepare a dos batch file like this

@echo off
start c:windowsdialer.exe

Create a Keyscript - say CTRLF8
{exec "phono.bat",0,0}

Assuming that you're running Alpha in a Windows WINDOW and not full screen. When [CTRLF8] is pressed with the current form in saved, change, or even enter mode, the dialer will appear over it on the desktop. If the calculated field holding the number variable is visible the user can then type that number into the dialer and execute the call.

I've tried passing the variable's value to the batch file using the %1 batch variable but it wouldn't appear on the number window on the dialer.

You sound pretty clever, maybe you can take it from here.

I've had success using the Windows command 'Start' at the dos line for other things I wished to open over alpha in a window with a lot of success. I'm telling you about 'Start' as I'm not sure that this is common knowlege among us DOS guys.

Just a thought. Let me know if you find a solution.