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Cannot search list using dd/mm/yyyy date format

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    Cannot search list using dd/mm/yyyy date format

    Alpha v12. Build 5667

    I have a list with Search Part enabled and the search style is a single keyword control
    My list contains dates displayed in dd/mm/yyyy format
    The db is MS SQL Server

    If I search for a date that is in the list using dd/mm/yyyy format I don't get any results.

    If I search for a date that is in the list using mm/dd/yyyy format I do get results even though the dates aren't displayed in this format.

    Any help on how get the search working using dd/mm/yyyy format is appreciated.

    Re: Cannot search list using dd/mm/yyyy date format

    What date format is your computer using? This should be irrelevant, but just curious.
    What date format is set in your UX "Date format" property? Probably dd/MM/yyyy.
    What is the property set to in the List column for your date, in the Fields tab, Client-side, Date/time display format? This should be set to <Default> in order to pick up the UX Date Format.

    The problem is most likely your <LIST>_KEYWORDSEARCH control. What is it's "Type" property set to? If it's Character, then change it to Date. Your search should now work using either dd/MM/yyyy or MM/dd/yyyy formats.

    With the Type property set to Date, Alpha now understands how to use the data entered into that control. If it's set to Character Alpha doesn't understand what's going on and essentially turns off the attempted filter. The returned filter information is (1=2). I'd say this is a bug in Alpha... or should I say... a non-implemented item.

    Set the search field type to Character and you can search on MM/dd/yyyy and yyyy/MM/dd, but not dd/MM/yyyy.
    Set the search field type to Date and it doesn't matter what search format you use... the search will work.
    Last edited by Davidk; 05-25-2019, 10:07 PM.


      Re: Cannot search list using dd/mm/yyyy date format

      Thanks David,

      Computer format is dd/mm/yyyy
      UX Date format property is dd/MM/yyyy
      Client side date/time format for the field in the list is <Default> (P.S. server side format is not set to anything)

      I'm seeing a couple of problems with setting the <LIST>_KEYWORDSEARCH control to a type of Date.

      1. As this is setup to search on multiple fields setting this to Date means character searches no longer work.

      2. I still can't search using dd/mm/yyyy format unless the dd/mm portion contains values that aren't ambiguous i.e. unless the dd part is above 12. As an example, if my list contains a value of 24/01/2019 I can search and find a result using either dd/mm/yyyy format or mm/dd/yyyy format. However if my list contains a value of 11/08/2019 searching for this only works if 08/11/2019 is entered in the search field.

      For the moment I'm stumped.


        Re: Cannot search list using dd/mm/yyyy date format

        I think you'll need to get Alpha to explain this one. Dates are always horrible to work with. Alpha makes this better by some of the functions they provide... and more wretched by making giving us a number of formatting options and not explaining how they with each other... or against each other.

        It seems that Alpha is not paying attention to formatting options selected when a search is performed. Alpha is taking the search value and applying it, formatted, against the data... and so you do not get results. They are recognizing that you're searching against a date... but they are not looking after the value input.

        Much of Alpha isn't fully implemented... and I think this issue falls into that category. This is the debugging info for a search...


        Note that custdate1 is a date argument... and it's value is 10/11/2019 (dd/MM/yyyy). Alpha, in recognizing the date field, should understand what format you're providing... and then turn that into whatever format they are using internally so that SQL can understand it. Alpha never tested the Search feature with a date format other than their own... MM/dd/yyyy.

        I can see how they are getting it wrong. The trick is for you to explain it to them so that they'll understand.


          Re: Cannot search list using dd/mm/yyyy date format

          There is a way to get this to work... but you'll need to use the UX method {dialog.object}.computeSearchFromMetaDataAndFilterList(). Essentially you're setting up the search... and so you get to format the date properly for SQL in a yyyy-MM-dd format.


            Re: Cannot search list using dd/mm/yyyy date format

            I reported this to Alpha and they said "we will look into adding support for date fields in a keyword search".


              Re: Cannot search list using dd/mm/yyyy date format

              For what it's worth, I typically use the time() command to force dates to a single
              format and then do my comparisons/searches.
     is a great site to test and share sql code


                Re: Cannot search list using dd/mm/yyyy date format

                Gregg, could you elaborate on that please?


                  Re: Cannot search list using dd/mm/yyyy date format

                  Sorry about the delay. It took a bit to dig up the best explanation.
                  In the image below, the date chosen using the date picker was June 6, 2019.
                  As you can see, Alpha Anywhere converted it from dd/MM/yyyy to MM/dd/yyyy.
                  I am guessing this is the initial cause of your problem.
                  I manually converted the date to iso8601 format (yyyy-MM-dd) so that any ambiguity
                  would be eliminated.
                  I didn't see if you're using sql or dbf, but in my experience, based on past trial and error,
                  converting to the iso8601 format saves lots of headaches when it comes to searching, sorting,
                  and comparing date values, and from what I know, sql prefers the ISO8601 date format.

         is a great site to test and share sql code


                    Re: Cannot search list using dd/mm/yyyy date format

                    Cheers Gregg.

                    Alpha today advised me that this has been fixed and will be in the pre-release build which will be available around 30th May 2019.

                    The fix relates to date searches in a single keyword control for a list that has a search part defined.


                      Re: Cannot search list using dd/mm/yyyy date format

                      Here's a solution using {dialog.object}.computeSearchFromMetaDataAndFilterList(). This is essentially the same as using .searchList(), but you get more control... and therefore you can fix the bug yourself if you want to.

                      var searchValue = {dialog.Object}.getValue('LISTCUST_KEYWORDSEARCH');
                      var dateValues = searchValue.split('/');
                      if(dateValues.length != 3){
                      	//not a date
                      	var searchCV = searchValue;
                      	//we have a date
                      	//now... reformat it to something SQL can use
                      	var searchDate = new Date();
                      	var searchCV = searchDate.toFormat('yyyy-MM-dd');
                      //now build up the array of columns to search against
                      var arr = [];
                      var searchObject = {
                      	searchControlValue: [searchCV],
                      	searchField: 'CUSTDATE'
                      arr.push(searchObject) //you can push multiple searchObjects onto the array
                      var searchObject = {
                      	searchControlValue: [searchCV],
                      	searchField: 'FIRSTNAME'
                      arr.push(searchObject) //you can push multiple searchObjects onto the array
                      var searchObject = {
                      	searchControlValue: [searchCV],
                      	searchField: 'LASTNAME'
                      arr.push(searchObject) //you can push multiple searchObjects onto the array
                      var searchDataJSON = JSON.stringify(arr);
                      //set up options for the search
                      var options = {
                      	combineMultipleConditionsWith: 'OR', //(optional) if multiple search fields are specified should the conditions be combined with 'AND' or 'OR'. defaults to 'AND'
                      	debugging: true, //(optional) should debugging information be shown? defaults to false.
                      	div: 'PLACEHOLDER_1' //if debugging is true the name of the PLACEHOLDER control where the debugging information should be shown.
                      var optionsJSON = JSON.stringify(options)