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Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

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    Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

    This is more of a generic question about data entry.

    When users enter data into a form, they 'usually' enter data into the field then press the Enter key or Tab key to move to the next field.
    As we all know, if you enter a value into a field but do not actually click Enter, Tab or mouse-click somewhere else then that data is not actually committed.
    I've noticed this a couple of times, where my users will enter data and when they get to the last entry field they will put a value then press submit.

    In order to prevent this, what is the best recommended practice?

    Do you handle it by setting the field dirty in the onChange event?
    Do you teach the users how to properly enter data? (this is not foolproof, hence the reason for my question)
    Something else?

    I'm interested to hear thoughts on this. Thanks.
    Alpha Anywhere v12.4.6.5.6 Build 9192-5707 IIS v10.0 on Windows Server 2019 Std in Hyper-V

    #2
    Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

    Do you handle it by setting the field dirty in the onChange event?
    as far as i know, the field gets dirtied as soon as you enter the data. people need not tab out or onChange event to register the value. you can see it in the developer tools and how the submit button lights up immediately when you enter data in any field. there could be some other reason for not saving data.
    i just tested and the data saved without tabbing out in a dialog in version 11.
    thanks for reading

    gandhi

    version 11 3381 - 4096
    mysql backend
    http://www.alphawebprogramming.blogspot.com
    [email protected]
    Skype:[email protected]
    1 914 924 5171

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

      but do not actually click Enter, Tab or mouse-click somewhere else then that data is not actually committed.
      Committed where? Committing data always means saved to a table. Your statement isn't specific enough to understand what's going on?

      In what version/build of Alpha? In what type of component? In what configuration of component? UX? Grid? List with Detail View? FormView?

      I've noticed this a couple of times, where my users will enter data and when they get to the last entry field they will put a value then press submit.
      In order to prevent this, what is the best recommended practice?
      Are you saying your users enter data in a field and click a submit button... but the data in that field is not saved? It's unclear what you're experiencing.
      If this is the case then it sounds like you have an issue most likely produced by something going on that you've not detailed.

      Can you provide an example component showing this behaviour?

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

        Perhaps he is saying that a user hits enter but NOT submit - either way, the question is indeed confusing!
        NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

          Originally posted by Davidk View Post
          Committed where? Committing data always means saved to a table. Your statement isn't specific enough to understand what's going on?
          Yes, I mean data committed to a bound field in a SQL database.

          Originally posted by Davidk View Post
          In what version/build of Alpha?
          My version of Alpha is always listed in my signature.

          Originally posted by Davidk View Post
          In what type of component? In what configuration of component? UX? Grid? List with Detail View? FormView?
          It is a very complex UX component which uses a couple of Lists .. no FormViews, no Grids.

          Originally posted by Davidk View Post
          Are you saying your users enter data in a field and click a submit button... but the data in that field is not saved? It's unclear what you're experiencing.
          If this is the case then it sounds like you have an issue most likely produced by something going on that you've not detailed.
          That is what I 'think' is happening ... but very rarely and only with this one particular component so it is hard to track down exactly. I only see this after the fact, so I don't really know exactly what the user is doing.
          The submit button is not active until certain preliminary data is entered (date, username, temperature, pressure, etc) .. in other words they cannot submit an form devoid of data. One of the fields is a PASS/FAIL state and on occasion, this char data is missing (not committed to the database). The user is not able to actually edit this field, it is read only. I cannot duplicate this in testing and the sample component would be of no use to you without the database. It is quite large and complicated.

          Maybe, as Ghandi points out, it is not actually a key press issue. I think if it happens again, I need to track down the user and ask how they did it, but our students work after hours so are not easy to get hold of.
          Alpha Anywhere v12.4.6.5.6 Build 9192-5707 IIS v10.0 on Windows Server 2019 Std in Hyper-V

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

            The user is not able to actually edit this field, it is read only
            how is this field set? also did you make this field dirty?
            thanks for reading

            gandhi

            version 11 3381 - 4096
            mysql backend
            http://www.alphawebprogramming.blogspot.com
            [email protected]
            Skype:[email protected]
            1 914 924 5171

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

              OK, after reading your post a few times I think I can better describe what YOU think is happening and please post yes or no in that I am correct.
              SO theres a multitude of fields and a user gets to a field - clicks into the field types something and THEN clicks the submit without clicking OUT of the field or into another?
              And then your saying that it is this field that is somehow not registering as "dirty"?

              If that is the case, that is strange but I think you can easily set all fields as dirty in the properties of the UX using
              e.dirtyColumns = e.dirtyColumns + crlf() + "Field_name" to make sure the dialog sees the changes.

              Now, I would also keep in mind that you could be dealing with several other things in what would appear to be lost changes - since your component is so large and complex you may have several issues to contend with but some of my thoughts on possible things to track down are local storage - what if your storing a blank entry in local storage and what is really happening is that your user is simply NOT entering data manually? Another thing could be a lost session variable and this could be a real issue if your using a persistent login component in a web application.

              I think though that if it random fields - you might want to rule out local storage. If it always the same fields - set them dirty in dialogValidate and build in some better error checking on submit for values.

              The reason I am saying that is that if the USER can do it - then it is right. Users should never be able to enter data in a "wrong" way. I know from experience that when you ask a user "how" they did it - you almost always get a "I dunno" but dont give up hope the answer is out there.

              When was the last time you checked the error logs on your server? You might find an answer there.
              NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

                So it's not actually a question of data entry practices... but rather what are you you doing in your UX that allows data entered not to be saved regarding one specific field? You can't duplicate the issue... and can't post a sample... and can't easily talk to the person doing the data entry.

                Duplicate the table structure with some sample data, copy the UX to a test component, publish it, and let people here bang away at it... otherwise it's just guessing.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

                  I feel like I'm a pretty good guesser - let's see!
                  NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

                    But you can't reconcile these statements...

                    Are you saying your users enter data in a field and click a submit button... but the data in that field is not saved? It's unclear what you're experiencing.
                    If this is the case then it sounds like you have an issue most likely produced by something going on that you've not detailed.
                    That is what I 'think' is happening ... but very rarely and only with this one particular component so it is hard to track down exactly. I only see this after the fact, so I don't really know exactly what the user is doing.
                    and...

                    One of the fields is a PASS/FAIL state and on occasion, this char data is missing (not committed to the database). The user is not able to actually edit this field, it is read only.
                    So... is it user entered data that it not being saved... or read-only, system set data... which may be there... or not.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

                      Originally posted by CharlesParker View Post
                      OK, after reading your post a few times I think I can better describe what YOU think is happening and please post yes or no in that I am correct.
                      SO theres a multitude of fields and a user gets to a field - clicks into the field types something and THEN clicks the submit without clicking OUT of the field or into another?
                      And then your saying that it is this field that is somehow not registering as "dirty"?

                      If that is the case, that is strange but I think you can easily set all fields as dirty in the properties of the UX using
                      e.dirtyColumns = e.dirtyColumns + crlf() + "Field_name" to make sure the dialog sees the changes.

                      Now, I would also keep in mind that you could be dealing with several other things in what would appear to be lost changes - since your component is so large and complex you may have several issues to contend with but some of my thoughts on possible things to track down are local storage - what if your storing a blank entry in local storage and what is really happening is that your user is simply NOT entering data manually? Another thing could be a lost session variable and this could be a real issue if your using a persistent login component in a web application.

                      I think though that if it random fields - you might want to rule out local storage. If it always the same fields - set them dirty in dialogValidate and build in some better error checking on submit for values.

                      The reason I am saying that is that if the USER can do it - then it is right. Users should never be able to enter data in a "wrong" way. I know from experience that when you ask a user "how" they did it - you almost always get a "I dunno" but dont give up hope the answer is out there.

                      When was the last time you checked the error logs on your server? You might find an answer there.
                      Charles, I've been thinking about your comments. I have since added the field in question to the e.dirtyColumns fields in my server-side afterDialogValidate event. Perhaps there is a condition where this field is not registered as a dirty field and doesn't commit anything to the database on submit. Although, in MY testing of the component, I can't duplicate the scenario. Still, it's something that is a real possiblity to rule out.

                      I can't give you a definite Yes/No answer to your first question as I don't know for sure what the user is doing, but this is what I suspect yes. I know users should not be able to enter data the 'wrong way' but what to do when you can't duplicate it.

                      I'll try to post a video later of this component and how this issue shows up, as I can't seem to adequately explain it.
                      Alpha Anywhere v12.4.6.5.6 Build 9192-5707 IIS v10.0 on Windows Server 2019 Std in Hyper-V

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

                        I hear ya on the inability to duplicate an issue! If the field is auto filled it may be that it isn’t actually registering as a “dirty” field, as in the case of a calculated field value. I recall something like that in the past where I needed to specifically list the column as dirty to get it to “commit” the value and why I suggested it. Good luc! Hope it solved it and you longer have the issue surface again - time will tell!
                        NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

                          Just reporting back that I have not seen this issue crop up in the past 2 weeks since I added the field to e.DirtyColumns in server-side afterDialogValidate.

                          It's good to remember to do this when you have an event handler that modifies a field that field is not actually modified by the user.
                          I knew this but it completely slipped my mind.

                          Good call Charles!
                          Alpha Anywhere v12.4.6.5.6 Build 9192-5707 IIS v10.0 on Windows Server 2019 Std in Hyper-V

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Data Entry Practices When User Does Not Press Enter Key

                            Just reporting back that I have not seen this issue crop up in the past 2 weeks since I
                            GREAT - you just jinxed yourself, lol
                            NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

                            Comment

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