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How do the Pros pass values from page to page?

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  • How do the Pros pass values from page to page?

    I'm having a little trouble passing values. Initially I used page variables, but that got ugly (not to mention presenting security/reliability issues). Then I moved to session variables. But I seem to lose one from time to time. And it seems, too, that as I do my eval_valid() to grab my values, sometimes they're valid - and sometimes they're not. Almost as thought there's something going on behind the scenes. Since I do my DIM relatively close (ie: same page or just one page prior), do those DIMs end up clearing my variable on subsequent calls? or...? Just a lot of unknowns, it seems.

    As an example, when a user clicks on a link on my main grid, I'd really like to set the userid, the grid row, the user's user level, and some other things into semi-persistent locations for subsequent use in a5w pages and individual components.

    Would a pro care to share any pertinent rules of thumb gained through experience? For example, does a protected variable offer anything more or behave any differently than a session variable - beyond preventing access by URL?
    Last edited by fsi; 09-14-2009, 11:54 AM.

  • #2
    Re: How do the Pros pass values from page to page?

    I typically pass very little between pages. mypage.a5w?id=a8e7b6dd241a4b8688000b7827f6046d is an example. But that starts with the structure of your application. I almost always have a unique key field named ID that has a UUID value in it to ID that particular field. So the above URL parameter is pretty common. Then on mypage.a5w I use lookup() or lookupc() or table.external_record_content_get(), etc. to get my values directly from the table. So I don't pass them, I derive them right on the calling page for one-time use.

    I also only save a few very common items to protected session variables. UserID (email address), ULINK, and other items most often related to the Web_users table like the Company they belong to, if applicable. I also store Firstname, Lastname because I need them so often. Lately I've started storing what Security Groups the logged in person is a member of. I rarely have anything else as a session variable, even in a large application. Other developers put lots of values in session vars.

    You said 'grid row' in your question. What is a grid row? Do you mean "which record was selected?" That's accomplished by what I wrote in the first paragraph. The actual row on the grid doesn't mean anything in terms of what physical record is being drawn from the table.
    Steve Wood
    There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
    Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
    AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)


    • #3
      Re: How do the Pros pass values from page to page?

      You are correct, Steve. By "grid row" I meant "which row is selected", as in the linking field that was clicked on.

      Since, as you say, you pass very little, does that mean that on subsequent pages you query the database to obtain the values you need them only sporadically - ie: more than once, but less than umpteen? As you said, name is used often, but what of a value used an "average" number of times? Let's say you've got 40 pages - if you need the value on 25%, do you query? or pass? The session may or may not hit those pages. But that could be more than one-time use in a session. What of 10%? Where do you define your cutoff between query & pass? A sort of gut feeling?

      I suspect I am certainly passing more than I need to. Seems a natural inclination of a newbie.

      Thank you for the insight, Steve.


      • #4
        Re: How do the Pros pass values from page to page?

        It's not really percentage or gut feeling. I have a standard list of session variable, I left off a few: session.messagetext, messagetitle and messagelink which come up on a Message.a5w page whenever my code sends them to that page, normally after any process to acknowledge the process is done.

        It's more an issue of Structure and the fading ability to keep how something works mostly in my head. I really only have those same maybe ten or so session vars and do everything else by getting the value only when I need it. It just keeps things similar between multiple applications. I don't have to think how this App A is held together after working all day on App B.

        In addition to session and lookups, another more advanced method is to use HTTP_POST(). Here you may go to mypage.a5w but in the background (the "post") you send whatever you want without it appearing in the URL. The other method is called "get" where the values are in the URL. The most complex URL's I have are for filtering a Grid from a Dialog. This URL looks just like when you have a normal Search section of a Grid and perform a search. A lot in V10 will eliminate my need to create these ad hoc Search Dialogs.
        Steve Wood
        There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
        Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
        AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)


        • #5
          Re: How do the Pros pass values from page to page?

          Thanks, Steve! INVALUABLE!