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Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

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  • Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

    Ok. As I posted and others have discussed in a previous thread, filters and sorts applied in a set definition result in funky acting embedded browses. The remedy? Apparently avoid applying filters and sorts in the set definition and apply them instead in the form properties. Still I question why the ability to apply filters and sorts in the set definition is provided if it works so erratically. But I can live with the work around/fix. So let me move on to on to puzzlement #2 regarding funky embedded browses.

    For the longest time, and I do mean longest time (as in oodles of hours), I’ve struggled with embedded browses for child tables that are part of a set that simply don’t properly display their content. In the application designs I have constructed and tested extensively many embedded browses get opened with row focus placed on the very last row of the browse - when in fact it should be placed on the top row. In various incarnations the embedded browses may also scroll the display to the very top of the browse object display window such that only the last row is visible, even though there are numerous records that may precede the solitary displayed row. In other instances when the last row is focused erroneously then any and all main form fields that belong to the same table that are contained in the browse may either show no content (even though there is content) or may show erroneous content relating to the record that would be the first row of the browse, i.e. the browse row that should in fact be focused. The problem further exacerbates itself if there are additional child/grandchild records related to the embedded browse table that expect to receive linked field values during their record creation. In these cases the child/grandchild records can’t be correctly created because the linking field either receives an incorrect/invalid value from the embedded browse parent record or gets no value passed at all.

    Anyway I have just had a Eureka moment caused by tripping over the previously unapparent source of my frustration. Tabbed Objects! Never been on my list of suspects, but the tabbed object is indeed the guilty party. As best I can determine after myriad set and form redesigns, A5 simply can’t/won’t/doesn’t properly synchronize embedded browse views and form views of set data for child tables that resides on tertiary tab panes (any tab panes beyond the first) when the parent form is opened. What this means is that embedded browses that don’t reside on the primary tab pane may or may not present correctly and any form data associated with those same browses may or may not present correctly. The quirkiness is compounded by the fact that the behavior is really quite inconsistent. Some browses may work others may not. And, very interestingly, the browses that break will seemingly vary dependent on specific sequence or order by which they were physically placed onto the tab panes in designing the form.

    Well the immediate work around appears to be to procedurally issue repetitive screen/form refreshes in the OnTabChange event. Invoking refreshes does force the embedded browse and form data to resynchronize. But the refresh only works its magic on the currently active or focused tab pane, meaning a separate refresh must be issued for each tab pane that exhibits the problem. Workable. But what I’m wondering about is how much additional overhead is introduced by this work around, especially if it need be applied to a tabbed object with more than just a couple of tabs panes – like say 7 or 8. How much extra load does refreshing the screen on each tab change impose? Does this refresh burden compound itself over a network of multiple users simultaneously invoking repetitive refreshes?

    My own opinion remains that this work around shouldn’t be needed and A5 should properly handle this synchronization issue as an inherent, non-procedural event. I am sort of surprised that this bug even exists at this point in A5 since browses are such a fundamental building block of the A5 software paradigm. Perhaps I’ve missed something along the way, either in this forum or in the A5 documentation; but nowhere have I come across anything pointing out that embedded browses and tabbed objects don’t really like to play nice together. Am I the first or only A5 user to encounter this?

  • #2
    Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

    Is the problem just with the initial display of the embedded browse data or does it persist.

    I'm new to A5, but can see that embedded browses on pageframes (as we referred to them in Visual Foxpro) are absolutely huge in form development when using child data. One little thing that just threw me for a loop is that you can't use the "file selection" smart fields in a browse. Consequently, because my child data consists of files that are going to be FTP'd to a site, I have to create buttons for the embedded browse to do the "add, edit, delete" portion of the maintaining the child data.

    Not a big deal because this was the only way to do it in Foxpro, so I'm used to it, but I haven't gotten into the refresh of the data yet to see what kind of problems I'm going to end up with there, so your post caught my attention.
    John J. Fatte', CPA
    PRO-WARE, LLC
    Omaha, NE 68137

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

      I've used embedded browses and the tabbed object without issue for years, so I suspect the issue has to do with your specific form.

      I would also add that doing a refresh layout on a network definitely adds a load, as all objects and tables have to be refreshed and re-fetched.

      Try posting your app here, with a very short, simple description of the problem, and instructions for same.
      Cole Custom Programming - Terrell, Texas
      972 524 8714
      [email protected]

      ____________________
      "A young man who is not liberal has no heart, but an old man who is not conservative has no mind." GB Shaw

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

        Martin, thanks for your response. As soon as I can clean up some of the mess I've made tearing my app forms apart tracking this problem down I will be glad to post a sample for perusal.

        When it comes to software one learns to never say never so I'm still open the possibility that my form design could be problematic - but if it is I don't see anything else associated with the form that seems to be directly impacting the funky browse behavior except the tabbed object. If I take the tabbed object out of the equation so that all the child browses are displayed on the main form they all work correctly just as I would expect. Put them back on tab panes and they fail. I was thinking that using multiple refreshes probably had to have a performance down side and you confirm that. So I'm not real keen on using repetitive refreshes as a work around. Anyway I'll burn some time, maybe even this PM if I get the opportunity and rebuild a good illustration for you take a peek at if you are so inclined. Thanks again.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

          Douglas:

          I noticed the same problem for years as well.
          And yes I also concluded that it was the TABBED OBJECT.
          Recently, I migrated to V9 and am using the Subforms instead of the Tabbed obejct. However, the subforms have similar issues. Thus, I need to add refresh display or topparent:form1:browse1.refresh() when the form is opened. And the funny thing is, it works most of the time, but once in a blue moon it wont refresh properly.
          All these refreshes on a multi-user platform must take up quite a load and I would like to know the best way to work around this problem as well!!!

          I think you should send this in to Alpha as a bug report.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

            Hey Mark good to know at least I'm not the only one lost in the wilderness on this one. Aren't there others?

            I'm cleaning up one of my forms to post here for others to assess. I frankly hope that the problems I have experienced with these browses proves out to be my own ineptitude/incompetence because I would really would not like to use the possible work arounds for various reasons.

            The fact though is that you say you have experienced the issue as well along with similar issues with subforms. I also encountered synch issues with subforms back in V8 and ended up abandoning their use because nobody could proffer explanations fro their behavior or fixes. I can't say if the same problems I ran into with the sub forms it still exist in V9 because I simply haven't tried them out in V9.

            Anyway I'll put an example up here sometime today and, depending on what others may have to advise regarding the problems I've described, will consider submitting it as a bug.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

              Douglas,

              1. If you drag your browses off the tab and onto the form proper, do the problems then go away?

              2. What is your set structure for this problem form?

              P.S. I use parent/child browses on tabs all the time, no problem. But as a general rule, I avoid allowing direct entry into grandchild browses!
              Peter
              AlphaBase Solutions, LLC

              [email protected]
              https://www.alphabasesolutions.com


              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

                Here's an example of using embedded browses in a tabbed object. Three of the tabs have 2 embedded browses; all memos are RTF; and it runs on a 10 user LAN to a Linux server. Runs like a champ at two locations. Also note the complexity of the set!!
                Cole Custom Programming - Terrell, Texas
                972 524 8714
                [email protected]

                ____________________
                "A young man who is not liberal has no heart, but an old man who is not conservative has no mind." GB Shaw

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

                  Martin Peter:

                  I think the grandchild may be the problem.
                  I have a grand-child on my form also. My set is not as complex as Martin's but it does have one grandchild.
                  Is this what's causing the resynch problem Peter?
                  If so, how do we work around it?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

                    Originally posted by mschoi View Post
                    I think the grandchild may be the problem.
                    I have a grand-child on my form also. My set is not as complex as Martin's but it does have one grandchild.
                    Is this what's causing the resynch problem Peter?
                    If so, how do we work around it?
                    Not sure what triggers your problem, Mark. Are you entering records directly into the grandchild browse?
                    Peter
                    AlphaBase Solutions, LLC

                    [email protected]
                    https://www.alphabasesolutions.com


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

                      Not actually. I have form popup as a dialog and enter there.
                      But even if I'm not editing at all, when I navigate through the records and from one sub-form to another, I need to do a refresh display or resynch in order to see the right record.
                      For example I will have a browse on the main form with all my concession items
                      1 coke
                      2 pepsi
                      3 Rootbeer
                      4 .....
                      600 ....

                      Then the subforms are triggered by a multi-state button with the following choices that trigger the respective subforms.
                      MAIN DETAIL COSTING PRICING PACK-LEVEL INVENTORY etc. (like tabbed objects)

                      when I'm in coke all is fine.
                      When I go to other items and swich between Subforms or items, it goes back to coke which is my first concession item. So I added a refresh display on the button. Even then it goes to coke for a split second before going to the correct item.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

                        Originally posted by mschoi View Post
                        ...
                        when I'm in coke all is fine.
                        When I go to other items and swich between Subforms or items, it goes back to coke which is my first concession item. So I added a refresh display on the button. Even then it goes to coke for a split second before going to the correct item.
                        Can't really say why there is a problem w/o seeing it. But, as an example, I have a form w. a tabbed object w. several browses, incl. grandchild w. no display issues.

                        See images...
                        Peter
                        AlphaBase Solutions, LLC

                        [email protected]
                        https://www.alphabasesolutions.com


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

                          Even though there are lots of conceivable permutations and combinations I wonder if this is related to the use of subforms with tabbed objects?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

                            I gotta figure out how to post pictures of my forms on the message board.
                            Anybody?
                            Are you guys using 'snipit'?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Back to Funky Embedded Browses Again

                              Allrighty guys. I’ve recreated an example form to illustrate the funky embedded browse behavior that I described, see attached zip. The form you want to open is Maintain_Properties. The form is based on a set called Property_Folio, which contains a number of child and grandchild tables liked in 1:m and 1:1 relationships off the parent table called Properties. I have defined all filters and browses in the form design.

                              Bear in mind that the form is a work in progress and I haven’t extensively tested/debugged this particular iteration for all the controls and sequences. So there maybe some elements that don’t work quite the way they ought too – but none that I think have any bearing on the embedded browse issues.

                              So open form ‘Maintain_Properties’. And simply tab across the tab panes and you should be able to pretty quickly see the funkiness. The tab pane ‘Properties’ (the first pane) appears to be fine. Tab pane ‘Rental Facilities’ appears Ok. Tab pane ‘Nonrental Facilities’ is not Ok. Row focus is on the last row, should be the first. Tab pane ‘Assets’ looks to be Ok. Tab pane ‘Manager’ looks Ok also, although there is one element of this form having to do with the set design that I will address separately down the road. Tab pane ‘Owner’ is not Ok – the row focus for the ‘Owners’ browse is placed on the last row instead of the first row and the parent form data fields content are not displayed. Also the ‘Owner Contacts’ browse doesn’t display any contact records. Tab pane ‘Vendors’ is not Ok. Again row focus is erroneously placed on the last row of the ‘Vendors’ browse and parent form field data is not shown as well as there are no records in the ‘Vendor Contacts’ browse. Now on any of the tab panes that open the funky browses invoke a refresh and the problems for that tab pane seem be fixed. But also note what happens if you open the form and tab to pane ‘Owner’ and do a refresh. After doing a refresh for the ‘Owner’ tab look at the ‘Vendors’ tab, where not only is the ‘Vendor’ browse still funky but the ‘Vendor Contacts’ browse has gotten even funkier showing records associated with what is the first record in the ‘Vendor’ browse; the first row not being visible because it is scrolled off the top of the browse display.

                              There is one other irregularly, recurring oddity that I’m getting with this form design having to do with editing of data contained on tab pane Rental Facilities. Make sure Abermarle Arms is selected on the ‘Property’ pane and then go to the ‘Rental Facilities’ tab. Make sure that building ‘A’ is selected and try to edit the data for building ‘A’ on the taop portion of the form by pushing the Edit Building button. You can try changing data for this record but it waon’t save it. Move off a field you changed and the original filed data comes right back. Try directly saving after a change and the changes won’t be saved. Pick another building “B’ or ‘C’ and try editing their records. No problem. Go back and try ‘A’ and it won’t save edits. Delete ‘A’ and add it back by pushing the Add Building button. Then try editing it on the ‘Rental Facilties’ tab pane and it will likely let you edit and save. But at some indeterminable future point in time it will stop allowing the edit just as I have described above. What is even more odd is that this editing problem seems to only occur with a building record with id ‘A’ and none other. At least I’ve thus far not experienced it with any other.

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