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How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

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  • How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

    Hallo,

    I have a table that will be used as a contact manager. I want to be able to add several phone numbers, e-mail addresses, physical and postal addresses and also be able to choose the type like cellphone etc. How is it possible since one contact can have several numbers or other people with contact numbers where one might find them also.

    Thank You

  • #2
    Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

    David,

    Your approach is what a commercial quality contact manager provides: the ability to accomodate as few as one or as many as necessary addresses, phone numbers, emails, etc.

    Note that this approach is very different than the free or the available for sale version of the Alpha Contact manager. You will need to use sets with 1:M relationships between person and addresses, for example.

    You will need to decide how you want to display the 1:M relationships on your form. One option is to use a browse or another tab -- which is what Alpha creates when you allow it to create a default form. But who wants a tab for a single phone number?

    Another approach, which I have used, is what commercial software such as SAP and Centerbase CRM do: display the default or most commonly used address or phone number and present all records with a separate dialog form.

    A screenprint showing multiple phone numbers is attached.

    Bob McGaffic
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

      Thank You Robert. It is a great help. Would I have to use a ID or some sort of field in the sets that would link both the tables?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

        Absolutely!

        I have attached a zip file of my contact application that should give you a very good start. I hope at some point to add this to the code library when I am finished with it. I need to complete the profiles tab, but you'll get the idea that the functionality surpasses most toy contact applications, Alpha's included.

        Hopefully, you'll agree that my approach is getting closer to commercial quality software. Take a look at how I handle company, certainly not like Alpha does in its contact manager. Alpha acknowledges bugs in the use of field specific bitmap buttons which appear only when the field has the focus. For example, click on a postal address and write a letter to that address, click on a phone number and dial the number, etc. However, Alpha says these bugs will not be corrected until version 10.

        The learning curve has been a steep one, and I am generally happy with Alpha as a development tool. Right now, I'm debating whether to continue my Alpha effort or give up the ghost and move to SugarCRM. Sugar is the product that Alpha missed the boat to develop several years ago, but the concept is solid: finished applications that are easily customizable -- and the fact that a non-trivial version is available for download free, doesn't hurt!

        My debate arises because I want my application to do a lot more than just contact management, so I'll still thinking through whether to proceed with Alpha now that I've got the hang of it or to explore extending SugarCRM.
        I was able to purchase three books on Amazon.com which provide its full data model, etc.

        However, Sugar doesn't model its database using best practices. For example, it creates separate fields on the contact record for home, mobile, work, other, etc. phone numbers, which is not what you and I are trying to do. (Mark Bain, SugarCRM developer's manual, PACKT publishing).


        Speaking of references, you might want to check your library or Amazon for The Data Model Resource Book, Vol. 1: A Library of Universal Data Models for All Enterprises by Len Silverston-- and chapter 2: People and Organizations in particular.

        In the attached screenprint, you'll see what happens when I click on the phone number field; the bitmap image to click on to dial the phone number (Google chrome icon) appears to the left of the wrong field -- nickname.
        So I added another temporary button for DIAL just to show you what you are getting into with Alpha. Despite all the care and attention you may give to your form design, Alpha will constantly mar the appearance of your application because of its developer sloppiness. I ask you, how much effort would it have taken them to left align the type-in field with the label and checkbox in the screenprint?

        Bob McGaffic
        Pittsburgh, PA

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

          Hi Robert, Thanks a lot. You have a beautiful application going. Do you think Alpha is difficult to work in? I have bought the program to write an application for my business. Contact management is part of it but I am a debt counsellor and there are not many good programs available to do the necessary calculations so I decided to try Alpha since I read on the internet that it is one of the good programs available.

          I also have another question. Stan answered the question but I am still a little bit in the dark. I am currently creating a database table and the problem is that I want to use the first 3 letters of the surname of a person and if there are 2 surnames that is the same that it numbers itself with the 3 letters and an added number 2 etc. Furthermore I will have several files for one person and will have a separate table for that. In the end I will need the numbers to look like this:
          Surname: Flemming
          FLE1/0001, FLE1/0002, FLE1/0003

          Person 2 Surname: Flemming
          FLE2/0001, FLE2/0002; FLE2/0003

          Stan gave me an answer and said that I should not use an auto increment field rule. Here is the link to the answer of Stan. http://msgboard.alphasoftware.com/al...=concatenation . I hope you can help me with this as well since I am very new to Alpha and need to at least get my feet of the ground.

          Thank you for all your help so far.
          Last edited by Dolphin; 06-29-2009, 01:06 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

            Stan gave me an answer and said that I should not use an auto increment field rule.
            Not quite. I said you couldn't use the Alpha autoincrement field rule because that's not the the way it works.
            There can be only one.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

              Stan sorry, I am not trying to be funny. This is all very new to me and I don't understand all the new names and I will try the example you gave me. I am trying to understand how these things work that I can actually make it work without messing up my data.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

                You may have to go with two fields to accomplish what you want.

                Consider..

                Begin first record with surname Flemming
                You want to create a field value for this record FLE1/0001
                The /0001 is based on the count of values FLE1 in the table, but that value doesn't exist until the record is saved.
                There can be only one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

                  David,

                  I think you are going down the wrong road. The easiest to work with keys are autoincrement character.

                  Let Alpha Five do the heavy lifting to find the records of interest. There's no need for the kind of intelligence in the record key that you are attempting.

                  The reason why I sent you my zipped application was to also show you there is no need to resort to complex schemes. But a lot of the techniques to make this work with Alpha Five were learned unfortunately not from the documentation, but from a collective swell group of guys who helped me master some of Alpha's subtleties--name members of this forum.

                  Take a look my application for the contact's File As field. Please note that sometimes I may want to look up a contact on the basis of Lastname + Firstname, but I would never even consider building table keys with such concatenations.

                  In short, don't do it.

                  Bob McGaffic
                  Pittsburgh, PA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

                    David,

                    I think you are going down the wrong road. The easiest to work with keys are autoincrement character.

                    Let Alpha Five do the heavy lifting to find the records of interest. There's no need for the kind of intelligence in the record key that you are attempting.

                    The reason why I sent you my zipped application was to also show you there is no need to resort to complex schemes. But a lot of the techniques to make this work with Alpha Five were learned unfortunately not from the documentation, but from a collective swell group of guys who helped me master some of Alpha's subtleties--namely members of this forum.

                    Take a look my application for the contact's File As field. Please note that sometimes I may want to look up a contact on the basis of Lastname + Firstname, but I would never even consider building table keys with such concatenations.

                    In short, don't do it.

                    Bob McGaffic
                    Pittsburgh, PA

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

                      Thank You. I will take what both of you said in consideration and change my thinking on this a bit.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

                        Hello Bob,

                        I'm a newbie to AlphaFive. Currently looking at v10 for future use. One of our intended uses for Alpha is a contact manager. I hope you don't mind, but I downloaded your MyApplication.zip for a look after finding this thread in the Forum. It looks much better than the Alpha examples I have seen so far. My queries are:
                        1. Have you updated this to v10 or, 2. how difficult will it be for me to do this?
                        My thanks in advance for any feedback on this.
                        Ron S

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

                          The easiest to work with keys are autoincrement character.
                          This has been crossed many times and I disagree. Numeric is easiest for me as it seems to have less problems after about 20000 or so records. Also, it is easier to take it to sql if you ever decide to. There is no work involved in adding O's to the front. Been on numeric since version 3.

                          My users NEVER see the incremented field. It is not for their use, so why confuse them.


                          This is said with all due respect.
                          Dave Mason
                          dave@aldadesktop.com
                          Skype is dave.mason46

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

                            Hello Mr. WebCommerce,

                            Yes, I have updated to Alpha Five V10. The update was painless and you should have no problems with it.

                            If you are really interested in do a contact manager correctly, you may want to check this out:
                            http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Acce...5304079&sr=1-1

                            It may save you from reinventing the wheel.

                            I found that I could not easily accomplish what I wanted to do in A5V10 with an activeX control (hierarchical grid outlining) using XBasic, and so have reverted back to MS Access 2010 with Visual Basic and its working like a charm.

                            I'd be happy to send you a video link if you wish. This capability (recurisive hierarchies with drag and drop) was going to be very painful to implement with A5V10. I don't have Selwyn level programming skills.
                            Bob McGaffic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How to have a contact details table with several telephone numbers and addresses

                              Hi Bob, thank you for the comments. Yes I would appreciate it if you can send me the video link.

                              Comment

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