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Updating of a date field

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  • Updating of a date field

    I am a novice programmer in A5V9. I am trying to set up a date field that will automatically update itself once a record is "modified" not just viewed. Can anyone tell me how to set up a field rule (or script)so that this happens?

  • #2
    Re: Updating of a date field

    i have a date field which i made calculated in the tables field rules with Date() as the calculated field expression.

    whenever any field in that record is amended the date changes to todays date.


    • #3
      Re: Updating of a date field

      Originally posted by richard2007 View Post
      i have a date field which i made calculated in the tables field rules with Date() as the calculated field expression.

      whenever any field in that record is amended the date changes to todays date.
      NO! NO! NO! Do NOT do this.

      It is a very common mistake made by almost everyone. It works most of the time but then someone does something like a global update and all of a sudden EVERY record in the table shows today's date! (There are other actions that have the same issue but I don't recall what they are since I haven't used a calc field for this in many years.)

      Make your "last modified" field (mine is named change_dtf) a simple user entered field then add this in the CanSave event of the table (note that this is the CanSave event of the table - not the OnSave event and not the event in the layout):
      tc = table.current()
      tc.change_dtf = date()
      Of course, you should change the "change_dtf" to be your own field name.

      I can't tell you how many times someone has done this (used a calc field) then ended up calling me or posting on the message board to find out how to fix the problem - and maybe recover the original dates. There is no recovery unless you have a backup that can be restored. Of course, that also undoes the global update (or other action).

      This method also provides some other possibilities. For example, there are many cases where I want the change date to indicate that a USER changed the record and I don't want it to change as the result of some xbasic/Action Script action. For example, I might change the "last printed" date in an invoice record via xbasic after running a print operation. This isn't a user change so I really don't want to update my change_dtf field. If change_dtf is a calc field, it WILL change when the print date is updated.

      There is one minor downside to this method. If you edit a record with xbasic/Action Script, the routine must include the change to the change_dtf field since the CanSave table event doesn't fire when editing with xbasic.

      Disclaimer: I haven't checked the new action that forces a5 to run field rules from xbasic. This may solve the problem. Of course, it may also cause other problems, like the issue I related above with adding a print date, so you'll have to test that one for your particular situation.
      Last edited by CALocklin; 01-15-2010, 05:12 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Updating of a date field

        think i will change my app.


        • #5
          Re: Updating of a date field

          I'd also like to point out that to use Cal's way if you want to ALWAYS have that table's field changed for ANY form/browse that uses it and also for all fields that can be modified.

          There are times that I have fields on a form that change but do NOT want the modified date to change unless certain fields data changes....then maybe the OnChange event of the form(s) fields would be a better choice--more work but adds the aforementioned flexibility of not having the modified date field updated in certain cases.

          As always, there are many ways to do things and each have their merits and such.
          It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
          It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
          Henry David Thoreau


          • #6
            Re: Updating of a date field

            Thanks all...I will see how competent I am and see if I can implement your suggestions...


            • #7
              Re: Updating of a date field

              Good point.

              And, if it's not form specific but you did/didn't want to update the field for certain changes, you could compare the field values in the CanSave event to what they were before the record was changed. There are at least two ways to do that:

              The old way - include an OnChange record event in the table that sets a Shared variable to the original value of the fields to be tested.

              Another old way - <fld>.Initial_value_get() might work but it's a pain to use because you first have to get a field pointer and I'm not sure if it will work in this situation.

              The new way - I know there's a newer function for getting the original field value before a table is saved but I don't remember the name of that function and can't find it in the Help file (it's probably not there since it's a newer function). I also can't very well look it up in What's New, etc. since I don't already know the name. If someone can tell us the name, I'll add it to my A5v5_Xbasic_Help file which has much friendlier keyword searches so I can find it in the future. ("A5v5" is just the name - it also has many v6 functions and some v7,8,9 functions and it's free)