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AutoIncrement Child Field in Stand Alone Form

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  • AutoIncrement Child Field in Stand Alone Form

    I want to do something that I originally thought would be easy, but Im finding out it is a much bigger challenge than I ever imagined. Maybe Im blinded by tunnel vision and hopefully there is a relatively easy and obvious solution that I am missing. Hence, I am asking for help from the wonderful members who participate in this forum.

    I have a simple one-to-many SET that links the parent, tblMembers, to the child tblContacts, via the Member_ID linking field. The 2nd field in the child table is a two-character field labeled Contact_ID. I want Alpha to automatically enter [as in autoincrement] the next highest number sequentially for that specific member.

    For example, if Member_ID already has three contacts, when the user enters the next contact for that specific member, Alpha would automatically place 04 in the Contact ID field. And if this is the very first contact for a new member, Alpha should obviously enter 01 in the Contact_ID field.

    There is one little caveat, I would much prefer having the user enter the child record data in a stand alone form versus an embedded browse. I realize that makes this challenge slightly more complicated.

  • #2
    RE: AutoIncrement Child Field in Stand Alone Form

    A brute force approach:

    - before calling the child form, determine if any child recs exist
    - if they do, fetch through them in order
    - when you hit the last one store increment the last contact_id value and store it in a variable
    - pass the variable to the called form

    - if no child recs exist, store '01' in the variable, and pass it to the called form

    -- tom


    • #3
      RE: AutoIncrement Child Field in Stand Alone Form


      Would not the use of a previous values +1 field be of help. I think you will find that when previous values are used on a child record of a set the previous value is based on the parent link not on the child order.

      Just a thought


      • #4
        RE: AutoIncrement Child Field in Stand Alone Form

        Table Name: tblContacts

        1st Field: Member_ID [C6]
        2nd Field: Contact_ID [C2]

        Michael wrote:

        [Would not the use of a previous values +1 field be of help]

        Don't know Michael, I haven't tried that option. Please note the question was reference entering data via a "Stand Alone Form" [only one table is open, the child], as opposed to entering data via an embedded browse.

        During data entry for a new record, the stand alone form [tblContacts] must lookup the current Member_ID[first field in the table] and ascertain if there are any Contact_ID's matching the current Member_ID.

        If there are matches, we want Alpha to lookup the LAST Contact_ID [actually the highest Contact_ID] and then add one. So if the last or highest Contact_ID for the current Member was "03", Alpha should AUTOMATICALLY enter "04" as the next Contact_ID in tblContacts.

        However, if there are NO matches for the current Member, then Alpha should automatically enter "01" in the Contact_ID field.



        • #5
          RE: AutoIncrement Child Field in Stand Alone Form

          If you don't care whether the contact_id is entered at the beginning o f the entry or at the end, then the problem is the same as the one in the "numbering invoice items" article at www.learn


          • #6
            RE: AutoIncrement Child Field in Stand Alone Form

            Yes, I do care when the Contact_ID is entered. If it's possible, I would like the data automatically entered when the user enters the field.

            The first field is Member_ID and it is a lookup field. The user then navigates to Contact_ID where the "goal" is automatic entry of a new Contact_ID as the user then proceeds to enter all of the pertinent details about the contact.

            I checked out your "Numbering Invoice Items" article, please correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears as if the article is geared towards controlling line numbers and only in via a SET.

            In this scenario, we have to look up the Member_ID in the current table [no parent is involved] and ascertain if there are any Contact_ID numbers associated with the current member. Once again, if there are no Contact_ID numbers, enter "01", and if there are previous Contact_ID numbers, find the last/highest number and add one.

            Any additional thoughts or suggestions?




            • #7
              RE: AutoIncrement Child Field in Stand Alone Form

              Robert, I replied to your email and your mail server bounced my message back to me. -- tom


              • #8
                RE: AutoIncrement Child Field in Stand Alone Form

                Hi Robert,

                Wouldn't dbmax() function provide you this info? You have to have an index (probably your member id field) and it should return the largest value in any existing field for a given member_id. You could then increment it by one. An :
                if isblank("field") then
                dbmax('parameters') + 1
                field = current field value
                end if

                should do this, or something close.



                • #9
                  RE: AutoIncrement Child Field in Stand Alone Form

                  Hi Tom and Jim:

                  Thanks so much for your suggestions.

                  Right now I'm working on a script that does almost exactly what I want. During data entry of a NEW Contact Record, the script looks up and finds the last/highest Contact_ID number for the current Member_ID. I am using a stand alone form for what is obstensibly the child table in the tblMembers to tblContacts set.

                  Please note that all of the above takes place outside of the SET. I don't know if I'm taking the right approach, maybe there is a more efficient or easier method, but I'm so close that I don't want to give up.



                  • #10
                    RE: AutoIncrement Child Field in Stand Alone Form


                    This is the approach I take. In the OnWrote field rule event for MemberID put the following code
                    ' Increment the count
                    vDup = 1 ' starting increment
                    On Error GoTo Rule_Error
                    childtable->ContactID = STR(vDup,2)
                    vDup = vDup +1
                    RESUME 0

                    then a Unique rule on ContactID says MemberID + ContactID must be unique.

                    Requirements - must do data entry or lookup into MemberID field, or OnWrote rule will not fire. Both MembreID and ContactID must be character. Above code does a blank fill, but you can obviously do 0 fill.

                    Works like a charm.



                    • #11
                      Apparent Solution !!!


                      Thanks to some key input from others, it appears as if we have a working solution to the challenge posed. Please allow me to summarize the goal. We have a simple One-To-Many Set where the parent table is tblMembers and the child table is tblContacts, linked by the Member_ID field

                      Instead of entering NEW contacts via the embedded browse, I much prefer using a stand alone form based solely upon the child tblContacts. Beautiful, efficient form design is one of Alpha's strong points and I want to use it for data entry.

                      The problem was finding a way to automatically enter a NEW 2-character Child_ID number [autoincrement] for each contact during DATA ENTRY. I obtained the original idea for a solution from Steve. W, much needed motivation from Tom C., and I owe a great big thank you to Jim C. who editied/modified my flawed script.

                      Although there is a problem that I will describe at the end of this response, the solution seems to work well. Here is a big plus, despite searching through a large number of records, data entry is automatic and appears to be almost instantaneous because the LookupC() function utilizes an index.


                      The user clicks on a New Record button, a lookup for the first field [Member_ID] pops up and the user selects a Member_ID. The cursor than moves to the 2nd field called Contact_ID where the following script runs via the OnArrive Event. Here is the script that still needs to be modified.

                      Dim T as P
                      Dim VMembID as C
                      Dim VContact as C

                      t= table.current()
                      VMembID = t.member_id
                      VContact = Lookupc("L",VMembID, "Contact_ID", "tblContacts",

                      if VContact =" " then
                      parentform:contact_id.value = "01"
                      parentform:contact_id.value = Right("00" +
                      end if

                      If this is the first Contact_ID for the current Member_ID, the script places "01" in the field. Otherwise the script finds the last Contact_ID number and adds one.

                      I haven't had a chance to examine Bill Parker's solution, maybe it is better and more elegant than this one. But we do have one significant problem and I'm open to any suggestions.


                      The script does find the LAST Contact_ID number for the current member, but unless the Contact_ID records are sorted appropriately, the last Contact_ID isn't necessarily the highest Contact_ID. So we need to incorporate a way to sort the Contact_ID records linked to the current Member_ID.
                      Jim C. suggested using the DBMax()function.

                      The script is activated via the OnArrive Event for the Contact_ID field. Is there a more appopriate location for this script or is this OK?

                      Any other suggestions or comments?




                      • #12
                        RE: Apparent Solution !!!

                        Hi Robert,

                        I'd check the content of the field before executing the lookupc() or dbmax() function. If the field is already populated you don't want to have the overhead of running the lookup each time you enter the field if it isn't needed.



                        • #13
                          RE: Apparent Solution !!!

                          [I'd check the content of the field before executing the lookupc() or dbmax() function[

                          Excellent sugguestion Jim, in fact, I was thinking of employing a Skip .t. rule once the Contact_ID is filled in. However, this may be a better idea, let me think about it.

                          Let me tell you Jim, it feels soooooooooo good to finally have this challenge resolved and the script running as designed. But of course, once we have this script working perfectly, Bill and Tom came up with excellent alternatives so no I have 3 choices.