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View non-DB tables w default form? Help

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    View non-DB tables w default form? Help

    In converting an A5 v1 app to v4, I discovered that something I knew how to do in v1 was something I have been unable to figure out how to do in v4, namely view the contents of a table (say on a diskette) that is not in the v4 database using the table's default form. And, optionally, view it with it's default browse, all without even temporarily adding the table to the v4 database.

    It turns out that a lot of trial and error with v1 code got me very close to what I want (but not quite in that a version of the code for Button 2 for the default browse only gets me the browse attached to and last used for the table, not the default browse). In any case, it seems to me that using butchered v1 code is not a good practice for future versions of A5 in which it may not work at all. Also, the code for button 1 won't work if the path has spaces in it, such as "C:Program FilesA5v4".

    Anyone know how to accomplish what I want using v4 code?

    Ideally, I would also like to be able to specify which attached form or browse to use when I know what they are named. But using the defaults would suffice (especially when others do not exist or I do not know their names)

    The code below is taken from 2 buttons on form in an A5 v4 database (the code was originally in a v1 application). A sample database should be attached to this message.
    �********BUTTON 1, mainly sets the variable DbfName to be the path and table name
    �**of table not in the current A5 database:
    DIM Global DbfName AS C
    DIM HDHistoryDir AS C
    '**The above puts the file open in a specific path. When it doesn't exist
    �**you just go to My Computer
    DbfName=UI_GET_FILE("Open A Different History File","database(*.dbf)","","X")
    IF DbfName=""
    end if
    ' **Display the changes on the form (just need to refresh the variable object, but...).

    �**********END OF BUTTON 1 CODE********

    �********BUTTON 2, opens the default form layout for the table selected with button 1.
    ' **Make sure the file exists. FILE_EXISTS() is true for *.dbf
    IF FILE_EXISTS( DbfName ) = .F. .OR. "*" $ DbfName
    ' Complain if the file L_NAME is bad.
    UI_MSG_BOX( "You need to select a file first.", "Unable to open: " + DbfName )
    ' Open the default form layout.
    CARD_SPAWN("FORM_VIEWER","SPAWNDB="+DbfName+"Default Form")
    '**The above was derived thru trial & error from the following v1 code, which does not
    �**work in v4, except possibly one time, after which the code gets automatically
    �**truncated to something that won't work.
    END IF
    �************END OF CODE FOR BUTTON 2*********

    Interestingly, if you leave out the +"Default Form" in:
    CARD_SPAWN("FORM_VIEWER","SPAWNDB="+DbfName+"Default Form")
    what you get is the last used non-default form attached to the table (if there is one), not the default form. And when there is a named browse, similar code will always get you the last used named browse and never the default.

    Ray Lyons

    RE: View non-DB tables w default form? Help


    Here's a piece of code that opens the default form of a user's configuration table in our app.


    f=Form.View("Default Form for app_user_defaults@"+userfile+"")

    your_name and app_path are global variables holding the user name and A5 master path respectively. App_path ends in a backslash and OSOMDOCS is an always-present subfolder of the main data folder where the data files are located. The setup is automatically created for each new user of the app. The user and workstation configuration tables are never added to the .adb.

    This is a preview of my presentation to the NY User group on Monday!



      RE: View non-DB tables w default form? Help

      Thanks Finian. I will play with this, and it sounds like it will work for what I am doing. I'll probably find out, but do you happen to know

      1) can the code be modified to open a named form (when one exists and the name is known)?

      2) can one do the same thing(s) with a browse? As I stated, my butchered v1 code for a browse will NOT open the default browse but instead opens the named browse that was last opened for the table.

      Thanks again.



        RE: View non-DB tables w default form? Help

        1) can the code be modified to open a named form (when one exists and the name is known)?
        Do you mean can you open a named form if the table is not added to the .adb? I'm not sure, I haven't tried in that situation. A5 does keep track of form names in the .adb so it's possible that you may not be able to do it. Or it might open some times and not others.

        2) can one do the same thing(s) with a browse?
        I've never tried. I guess you could substitute "Default Browse" for "Default Form" in the code and see what happens.



          RE: View non-DB tables w default form? Help

          Form.View("Default Form for app_user_defaults@"+dbfname+"")

          in my button code I get the default form, and unlike my card_spawn() alternative it works even when the path has spaces in it, such C:Program Files. SO that's progress, and for forms maybe good enough. However, the saved forms (and names) are in the table's related files, so there should be a way to open them if one knows the name. But try as I may I can't make variations of your code do anything except open the default form.

          As for the using similar code with Browse.view(), it does not work even to open the default browse. My card_spawn at least does the browse too.

          My worry about both methods is that they are not supported, at least in v4. I was hoping there would be some supported method. I presume your method is undocumented and thus may or may not work in v5?? In any case, being able to view tables outside of the DB is a handy thing to be able to do. I suppose one could always bring them into the DB temporarily, but clearly that should not be necessary.

          Thanks again.

          Ray Lyons


            RE: View non-DB tables w default form? Help

            You can temporarily add and then drop the table to/from your
            database. This works for me:

            dir_put(a5.get_path()) ' table is in application directory
            browse.view("default browse for chat@"+a5.get_path()+chr(92)+"chat.dbf")


              RE: View non-DB tables w default form? Help


              As I recall, I cribbed the code to open the default form from a message that (I'm pretty sure) Selwyn posted here so that was documented enough for me!

              The method for opening a form with a known name is detailed on p. 143 of my manual Form.View(FormName@Table Name) but that (I just checked) works only if the table is added to the db, even if you use the full path the the table.

              As Peter pointed out it's very easy to add and drop tables from a database so I haven't been overly concerned. In our case, the configuration tables are relatively small and I figured that the default form would be adequate for our needs. And, as the number of tables in the db heads over 200 I'm glad to have a way to keep the numbers down even if only a little.