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Thread: Can My POS Software have a Form Loaded on a Secondary Monitor For Customers, While Main Software Run on Main Monitor

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    Member nigeldude's Avatar
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    Default Can My POS Software have a Form Loaded on a Secondary Monitor For Customers, While Main Software Run on Main Monitor

    Please forgive me if this have been covered already, I couldn't find anything on it in the help file nor on the message board.

    I have created a POS software and was using a VGA cable splitter to feed the view to both the cashier's and the customer's monitors. This worked well enough. However, I have 2 reasons to want a better alternative.
    1) The customer's monitor is smaller and has a a different resolution, and because of this, it restricts the resolution that I could use on my main monitor, (the cashier's monitor) I would like to have each monitor set to their ideal recommended resolution respectively.
    2) I don't need the customers to see every single thing that the cashier sees. Just the invoice with the items being sold, and the financial activities: Cash tendered, change given etc.

    Is it possible to have a form designed specifically for the customers viewing, that is automatically loaded on the 2nd or 3rd monitor (whichever I choose) that displays just what I want them to view?

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    Default Re: Can My POS Software have a Form Loaded on a Secondary Monitor For Customers, While Main Software Run on Main Monitor

    Dude
    From V10
    Improved Multi-Monitor Support - Alpha Five now has improved support for machines with multiple monitors. Alpha Five can now be run on a secondary monitor and all pop-up windows and menus will be correctly positioned. To enable this support, several new functions have been added.
    ui_display_monitor_enum() - Get all the displays attached to the system.

    ui_display_monitor_primary() - Get the primary display name
    ui_display_monitor_from_window(C Windowname) - Get the name of a display that a window is on (or nearest to). If windowname is omitted, the display for the main Alpha Five window is returned.

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    Default Re: Can My POS Software have a Form Loaded on a Secondary Monitor For Customers, While Main Software Run on Main Monitor

    Thanks John.
    I saw that, but I guess I didn't realized it translated into what I needed. After your response, I started to play with the codes. I was able to fetch a list of available displays from a dropdown and store my choice in a field.
    I have already created a form for the customer display, but!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm stuck on 2 points (maybe both issues are really the same, I'm not sure):
    1) I don't know how to launch that customer form and have it run outside of the main A5 window, on the 2nd display. If I run it as a normal form, then it simply becomes what the cashier sees as their form. If I launch it as a Dialog, I am able to move it around freely, push it across to display 2 etc, but then, I can't interact with any other form, how do I get that customer form to be opened and float outside the main window area so the cashier can use the actual POS form?
    2) I couldn't identify where to instruct the "customer's display form" to load specifically on the 2nd monitor. So far, the closest I got is to manually push it across to display 2 after opening it as a dialog.

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    Default Re: Can My POS Software have a Form Loaded on a Secondary Monitor For Customers, While Main Software Run on Main Monitor

    Instead of loading the form as a d'alog, try loading it as "Popup". Such windows can be moved outside the Alpha window. However, you should read up on the features of popup windows to be sure it will suit your environment.
    Finian

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    Default Re: Can My POS Software have a Form Loaded on a Secondary Monitor For Customers, While Main Software Run on Main Monitor

    1) I don't know how to launch that customer form and have it run outside of the main A5 window,
    Try Form.load()

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    Default Re: Can My POS Software have a Form Loaded on a Secondary Monitor For Customers, While Main Software Run on Main Monitor

    2) I couldn't identify where to instruct the "customer's display form" to load specifically on the 2nd monitor. So far, the closest I got is to manually push it across to display 2 after opening it as a dialog.
    HINT

    You can open two forms with (*different name) and maybe setting with screen window location and form's position.

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    Default Re: Can My POS Software have a Form Loaded on a Secondary Monitor For Customers, While Main Software Run on Main Monitor

    Ok guys, here's the result when I combined the suggestions from all 3 of you. I have not tested it in the field, but so far it works on my development PC.
    After the below codes, the customer form automatically has focus, I simply switched it back to the cashier's form "POS", so all keyboard shortcuts, bar code scanning, etc, would work as normal.


    'Gets the width of the main screen (which is 1366 pixels)
    DIM SHARED Window_Width AS n
    Window_Width = UI_INFO(0)

    'Below, I converted the numeric 1366 to character 1366 and start the customer form there, this placed it on the 2nd monitor.

    'Open "POS_CustomerDisplay" form
    dim frm as P
    frm = form.load("POS_CustomerDisplay","Popup","",str(Var->Window_Width,4,0),"0")
    frm.show()

    'fill the 2nd screen with the "POS_CustomerDisplay" form
    :POS_CustomerDisplay.maximize()

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    Default Re: Can My POS Software have a Form Loaded on a Secondary Monitor For Customers, While Main Software Run on Main Monitor

    So where are you specifically telling it to open the customer form on the second display?

    In my case.

    ?ui_display_monitor_enum()
    = \\.\DISPLAY3 'Monitor to my right. I may want additional form to open on this monitor.
    \\.\DISPLAY1 'Monitor to my left. Let say this is the monitor the customer will see.
    \\.\DISPLAY2 'My primary monitor. The Alpha app would be opened and running on this monitor.

    So lets say I have my POS open and running on monitor 2 and I want the customer to see a form that shows the items ordered on monitor 1 and I would also like to see a customer info form on monitor 3. Where would you tell Alpha which form to display on which monitor? If you have to initially manually push the to the desired monitors then it kind of negates the full benefit of multi-monitor support.

    The Alpha docs really do not have any information on this in my opinion.

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    Default Re: Can My POS Software have a Form Loaded on a Secondary Monitor For Customers, While Main Software Run on Main Monitor

    You are right Preston, the documentation doesn't properly educate us on how to accomplish these tasks, which is why I appreciate these guys so much, they pointed me down the right path with a successful "work around/make shift" solution.

    I am currently using this new feature on the cashier's PC for a few days, and it's working well so far. Just like you, there are 3 monitors attached. The Main display is \\.\DISPLAY2 , but the customer sees display \\.\DISPLAY3 , because A5 doesn't seem to be able to explicitly instruct which display to use, but rather relies on the PC telling it which is the main display and simply opening there, I had to make sure that in the Windows settings where we arranged the layout of the displays, the customer display is on the right side of the main display. Now. . . . since the main is 1366 and the customer display is 1280 once I open the customer form anywhere between 1367 to 2646, it will end up on the desired display.

    To explain the maths,
    \\.\DISPLAY2 spans 0 - 1366 (because its resolution is 1366 wide)
    \\.\DISPLAY3 spans 1367 - 2646 (because its resolution is 1280 wide, and it's on the right side of display one, so it's simply an extension)

    Therefore, once I open a form above 1366 but under 2646, it will end up on \\.\DISPLAY3.

    Our Display 1 doesn't show anything from A5, but, in your case, regardless of the physical placement of your monitors, I would suggest that you properly arrange the displays in the "Microsoft Windows Settings" to be: "2, 1, 3" or (2,3,1). When you open a form that is intended to show on either of the 2 extra displays, simply calculate the width of display 2, then tell A5 how far right to push the form. Then. . . You don't have to manually position them at any point. The code above does this each time the software is run and accurately adopts to whatever screen size display 1 is.

    If there is a better way, I have not yet found it, and that's what I had to do to accomplish the task with the limited knowledge I have on the topic.

    I would love if A5 would include the ability to explicitly instruct these forms to open on specific displays, but, so far, this is working for me.

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