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Thread: Subform for Navigation Buttons ?

  1. #1
    Steven Spencer
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    Default Subform for Navigation Buttons ?

    Well I am new at this, and a conceptual question comes up that might help me understand how Alpha programmers think and do...

    Let's say you want to pull down five or ten buttons in a nice format in the same place on a lot of different database entry forms... for consistency..

    Next Record, Prevous Rec, Save and Enter, New Record, End Job, etc... each one tailored to do the combo of events you feel most appropriate...

    I guess one method would be to design and group the buttons on Form A and copy them to the clipboard and retreive then on Form B, then Form C etc.. does that work? and are there other methods ?

    Ok.. even if it does, let's try to get more elegant and put it all in one, (the 10 buttons) in a "subform" made to be a certain small size (I haven't figured that out yet but it shouldn't be difficult) and then call that one subform from each parent data entry form with one button..

    Looks like maybe you can replace the parent form name in the xbasic code with a variable...

    eg. if a form is "Arrival", the generated xbasic code for getting the next records starts with..

    'Go to next record in Form 'Arrival' at parent level.
    DIM object_name as C
    object_name = ":"+"Arrival"

    If we create a variable (e.g. vc_form_parent) that a current form always puts its name into.. and stick that in the xbasic code instead of "Arrival", will we have succeeded in using one sub-format for many data entry screens ?

    Why do this?
    a) save space on each form.. naviation is two-click but
    very consistent and clear..
    b) if we decide to modify the layout, the schema,
    or add new buttons, it only has to be done once...
    c) similarly if you want to get fancy based on other
    variables like the curent user, again what is allowed
    is only on one form..

    Conceptually, is this a way to go ?
    Why? Why not?
    What should I know ?

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    "Certified" Alphaholic forskare's Avatar
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    Ken Nordin
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    Default RE: Subform for Navigation Buttons ?

    Well......if I understand your logic, you want to emiminate most of the buttons from the form and stick them on a subform. Give it a try but my thought is a user would find it cumbersome. I would.

    I've designed forms with so much stuff packed in it (not to mention the buttons) that sardines would find the can comfortable. As long as I used the form, it was OK.

    However, as I use forms I'm not familiar with, I want them uncluttered, eye catching and easy to figure out. I can open the form and do what needs to be done w/o spending 10 seconds to figure it out. Dialogs and rollover help are a huge plus.

    Thus, navigating to another form for the buttons would be a nuisance to me and I'd have to learn another form. Plus, a lot of extra coding to go here, close this, go back there, etc.

    If I missed you point, oh well, guess I ain't perfect. Maybe some one else can give it a go!

    Pull downs?? There's always the tool bar and I think you can put a button on the tool bar, can you not? Gotta try that.

    Ya Know, Santa Selwyn gave us (ya, I know we paid for it) v5 some months ago but he has blessed us with new features in every patch. It just keeps unfolding everytime I think of something I want to do. We ask for this or that and most of the time, he gives it to us. He doesn't even ask if we've been naughty or nice. Hmmm, can you name another database product with that kind of service??

    kenn

  3. #3
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    jim chapman
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    Default RE: Subform for Navigation Buttons ?

    Hello Steven,

    An interesting idea. I have not thought of doing something like that. A form opens up an instance of the underlying table. So if you approached it this way, you'd want to create a dummy table for the buttons form, to lower the overhead as much as possible. That said, I think there are better approaches.

    This is what custom tool bars are for. A single toolbar can be attached to any number of forms.

    If I was serious about your approach I think I'd do it with an Xdialog box instead of a form.

    Interesting thought.

    Jim

  4. #4
    "Certified" Alphaholic forskare's Avatar
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    Ken Nordin
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    Default RE: Subform for Navigation Buttons ?

    You can create a tool bar, call it a button bar, with custom butons. First, create a script to open the form, or whatever you want to do, and then create the custom button. Pretty cool way to do it as you can place all kinds and custom) bitmaps on the button.

    You'll need to do sme T&E but it's definately got good possibilities.

    kenn

  5. #5
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    William Hanigsberg
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    Default RE: Subform for Navigation Buttons ?

    When I start an application I create a template form with the minimum default set of functions programmed in. I then do successive save_as operations and customize for different purposes so as to avoid duplicative work.

    Bill

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