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Thread: Field properties look up

  1. #1
    Member
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    David Nunn
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    Default Field properties look up

    I want to set up a field on a form with a combo look up of user defined values.Can I also enable users to add to the list of values as the need arises?


    Kind regards

    David

  2. #2
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Tom Cone Jr
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    Unless you want them to type in the new values each time they log on, you probably want to store the new values (and the old ones) in a simple table. Then populate the control from the table. Others may have more elegant ideas, but this will work.

    -- tom

  3. #3
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    David Nunn
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    Updating a table can be laborious. For example, I have six different lists that are used for this field depending on circumstances. That means six tables, six forms and lots of buttons unless I'm missing a trick. It would be much simpler to have the option to add to values in the static list stored in the field control.

  4. #4
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Controls aren't storage devices. Alpha Five is optimized to work with tables. If you prefer you could write strings to text files on disk, but I find working with tables far easier. Depending upon the kind of data in your list you could use a single table, using two fields. One field would hold a code denoting the list type, the other the list value. -- tom

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the suggestion. I tried that approach in Filemaker and didn't find it very robust, but I'll give it a go in Alpha and hopefully get better results!
    Last edited by cellboy; 02-15-2006 at 06:56 AM.

  6. #6
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    David,

    You may find that using the built in "Creating Conditional Table Lookups" feature will save you a lot of work. This is a two stage field rule table lookup. Stage one permits the user to pick the table, stage two presents the list from which the user chooses (populated from the selected table).

    It's also possible to define a field rule table lookup that automatically filters the choices displayed in the lookup list. If you decide to use 1 table with a code field to distinguish the lists, you could filter the lookup on the code field value.

    I mention these options since it occurs to me you may be trying to create from scratch something that's already pretty much built in for you.

    -- tom

  7. #7
    "Certified" Alphaholic Tim Kiebert's Avatar
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    David,

    I use the system Tom described in the previous post and it works well. I have 18, at this stage, small lists that I hold in one table. I use three fields instead of two. Field1 is the list name. Field2 is the item in the list. Field3 is a longer description of the list item. Field1 and Field2 are mandatory, Field3 is not. When needed for lookups, the table is filtered on Field1.

    I have one form the that I use to manage all the lists in one place. Because They are all in one table. I filter the the table while using the form depending which list I want to add to. It is still a work in progress and at this stage I am the only one using the database so the form doesn't have a delete function, and probably won't because once an item is used somewhere in the database I don't think the term should be deleted. Especially since the description field is supplied to forms via calculations and lookups. I may add another field that will serve as an active flag so that the list item can be excluded from lookup lists but still be available to existing records.

    I have attached a couple of tables of which one has my form for maintaining the lists. The parts table has a few fields that use the lists. It is not very polished but may be of some help.

    Attachment 10750
    Tim Kiebert
    Eagle Creek Citrus
    A complex system that does not work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked just fine.

  8. #8
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    David Nunn
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    Thanks for the advice. Tom- I tried the conditional table look up in the field rules but the result wasn't slick enough when it came to adding new values (this application will be used during telephone conversations where time is of the essence). Unless there's some way to customise the pop up list?? I have tried the approach you suggested with putting a filtering category in and it works fine (a LOT better than when I used the approach in Filemaker!!)

    Tim - thanks so much for sending the samples through. I've learned a lot from looking at them about how to organise things. Really nice neat work. I'll be able to use the lessons gleaned on several projects.

    Thanks again all.

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