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Thread: Function Help Please

  1. #1
    Member Ant-Tech's Avatar
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    Default Function Help Please

    Job Queue I have a customer table with all the necessary fields that I need for a Job Card where the customer and job records are kept. However, I need to track which customers job is next in the queue, and where to put the job when it is put to one side for paint to dry or parts need to be ordered etc.

    I think a Function is what I need, but don’t know how to do it in A5v6 :-

    Example: A particular train was brought in (call it job A-123) this morning and is queued for #12 (just for tracking the job in this example). Later that afternoon you finished a paint job (call it B-456) in #4 position that needs to wait for paint to dry and you pull it from it’s #4 queue. The “Function” will recognize the fact that the #4 position is open and bump the list up one with out any other user input. Our job A-123 would be bumped up to the #11 queue and all queues in front and behind it up to the #4 position would also bump up one. Queue's #1, #2, and #3 would stay the same. You then assign another position (lets say #7) to the B-456 job that is waiting for paint to dry. The “Function” will then automatically bump every thing ONLY later than #7 back one to #8 and so on. Our original job (A-123) that was brought in today that had just been bump up the #11 position would now be kicked back to its original #12 queue. There would be no limit to how high the queue went and it would be generated automatically as the "Function" would automatically know if it needs to add or subtract "1" from the queue. The outgoing result would need to be a correct queue # based on the current status of the table. Only the queue number would change and be re-indexed so all of the original notes would remain for the ID on that job.
    Please can someone help me.

    Ant-Tech

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Do you only have one table in which you are trying to do all this? It sounds like it. If so, I suggest you rethink and go with a parent-child table arrangement. The parent would be your job information and the child would be your queue information for reach job.

    In this type of arrangement your tables would be linked on a field - for instance Job Number. Attached is a screen shot of a form in one of my apps that might give you some ideas. This app tracks the repair of large industrial equipment. It sounds like this is similar to what you are trying to accomplish?


    Regards,

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Thanks Jeff,

    Please forgive me, I've not used Alpha 6 for over two years and have just started with it again.

    I don't understand where the link is on the example. If there was two numbers that matched each other I would possibly understand.

    Please let me explain what I need to do:-

    As a hobby, which makes me some pocket money, I work on customers model locos on a “first come first served” basis, which involves each new job starting at the back of the queue. The queue positions are from #1 to #10 at present (could need more queue positions later on) and the queue is always being changed, due to the fact that a job is started and may have to be put aside (for the paint to dry,) for 3 to 4 days, which means one of the other jobs can jump the queue (*) say from position #3 to #1 as #2 job is on-hold waiting for paint and or decals to come in from the suppliers, then the job which was originally #3, moved to #1 and now also has to be put aside for one reason or another, needs to be put back in the queue; but at what position !!!.

    Another example:- I had a customer bring four locos to me, two locos to be re-numbered and then weathered, and the remaining two locos needing weathering only. These arrived on say 3rd of February, 2007. The problem I then had was the first two were at #1 and other the two (for re-numbering and then weathering) were put in position #10, as I needed to see if I could colour match the paint on the new loco; before I accepted the job, only if the customer was happy with the test paint mix swatches, I would spray for him.

    Then, more jobs came in during the rest of February and were placed at position #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, and #7. When the two locos at #1 were finished they where collected by the customer and he then selected a sample swatch, and I accepted the work. Before the customer got around to calling here to see me, #2,#3,#4,#5, #6, and #7 had moved to #1,#2,#3,#4, #5, #6 but I had juggled them all around as mentioned at (*) above. Now, I am stuck with a dilemma. Where on earth do I put his last two (of the four) locos… and so on…

    At present I am using a 5” x 8” Record Cards as a Job Cards, which I have over printed with the information fields that I need to record (by Pen) with index tab cards marked #1 to #10 in a plastic record card box. This system works to a point, but is open to mistakes, and if a mistake is made, the whole queuing system goes up the creek, and I am left holding anything up to 5+ job cards wondering where they were in the queue, and where they need to go now without a customer work being delayed because I have lost my way in all this.

    Regards,

    Ant-Tech.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    I understand what you are doing and a parent-child relationship is what I believe would work for you. If not, you are really missing the power of Alpha!

    Attached is another screen shot from my app. It shows a work order that is selected and the associated locations that job is in. The beauty of a system like this is that it allows you too see the history of the work flow for that particular item. Behind the scenes these are two tables are linked via work order number. You cannot see the work order number in the location table but trust me it's there. :) That is how the tables are linked in a Set in Alpha. In the attached example you can see I have a calculated field that shows the number of days in a location. This might be helpful with your paint drying time. With this arrangement you could then create a report that would print all the jobs in the paint queue, drying queue, weathering queue etc. You can tell which jobs have priority by the date they were put into the queue.

    The first attachment I put up in the previous post is a management screen so the user can just scroll through the locations in the top browse and see what jobs are in that area waiting on work to be done. It allows them to see quickly what is where without having to print a report. Same concept of using a set.

    If you look in the help file for how to create sets. I think you might find some good info. Also, the Alphasports example app does this as well. It shows a typical one to many relationship with invoice header (parent) and invoice lines (child). Not the same exact thing as you are trying to do - but the concept of the parent -> child is exactly the same.

    Hope that helps some...

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Hi Jeff,

    thanks for this info and attached screen print.

    I think I have got the jist of it now.

    What I don't have is the time to make it work. What would it cost to have the bones on this code wrote for me, so I could then put the flesh on the bones :) Could you write the code to get me going?

    Kind regards,

    Ant.

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Ant.

    I will put something together for you a little later and post it here. No charge.

    It will be fairly basic. 3 Tables and associated forms. One main customer/Job table, one child table for which queue the locomotives are in (and which ones they have been in) and a lookup table for Queue names. This will allow you to Add/Edit to the queue names if you like. This lookup table will also be used in creating the records for the child queue table so the user does not have to type what queue the particular locomotive is in. They can just select from a list.

    I am swamped at the moment but I will get something put up here in the next day or so.

    Regards,

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Hi Jeff,

    Many thanks for this Jeff, but please let me pay you $50 for the work. I must pay you something, as I said I don't have the time to write the "bones" of this. If you take PayPal I could email it to you.
    "And I could weather your locomotives for you FOC, if you have a Model Railway that is."

    The reason I don't have the time, is due to the amount of locos I have in to weather for customers, and the job queue is getting way out of hand and I don't want to let any customers down.

    Kindest regards,

    Ant.

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Ant.

    No need to pay me anything. I am just giving back some to this board. I have gotten so much from other folks on here it is only right for me to give back to the community. I'll get something for you soon.

    Funny thing about the Locomotives. I just retrieved my child Lionel hood train from my parents house a month or so ago. It had been in their basement for years. I know nothing about the model train hobby but at least I have a 40 year old train! :)

    Regards,

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Ant.

    BTW, what version of Alpha 5 do you have. I only have versions 7 and 8. Version 8 is a big improvement as far as design, speed, enhancements, etc. I would prefer to develop this for you in Version 8 if you have it?

    Regards,

    Jeff

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Hi Jeff,

    I have versions 5, 6, and 7 to date. i did not get the chance to purchase version 8 as I have been very ill having under gone major bowel surgery. I have emailed Richard to beg him to let me purchase a copy of v8 at the any special discount price that may have been offered, as like when version 7 was released. Not heard back from Richard, he must be on vacasion. So have not got v8 todate.

    If Version 7 is used could I then run it in v8?

    Regards,

    Ant.

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Yes, I can develop it in V7 and you can run in Version 8. Version 8 is REALLY nice. The browse is not as stable (without some work-arounds) in Version 7 so that is why I wanted to use version 8. If I develop in Version 8 - some of the features are not backward compatible with Version 7. If you think you are going to get Version 8 I will just do it in that - otherwise I will do it in Version 7.

    Just let me know...

    Regards,

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Hi Jeff,

    I would rather you do it in version 8 as I will be purchasing a copy via Richard and it would be easier for you also.

    Kindest regards,

    Ant.

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Good Deal Ant.

    I will do it very soon for you (tonight).

    Regards,

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Hi Jeff,

    This is VERY VERY kind of you. I've downloaded version 8 pre speaking to Richard, you have wet my appitite for the new version.

    Kindest regards,

    Ant.

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Ant.

    Attached is the app. There is a form to set up the different queues for your work. Think of them as work processes. They will be used as a lookup when you move jobs in and out of queues.

    The Job Review form lets you look at the jobs and enter/edit not only the job information but also move the jobs in and out of the queues.

    The location review form lets you choose a queue in the top browse and then the corresponding open jobs are shown in the browse below. It is a quick way for you to see what work is in what queue.

    I have one dummy record in there just so you can see a populated record.

    There are not a lot of bells and whistles in the app but is should be pretty complete for what you are doing. I prettied it up some as well - but not a whole lot.

    Regards,

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Made a couple of small changes. Use this one instead of the original.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Hi Jeff,

    You are a STAR. The code is :cool: exactly what I needed. I can now use the Job Queue as is, and can customize it in between jobs.

    Richard did get back to me, and I purchased v8 last night. O'h boy does it look GOOD. I'm sure glad you suggested doing the code in v8.

    This help will save me loads of valuable time which I can spend on my customers models, which are backing up like hot cakes.

    This started and still is a HOBBY, but I get great pleasure out of making their locos look like the real thing, and gives me a bit of pocket money to boot.

    Are you sure I cannot send you some money for doing this precious work for me?

    If you ever need a Locomotive Weathering, Email me at enquiries@railwaymodels4u.co.uk and I'll do it for you FOC with the greatest of pleasure.

    BTW: You may be interested in my website "under construction - again, in between jobs" at:- http://www.railwaymodels4u.co.uk

    Kindest regards,

    Ant.

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Ant.

    You are most welcome. I am glad you like it.

    I am glad you went with V8 too. It really is nice.

    Nope, no need to pay me anything. Your thanks was payment enough.

    The couple of pics I saw on your site look awesome. You are truly gifted. Are there pics of the weathered locos on there anywhere. I couldn't find them. You might not have time to get photos posted. I had one quesiton. Does the term weathering mean just what it implies. You make the locomotives look like they have been out in the weather versus being shiny and new looking? You have a repainting process for the locos to make them look this weathered? I know - that's a lot of questions, I do have an inquisitive mind.

    Regards,

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Function Help Please

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks. I've been doing a bit here and there, but is now waiting the have the products entered. The two locos that are on one of the pages are there as examples of weathering, but are acting as place holders at present. They will be mostly images of Buildings.

    Eventually all images will open a larger image when clicked on and will take you to the Ordering Page. My wife makes up the Buildings from card kits, and I weather them before they are sold. Locos are donor Models from customers who send them to me for weathering or re-spray to a different livery.

    You are correct, weathering is to make them look as though they have been in service for some time and are ageing in the sun, which also includes getting rusty. It's hard to see the process in the example images on the site, but if you have a look a bit later on, they will all be up there.

    The only time one would a loco in a shiny state would be when it comes out of workshops having been re-sprayed or is new having just come out of the loco works. Within about two to three miles on the track, they begin to pick up dirt, dust, and oil along with soot from the exhuast on a diesel, or ash and soot on a steam loco. Then as rain is mixed with that lot, it beds it'self in and is then baked on in the sun. Cleaning never get it all off and after a few weeks they look as though they have been in service for some years. In fact in 99.9% of cases they will have been. Some British diesel locos were built in the 50's/60's and are still in service having undergone an engine re-fit a few times and, each time the loco is moved to a different company it gets a re-livery and major overhaul a bit like new shoes and coat; to start the same process again. Some Modellers like the Prestine and kept in boxes or in glass cabinets as collectors, but thoses like me; like them dirty and running on the layout like the real thing, but in miniture.

    We get locos from all over the globe, so there goes the old saying "where there's muck there's (pocket:) ) money".

    Thanks once again for your kind help, and the offer's always open if you ever get into Model Railways you know where to come to get them dirty, and or advice. FOC.

    Kindest regards,

    Ant.

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