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Thread: Potential A5 user Questions

  1. #1
    Member
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    Erik Flom
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    Default Potential A5 user Questions

    Hello All,
    I'm currently running through the trial version trying to get a rough "proof-of-concept" web app going in order to get the Credit Card from my boss, but I'm missing some key info. I might err on the side of too much info so please bare with me:

    We use Visual Manufacturing from Infor (running on SQLServer) as our primary software solution. I would like to add a few custom tables to our existing SQLServer DB to house our quality system data. I have a couple tables up and running, with A5 looking up data from Visual tables and using that info to populate the new tables with the added quality data (RMA info, for example). The scenario I can't seem to figure out is this; how do I pass the new primary key field data (created when a new issue is submitted, called CIR_ID) from one page to a new detail info page after submitting. I foresee needing to pass that number around from page to page and I can't seem to figure out the mechanism. Should this be a session variable? As far as I know, the resulting auto-incrementing number isn't generated until the new record is inserted, so how do I "get it back" from SQLServer before/while moving to another page?

    Another question involves grid-linker components.. For each new CIR_ID there are potentially multiple line items (employees,depts, etc) that are involved with a single issue, so I have another table to capture this data. How do I get that CIR_ID to populate the appropriate field in a linked child grid for all the line-item instances having to do with a single issue? I thought that having the parent-child relationship defined would do this, but it doesn't seem to work that way...

    Can field lookup results be enforced so that the only way to update that field is via the lookup? For example, an internal rejection of a workorder must always relate to a unique (Visual) workorder number so I would want the user to have to use a lookup to avoid typos, laziness etc..

    One more question about the application server.. Where is this typically installed in a Server2003 enviroment? We have a single SBS2003 server that provides many functions for us (Exchange,SQLServer,file server,among others..). It has its built-in default website for access to OWA and RWW,etc so I am curious about how the application server will cooperate. Our usage of A5 would be intranet only, no outside access. (not now, anyway). Is it better to have WAS on it's own pc? I don't foresee ever needing to service more than 10 concurrent users, with 1-3 being more typical.

    Thanks for taking the time to consider my questions..

    Erik

    P.S. I'm not a programmer and I know nothing about HTML so I'm sure hoping A5 can automate as much as possible until I can start learning what I need to know..!

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Steve Workings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Potential A5 user Questions

    Hi Erik -- glad you're looking at A5 and glad you're on this board.

    Session variables are one good way to hang on to your key field data as you go. There are also methods to write to tables and then read the stuff you need as you load pages -- this all depends on your design, flow, etc.

    I don't use the grid-linker so I'll let someone else respond to that.

    Lookups can have their lists populated from tables, with the user required to choose from that list with no exceptions allowed.

    There should be no need to put A5 on a seperate server. It should play just fine with your existing stuff though again there are others more expert than I who might have more info. Testing is always recommended in a situation such as yours.

    Hope this helps a bit.
    -Steve


  3. #3
    VAR Pat Bremkamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Potential A5 user Questions

    Erik,

    To see a demonstration version of a QMS system complete with CAR, DMR, RMA, Management Review and Audit, follow this link

    www.mindkicks.com/democo/login.a5w

    You can login using Kelley, Kelley.

    I've used Visual manufacturing in the past...it's a good program. I think you would want to use 'passive link tables' to get the data out of Visual. You would create the Visual data first, then query it out and do the rest in Alpha.

    If you want to discuss further, email me at patb@mindkicks.com

    Pat

  4. #4
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    Erik Flom
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    Default Re: Potential A5 user Questions

    Thanks for the replies..!

    Steve, I will have to come to a better understanding of the programmatic methods of retreiving and saving this info. thanks for confirmation..
    As far as the lookup goes, I can't seem to find the control for this option. Is this just a check box I'm missing some where?

    Pat, I already have your demo bookmarked after finding it on another thread.. LOL! I intend to show it to my boss as further proof of concept. We actually have an Access database that A5 will replace which was implemented for ISO9000 compliance, so your demo covers much ground that we are already familiar with.
    As far as the passive tables go, I was thinking that we will need real-time access to the info in our DB so I don't want to rely on some kind of a schedule or manually updating the tables. I seem to have the lookups I require working as expected (read-only!) so I'm not sure why you are recommending the passive links..

    Thanks again,
    Erik

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Potential A5 user Questions

    Erik,

    Lookups are in the Properties area for any Textbox or Textarea in Grids or Dialogs. You build a grid as you would like your picklist to appear, then use this as your "grid name" when defining the lookup.
    Steve Wood
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  6. #6
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    Erik Flom
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    Default Re: Potential A5 user Questions

    Steve, Thanks, I do have the lookups working properly, basing them on a seperately defined grid and pulling in multiple fields. Very easy and re-usable I must note. The thing I would like to do is limit the user to only being able to populate fields via a lookup so that only valid data gets entered. I can't seem to find that as an option in either the lookup definition or the other field properties. Am I looking in the wrong place?

    Erik

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Potential A5 user Questions

    No problem. In addition to your lookup, find the Validation Rules to Cross File Validation. You can ensure the value is IN the selected table. So, you can't stop them from entering a bogus value, but you can force the value to be one of the look values if they want to save the record.
    Steve Wood
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  8. #8
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    Erik Flom
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    Default Re: Potential A5 user Questions

    Excellent, Steve! Works as advertised.. Now I just need to get the session variables figured out..

    Erik

  9. #9
    VAR Pat Bremkamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Potential A5 user Questions

    Erik,

    When I reread your write up, I realized that you are planning to use strictly SQL tables, and not dbf tables. My comment about passive link tables was based on thinking you would pull data from Visual and manipulate it in dbf tables.

    I've use session variables to carry data from page to page all the time. When you look at the demo, you will see several 'logs' and corresponding forms. The logs are grid components that display data and have a link to the form where data can be entered or edited. The logs are grid components and the forms are dialog components. The little arrow links are link fields, and I use session variables to carry the, for example, CAR_Id to the form. Once at the form, I check for a valid CAR_Id and if so, find the record and populate the fields. If the session variable does not have a valid CAR_Id, then I know it is an add rather than an edit.

    In the case of adding a new record, I set a session variable to the CAR_Id after the record is saved and carry that back to the source document, either the DMR or the RMA. Then, during an ISO audit, you can dazzle the auditor by hitting the link backwards and forwards from RMA to DMR to CAR.

    I also set session variables when people log on through the customer portal or the supplier portal to ensure they can only see their own data.

    So, session variables are worth your studying.

    Pat

  10. #10
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    Erik Flom
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    Default Re: Potential A5 user Questions

    Thanks Pat, that is great info... Yes I want to keep everything in a single DB to simplify back-up, maintenance, and to keep the data "attached" into the future. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get the OK to purchase and then the real fun can begin..

    Erik

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