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Thread: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Mike, was your code manually written, or been copied from a genie or something? when i saw the code, it was too long for a progressive lookup, but if it was produced by a genie then it would be nice.
    I think this should be emphasized on any training video about browse control for beginners to take note, "Browse control is only good for 10 lines data entry but not 40 or more, if you want to be sure that you are entering and seeing the correct data,never use a browse e.g. on the alpha sports sample invoice data entry for the order details if you plan to enter more than 10 item on the browse then think not twice but ten times, if you insist in using the good browse control, break down your orders( if it is 40 items, then make 4 invoices, divide each by 10 order line items, and to solve that problem we beginners must learn xdialog.I hope alpha software company will make a sample of the alpha sports database in the code archive using purely xdialog and xbasic, then remove the old alpha sports sample so that beginners will not imitate the good old browse control.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Quote Originally Posted by JetLi View Post
    ...the sample is just a sample, it isn't the best way, it is mainly to demonstrate something in alpha five, I hope future versions will include a sample of the alpha sports showing the best way to produce a real world database application.I hope no one will again mis-interpret this.
    Okay, I'll risk mis-interpreting: Jetson, there is no such thing as the "best way"--unless it is perhaps my way! There are usually several good ways, a bunch of not so good ways and and a few terrible ways. And I'd venture to say that the closer one gets to a really good way to do things in an app, the more obtuse and useless the methods would be for newbies unless they were only interested in copying and pasting into their own apps. That could sometimes work but you wouldn't learn a damn thing. One has to crawl before figuring out how to walk. As for xdialog, there are plenty of examples in the various Help files. Another good way to get started learning xdialog is with the various xdialogs one can create via Action Scripting (AS) and then convert the code generated to xbasic and study the code with the help of the reference sections in the Help files. Often one can tweak that AS generated code to make it more applicable to your own app, but in any case it is a great way to get started learning xdialog.

    Raymond Lyons

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Sorry - in my code variable GST is set by the autexec, It is a global number taken from a defaults table. GST stands for Goods & Services Tax. In UK that wouldbe VAT, I think in the US it is Sales Tax ex. In our case it is usally 10% so would be 10, but I build it to be based on a variable to allow for change
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  4. #34
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Thanks, I saw a web component called "Dialog" beside the Grid component, and there is a template for entering order header and order details, I'm confused on xdialog and the dialog component, in the learning xdialog sample that ships with alpha, are all the codes manually written, or, are they generated using a genie? can the dialog component be advisable also to use instead of manually coding the user interface using xdialog?
    Last edited by JetLi; 04-17-2012 at 09:10 AM.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    I have used embedded browses since maybe 1998 with impunity.
    I prefer them.
    Different versions have certain quirks you need to know about, but they work great for me.

    Like entering lineitems in an invoice, etc.

    I currently have an embedded browse that interacts with cameras and scales and has popup dialog screens as you type.

    Between record and field events in a table's field rules, and the embedded browse's events, I have never found anything I couldn't do.

    I use xdialogs for some pop up screens, but for the most part I use forms opened as dialogs - I can create a form much faster than an xdialog, and in my opinion make it much more attractive, and with many more features.
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  6. #36
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Martin
    Thats really excellent to hear.
    and
    embedded browse...and has popup dialog screens as you type
    how would that be done, unless possibly with field rules?

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    the browse has a "cansave" event, among many
    in field rules, there are canwrite, onwrite, etc rules for individual fields
    and to tie the rules differently for different forms, you can say:
    if is_object("invoices1")

    elseif is_object("invoices2")

    etc
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  8. #38
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    I don't know what to implement, someone says he never used browse or embedded browse because of some unpredictable behaviors when there are too many entries, the other one says he has been using it for a long time.I was about to change the embedded browse in every form that I made to Dialog component after viewing several videos. Stan and Tom, May I asked what have you been using to enter detail records in a one to many relationship?

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    My recommendation - odd as it may seem - is to try it with the browse and be alert for potential data entry errors. A lot of people seem to be having a different experience than what I've seen.

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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Martin,
    Thankyou very much for that bit of valuable information on field validation. Many of the Alpha experts in the group were saying that there is no way to do field level validation in browse. For a data entry operator who is doing 1000s of line entries in a day (like invoicing), browse method is very user friendly. Even though it is a challenging job for the programmer, I prefer this method as once developed, will be very helpful for the end user.

  11. #41
    "Certified" Alphaholic Ray in Capetown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Renny, right there you made your choice. And for you it is right.
    And you will hopefully return to this thread in future with what you completed, and to offer others insight into how you overcame your hurdles.
    Last edited by Ray in Capetown; 04-18-2012 at 05:19 AM.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    entering records/lineitems in a browse is pretty much an industry standard, and in most cases, unless you can give them that utility, it greatly increases the time and frustration for so entering
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  13. #43
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Quote Originally Posted by martinwcole View Post
    entering records/lineitems in a browse is pretty much an industry standard, and in most cases, unless you can give them that utility, it greatly increases the time and frustration for so entering
    I agree with the "industry standard" but I respectfully disagree with the idea that it increases time and frustration for the user. It may seem to users like it increases the time and frustration - in fact, I'd be willing to say that the majority of user and developers think this way - but, in reality, it can be the same number of mouse clicks, or maybe one extra, and the same number of keystrokes. I will, however, admit that a popup method does take longer for the developer to create.

    And, one advantage to using a popup form or xdialog for entering the data is that records with lots of fields can usually be organized in a much more user friendly manner. It's also easier to add Help buttons, better field labels, descriptive text, etc. as needed. And I know a lot of users who don't like scrolling back and forth in a browse when the number of fields requires scrolling to see them all.

    Here's how I see the number of clicks/keystrokes required. (Actual editing/entering of data is assumed to be the same in both cases - start at the 'first' field and either tab to or click on the next field to be edited. Consequently, editing/entering should take the same number of keystrokes/clicks regardless of the method used.)

    EDITING:

    Browse with non-modal entry:
    - Click once in the browse row to activate the correct row/record.
    - Edit the row.
    - Click outside the row to save the changes. (or press F9)
    (2 clicks plus editing.)

    Browse with modal entry:
    - Click the developer-created "Allow Edit" button or press F3.
    - Click once in the browse row to activate the correct row/record.
    - Edit the row.
    - Click outside the row to save the changes. (or press F9)
    (3 clicks plus editing)

    Browse with popup editing: (doesn't matter whether modal or not because the button script will handle that)
    - Click once in the browse row to activate the correct row/record.
    - Click the "Edit" button.
    - Edit the data in the popup.
    - Click the Save button (or press F9) and, if properly coded, the popup will close and the data in the browse will be updated.
    (3 clicks plus editing)

    NEW RECORD:

    Browse with non-modal entry:
    - Click the New Record row.
    - Enter the row.
    - Click outside the row to save the changes. (or press F9)
    (2 clicks plus editing)

    Browse with popup editing:
    - Click the "New Record" button.
    - Enter the data in the popup.
    - Click the Save button (or press F9) and, if properly coded, the popup will close and the data in the browse will be updated.
    (2 clicks plus editing)

    I did not list entering new records in the browse when using modal entry because it would actually take one more click than when using the popup method.

    Option: The Edit/Enter button can be made part of the browse row itself - which I've started doing more and more - and that reduces the number of clicks for editing with the popup method to 2. And that makes it equal to the browse with non-modal entry.

    So, in reality, it's the same amount of work for the user. It just seems like more because another form/dialog pops up.

    And I'd like to add that I had one customer that I changed over from browse entry to popup entry. (He started the app and I finished it.) He, too, thought it would be too much extra work but I was able to convince him to try it after a bit of discussion and an agreement to go back if he didn't like it. He now likes the popup method better. In his case, there were quite a few fields plus a description field that was, in many cases, too short to see all the text when in the browse. He also likes the fact that he can just click the Edit button when he wants to view the whole record at once - and it's in a more organized layout.
    Last edited by CALocklin; 04-19-2012 at 12:35 AM.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    I prefer using xdialogs to enter data instead of browses.

    1. This method only opens the table long enough to write the record.

    2. The browse is designed to work like an excel spreadsheet. However, the browse does not work like a excel spreadsheet. It does a number of funky things. I don’t remember all the funky things as I no longer use browses for data entry. But I do remember that a user could change a record by accident then move to a new record in the browse without having to confirm the change. I found myself getting frustrated having to write specific code trying to cover all of the actions of my users when they were using browses for data entry.

    3. Garbage in, garbage out.

    4. Some of my users are in a networked, hectic small business enviorment. They will start data entry, will be interupted by the phone, a customer, the boss, etc… Ten, fifteen, twenty minutes later, they get back to their data entry. In the mean time, the table has been open all this time. At least with an xdialog, the record is not left in an open state.

    5. I have designed data entry xdialogs that are far quicker and easier to use that entering the data using a browse. Specifically, the weekly collections for a church. This xdialog is called from a form which has a read only browse. See the attached image.

    The xdialog pops up with all the entry parameters set and the initial focus is on the Env Number: field. The env number is entered without any leading zeros. The enter key is pressed which moves the cursor to the Amount: field. At that time, data verification is done to ensure that a valid env number was entered. If not, the cursor is returned to the Env Number field and a warning box pops up. Once in the Amount field, the user enters the dollar amount and presses enter. This moves the cursor to the Enter button. The user then presses the Enter key again. The record is written to the table, the read only browse on the form is updated and the cursor moves to the Env Number: field awaiting the next entry. The dollar amount is saved so that if the next entry is for the same dollar amount, the user just presses the enter key to move through the field saving keystrokes. The secretary is averaging about 2-3 seconds an envelope. She is entering nearly 1000 envelopes a week.

    In the end, it's whatever works for you.

    Ron
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Anusiewicz View Post
    In the end, it's whatever works for you.
    +1

  16. #46
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Ronald,
    You are talking about a simple application and a dialoge form is the right selection for that.
    But what about a 1 to many realtion set data entry like an Invoice entry?

  17. #47
    "Certified" Alphaholic Ronald Anusiewicz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    You are talking about a simple application and a dialoge form is the right selection for that.
    But what about a 1 to many realtion set data entry like an Invoice entry?
    No, not really. The previous example is one table of a set.

    It doesn't matter if your filling out an invoice. Your still working with the underlying tables. With xbasic, you can manipulate the entry however you wish. I've attached 2 more screen shots of data entry on an invoice. The invoices are a little crude as they were designed about 10 years ago. They work and the customer is happy with how they work, so I have never bothered to enhance the layout.

    In addition, Dr. Peter Wayne has written in the past about NOT building an invoice like this one as there is a performance hit when navigation between records. His recommendation as I understand it, only navigate using the header. Then open a form to add/edit in my case what would be a tab.

    The image adding labor: without getting really technical, the record is not locked until adding labor. The entry and any computations are handled by xbasic.

    The image adding parts: The entry is handled using xbasic and depending on what the user selects on the xdialog, a new part COULD be added to the inventory table at the same time.

    The examples I have attached are from an invoicing application where we have had as many as 1000 parts items used and as much as 1000 hours of labor. To date, one invoice was over 50 pages long.

    For me, using an xdialog is all about control and/or simplifying data entry for the customer.

    This subject has been covered many times before here. Search of this board will find similar topics with about the same result.
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  18. #48
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry


  19. #49
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    I created a progressive lookup window using the xdialog.
    How will I move the pointer in the table as per the selection in the lookup window?
    pls help.

    Renny

  20. #50
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Conversely, I use almost exclusively forms. Now, let me qulify this a bit.

    I have one form that has NO table fields on it, but has around 65 editable variables and another 30 or so non editable variable. I guess that is similar to a dialog? User fills in the data, data is checked via xdialog, and either saved to the table(s) or user is taken back to the form to fix what user did not do or did not do correctly.

    Browses: I use them to display data! Mostly not editable. I have and do have a couple of embedded browses that can be edited on a form. I use embedded browses as a search method.

    In selling a car, there is a bunch of math to do. After years of work, I found it easier to use variables and do the math with code. At first, I copied the tables fields to variables, did what I needed and copied them back to the fields. Later figured out to just put it all in variables at the beginning and only save it when done.

    Point: you can work almost completely in vars and then save it if that is what is needed or makes the most sense.

    Reckon I am just a bit behind in this.
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  21. #51
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Hi Renny,
    I created a progressive lookup window using the xdialog.
    Did you state with the variable that you wanted the Recno() to be returned?
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  22. #52
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    keith,
    How would I do this to get the record no?

  23. #53
    "Certified" Alphaholic Keith Hubert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Hi Renny,

    Please see attached of progressive Lookup I made for Alphasports.

    I used Customer_id as the returned value.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  24. #54
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Keith,
    You use record listbox, which has no option for field level sorting by clicking on the header.
    That is why I used list view control.
    Yes I found "Field to Return" in list view control, hope this will solve my problem.

    Thanks

  25. #55
    "Certified" Alphaholic Ray in Capetown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Xdialog, Xbasic for Data Entry

    Nice example Keith
    I would never have thought of using a filter to be dynamic that way in the wizard, that anyone can use.
    I've seen it used in xbasic dialog samples but I'm not much good with coding Xdlgs
    So thanks for sharing that.

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