3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 12, 2010 11:32 AM by DLW-BPEX

    IWP -- Users Not Able To Modify Drop Down Menus

    shudder

      Title

      IWP -- Users Not Able To Modify Drop Down Menus

      Post

      I am dealing with building an IWP-capable system from the ground up for the first time, and there are definitely some gotchas in regards to what you can and can't do with IWP.  Yesterday I wrote in here in regards to the odd display of IWP -- Radio Buttons and Checkboxes Displaying Horizontally Only in IWP-published systems.  Eventually I came to look at the fm10_instant_web_publish_en.pdf doc that comes with FM10.  Very helpful.

       

      Then, I found this blurb on p. 29 of the fm10_instant_web_publish_en.pdf file that set me back a notch:

       

      "Pop-up menus and pop-up lists display as HTML pop-up menus. Web users can’t edit value lists by using an Edit item, or enter values that aren’t in a value list by using an Other item."

       

      Argh.  I was thinking I was stuck, and that users would always have to manually type in values instead of being able to use a Value Lists that refers to the same field (as you can do in the native app).  So, I thought this through and hit upon the idea of creating a separate, unrelated table inside my dbms that held just the three fields I needed drop down menus for in my main system.  Doing this users can then look in the menu in the main system, and if they don't see the value they need, they will click a button that will take them to another LO that will allow them to add new records to the unrelated table (to add in new names, etc.). 

       

      The records in this adjunct db aren't really important --I am just using them so that I can then set the drop down menus on my main db to look at these fields and use all values for the drop down lists.  In fact, you can add in a new value to any empty field on any single record because the records themselves will not be used for anything else, other than carrying the data so that they may be used in Value Lists for the main system.

       

      It's a bit of a run around the barn, but it works great.  Has anyone else done something like this in a different less circuitous way that you would care to share?

       

      Thanks for your time and interest.

       

      - Michael 

        • 1. Re: IWP -- Users Not Able To Modify Drop Down Menus
          DLW-BPEX
            

          Michael,

          I see you are fast discovering more of the "niceties" of IWP :)  Actually, IWP can be very impressive in the right application. But it also can drive you crazy if you try to make it do too much.

           

          Anyway, if I understand your workaround correctly, I don't consider it really to be one. I have a contractor database solution in which I did that same thing -- and it is not even intended for IWP. In this case it is a list of Suppliers to which Expense items are assigned.

           

          As you probably know, a danger of Edit and Other as applied to value lists is that you can quickly end up with a bloated list of entries that includes multiple versions, tweaks, personal preferences, etc. that may make the value list essentially useless at some point -- especially in a multi-user setting.

           

          IMHO, having the value list be modifiable only indirectly (via the added fields) tends to make the user respect its integrity more. Still, the same danger can be there. It just lessens the temptation on the part of the user to "short-cut" the system.

           

          Regards,

          David 

          • 2. Re: IWP -- Users Not Able To Modify Drop Down Menus
            shudder
              

            Hi David --

             

            Actually I don't normally use either Edit or Other:  Generally I make the field self-referential and make it a Drop Down (while setting up a VL, I Use Values From Field and then click the Specify Field button in there and reference it to the same field I am setting the VL for), so that users can select an entry if it is there, or if it isn't, they simply type in a new value.  Thereafter, since the new value is now committed into a record it will always appear in the Drop Down.  I like that method -- never gotten into trouble with folks entering multiple revs of the same name...

             

            - Michael

             

            P.S.  IWP certainly does present some issues I would not have thought of.  Pages 27-29 in that PDF are indispensable! 

            • 3. Re: IWP -- Users Not Able To Modify Drop Down Menus
              DLW-BPEX
                

              Yes, it certainly does.

              I have found that by keeping in mind essentially how it works -- i.e., by rendering a page rather than connecting live to the db (if I got that right) -- it helps me to understand and even anticipate some of the limitations.