13 Replies Latest reply on May 27, 2017 2:05 PM by embeco

    Data Entry Problems

    embeco

      My application has many data intensive screens. The user fills in many fields and most screens have a Comment field which is a large text field. She has no problems entering data into the smaller fields but when she goes to type into the comment field many times she cannot enter text. The cursor is there but nothing she enters on the keyboard is displayed. If she gets out of the box and back into the box sometimes she can then enter data. But many times it takes two or three times before text can be entered. Needless to say this is slowing down data entry.

      This application does import up to 30 pictures to be related to the main Inspection record. There are 9 "Section" screens also related to the main Inspection record where most of the data entry is performed.

      I have asked that she perform a System Mechanic run to eliminate all of the windows temp files and sometimes this helps but does not solve the problem. The computer is not connected to the internet when recording inspection data.

      Is there a trick to entering large amounts of text into a data intensive system? Is there another type of field that I should be using?

       

      PS I am getting a "Security Certificate Error" on this website.

        • 1. Re: Data Entry Problems
          siplus

          embeco wrote:

           

          My application has many data intensive screens. The user fills in many fields and most screens have a Comment field which is a large text field. She has no problems entering data into the smaller fields but when she goes to type into the comment field many times she cannot enter text. The cursor is there but nothing she enters on the keyboard is displayed. If she gets out of the box and back into the box sometimes she can then enter data.

           

           

          Windows or Mac ? Field triggers ? Solution shared on a server or else ?

           

          Your screenshot does not point to anything I would call intensive.

           

          This might be considered intesive:

          • 2. Re: Data Entry Problems
            embeco

            Windows 10 dedicated laptop no internet access at time of use.

             

             

             

            All "Comments" fields have Drop-down Lists from another "Value List" table.

            This allows the user to be able to change the Value List entries.

             

             

             

            These fields also have Script Triggers: If the user enters a "~" in the

            first character a script will run that allows the user to modify this value

            list for future use.

             

             

             

            The value lists pop up quickly. Many times the value list entry is only part

            of the comments. It is when the user places the cursor at the end of the

            value list entry and she goes to add more text manually that she runs into

            trouble.

             

             

             

            I have noticed that if she can't enter text immediately but waits for 15-20

            seconds she is then usually able to enter data. This tells me that the

            database is processing and has to catch up before she can enter text. This

            does not seem to be a problem on the other fields on the screen.

             

             

             

            The user is on the other end of a house inspector's walkie talkie, filling

            in information as it is told to her and it comes to her in pieces. But at

            the comments box she usually has a lot of info to add at one time.

             

             

             

            If FileMaker would allow system value lists to be altered by the users I

            could avoid a lot of complexity.

             

             

             

            Thanks for any help.

            • 3. Re: Data Entry Problems
              Philip_Jaffe

              Would you be able to post your solution here?  It would be much easier and faster to diagnose.

              • 4. Re: Data Entry Problems
                Philip_Jaffe

                Based on what you have said, I suspect your problem lies in how you are implementing value lists.

                 

                All "Comments" fields have Drop-down Lists from another "Value List" table.

                This allows the user to be able to change the Value List entries.

                This seems odd for comments to use drop-down lists.

                 

                These fields also have Script Triggers: If the user enters a "~" in the

                first character a script will run that allows the user to modify this value

                list for future use.

                This script trigger - is it OnObjectKeystroke, by chance?

                 

                If FileMaker would allow system value lists to be altered by the users I

                could avoid a lot of complexity.

                It does allow this.  I think you are not understanding how/when to use value lists and when other methods should be used.

                • 5. Re: Data Entry Problems
                  philmodjunk

                  "This seems odd for comments to use drop-down lists."

                   

                  Don't know why that would seem odd. Often, you have certain frequently used comments that you put into your value list but then also enter text directly for other comments unique to the current record. A drop down list is made to order for this.

                   

                  I doubt that it's the value list. My guess is that it's your triggered script.

                   

                  You might consider a custom values list with the Edit option enabled as an alternative to your script trigger. This is an option that allows users to edit the values used in the list.

                  • 6. Re: Data Entry Problems
                    Philip_Jaffe

                    Maybe it's just not my taste.  I never use them that way.

                     

                    In any event, I think it's the script trigger too.

                    • 7. Re: Data Entry Problems
                      embeco

                      “You might consider a custom values list with the Edit option enabled as an alternative to your script trigger. This is an option that allows users to edit the values used in the list. “

                       

                      I have built value list tables for each major section “Foundation Values”, Kitchen Values” etc.

                       

                       

                       

                      How would you setup “Custom Values List” and turn on the Edit option. I’m on FM15 Advanced and have been told that there is no way for the users to edit FM value lists with Runtime. Does your approach involve Value tables? I would appreciate being pointed in the right direction.

                       

                       

                       

                      Thanks  

                      • 8. Re: Data Entry Problems
                        embeco

                        Yes it is OnObjectKeystroke. If it would save her time I could pull the

                        Script Trigger and develop another method for editing the value tables that

                        I have developed outside of the data entry screens.

                        • 9. Re: Data Entry Problems
                          philmodjunk

                          You previously stated:

                          "If FileMaker would allow system value lists to be altered by the users I could avoid a lot of complexity."

                           

                          But it did not indicate that this was a run time solution. Have you tried selecting the edit option in the inspector?

                          If that doesn't work invrunbtimes, you can put a button next to your field for adding values.

                           

                          But you might also post your script here for others to look at to see if we can spot a reason for the delay and find a way to avoid it.

                          • 10. Re: Data Entry Problems
                            embeco

                            The OnObjectKeystroke script ("Update Value List" is attached.

                             

                             

                             

                            I have tried to enter text into 29 different comment fields distributed

                            throughout the system. 90% of the entries work the first time. I have logged

                            which fields did not allow entry. When starting over with a new record the 8

                            or 9 fields not accepting data for the previous record were in completely

                            different fields this time and most of the fields not accepting data for the

                            previous record accepted data for this record. It is totally random.

                             

                             

                             

                            Below each "Comment" field there is a "Scratch Pad" text field. This

                            facilitates adding multiple drop downs for the comment field. I have found

                            in 99% of the cases that when the comment field won't allow text, if the

                            user will go down to the Scratch Pad and select a drop down (duplicate drop

                            downs of the comment field) and then returns the cursor to the comments

                            field, text will now be accepted.

                             

                             

                             

                            It makes no difference if there is text already in the comment field or not

                            as to whether the field will accept data.

                             

                             

                             

                            The user currently has about 2 GB of data for 256 inspections. Reducing

                            inspections down to 30 for a test files has no effect on this problem.

                             

                             

                             

                            I have removed the OnObjectKeystroke from a sample comment field and the

                            problem still presents itself.

                             

                             

                             

                            I have not set any permissions for the system and the script privileges are

                            set to modify all. The user account is ADMIN with unlimited privileges.

                             

                             

                             

                            The drop downs work perfectly. It is only when the user wants to add text to

                            this field does this problem occur and then only infrequently to randomly

                            different fields.

                            • 11. Re: Data Entry Problems
                              philmodjunk

                              Nevertheless, your script could use a lot of improvement. That "replace field contents" step will definitely create a pause while it updates data and you don't need it. That won't affect the issue you are reporting as it only trips when you press ~, but it still could use some improvement as you shouldn't need to use replace field contents to update the values used in a "use values from field" value list. You need only: a) check that the value is not already in the list and b) add a new record with the new value to the value list table if it is not already in the list.

                               

                              IsEmpty ( FIlterValues ( ValueListItems ( "" ; "YourValueListNameHere" ) ; NewValue ) )

                               

                              will be true if the value is not already in the list.

                               

                              Try re-indexing the file.

                               

                              The simplest way to re-index all fields in a file that have indexes is to:

                               

                              Launch FileMaker without opening the file.

                              Select "Recover" from the File menu and select this file as the file to recover.

                              Selected the "advanced recover" options and select these two options:

                              Copy File Blocks As IS

                              Rebuild Indexes Now

                               

                              The recovered copy will be identical to the original except that the indexes have been rebuilt. See if behavior changes on that recovered copy.

                              • 12. Re: Data Entry Problems
                                embeco

                                Thanks for the help. I'll look into cleaning it up.

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                I did do trials by waiting when I couldn't enter text into comments. It

                                didn't make any difference how long I waited. Text could still not be

                                entered.

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                Your "Allow editing of value list" comment: Mine are greyed out for my

                                comments fields because they are in tables (not in the FM system). I did

                                this so when I release a new version of the program my user doesn't lose all

                                of her updates she has made since the last release. Is there a better way of

                                retaining value list contents?

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                I should probably force the problem and then see through Task Manager if FM

                                is out there plugging away or something or if it is waiting also.

                                • 13. Re: Data Entry Problems
                                  embeco

                                  I just noticed that if I place the cursor in a comment (or other) field and

                                  can't enter text: If I Alt-Tab to another app and Alt-Tab back to FM I can

                                  then enter text. Curiouser and curiouser.