In the next release of OpenInsight we’ve added a new feature that allows you to quickly display runtime databinding information for the controls in your application – the aptly named SHOWDATABINDING method.
It’s a simple method that is supported by all controls, and can be invoked like so:
Call Exec_Method( CtrlEntID, "SHOWDATABINDING" )
If the control is bound to a database table then it displays a view-only dialog of data binding information for that control. The following example shows the information for a bound column in an EditTable control:
The Description, Validation, Heading and Formula attributes all have their own sub-dialog boxes to display their full details.
If the control is not databound a simple message is displayed to inform the user of the fact.
This method can easily be added to menu or contextmenu QuickEvents in your own applications if you wish to expose this information to your users, or just for your own diagnostic purposes.
Still on the topic of UI updates in the next release we also took a look at the Databinding dialog in the Form Designer, which had been in need of a make-over for some time. Based on user feedback we wanted to provide much more information when selecting columns and so applied this to the redesign, which now looks like this:
As you can see, there’s quite a few changes so here’s a brief description of the new features:
Typing in the Table box uses AutoComplete to provide a matching list of tables
Typing in the Column box auto-selects the first match in the list below
The list of columns includes the field position as well as the name
The list of columns can be sorted from options on the context menu:
Columns can be filtered by type (F or S)
Columns can be filtered so that only multi-valued columns are shown (this is the default for columns bound to an EditTable control)
Use the “No Column Selected” option to clear Databinding information from a control
The dialog is resizable and remembers the size between calls.
Summary information for each column can be seen in the grid control on the right (This is view-only and cannot be used to edit the details – this may change in a future update, but not this one).
Description, Formula, Validation and Heading can be expanded to see their full details
Hopefully this will provide a welcome improvement to working with data-bound forms in the next release.