This documentation supports the 22.1 version of Action Request System.
To view an earlier version, select the version from the Product version menu.

Creating display-only forms

You can create display-only forms for various purposes. This topic provides tips for creating these forms, and examples of how you can use them. You can create display-only forms that work in New mode and Search mode in a browser. For general information, see Defining forms to hold and display data.

Using a display-only form as a dialog box

Dialog boxes require user interaction and are useful when you want to:

  • Prompt users for confirmation.
  • Implement a main-detail (or parent-child) relationship between forms where users can edit the main form using a details dialog box.
  • Reuse a form in a variety of ways.
  • Embed a table that lists options from which users can select.
  • Provide a way for users to edit or view a rarely used set of fields, and thus avoid cluttering the main form.
  • Provide a way for users to view or edit a set of fields that handle complex calculations of multiple components.

To define a dialog box, use the following active link actions with the Window Type set to Dialog:

Action

Description

Open Window

Sets the Open Window action to open a dialog box from a parent form. This action also defines what data is transferred from the parent form to the dialog box when the dialog box opens, and what data is transferred from the dialog box back to the parent form when the Commit Changes action occurs--usually when the user clicks an OK button or the dialog box closes.

Commit Changes

Changes the fields in the parent form to the values that the user specifies in the dialog box. The data from the dialog box is written to the parent form based on the mapping you created for the On Close mode in the Field Mapping region when setting the Open Window active link action. Changes are usually committed with the OK button on the dialog box. You might also want to create an Apply button that commits changes without closing the dialog box.

Close Window

Closes the active dialog box. The Close Window action usually occurs immediately after the Commit Changes action or as the active link action associated with Cancel occurs. For information about active links, see Defining Close Window active link actions.

Using a display-only form as a control panel

A display-only form can be used as a centralized entry point from which users select the tasks they want to accomplish. This is called a control panel, and it might include tasks from a variety of functional areas such as Help Desks, Employee Services, and Asset Tracking. Users select a functional area from the control panel and fill in data on the form related to the specific task. 

In this figure, the buttons on the display-only form act as entry points to multiple underlying forms.

When using a display-only form as a control panel in an application, set the control panel form as the primary form. Consider hiding the Details Pane Banner of control panels so that users are not distracted by banner buttons. 

To create a simple dialog box

In the example, a button named Enter Serial Number is created on the parent form. When the user clicks this button, a confirmation dialog box (display-only form) appears to allow the user to enter a serial number and click OK. An active link returns the value to the parent form. For more information about active links, see Workflow objects.

  1. On the parent form, create a button named Enter Serial Number from which you want to open the dialog box, and save the parent form.
    For more information about buttons, see Button fields.
  2. Create a display-only form with the following fields:
    • A character field representing the entry field
      For example, if the user must enter the serial number of a product, create a field labeled "Serial Number."
    • An OK button
    • A Cancel button
      You can add additional fields to a dialog box, but they will be display-only fields.
  3. Create an active link that will launch the display-only form (dialog box).
    1. In AR System Navigator, expand serverName> All Objects.
    2. Right-click Active Links, and select New Active Link.
    3. On the Associated Forms panel, click Add, and add the parent form that contains the Enter Serial Number button, which will open the display-only form.
    4. On the Execution Options panel, in the Button/Menu Field field, enter the name of the button.
    5. Right-click the If Actions panel heading, and select Add Action > Open Window.
    6. On the Open Window sub-panel, complete the following fields as follows:

      In this field:

      Enter:

      Window Type

      Dialog

      Data Source

      SERVER

      Server Name

      (The name of server that contains the display-only form)

      Form Name

      (The name of the display-only form)

      View Name

      (The name of view for display-only form)

    7. If you want the field to be automatically populated when the display-only form opens, enter the field's name in the Field column, and enter a value in the Value column in the On Dialog Open Action area.
    8. Under On Dialog Close Action, enter the field from the parent form that you want populated from the display-only form's Serial Number field.
    9. Click the Value pane at the selection point, enter the field whose value you want transferred to the parent form when the display-only form closes.
      In this example, the field is Serial Number.
    10. Save the active link.
  4. Create an active link that executes when the user clicks the OK button on the dialog box. Creating this workflow transfers information from the Serial Number field on the dialog box to a field on the parent form.
    1. Create a new active link.
    2. On the Associated Forms panel, click Add, and add the display-only form (dialog box).
    3. On the Execution Options panel, in the Button/Menu Field field, enter the name of the button that users will click to confirm their entry in the display-only form.
      In this example, the button name is OK.
    4. Right-click the If Actions panel heading, and select Add Action > Commit Changes.
      The Commit Changes subpanel appears under the If Actions panel.
    5. Right-click the If Actions panel heading, and select Add Action > Close Window.
    6. On the Close Window subpanel, from the State list, select Close Current.
    7. Save the active link.
  5. Create an active link that executes when the user clicks Cancel. This action simply closes the dialog box without returning any values.
    1. Create a new active link.
    2. On the Associated Forms panel, click Add, and add the display-only form (dialog box).
    3. On the Execution Options panel, in the Button/Menu Field field, enter the name of the button that users will click to confirm their entry in the display-only form.
      In this example, the button name is Cancel.
    4. Right-click the If Actions panel heading, and select Add Action > Close Window.
      The Close Window subpanel appears under the If Actions panel.
    5. From the State list, select Close Current.
    6. Save the active link.
  6. Set the correct permissions for the forms and active links so that your users can operate them successfully.
    For information about permissions, see Assigning permissions to access objects and requests.
    For additional examples of using buttons that open dialog boxes, open the Sample:ClassCentral form that is installed with AR System , and click the Enroll tab.
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