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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Form layouts, repeating sections, and automatic fields -- these are a few of my favorite things! When the dog bites ...

Don't worry, I haven't taken up singing. I'm just excited about all the new features included in Alpha Five Version 11. The dialogue component is a feature that we spent a little extra time on, and even though we've done a few feature peeks on it in the past, I wanted to provide an overview with the highlights.

The dialogue builder allows you to build a form layout to collect values from the user. When the user submits the data, you're free to use it in any way. For example, you might store the data in a table, or include it in an email.

The dialogue builder allows you to create something that we call "repeating sections." These are ideal when you are creating forms that have one-to-many (i.e. master-detail) relationships.

Office folks, this one's for you: Use the "repeating sections" to create any type of form -- such as invoices, expense reports, or anything else you need to organize.

While the Alpha Five grid component assumes that it has a data connection to a SQL or DBF database, the dialogue component doesn't assume anything about data binding. Each control is just a control, and if you want to load or save the contents of any control or of the whole dialogue, you may.

Now, if you happen to be binding the dialogue with a database, we've come up with a number of genies and shortcuts that can help you automate the process. You can automatically add fields to the dialogue based on a table; map dialogue fields to fields in multiple tables; and generate SQL code to properly create, read, update, and delete records.

Be sure to keep a look out for the feature peeks posted here, and subscribe to the Alpha Five newsletter for more on the new dialogue component!

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