Using the Tab feature on Aspects

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Using the Tab feature on Aspects

Postby SamT » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:55 am

Good Morning All,

I wondered if using the Tab feature on Aspects should be avoided or do they behave themselves ?

I am looking to put subforms on to them to display related data.

Your experiences would be appreciated

Many thanks

Sam
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Re: Using the Tab feature on Aspects

Postby Gil Fleming » Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:15 am

Sam, AVOID.

I thought that the tab control was a gift from heaven when I first started working with ffenics. We used it on one of our central information areas, linking subform tabs for formulation, safety data sheet, manufacturing record, quality control data etc.

Tab controls, in my experience, behave badly. Lots of GPF crashes, fields disappearing, forms becoming corrupt and so on. With 1 exception, we have now turned our tabbed forms into flat screens. Not as neat, but dependable and stable. Having said that, I think they are a great idea. If they were stable, I would definitely look at them again, as they make for a very neat and compact design.
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Re: Using the Tab feature on Aspects

Postby SamT » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:07 pm

Thanks Gil, In the back of my mind I thought there was a reason why I have not used them in the past.
You are right if they behaved they really would improve the look and functionality of my forms.
They would also help beacuse the data included on the tab if not the current selected tab is not "visibile" when searching the main aspect.
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Re: Using the Tab feature on Aspects

Postby Graham Smith » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:20 pm

They are fussy and have some eccentricities, but I've been using them for subforms for quite a while now and have more or less come to terms with them.

I will suggest that you take some time to experiment with them on backup copies of aspects. And know what you want to do first - don't just start flailing around. To be honest, I only use them in certain limited circumstances and it's been long enough since I had to set one up that I would have to think it through.

One thing I do recall is that they can be a real PITA to setup a subform on.
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Re: Using the Tab feature on Aspects

Postby SamT » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:50 am

Thanks Graham. I think its a "proceed with caution and lots of testing" with Tabs before including in my live app"
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Re: Using the Tab feature on Aspects

Postby Gil Fleming » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:14 am

Sam, they can take a long time to get right and can consume a lot of development time, which is wasted if the form becomes toxic. Therefore, as you develop them, do lots of save as stages, so you might have versions such as ProductionTabMaterials1, ProductionTabMaterialsQuality2 etc (this method gives you a descriptor and a sequence number), or you can just add a date/time code to each save as, then keep a log of the working parts you've added at each version. Also, after each save as, exit the form and then reopen it. We had occasions where the form was edited with no problems, then caused a gpf when trying to reopen. As a result, we followed the standard procedure of save as/close form/reopen form.

Sounds like I'm trying to kick tab controls to death. I'm not. They can look great but sometimes, especially when you are trying to build a key part of your system, they aren't worth the heartache. :?
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Re: Using the Tab feature on Aspects

Postby Graham Smith » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:49 pm

Tabs and Multiboxes are not "native" to Ffenics - they were adapted to fit (or at least that's my understanding). The biggest hassle with tabs are subforms, which is a pity since that is what I find them most useful for.

As I said, it's been quite a while since I actually had to add one; but as I recall, the biggest issue is that there is no way to place a subform that only has a few fields in it. I know I found a way to make them work, but it would take some experimenting to figure it out. You might want to search old threads in the forum to see what you can find.
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Re: Using the Tab feature on Aspects

Postby SamT » Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:02 pm

Thanks Chaps
Invaluable tips. I think in hindsight the risk is too great to include them in my app especially since the time I have to develop so limited. I would much rather have a ugly but stable Aspect. Its a shame they cannot be trusted. Maybe we should ask Pete to put them on his list of improvements
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