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Creating data entry screens has just become easier in 3.0! Now You can build dynamic pop-up menus, entry/exit procedures, and your own help lines
There's a lot to like about R:BASE 3.0 Forms. Microrim obviously listened to users when they upgraded the forms-based data-entry module. I devote this month's article to exploring 3.0 forms in detail.
First, R:BASE 3.0's Forms facility has a new name. What used to be "Forms Express" is now simply "Forms." Forms' user interface has also changed considerably and is consistent with the rest of R:BASE-bar and pull-down menus, dialog boxes, and mouse support. You can access the Forms module from the Main Menu under (what else?) the Forms option or from the command prompt using the FORMS command. Choosing Forms from the menu pulls down another menu with the names of any defined forms and the Create/modify option. Choose the name of a form to enter or edit data using that form. Choose Create/modify to define or change a form's definition. Entering FORMS at the command prompt is the same as choosing Create/modify from a menu.
The Create/modify option
As in previous versions of R:BASE, the initial Forms screen presents a menu (the Create/modify menu) that lets you create, modify, delete, rename, copy, or list forms. No surprises here. Choosing Create pulls down a menu with three choices: Quick form, Custom form, and Variable form. The Custom form option gives you the standard R:BASE form you're used to. Quick and Variable forms offer variations of this standard.
You can use the Quick form option to create a quick and dirty," single-table data entry form (version 2.11 of R:BASE for DOS had a version of quick forms available from Application Express). Quick form asks you to enter a name for the form and an optional description. You're then presented with a menu of tables. Once you've chosen a table, you're presented with a check-off menu that lists the columns in the chosen table. Choose each column (up to 19) using the Enter key. Use F2 to execute it. Voila! A quick form is created instantly. Once created, a quick form is no different from a regular R:BASE form. That means you can use this option to prototype forms and later use the Forms module to customize them to produce your final application.
Variable forms are back. They first appeared in R:BASE 5000 back in 1985. System V was then released in 1986 and "official" support for variable forms was dropped. Microrim reasoned that variable forms were no longer necessary since they added multi-table forms. However, unbeknownst to many users, variable forms were still in …