Data Aware Form Designer

After Open Sourcing the first release of Shorts Report Designer I started thinking about the other side of the database equation i.e.: forms and general information. I wanted to come up with something easy enough for new database users but powerful enough for experienced users. The main goal is to be able to display individual fields as well as related lists (similar to FileMaker portals). Another goal is to minimize recordset sizes by only getting the information required by the form. I’ve roughed it out enough to show and am hoping for some feedback. The idea is to be able to quickly create data aware forms for display and editing of database records.

Short 4.5 minute demo video

I have a pretty good to do list but am looking for ideas from others before moving forward.

Very cool!

I am working on something like that for web access:

Nice! One thing you might want to implement is supporting views, not just tables. Fieldnames in tables and table names for that matter are rarely user-friendly.

Views are supported. You must have missed the (unexpanded) view section in the video.

Once I have the components fully working the forms will be created in a drag and drop designer. The designer will build a form definition which can be used within the running app or exported. The exported definitions can be sent to a client and used without the need for recompiling.

nice image… but what is the APP behind it?

the “made with xojo” app I’m currently developping … :wink: - currently late alpha stage
it will include a form designer that will generate directly the xojo window object in xml

[quote=231989:@Jean-Yves Pochez]the “made with xojo” app I’m currently developping … :wink: - currently late alpha stage
it will include a form designer that will generate directly the xojo window object in xml[/quote]

Very nice. I was also unsure what the picture represented.

Hi @Peter Fargo , very nice!, you really take a look to MVC paradigm, as you see, all begins on model and the model is a class of table, basically, like ActiveRecord, You most aware of updates, the database updates are needed (add fields, delete or change properties of a field) a good tool needs some like update model, and of course, versioning!! like RubyOnRails.

Hope your move forward!!

PS: nice maze too.

There may be some confusion as to where I’m headed with this. The form editor will not require a trip to the IDE in order to be usable within a live app. The design process will be interactive within the application. The form spec is JSON so it will be simple to provide hooks within a client app to use the resulting forms. I still have to wire up the property list which duplicate the appropriate IDE properties within the designer.

This short clip (1 minute) gives a better feel for things.


That is awesome Peter, looks fantastic.

I already have a feature request though! :slight_smile:

That great “create labels for fields” feature, can there be an easy to use filter function or event so that the resultant label text can be modified on creation? (if it doesn’t exist already)

I can see many scenarios that this would be useful and you couldn’t/shouldn’t cover by default, such as “customers.first_name” => “Customer First Name” and then all the different rules that various languages have.

@Ian Jones - Here are some configuration options. When you drag and drop fields any options selected will be applied. The replace checkbox will apply any options you enter in the replace listbox. You can always manually modify the label column as well.

Fantastic @Peter Fargo! Looks great, much better than the developer orientated solution I was thinking of.

@Ian Jones : I fully agree, unfortunately in a web app things are a little harder to achieve.

@Peter Fargo : Could you borrow me a small percentage of your talent? Your app looks great and just as Ian said, the user oriented solution is very clever designed!