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System Add-ins: Advanced Find

Our team have just finished the latest upgrade of our Advanced Find add-in and on seeing the result prompted me to write a series on some of the more interesting add-ins we have built. So in this series I will be showing you them and hopefully explaining the how's, when's and why's in using them.

So, predictibly, our first add-in will be the advanced find.

We have always provided a find facility for all of our forms, its very basic but gets the job done and is very quick to deploy.

However some clients wanted more than a simple find. When initially developing the advanced find we found we came up with a solution that was ideal, however it required lots of programming every time to implement. So each time we implemented it, the process was relatively complex, time consuming and not cost efficient to the client.

We then set a goal: The goal was to have the advanced find deployment to be as quick to do as our standard find. We achieved this at the end of August. The following image will show the advanced find and I will take you through its features. I won't be able to show you how fast it is to deploy however, so you will have to take our word for it.

There are three sections to the advanced find.

Starting from the top just below the title is a row of blue buttons. Other than acting as titles for the columns they also provide the facility to sort the column. Each time it is pressed it toggles the sort from ascending to descending.

Next is the row of yellow input controls. It is in these that you type text to be searched on. Each time you type a letter, the list below adjusts to match what was typed. It is perfectly permissable to type a few characters in one input control and type some more in another.

Finally there is the list it self which is a list of all the the records in the associated form from where the advanced find was initiated. It adjusts in response to the users actions as described earlier. As the user types, the list shrinks until the desired record appears. At this point, the user can select the record which will move the underlying form to that record and will automatically close the advanced find form ( if 'Exit on Find' is ticked).

Well that all from me. See you in a month when the topic will be System Add-ins: User customisable Help.


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