Setting Subform Links in ChemFinder 7.0.3

Jim Dill  14-15 Mar 02

The 7.0 Version

In ChemFinder 7, when you want to set up a link between a form and a subform, you do it in the Subform Properties dialog:

First you select a field of the main table by clicking in the tree control, and its name is displayed in the "Parent field" box.  Then you select the related subtable field from the dropdown.  Simple.

Nobody likes this scheme.  It's not clear what to do, nomenclature is inconsistent and unfamiliar, it's easily possible to goof up, and there's that pointless icon.  We can make it better with a day's work, so that's what we're doing today.

The 7.0.3 Version

In 7.0.3, here's what replaces that dialog:

In this one:

3/23/02: This scheme is ready for testing.

Followup (15 Mar 02)

There were some bugs in the initial implementation of the new scheme.  Fixes were committed.

Stew responded to the above with this helpful message:

This doesn't address my main point of confusion, which is how to set the table to be displayed in the subform.

What I think you have to do today is use the subform tool to add a subform, then right-click in the body of the subfomr to change which table it's attached to, then click OK, and right-click in the title bar to set the linking fields. Sometimes I accidentally set the data source when clicking the title bar of the subform, and change the main form table.

To solve this problem, I think you need to do two things:

1. Make properties and data source for clicking the title bar and the subform background bring up the same set of tabs with the same set of options. They might possibly start in different tabs. The concept of a distinction between the subform title bar (which is conceptually part of the main form) and the subform itself is very, very confusing.

2. Make it possible to set the subform source table and the two linking fields from a single tab.


Suppose a right-click on either the interior of a subform or its header brings up the same dialog.  Its Form tab must to the subform, Database and Table tabs (and tree control) to the subform's data source.  The Field tab would have to work as it does on a main form: if a box was clicked to bring up the dialog, then its field is described in this tab; if no box was clicked --- or if the dialog was brought up by a click on the subform header --- then there is no selected field, and the Field tab is useless.  The Subform tab would be used for entering linking info, via dropdowns --- in this case, it might not work to use the tree control to select a link field.

I have more thoughts on this, but decided to postpone any further change until after 7.0.2.

Copyright 2002 CambridgeSoft Corp. All Rights Reserved.
Proprietary and confidential to CambridgeSoft Corp.
Last updated: 06/15/2002
Pagekeeper:  Jim

[ ChemFinder | R&D ]