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Friends Don’t Let Friends Use FastForms Date Fields

Over the past year I have become quite proficient using FastForms to customize Made2Manage screens and adding functionality to the core product.

However, FastForms has significant problems and drawbacks including:

  1. The FastForms editor has a clunky, unintuitive interface.
  2. Stability problems abound in both the FastForms screen and with it’s functionality in M2M.
  3. Tab Indexes, the order in which controls are sequenced when you press TAB, only partially work.
  4. You shouldn’t design FastForms in your production company, yet the export and import of these customizations from a test company isn’t always successful either.

I’ve created about half a dozen change requests myself with this product. I recently ran across some problems with FastForms date fields including a critical bug. The first problem, which is relatively minor, is that you must format them (by controlling their width) not to show the time portion of the Date/Time field. This is annoying but can be worked around. The second problem is critical because it prevents their use entirely.

I recently performed a customization to the Item Master screen (INV). A couple of the fields were going to be Date/Time fields and one of them would indicate when the part was created. In my testing I found that I got an error when I entered realistic dates into the INMAST extension fields.

VFP

In other words, if the date in the FastForms date field falls outside the recommended range of plus or minus three years, the user gets a strange error when editing anything on the INV screen. Obviously, this is not a solution. What is the solution then? Create a character field in the database instead and use a regular textbox to store the date. This is not an optimal solution as the character field requires more than twice the number of bytes of storage as a date/time field.

All of this is reflected in the change request 159797.

Have any of you encountered other critical bugs?

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