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FastForms is Out of Options.

In a recent post, I mentioned that FastForms date fields should be avoided due to a critical bug.

Well, later in the project I discovered a few bugs with FastForms option boxes (also called radio buttons.) The first bug is relatively minor in that they always have to be oriented vertically, rather than horizontally like most of the standard M2M option boxes are displayed.

However, the second bug makes them exceedingly difficult to use. In fact, M2M support was not able to diagnose the problem and it took me nearly a week of investigation and headache to determine what was going on. The issue is that your search will intermittently not work when you have FF option boxes on a form. In my case, this was an Item Master customization and my users were telling me that searching for certain part numbers didn’t work, but we determined that browsing for them did.

Eventually, I used a profile trace and looked through the transactions that occurred when searching failed. Anyway, it turns out the problem is simple. Normally, when you search a form on M2M every single control goes blank and does so for a very good reason.

VFP

Item Master screen in search mode showing native M2M Option Box

If you enter anything into most of those cells, they get included in the search string to the database. However, the FastForms option boxes do NOT clear when you hit search so the values from the record before are included in the search. In other words, if the record you’re looking for doesn’t have the same field values for those option boxes as the one previously on screen, the search will fail. This is why my problem was intermittent. I did notice however, that even the native M2M option boxes do not clear, yet are not included in the search string.

So, what are my options? Well, I could write VBA code to clear those boxes whenever a search is selected or I could use the pull down combo boxes instead. I chose the most expedient option and went with the combo boxes.

4 comments to FastForms is Out of Options.

  • Scott

    Did you put in a CR?

    I appreciate the info, I haven’t used option boxes yet and now I don’t intend to. I would love to know how many development hours M2M is devoting to fixing FastForms errors. Perhaps we should start sending them a bill for the time spent diagnosing thier bugs.

  • Jason Griffith

    We’re not big on radio buttons over here either, but it’s good to know they only work vertically. That’s rather odd and more than a bit annoying if you ask me, but what can you do when your average CR wait time is 4 years and counting?

    Are the option boxes the only controls you’ve found that do not clear themselves on a search?

  • @Scott, yes I did but you know how that goes.

    @Jason, yes so far.

    I’m trying to log the major problems I’m noticing as I use the product more and more.

  • […] does not play well with option boxes or date fields. However, if you choose to use date fields anyway, you should know that they will […]

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