Format Control processes

There are eight major functional processes in Format Control that define the actions to be taken on a record. Each of these processes has a separate form within the Format Control Utility.

Main information — This form is the entry point in Format Control and has several functions.

  • Initializes fields or variables that are later used in the Format Control record. Initialization expressions are the first operation performed for each evaluation of a Format Control record.
  • Initially displays a value in a field when the record itself opens.
  • Names special record list and initial query forms to use, sets up default sort sequences, and runs scripts.

Forms — This section in Format Control has two main functions:

  • Specify alternate forms to display a list of records.
    Note: This option cannot be used when the Record List (split screen) functionality is enabled.
  • Specify alternate forms to display a single record.

The formatcontrol option allows you to display the information using different Service Manager forms based on conditions evaluated at run time. You can specify either QBE Forms to display a list of records or Alternate Forms to display a record. You may want to specify different lists according to the user role or capabilities.

By specifying alternate forms, whenever the condition is met, the user will have an option available called "Alternate Forms" where the user can select the form to use to display the information. Additional forms are useful to display different views such as financial or security information when the condition specified is met.

Queries — This process enables you to extract information from a file other than the primary file in order to perform calculations and validations and to report on information from more than one file.

Calculations — This process enables you to perform calculations on currently available fields or variables. The fields needed for calculations may be variables, fields in the primary file, or fields in any other secondary files that may have been queried.

JavaScript — This process enables you to call JavaScripts from Format Control.

Validations — This process enables you to set up a logical expression for checking data in fields or variables on the form. The validation expression you set up must evaluate to true upon the desired edit function for it to be successful. If the expression does not evaluate to true, a validation message opens, and the specified operation fails.

Subroutines — This process enables you to call RAD routines from Format Control.

Additional options — This process enables you to define menu options you want available to users on any form associated with the particular Format Control record. You can use Format Control to set up a menu option called Validity Lookup. This option performs a validity check on the field of focus in the form for which validity specifications have been defined. Invalid fields are highlighted and a message is displayed in the status bar giving details on the type of error incurred.
Note: This feature calls RAD subroutines and is available in Database Manager only.

Privileges — This process enables you to use security to control database options available to the user. If the contents of a field evaluate to true at processing time, the corresponding button is available to the user.

Related concepts

Format Control