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Question about detail forms.

I am developing a business app using asp.net that will have 2 different
types of forms, a list view of data and then a detail view. The list views
are placed on a content panel in a master page. The user can then click an
Add button or edit button to add or modify an item in the list. My question
is what is the best way to handle a detail form? Should the detail form
appear in place of the list view in the content panel of the master page or
should the detail form be a pop up for the user to enter information, save
the data, close the form and return back to the list view? Any reason why
one way is preferable over the other, both from the programmers standpoint
and from the users?

Thanks
Bill

Jan 2 '08 #1
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1 Reply
This is a real "it depends" type of answer.

If you are dealing with small amounts of data, especially from a single
form, allowing edit with the list showing is okay. If you are drilling down
into a variety of tables, however, or the amount of data is extensive, it is
generally better to show the list separately from the details, as the list
can end up as a distraction. If you go this route, make sure you have some
way to "cancel" back to the list rather than force the user to update
information when he clicks the wrong link (or worse, use the back button).

The best way to answer the question is to stop thinking about the technology
and imagine a person doing this without a computer. If you find they would
probably look through a paper report and then pull a file, the details are
better separated from the list. If they would, instead, cross out
information on the report, add notes and hand it to someone to change the
information in their file and reprint the report, then details and list on
the same page are fine.

Software is about intent. Think about how the business intends to handle it
and then reflect intent in the coding.

--
Gregory A. Beamer
MVP, MCP: +I, SE, SD, DBA

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"BillG" <bi*******@charter.netwrote in message
news:D4**********************************@microsof t.com...
>I am developing a business app using asp.net that will have 2 different
types of forms, a list view of data and then a detail view. The list views
are placed on a content panel in a master page. The user can then click an
Add button or edit button to add or modify an item in the list. My
question is what is the best way to handle a detail form? Should the
detail form appear in place of the list view in the content panel of the
master page or should the detail form be a pop up for the user to enter
information, save the data, close the form and return back to the list
view? Any reason why one way is preferable over the other, both from the
programmers standpoint and from the users?

Thanks
Bill

Jan 3 '08 #2

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