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PHP Mysql Creating a Subform

P: n/a
Hi,
I need help developing an expanding form
I've decided that a use of PHP, Mysql and Javascript is the best platform
for creating a selection of database interfaces which I'm trying to build
for my company. I had been using Microsoft Access, but obviously this
requires licenses for every machine. BUT.....
I'm look for an easy way of recreating subforms. I'm trying to create a
Purchase Order system and in Access I did this by using a subform (listing
the items on order) on a form (detailing the order information). In this
environment whenever you added a new item into the items section a new set
of dialog boxes woud appear for you to put another item in should you
require it, i.e. you could enter infinite items!
Whilst I've seen scripts that make forms dynamic they seem to wipe the
information already entered onto the form in order to update how many dialog
boxes are displayed.

Any ideas on this one would be greatly appreciated, any similar systems out
there?

Many Thanks
Matthew
Jul 23 '05 #1
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"Matthew Clubb" <ma**@mwclubb.co.uk> skrev i meddelandet
news:cp*******************@news.demon.co.uk...
Hi,
I need help developing an expanding form
I've decided that a use of PHP, Mysql and Javascript is the best platform
for creating a selection of database interfaces which I'm trying to build
for my company. I had been using Microsoft Access, but obviously this
requires licenses for every machine. BUT.....
I'm look for an easy way of recreating subforms. I'm trying to create a
Purchase Order system and in Access I did this by using a subform (listing
the items on order) on a form (detailing the order information). In this
environment whenever you added a new item into the items section a new set
of dialog boxes woud appear for you to put another item in should you
require it, i.e. you could enter infinite items!
Whilst I've seen scripts that make forms dynamic they seem to wipe the
information already entered onto the form in order to update how many dialog boxes are displayed.

Any ideas on this one would be greatly appreciated, any similar systems out there?


Dunno what a subform is. But you could have a <select> list wired to a bunch
of form controls. Add and remove things in the <select>, display the
values/options with the controls. This would all be a lot easier if the
options are the same for all items (quantity, colour and shipping, say), but
if you have different options for different type items, you could
dynamically insert/delete form elements as required (with DOM). Or stuff
sets of form controls into <span>s which you hide/show as appropriate. Or
maybe have an iframe system where a form is generated server-side. In any
case, you wouldn't have to display a popup window.

You would perhaps do well to think about a generalized system for generating
forms dynamically server-side based on, for instance, fields in a MySQL
query/database table. That way you don't keep custom-building stuff where
the requirements are really quite similar. A PHP system that auto-generates
HTML forms based on MySQL table structure isn't at all difficult to
implement.

Joakim Braun
Jul 23 '05 #2

P: n/a
You will probably find that writing a PHP / MySQL application is very
different process than working in access. What you need to bear in mind
is that the client with a web application does not maintain a persistent
connection to the server. Doing the sort of thing (i think) you are
describing is in fact quite impossible. You will not be able to save
state between page loads with fields that are not submitted to the
server side scripting.

I can't solve your design issue in a short message, especially not
without seeing what you are doing, but in general, here's some tips to
designing a web application.

1. Think about your data dependencies. Figure out what data needs to be
entered before other data can be entered.

2. Build multiple forms across different pages to enter data. Usually
this means one form to one database table. Not always, but usually.

3. Develop your interface so that users enter data in an order that is
consistent with data dependencies. If an order, for instance, needs a
company record, have the application display the form to enter the
company record first.

4. Think out of the box. Web applications are weird critters and do not
always lend themselves to the most intuitive ways of doing things. The
technology is in fact limited.

You may do better trying to write a more conventional client/server
application. A Java, Visual Basic, or even PHP GTK-based client might be
a more approprate way to interface with your MySQL server to what you
want to do. Since you're doing this yourself, you may want to stick with
what you already know. There are also ways to use Flash to build
portable browser-based clients that interface with PHP scripts. Don't
get me wrong. I make my living building browser-based PHP web apps, but
not everything can be solved with a web app.

Best of luck!
Matthew Clubb wrote:
Hi,
I need help developing an expanding form
I've decided that a use of PHP, Mysql and Javascript is the best platform
for creating a selection of database interfaces which I'm trying to build
for my company. I had been using Microsoft Access, but obviously this
requires licenses for every machine. BUT.....
I'm look for an easy way of recreating subforms. I'm trying to create a
Purchase Order system and in Access I did this by using a subform (listing
the items on order) on a form (detailing the order information). In this
environment whenever you added a new item into the items section a new set
of dialog boxes woud appear for you to put another item in should you
require it, i.e. you could enter infinite items!
Whilst I've seen scripts that make forms dynamic they seem to wipe the
information already entered onto the form in order to update how many dialog
boxes are displayed.

Any ideas on this one would be greatly appreciated, any similar systems out
there?

Many Thanks
Matthew

Jul 23 '05 #3

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