Design Forms for Steppers

The form/collections used in steppers must be carefully designed keeping in mind the user experience, and should include relevant form fields/columns.

Required Attributes for Steppers

For data authoring purposes, certain attributes are required in the form used in the steppers:

  • The entity primary key attribute is usually recommended. Depending on the entity type and context, the appropriate attribute is automatically displayed. See below for more information.

  • It is also recommended to include the mandatory fields in the data authoring forms unless null values are automatically handled by enrichers and triggers. Otherwise, mandatory value validation may reject data.

  • If the entity references another entity, it is recommended to include the reference (the foreign display name attribute) to enable attaching a record to its parent. For example an employee is attached to a cost center and a manager. The corresponding FDN_CostCenter and FDN_Manager attributes should be added to the form used to author the employee, for example to assign the employee to a specific cost center or manager.

Read-Only and Hidden Attributes

When a form is used for the purpose of data authoring, read-only fields appear as not editable. In the same context, certain attributes are automatically hidden:

  • Attributes from related entities. For example, a form attribute defined with AccountManager.FirstName for a Customer entity will not appear in data authoring on the customer form, as it refers to a related entity. When browsing, it will show a given customer’s account manager name.

  • Attributes that use a computed SemQL expression. For example, a form attribute defined with CustomerName will allow for inputting this attribute’s value. If you define the form attribute with UPPER(CustomerName), it will appear when browsing and display the customer name in uppercase, but will disappear when the form is used for data authoring.

ID Generation in Steppers

The ID generation method defined for the entity is managed at a level in a stepper and forces certain rules in the step and form design.

  • If the ID requires a user input (Manual or SemQL):

    • The first form step under the collection step must include the ID attribute or the attributes required to generate the ID using the SemQL expression. This forces the user to enter the ID information.

    • At run-time, a placeholder (temporary) ID is generated to allow enrichment and validation in the first form step before the full user input. It is recommended not to use or store the ID in the first step as you might be using this placeholder ID. The ID should be considered final only after the step into which the user has entered the ID information.

  • If the ID does not require any user input (Sequence or UUID):

    • The ID is generated automatically when the form opens. The ID is not needed in the form and steps, other than for information.