7: Extended Feature s of Data Conne ctions in Visual Studio .NET

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7: Extended Feature s of Data Conne ctions
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Figure 75: Secondary data source bound controls allow for little customization
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clearly doesn t make sense because the data is queried live from the endpoint The Show input button and hint text checkbox is disabled because secondary data sources always disallow structural editing Structural editing is the ability to insert and remove data source elds and groups via controls when lling out the form Recall from 1 that structural editing is the ability to add or remove items from your form Such functionality is provided by Optional Section and Repeating Section controls Due to the nature of secondary data sources being connected to query-only data adapters, there s no need for users to have the ability to insert or remove items from secondary data sources Don t forget that data in secondary data sources is never saved, so user edits don t make much sense beyond the ability to provide query parameters, as you saw in the Web service data connection example Let s take another look at the Bulleted List Properties dialog from Figure 75 Alas, the rules feature is enabled! The Rules feature is the only data-centric
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feature allowed for any secondary data source eld or group The behavior is similar to that for rules on main data source elds and groups The Display tab has its own limitations As they don t provide much value, features such as spell checking and auto-complete are not con gurable for secondary data sources, but they are both always enabled Conditional formatting, alternatively, is fully supported on secondary data sources and actually comes in quite handy when presenting information from data connections to the user (See 5 for the discussion on conditional formatting) Other options in the Size and Advanced tabs are available, with the exception of the Merge Action option Form merging is speci c to the main data source; you can nd details in 12 There should be no surprises when we look at the Field or Group Properties dialog for a secondary data source node No options are available on any tabs, with the exception of rules The Details tab on the node properties dialog may offer some helpful information, but as we will soon see, validation is not an issue to consider with secondary data sources Table 71 presents the full list of supported and unsupported features for secondary data source bound controls
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Table 71: Available and Unavailable Features for Secondary Data Sources Available Features Unavailable Features
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Data formatting (for numeric data types) Rules Conditional formatting Accessibility (screen tip, tab index, access key) Input scope All size and alignment options Read-only Multiline (text wrapping) Paragraph breaks (only if read-only is enabled)
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General node properties (name, data type, default value, cannot be blank, repeating) Auto-complete Spell checking Data validation Structural editing options (Click here to insert, Edit Default Values, Customize Commands) Rich text options Form-merging options
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7: Extended Feature s of Data Conne ctions
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Filling Out the Form To best understand how secondary data sources work when you re lling out a form, let s continue with the XML le data connection we created in the preceding chapter Figure 76 shows how the form looks after querying the XML data
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Figure 76: Form after querying the XML file secondary data connection
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The rst thing you may notice is that it s possible to edit the data in the Bulleted List However, try to insert or delete a row It cannot be done This is because secondary data sources do not allow for structural editing For comparison and contrast, try to edit the data in the Samplexml form again to see how you can remove and insert rows in the Bulleted List (Recall that the Samplexml form is the form we created in 6 to provide data for the XML le data connection) One of the only ways for a user to change the structure of a secondary data source is to query the data connection There are other ways to edit a secondary data source; however, they rely on the form designer to write custom form code to directly modify the secondary data source at a low level
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