5: Adding Logic without Code in .NET framework

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5: Adding Logic without Code
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Figure 57: Conditional Formatting dialog showing all three conditions
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By now, you can see all the cool things that are possible with conditional formatting As we mentioned, in addition to formatting a control, you can hide or disable it or, in the case of Repeating Tables, Repeating Sections, and Optional Sections, you can prevent users from inserting or deleting rows For example, conditional formatting is very useful with Repeating Tables you can set the formatting for an entire row (or even hide or block row insertion) in the table based on the values entered into that row or in another part of the form Conditional formatting is a very powerful feature We hope you are already seeing ways you can put it to use
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Data Validation
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Data validation is another one of those data-centric features exposed through the properties dialog for all controls that are bound to data (It is also available through the Field or Group Properties dialog for a node in the data source) As with conditional formatting, for data validation you specify one or more conditions that will determine whether the data entered by the user when lling out a form is valid These conditions could be based on such things as preestablished business rules for your department or company Data validation is a step beyond XML Schema data type validation such as simply de ning Whole Number or Date, which we talked about in 3 With data validation, you can de ne a range of allowable whole numbers or restrict the selected date to be within a prescribed
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Data Validation
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threshold, for example Data validation behaves like its lesser data type validation cousin in that it s passive in its approach Only after data is entered in the control and the user tabs or clicks away does it take effect Its nonintrusive nature allows you, as a form designer, to be very liberal in how many data validation conditions you de ne When a user of your form enters data that violates one of your validation conditions, the node in the underlying data source is tagged with an error This tag triggers a visual error for all the controls bound to that node in the current view This means that controls present in other views may have errors Since data validation happens at the data source level, sometimes a node can be tagged with an error but not be bound to a control in any views Having a node not bound to a control might sound bizarre, but it s used quite often Particularly, unbound nodes can be used as a temporary location for data or a hidden eld for submitting data Notwithstanding uses for unbound nodes, you should exercise caution when using data validation on nodes to which the user may not have access, such as read-only controls or unbound nodes
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Adding Data Validation to a Form Template You can add data validation conditions for a eld node in multiple ways One way is by clicking on the Data Validation button in the Data tab of the properties dialog for a control Clicking on this button opens up the dialog shown in Figure 58
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Figure 58: Data Validation dialog
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5: Adding Logic without Code
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Figure 59: Validation tab on the Field or Group Properties dialog
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The second way you can add data validation conditions is through the Validation tab of the Field or Group Properties dialog (which we talked about in 3) for a eld node The Validation tab (Figure 59) is basically the same as the Data Validation dialog (Figure 58) In both cases, the Data Validation dialog and the Validation tab will both list all the validation conditions you add One thing to note about the data validation feature is that it is available only for eld nodes in the data source This means that the Data Validation button will be available in the properties dialog only for controls that are bound to elds Also, the Validation tab will be enabled in the Field or Group Properties dialog only for eld nodes in the data source This feature is also not available for any node in a secondary data source (You ll learn more about secondary data sources in 6) Let s look at an example Say that you ve created a form template to help you plan a party (The sample we are about to create is called PartyPlanner) In this form template, you have a Text Box control in which users will enter the total number of guests they are going to bring to the party In this case, you want to make sure that the total number of guests is greater than zero (you can t have negative guests) and less than ten This is the perfect place to add data validation Let s add two data validation conditions by clicking the Add button Figure 510 shows the dialog after we entered one condition This dialog is, basically, the same condition builder you saw earlier when we talked
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