The idea behind lookup fields is to allow users to save keystrokes and take advantage of the relational nature of the database. Often times, when entering data in a field, you are really selecting data already entered into the database. For instance, the label field on the Albums window will only accept label names already entered in the Data Components window. When a user types a label name in that field, Beyond Category will use what is typed in the field to “lookup” the label already entered on the database and get that information.
Lookup Fields are identified in windows as the ones that have their identifying label underlined. There are some fields in windows that are lookup fields only when the window is in read mode and some that are lookup fields only when the window is in edit mode. Look for the underline in the label to know when a field is behaving as a lookup field.
Entering data with a lookup field
The following example demonstrates the use of the label name lookup field on the Albums window. For the sake of space, we are only showing the top portion of the Albums window.
The first illustration shows an in progress addition of an album record with the label field blank and ready for typing.
The next illustration shows the user has typed in 2 characters, “ca”. This causes a drop down list to appear containing any label that begins with the first 2 letters of “ca”. Of course, there are many that begin with “ca”, but the list only shows the first 5.
If the user needs to use the Capitol label, then he enters more characters to narrow the list. The next illustration show what happens when one additional character, “p”, is entered. At this point, the user can select Capitol from the list.
Below shows what the window will look like after Capitol is selected. Remember, entries cannot be fully typed into a lookup field, they can only be selected from a list. In this case, if the needed label was not found in the lookup list, the user would then need to go to the Labels tab of the Songs/Personnel/Labels window and enter a new label into the database.
Changing the search for Lookup Fields
Lookup fields default to searching for matches at the beginning of the data element. For example if you type the characters “now” into a songs lookup field, it will list all the songs (up to the limit of 200) that start with the letters “now” as shown in the example below.
The Songs lookup field has a feature that allows seaching for a matching song looking anywhere in the title. To use this feature, press the control key and click anywhere in the song field. This will bring up a contextual menu allowing you to select the type of search you want as shown in example below.
Selecting the option of “Search within” will set the lookup field to search for the string of characters “now” anywhere in the song title, not just at the beginning. This is shown in the example below. Notice, it is not just searching for the word “now”. It also finds songs with the words that contain “now”.
The search setting for the lookup field will remain in place until changed again, or until the window is closed and reopened. On open, any window with a songs search field has the search style set to “Search from start” by default. Depending on feedback, this could be changed to retain the search even after the window is closed and reopened.
3 Step Edit Mode
- Activate the edit mode
- This is done by pressing the NEW or EDIT button on the window.
- Enter the data
- Fill in the fields and/or select from popups as appropriate.
- Save or cancel the changes
- This is done by pressing the SAVE or CANCEL button on the window.
2 Step Edit Mode
- Enter and/or change the data.
- Fill in the fields and/or select from popups as appropriate. In most cases, the entry will be done over existing data in the fields.
- Save the changes.
- This is done by pressing the appropriate button on the window to save, change or remove the data showing in the window.