Design - Adding Points (Part 2)

Continue learning how to add advanced points to your project

UltraDrop point
Ultradrop eg

Features:

  • UltraDrop extends the power of the standard Drop List point.
  • Supports many columns of information stored with each selection.
  • Each column can optionally be used to set the value of a dependent point; Edit and Math points are often used for data output.
  • Selections can be filtered by matching a column with a precedent point, entering a pefix or entering a sub-string.
  • Flexible text formatting allows one or more columns to be used to generate selection text (and output values).
  • Easy to use data input and editing, including tab-delimited text import.
  • Automatically incorporate ' Dynamic ' data text files into active projects. Wireless mobile devices communicating with the Mobile Data Studio server are prompted for the download of the latest version of the project with the data included.
  • Multiple-selection and output of data to Edit points.
  • Many applications. Images below are drawn from the Sales Force example project.

Ud col

Within the UltraDrop point any number of independent Columns can be created and named, ready to accept data. In this case, Columns have been created to record different information about each product in a catalogue, such as its Code and Price.

Each column can be configured to output its value to another point on the page (or elsewhere in the project). If the Enforce outputs option is checked, these dependent points cannot be overridden manually, thus if output is to be edited on the mobile device, uncheck Enforce outputs .

Typically, data from columns is output to Edit and Math points. The output can be used to Filter other UltraDrop points in a series, see below.

Tip : If sentences or paragraphs of text are loaded as 'data' into columns, output to Edit points which are full width and more than one line so the output can be easily read and edited.

Ultradrop data

The UltraDrop Data page is used to enter and edit the selections that will be offered to the user. Existing selection items are displayed in the list, and can be edited, deleted, and moved up or down the list. New selections can be added via the Add button.

When adding or Editing a selection, a text entry field is displayed for each column that has been configured.

Ultradrop item

Data can be imported from a tab-delimited text file using the Import button. Each line in the file will be treated as a single selection, with the value for each column separated by a single tab character. If more columns are present in the file than in the UltraDrop point, they will be ignored. Tab-delimited text files can be generated from programs such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access.

Tip : After entering a new item, hold shift and press enter to immediately add another. This avoids having to click the Add button again.

6 ultradrop appearance

The Options tab displays options which affect the Formatting behaviour of the UltraDrop point and its Appearance on the project page.

Each selection in the UltraDrop point is displayed as a text string in the drop down list box. To create this text string for each selection item, the Display format string is used. The format string can combine one or more Column values into a string of text, potentially adding other punctuation in the process. A similar format string is available for the Output of the point from values in Columns, which is recorded in the session database, and seen by other points (such as Math points).

The format string is processed by replacing each instance of < ColumnName > with the value associated with that column.

The UltraDrop point supports multiple-selection in the primary drop list and multiple output of data to Edit points where items can be separated by either a semi-colon, comma or period (full stop) to facilitate composition of reports and output to databases and spreadsheets. For example, ending sentences or paragraphs with a period assists composition of statements for reports.


The Advanced properties of the UltraDrop point support automatic Filtering of its selections based on the value of an external precedent point (in this example a Drop List point) and Data Sharing .

Filtering provides three options, exactly matches , is a substring of , and is a prefix of . Applying Filter options, only those selections whose value for the elected column matches the value of the elected point will be displayed in the UltraDrop point. Filtering can be driven by any point; for example, by an Edit point receiving bar code data from a scanner . Similarly, the Edit point can be used to capture RFID (radio-frequency identification) data from RFID scanners to Filter data sets. Try the Filter options to determine what is most appropriate for a particular project.

By default, if there is no value in the elected filtering point, the UltraDrop point will remain empty. This behaviour can be modified so that all items will be displayed by default.

To use Data Sharing , simply turn it on and then select another UltraDrop point from the list (which will only show UltraDrop points). This will configure the current UltraDrop point to share data from the selected 'base' point. Data cannot be edited in the current point, as any changes need to be made to the base (copied) point.

It is important to ensure the Column set up is the same in shared UltraDrop points, that is, the same number of Columns (although they can have other names, and different management/output of the shared data).

This Data Sharing mechanism reduces the file size of projects which have multiple instances of the same data, for example sales projects. It also reduces loading time.

Dynamic Data draws its data either from a nominated text file on the mobile device or from the desktop PC or server when the project is opened. The latter is a convenient way to update and maintain large data sets, and is the preferred process for wireless deployments (see page 10 Wireless (TCP/IP) functions), and operates with Android, Apple iOS and Windows Mobile clients. Apple iOS doesn't allow access to a text file stored on the device.

Ultradrop dynamic

Load data on mobile device: the path for the tab delimited text file when a project is opened on the mobile device should be \Path\Filename.txt. On Android devices, the \My Documents\Filename.txt is treated as /sdcard/Filename.txt, thus both Windows Mobile and Android mobile devices can be served with the same \My Documents\Filename.txt in project design. The UltraDrop point is effectively data sharing when Dynamic Data is used. On the mobile device if the content of the nominated text file is changed, closing and re-opening the project will present the new data set. The .txt files need to be transferred to the mobile device, either via ActiveSync from My Documents with standard sync, or via a File point (see page 4) and saved to My Documents (\sdcard\)on the mobile device. The Dynamic Data .txt files aren't attached to or imbedded in the UltraDrop, they are referenced by it.

Load data on Mobile Data Anywhere: in addition to specific standard paths, the UltraDrop point supports the following strings in the Dynamic Data path: %MDS_PATH% - the folder where the MDS.exe application is stored, and %PPC_PATH% - the folder where the relevant projects .ppc file is stored. For Use with Mobile Data Anywhere, the path must begin with %PPC_PATH%/Ultradrop/. This file can be uploaded using your FTP account on Mobile Data Anywhere (which is the same as your site username and login). When this file is updated, the ultradrop point will reload from the data in the file and devices can then synchronise to the latest version of the project when they next connect.


Print point
Print servicereport

The Print point enables attachment of a HTML Template in Windows Mobile to which data from a session can be output for print of a HTML file with third party software. The HTML file can also be attached to emails. Please NOTE the Print point is not supported on Android and Apple iOS devices, see below .

A HTML template suitable for use with Mobile Data Studio is a standard HTML file, with one important exception: - whenever Mobile Data Studio detects a tag of the form <%PointIDName%> , it will replace the entire tag with data from the named point, where point ID Name is the name of the point, eg Customer, Company.

Print point

The Output requires specification of Save in Folder , for example \My Documents, and Filename or naming pattern , using %PointIDName%.htm to dynamically name files from session data, where point ID Name is the name of the point; for example %Customer% %OrderNumber%.htm .

The control Use non-standard printing is an alternative that will invoke the web browser print process if appropriate print drivers are installed.

In operation Tap to print will display the output to HTML, and make the file available for printing with third party software, such as PIEprint .

Sketch point images (eg signatures) will be output within HTML pages, these should be deleted from the Pocket PC periodically, so they don't use excess storage space.

Mobile Data Studio also supports output to HTML from the Session Window as an alternative for either printing or attachment of HTML reports to emails; see page 7 of Skills and ' Export HTML for Printing '.

Android icon
Apple icon
ANDROID and APPLE NOTE: generation of HTML for printing in the field is not supported on Android and Apple iOS devices. However, once sessions have been uploaded to Mobile Data Anywhere, they can be downloaded as HTML files or printed from that HTML.
Print html mdsserver

Incrementor point
Incrementor eg

Incrementor enables point values to be incremented with opening of a new session. This function is useful where numbers for invoices, samples, tracking etc need to be generated in the field on the mobile device.

Incrementor

The Value for the Incrementor point is set in project Design. A Unique Identifier can be set if there is more than one Incrementor point used in a project. Both Initial and Increment By values can be set in Design.

The Output Format is flexible with support for strings incorporating the incrementing value. This string will be output along with other data from the session. It can be useful to override the automatic increment function in the field, this is enabled by un-checking Read Only in Design stage. Checking ' Don't set value automatically ' enables full manual control.