Ultradrop Point

Learn how the Ultradrop point can be used and see it in action with the sample projects.

What is the Ultradrop point?

The Ultradrop point is a more advanced version of the Drop List point with support for more columns of data and many more advanced features. The list of items can be filtered down using the value of specified point. Each column can be configured to output its value to another point on the page, such as an Edit point or a Math point and these output values can also be used to filter another Ultradrop to create a cascading set of Ultradrops .

Key Features

  • Supports an unlimited number of columns of data.
  • Each column can output a value to a specified point.
  • Flexible text formatting options allow multiple columns to be used to generate the display text and the saved session for the Ultradrop point.
  • Data can be imported from a text file using the import feature .
  • Share data between Ultradrop points, using the data sharing feature .
  • Control whether to display items that have the same display value or to hide duplicate items.

Ultradrop point animation

Import Data into an Ultradrop Point

Data can be imported from a tab or comma delimited text file using the Import button located on the data tab of the Ultradrop properties window. Each line in the file will be treated as an item to be imported into the list. Each column should be separated by a comma or a tab character. If there are more columns specified in the file than there are in the columns tab of the Ultradrop, the extra columns will be ignored. Some example data can be seen below:

Two items with columns of data using comma delimiter:

Item 1 Column 1,Item 1 Column 2,Item 1 Column 3,Item 1 Column 4
Item 2 Column 1,Item 2 Column 2,Item 2 Column 3,Item 2 Column 4

Two items with four columns of data using tab delimiter:

Item 1 Column 1  Item 1 Column 2  Item 1 Column 3  Item 1 Column 4
Item 2 Column 1  Item 2 Column 2  Item 2 Column 3  Item 2 Column 4

Share data between multiple Ultradrop points

An Ultradrop can be configured to re-use the same data as another Ultradrop point using the data sharing settings which can improve the process for creating and maintaining projects. When this option is enabled, the data for the current Ultradrop point can only be changed by changing the data of the source Ultradrop point. When sharing data, it is important that the columns are configured to have the same number of columns in each point, though the names of the columns can be varied.

Hide Duplicate Items

By default, the Ultradrop will display all items that are specified in the data tab. A setting can be enabled to prevent duplicate values from appearing in the list using the setting Display distinct values only .

Filtering an Ultradrop

Filters can be used to filter down the list of available items in an Ultradrop point, by comparing the values in a column with the value of a specified point. An Ultradrop point can have multiple filters assigned to it which can be used to compare multiple points against multiple columns of data. Multiple Ultradrops can be used together to filter each other consecutively to quickly filter through a large set of data, see cascading ultradrops .

Cascading Ultradrops using Filters

This is a term used to describe setting up multiple Ultradrops that quickly traverse through each of the columns of a shared Ultradrop's data. This is done by adding an Ultradrop for each of the columns in the data. Each Ultradrop is then filtered by the value of the previous Ultradrop in the sequence which results in the user selecting a value for each column. This can be seen in action, in the sample projects which can be opened in the Mobile Data Anywhere Designer for a more detailed example.


Haven’t installed the Mobile Data Anywhere Designer?
You can get started by downloading the Mobile Data Anywhere Designer below or read through our Quick Start Guide to learn how to get started with Mobile Data Anywhere.

Configuration and Settings

The Ultradrop point can be configured in the Mobile Data Anywhere Designer to set the data for the list of items and to choose how the point functions within a session on the mobile application. The Ultradrop has several tabs in the properties window which are covered in more detail below.

Column Settings

This tab is used to create and manage the columns that are used for each item in the Ultradrop's list. One of the powerful features of the Ultradrop point is that you can create as many columns as desired and each column can be configured to output to another point when an item is selected.


Ultradrop point columns

Adding and Managing Columns

A column can be added by clicking on the Add button on the columns tab. To delete or move a column up or down in the list, use the buttons on the right.

Output Selection

Each column can be configured to output its value to another point in the project. When an item is selected during a session, the value from each column of the selected item will be output to the associated points. This is commonly used to output data to Edit and Math points and can also be used to filter other Ultradrop points in a series, see cascading Ultradrops using filters .

Enforce Output

When disabled, the column data will only output values to the associated points when an item from the Ultradrop is selected. The associated points can then be edited freely and their data will be saved to the session. When the enforce option is enabled, each time the Ultradrop point is displayed or the session is re-opened, the Ultradrop will forcefully output values for the selected item, overriding any modified values in the associated points.

Data Settings

The Data tab allows you to add and manage the items that will appear in the Ultradrop list.


Ultradrop point data

Adding Data

Items can be added and edited using the buttons at the bottom of this tab. Each item can have a value per column specified on the Columns tab . An existing item can be edited by double-clicking on an item and editing the values for each column. To add multiple items consecutively, after enter the values for each column hold shift and press enter to immediately add another item.

Import Data

Data can be imported using the import button down on the bottom right and selecting a tab-delimated or comma-delimated text file .

Appearance and Formatting Settings

The Appearance tab allows you to configure the text that is displayed for each item in the list, the value that is stored when an item is selected as well as other settings that affect the behaviour and appearance of the Ultradrop point.


Ultradrop point appearance

Formatted Display Text

The first formatting option is used to control the text that is displayed for each item in the list. Each item in the list is displayed as text which can include a combination of values from the selected item's columns and any added punctuation. Column values can be added automatically by selecting the display format field and selecting the column to insert, from the Add Column Value to Format dropdown box.

Formatted Stored Value

The second formatting option is used to control the text that is saved to the session data, for this Ultradrop point. The value can include a combination of values from the selected item's columns and any added punctuation. Column values can be added automatically by selecting the display format field and selecting the column to insert, from the Add Column Value to Format dropdown box.

Appearance Settings

These settings can be used to change the appearance of the Ultradrop point when displayed in a session on the mobile application.

Width

The width can be used to adjust the physical size of the point.

Display Mode

The display mode is used to change how the Ultradrop's items are displayed on screen. By default, the items will be displayed as a pulldown drop list , which will display the items on a popup window when the Ultradrop point is clicked. The alternative option, on screen selection will display each item on screen, in the session, similar to the Selection point .

Sort Items by Display Value

By default, the Ultradrop point's items will be displayed in the order that they appear on the data tab. When this option is enabled, the items will be sorted in ascending alphabetical order, using the formatted display text .

Multi-Select Options

When enabled, the user will be able to select multiple items from the Ultradrop point. The Ultradrop's stored value will be a combination of each selected item's formatted stored value, separated using the specified separator character. The separator should be set to a character that is not used in the Ultradrop's data so that each value can be separated correctly.

Advanced Settings

This tab provides some of the more advanced features of the Ultradrop point including creating filters that can filter down the displayed list of items, data sharing which can be used to share data from another Ultradrop point and other options.


Ultradrop point advanced

Filtering Settings

Filters allow you to use another point, such as an Edit point , Drop List point or another Ultradrop point to reduce the list to only display items that are relevant to the current session. Filters are created by selecting a column from the Ultradrop, a point from the same project and a condition. The filter determines if an item should be displayed using the condition as seen below:

Exactly Matches

The item will be displayed if the item's value for the column exactly matches the specified point's value.

Is a Substring Of

The item will be displayed if the item's value for the column contains the specified point's value.

Is a Prefix of

The item will be displayed if the item's value for the column starts with the specified point's value.

Multiple filters can be added and an Ultradrop item will only be displayed if all the filters' conditions have been satisfied. By default, if all of the filters' associated points have empty values then the Ultradrop will not display any items. This behaviour can be changed by enabling the option to Display all items when all filter conditions are empty which will display all items in the Ultradrop list when the filters' associated points have empty values.

Data Sharing Settings

These settings can be used to configure an Ultradrop to share the data from another point instead of having to add or import items into the Data tab . This can be useful when setting up multiple Ultradrops to filter through a large set of data. The data would only need to be added or imported into the first Ultradrop and each consecutive Ultradrop can use these settings to share that point's data.

When sharing data from another Ultradrop point, it is important to ensure that both points have the same number of columns in the Columns tab .

Include Empty Item

When enabled, this will display an empty item as the first item in the Ultradrop's list which can be used to deselect or clear the value of the Ultradrop point. This will only be useful when the Ultradrop is in single-select mode.

Display distinct values only

Any items that contain the same formatted stored value as another item is considered to be a duplicate. When this option is enabled, only the first occurrence of duplicate items will be displayed in the list and all subsequent occurrences will be hidden.

Dynamic Data Settings

The data for an Ultradrop point can be imported dynamically from an external text file, allowing you to edit the data separately from editing the project. The text file can be deployed to a device by uploading the data as an Ultradrop Resource file, to the portal, or by storing the text file on the device (Android and Windows only).


Ultradrop point dynamic

When the project is opened on a device

This option can be used for Android and Windows Mobile devices to import data from a file located on the device's file system. The recommended file path is \My Documents\Filename.txt which will be the actual location on Windows Mobile but on Android, this path will automatically be convert to /sdcard/Filename.txt .

When the project is opened on the desktop PC

These options can be used to import data from an Ultradrop Resource file stored on the same computer which can be edited separately to the project file. After uploading the project to the portal, you can deploy the Ultradrop Resource file to the portal as a separate file. This allows you to quickly update the Ultradrop data for your project without having to update the project file.

Load data from a text file

This allows you to select the path to the text file that contains the data for the Ultradrop point. This can be a standard windows file path or can use a dynamic reference to a file in the same folder as the project:

Reference the Project Path

The dynamic reference %PPC_PATH% is automatically replaced with the path to where the current project file is saved. For example, to refer to a file called Filename.txt that is located in the same folder as the current project you could use the path %PPC_PATH%\Filename.txt .

When the project is uploaded to the web portal, the dynamic data can be updated by uploading the file as an Ultradrop Resource file. When an Ultradrop resource file is uploaded, it will automatically update the project and redeploy the project to any linked devices whenever they connect to the server next.

Monitor the text file on the PC for changes while the project is open.

When enabled, any changes made to the linked text file will be automatically imported into the project while the project is open in the Mobile Data Anywhere Designer.


Sample Projects

The Basic Points Sample project contains examples of how to use many of the various points that are available. This project also contains a page that demonstrates some of the ways that this point can be used in your projects.


Sample Projects
You can download the sample project for this tutorial or import the projects directly into your account.