- Tech Talk 01 Get ready for a new release of GroupWise. Wanna busy search a client's calendar? Go for it. Want more panels on your home view? Track a couple of Web sites in your home view too. Take your pick of these and many more new features in the next release of GroupWise.
- Tech Talk 02 Upgrading from NetWare to the next generation of technology doesn't have to be painful—or costly. Take advantage of all the benefits Open Enterprise Server 2 offers for less and without the pain of retraining your staff. See how this migration path stacks up against moving to the big unknown—Windows Server 2008.
- Tech Talk 03 Try it just once and it'll be the last time you'll want to call support. It's faster, cheaper and unlimited. See how this new support option is going to change the way you want support from Novell.
- Tech Talk 04 Does your enterprise have legacy systems that won't talk to other computers? The hotel industry had that problem-until Novell stepped in. Now, using code that Novell open sourced, the hotel industry can use identity management solutions-on their legacy systems! See how you can teach your old systems to talk.
- Tech Talk 05 The word spin can have a negative connotation—unless it's PlateSpin. Read how Novell's acquisition of Toronto-based PlateSpin is going to give your data center several positive benefits. If you want your data center tasks to manage themselves, welcome to the new Novell technology from PlateSpin.
- Tech Talk 06 For beginners, databases can be frightening. But with a little help in building effective forms, you'll be on your way to populating a database that can almost take care of itself. See how here in our OpenOffice.org series cover the database application included in the free office suite.
- Tech Talk 07 If you're like most companies, your end users' teams are comprised of people across the globe. Yet they want to feel like their teammates are just down the hall. Enter Sitescape. It's now a part of Novell and provides the engine to the new Novell Teaming + Conferencing products. Find out how this recent acquisition benefits you.
- Connection Magazine March full .pdf
- Proof Point Toll Brothers, the leading builder of luxury homes in the U.S., had issues. One was managing desktops across 300 locations, including construction site trailers across 22 states. Keeping them in standard, working order was quite a problem. See how Novell automated that, increased the security of sensitive financial data, and much more.
- Trend Talk Are you up on your backups? Are you a synthetic backer upper? What about your recovery objectives? How will you recover after the crisis strikes? Learn what types of backup and recovery procedures are available, so when the crisis strikes, you'll be up on your backups and know just how to recover.
- Laura Chappell Analysis Session: TCP Connection Loss
Building your carefree database in OpenOffice.org—made simple with forms
Tech Talk 6 by BrainStorm, Inc.
Editing a Form
If, like me, you open a form and find that it's really not designed the way you'd hoped, like the field for a serial number is too short or you decide to change the name of a field, you can edit it quite easily, even if you've already begun entering data. This is nice for a variety of reasons. For example, Base dictates that table fields be one—and only one—word; but that's no reason to make the person doing the data entry look at a field that reads SerialNumber instead of Serial Number all day long.
To edit a form:
- Open the database that contains the form you want to edit.
- Select Forms from the pane on the left.
- Right click the desired form and select Edit.
- The form will open, displaying only the fields and labels; all data will be hidden.
- Edit away.
Here are a few important edits you'll likely have to make at some point:
Changing a Field Label: Move your cursor over the label you want to change and Ctrl-click the left mouse button. The label alone will be selected. Right click the label and select Control. The properties box for the label field will open, in which you can enter a new name in the Label field, change the font or alignment of the label, and more. (See Figure 6—Labelfield Properties.) Click the Exit X in the top right when you're finished. Save your changes.
Resizing a Field: Move your cursor over the field you want to resize and Ctrl-click the left mouse button. The field alone will be selected. Move your cursor to one of the green handles, press the shift key, and use the mouse to resize the field as desired. (See Figure 7—Resizing a Field.) Save your changes.
Moving a Field: Move your cursor over the field you want to move. Click and drag the field with its label to the desired position on the form. Save your changes.
Beware, though! Moving fields can cause problems on occasion. Let's say, for example, that your original form contained these fields in this order: title, first name, last name, address, state, city, zip code. You didn't realize when you set up the form that you had put the field for state before the field for city, so you edit the form by moving the fields around.
But when you start entering data in the form and press Tab after each field entry, the cursor still moves from title to first name to last name to address to state to city, etc. Your problem wasn't really solved. That's because moving a field in this fashion also requires resetting the tab order.
Resetting the Tab Order: Move your cursor over the field in question and Ctrl+click the left mouse button. The field alone will be selected. Right click and select Control. Change the number in the Tab order field under the General tab to reflect the correct location.
If the state and city were reversed, as described above, you'd change the 6 in the City field to a 5 and the 5 in the state field to a 6. Close the window and save your changes.
Changing the Field Type: Move your cursor over the field in question and Ctrl+click the left mouse button. The field alone will be selected. Right click and select Replace with. Make your selection from the context menu that appears. (See Figure 8—Field Types.) If you change the field type, it's likely that you'll also want to edit the field's appearance to ease data entry. For example, you can select the field alone, right click, select Control, and then make edits under the General tab that would add things such as calendars, formatting parameters for currency and dates, and so on. (See Figure 9—Creating a Date Field.) Close the window and save your changes.
Where Did It Go . . . and What's Next?
Once you spend a few hours learning just what a form can do, save your form again. Saving is key in Base. After saving a form and returning to the main database screen, always click the Save button on the toolbar; otherwise, you risk returning to the program and finding that your form no longer exists. The form is accessible only through the database with which it is associated.
For now, especially if you're new to database creation, I recommend stopping here and practicing for a while. It may not seem like you've learned much, but you're actually well on the way to having a working database with simple forms for data entry and simple tables populated with basic data. I use the terms simple and basic because databases with multiple and many-layered relationships can be tricky. (I suppose it's really true that no relationship is easy.) So, practice away and if you're one of those just beginning to work with databases, when you've mastered these skills, check out the article on Subforms and other deeper relationships in the previous article. Those will take you to an entirely new level.