Monday, April 29, 2013

Feature: Tools for Excel

Code On Time Tools for Excel provides an alternative designer that allows rapid changes to configuration element properties. This tool can be used interchangeably with the Project Designer.

List of data fields in Code On Time Tools for Excel.

The picture below shows the default Orders form in a sample Northwind web application. Let’s compare methods of changing the form layout in Project Designer and Tools for Excel.

Suppose that it is necessary to place shipping fields in a second column in the form. The word “Ship” must be removed from the field labels.

Default Orders edit form.

Using the Project Designer, you would create a category and drag all shipping data fields into the new category.

Dropping all shipping fields onto the 'Shipping Information' category.     All shipping data fields moved into 'Shipping Information' category.

Next, you would need to click on every data field, change the Header Text of the data field, and press OK to save.

You may save quite a few clicks using Tools for Excel.

Start Microsoft Excel, and switch to the Code On Time tab. Press Open | Northwind / Web Site Factory to link the project to the workbook, and then select Categories shortcut on the ribbon. Filter down to Orders controller by pressing Filter | Orders.

Filtering Categories project configuration sheet down to 'Orders' controller.

Add another category with the following properties:

ID View Controller Header Text Description New Column
myCat editForm1 Orders Shipping Information This is the shipping info. yes

Adding a new category to Orders controller.

Next, click on the Data Fields shortcut. Make the changes highlighted below:

Field Name Category View Controller Header Text
ShipName myCat editForm1 Orders Name
ShipAddress myCat editForm1 Orders Address
ShipCity myCat editForm1 Orders City
ShipRegion myCat editForm1 Orders Region
ShipPostalCode myCat editForm1 Orders Postal Code
ShipCountry myCat editForm1 Orders Country

Changing the properties for all shipping fields in editForm1 of Orders controller.

On the ribbon, press Sync to apply changes to the application. Then, press Browse to generate and open the web app in the default browser. Navigate to the Orders page and select a record. The shipping fields will now be in a separate category in a new column with new labels.

Orders edit form with shipping information in a second column.

Learn more about Tools for Excel.

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