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How to present repeating rows as an embedded pane

Summary

A repeating layout (grid, tree, or tree) configuration can enable users to edit properties in one of three ways:

  • In line — Within the work harness, the user selects a row to display a set of property values. The user is limited to the work object properties that are configured in the layout.
  • Modal dialog — The user selects a row or a Button control to open a pop-up modal dialog outside the harness. The dialog may contain properties in addition to those in the layout rows. If the user makes updates, she must commit them in the dialog and close it before she can continue to work in the harness.
  • Embedded pane — Like a modal dialog, an embedded pane may display additional properties. In contrast, the user makes edits within the work harness. When a user finishes editing an item within the pane, she can quickly select another item and display its details. The edits in the previous row are committed when the next row is selected.

Each alternative has advantages and limitations. The approach that is appropriate for your user and tasks depends on the characteristics of the data. This article describes how you configure an embedded pane.

Note: You cannot configure an embedded pane or modal dialog in a Grid layout if the data source is a report definition rule (V6.1 SP2+).

 

Suggested Approach

The grid layout in this example displays stock price information for a set of large corporations. Each item has address information that does not appear in the grid. This information is excluded because it is not directly related to user tasks and is not frequently updated.

Once a month, in a single work session, a user must manually verify or update address information for specified (not all) companies. Currently, the user edits items in a modal dialog. The items on the work list are not necessarily next to each other in the grid.

For instance, the user must review 3M Co. information (shown in the modal dialog below), update it, commit the edits and close the dialog (click OK), and open the next item on the list (Citigroup, Inc.).

You can configure the layout so that the details display in an embedded pane so that the user does not have to repeatedly open and close modal dialogs.

Do the following:

  1. Open the work harness and display the wireframe.
  2. Open the grid layout Repeat Grid properties panel by clicking the magnifying glass icon( ) next to the header.
  3. In the Edit Mode field select Embedded Pane from the drop-down list (keep the original Flow Action value) as shown here:

  1. Save the harness rule.
  2. Test your update by running the flow and single click an item in the grid (opening a modal dialog requires a double click). The flow action properties appear in the embedded pane beneath the grid as shown here.

  1. Change a value in an editable field.
  2. Open another item and edit it.
  3. Open the previous item. The values reflect your updates.

You can create a custom section that determines where you want the embedded pane to appear. For example, assume you want the detail area to appear to the right of the grid instead of below it (default). Do the following:

  1. Create a section (named gridResults, for instance) containing a two-column layout..
  2. Embed the grid in the first column and an empty section in the second column.
  3. Enter the name of the empty section in the Target for Edit field on the Advanced tab of the Repeat Grid properties panel and save the rule.

Note: In a tree layout, the pane appears on the right side by default.

Published September 2, 2010 — Updated October 8, 2010

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