A form which has been constructed or revised cannot be accessed on screen until it is prepared as an executable file. In most cases, form preparation is activated automatically when you attempt to open an unprepared form. You can also activate it manually:
- Run the Form Preparation (FORMPREP) program (System Management → Generators → Forms → Form Preparation), which can prepare multiple forms simultaneously.
- Run the Prepare Form program by Action from the Form Generator for a specific form.
Form preparation will fail if errors are encountered (and you will be referred to an Errors Report, located in the same menu). There are several types of major errors: trigger errors, problems with form content and problems with form display.
Examples of possible problems:
- A column in the base table’s autounique or unique key is missing from the form
- A calculated column has been assigned a width that is unsuitable for its column type (e.g., a width of 11 for a DATE column)
- A form column is neither derived from a table column nor defined by an expression.
Note: In rare cases, the Form Preparation program fails to replace the older version of the form. If that occurs, retrieve the form in question in the Form Generator and run the Reprepare Form program by Action.
Loading a Form
The Load Form program (System Management → Generators → Forms) allows you to access a form on screen without going through any menus. A similar program (Open Form) can be run by Action from the Form Generator. These interchangeable programs are particularly useful during the form’s development stages.
Note: An unprepared form cannot be opened in this manner; it must first be prepared.
When loading a form, the designated form may not be linked to any upper-level form. To access a sub-level form, load the most upper-level form in its tree (the root form) and use that form to access sub-level forms.
Example: To access the ORDERITEMS form, load the upper-level ORDERS form and then access the sub-level form via a record in the Sales Orders form.