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Custom Tables (Custom Sub-Entities) SDK Feedback

Employee
Posts: 236
Country: USA

Custom Tables (Custom Sub-Entities) SDK Feedback

Want to help shape the future of the SDK?  Here's your chance! 

 

As we look to evolve custom tables, we'd very much like to hear from you relating to the SDK:

  • What's missing?
  • Any outstanding issues we may not know about?
  • What would you expect next?
  • What do you like/dislike?

 

 

Please responde to this thread and give us your feedback.

 

Thanks!

 

Nickel Super Contributor
Posts: 441
Country: UK

Re: Custom Tables (Custom Sub-Entities) SDK Feedback

Hi Xavier,

Just to say I'm very happy with the SDK, I really enjoy coding with it.  There isn't anything I can think of off the top of my head which we need and can't currently do (sometimes with a little help from my colleauges Smiley Happy ).  The only thing I woud like is some real basic step by step web plugin instructions, it's partly my fault as I'm not a web developer but I know it's not just me that struggles with apfw plugins at the moment.  I think with the way the web 2.0 world is going at the moment this is the direction ACT! will be headding and it would be good to get a few more plugins working with it.

 

Tom

Loyal Listener
Posts: 69
Country: United States

Re: Custom Tables (Custom Sub-Entities) SDK Feedback

Overall I'm very happy with the SDK.  My only request would be more code samples, especially in VB.  While I can convert from C# most of the time, it'd be helpful to have them in VB already.

 

Thanks for asking.

 

Mike Fortier

Fortier Consulting, LLC

Copper Contributor
Posts: 87
Country: USA

Re: Custom Tables (Custom Sub-Entities) SDK Feedback

Xavier,

Since your message subject includes (Custom Sub-Entities), I'll limit my response to that area of the SDK, and give feedback on the SDK in general in another message.

 

The Custom-Entity components of the SDK seem fairly comprehensive.  Of course, the AI needs to include the ACT! report writer, ACT Layout Editor and ACT! Lookup integration, but that's outside the scope of the SDK.

 

SDK Custom-Entity (CE) specific shortcomings include:

1. A "wrapper" to handle the inclusion of the CE grid tab on the current layout.

2. A "wrapper" to handle the navbar icons and View Navigation stack for a CE List view.

3. A facility to adjust the "parent" entitiy after the CE has been created.

4. Provisions to define and inforce rules for various options to handle cascading delete logic.

 

Thanks for listening to our input!

Geoff

Geoff Blood ("The ACT! Customizer" )
The New Hampton Group

ACT Development Partner
Serving the ACC community since 1994
Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 138
Country: United States

Re: Custom Tables (Custom Sub-Entities) SDK Feedback

Geoff, good feedback.  Could you clarify the last two items, please?

3. A facility to adjust the "parent" entitiy after the CE has been created.

4. Provisions to define and inforce rules for various options to handle cascading delete logic.

 

For #3, by "adjust" do you mean add and remove?  So you create a Pets subentity and associate it to Contacts.  Later you decide you want to ALSO associate to Groups.  Or, you may want to remove Contacts as a Parent Entity association, and just have Pets related to Groups?

 

On #4, can you provide an some examples of handling cascade delete logic?

 

Thanks!

Bill Blakey
ACT! Development Team
Sage Software

Copper Contributor
Posts: 87
Country: USA

Re: Custom Tables (Custom Sub-Entities) SDK Feedback

Bill,

#3 - yes, that's what I mean.

 

#4 - Similar to the options when you delete a user - what happens to the items for which that user is the Record Manager? 

 

When you've created the Pet table, as a sub-entity to the Contact entity,when you delete a Contact, what should happen to the Pet's associated with that contact?  Should they also be deleted? Left as "orphans"? or associated with a different contact?

 

It would really be great if we didn't have to deal with this in our code.  Either each custom-entity could have a property that designated one of the options, or that the user should be prompted each time they delete a custom-entity record.  Then whatever choice is in effect would happen without further programming required in the SDK.

 

Hope that helps,

Geoff

Geoff Blood ("The ACT! Customizer" )
The New Hampton Group

ACT Development Partner
Serving the ACC community since 1994
Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 2,546
Country: New_Zealand

Re: Custom Tables (Custom Sub-Entities) SDK Feedback

For the APFW SDK it would be helpful to improve upon the data binding mechanics between ACT's custom tables and the asp.net web controls.

 

For the Premium SDK is it possible to expose an 'on timer' or 'on tick' event so that our plugins can listen to them and trigger every time an alarm becomes active in ACT!

Graeme Leo
Xact Software - consultants and developers
Follow us on Twitter and check out our Blog


Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 138
Country: United States

Re: Custom Tables (Custom Sub-Entities) SDK Feedback

For item #4, when you delete a User and choose to re-assign his/her data to another user (victim Smiley Embarassed), custom sub-entity records follow the same rules as Notes or Histories.  The Rec Mgr is changed for all NON-Private records.  Private records are deleted (Notes, Histories, custom sub-entity records).

 

On the cascade-delete "rules", the Entity -> Sub-entity relationship is achieved thru an associative table which simply has the Primary Key field of each entity base table, just like Contact Histories.  Intrinsic to the relationship creation in the database, the Foreign Keys are defined as a physical cascade-delete constraints (parent to child) just like Notes and Histories.  So when you delete a Contact record, the following tables would have any records deleted for that Contact:

TBL_CONTACT

TBL_CONTACT_HISTORY

CUST_CONTACT_PET 

 

The actual final deletion of Pet records (CUST_PET) is accomplished during Database Maintenance.

Bill Blakey
ACT! Development Team
Sage Software

Copper Contributor
Posts: 87
Country: USA

Re: Custom Tables (Custom Sub-Entities) SDK Feedback

Right.

 

What I'm asking for is for there to be options other than automatic cascade delete.  Especially when a sub-entity is defined as subordinate to more than one entity, when a sub-entity record is associated with records ofo more than one type (Contact, Group, Company, SalesOpp), we might want to control what happens when one of those parents, which is not the last parent, is deleted.

 

(You asked for suggestions, so here is one.  I'm not questioning how it works today, but asking for it to work differently in the future. :-)

Geoff

Geoff Blood ("The ACT! Customizer" )
The New Hampton Group

ACT Development Partner
Serving the ACC community since 1994
Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 138
Country: United States

Re: Custom Tables (Custom Sub-Entities) SDK Feedback

Ok.  Not to belabor the issue, but want to ensure I understand completely.

 

Scenario:

  • If I have associated the Pet subentity with both the Contact and Group entities.
  • I add a Pet record and associate a Contact and a Group
  • I delete either the Contact or the Group

Concern:

  • deleting one Entity record (i.e. the Contact) should NOT delete the Pet record nor its association to the other (Group) record.

 

With the current implementation, the concern is handled as only the association between the Contact and Pet records is deleted.  The record associating the Group and Pet records is retained.

 

If you're wanting to automatically perform, or prompt the user, to remove ALL associations (and maybe even the Pet record, as well), you could handle this programatically now.  You can interrogate the subentity to see what entity associations it has, then take action.

 

Does that make sense?  Or am I missing another option/behavior that you're asking for?

Bill Blakey
ACT! Development Team
Sage Software