Creating JavaScript Code

By Jeff Cogswell  |  Posted 2010-04-06 Print this article Print


Creating JavaScript Code

You can also create JavaScript code that runs on the client side, such as in response to various grid events. I found myself getting a little confused here because my urge was to open up the page and put my JavaScript right in there. But then I started getting a little lost. I wanted to write a JavaScript function, whereby when an entry form finishes sending its data to the server, it would notify a grid to update itself. The way I had created the grid and form was a bit different from the usual Alpha Five way of doing it, and, as such, the other grid wasn't getting updated automatically. I simply wanted to write some JavaScript that would update the other grid, but I wasn't sure exactly where to do it.

That forced me to start uncovering an Alpha Five feature I hadn't yet discovered, and that's when it all started to come together. In the grid properties screen of the Alpha Five application, there are several places where you can add your own custom JavaScript. You can double-click any of these properties, and a window opens your JavaScript code. In other words, you do the work from within the property editors when possible, rather than writing the code directly into the pages. When you do so, everything fits together perfectly.

The developers of Alpha Five have done an excellent job of anticipating where you would likely want to add your own custom code, and they give you places to do it rather than forcing you to hack apart the pages and insert your JavaScript code yourself, while hoping you put it in the right place. When I followed this best-practices approach, everything worked beautifully. In the end, I had a full-featured application. And although I went beyond the "codeless" aspect to push the product to its limits, I still wrote very little code.

For programmers who really want to take this product to its extreme limits, there's a full-featured code editor that enables you to create your own XBasic code libraries. You can use a rich built-in library, too. Your original code libraries can then be loaded by both desktop and Web-based applications. The XBasic code, of course, still runs only on the server, but any JavaScript code you create runs on the client side. In the end, you can create applications that are as powerful as the best Web applications out there.


Jeff Cogswell is the author of Designing Highly Useable Software ( among other books and is the owner/operator of CogsMedia Training and Consulting.Currently Jeff is a senior editor with Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to joining Ziff, he spent about 15 years as a software engineer, working on Windows and Unix systems, mastering C++, PHP, and ASP.NET development. He has written over a dozen books.

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