About Browse screens


Related Topics



Browsing is a particularly useful feature of a database system.  Using browse screens and grids  you can view information stored in your database tables in a spreadsheet-like format with controls over the columns (fields) to be displayed, their order in the display from left to right, and the order of records displayed (by column)


Given that a database system such as H2OS works with many tables that store a the growing amount of information in your database, the usefulness and value of features such as browse will grow over time.


This screenshot shows a very simple example of the Customers Browse screen, showing fields in the order in which they are physically stored in the database  table.




From this basic view, all kinds of variations can be created (and automatically used for with this  table in the future)


For example, here is the Customer browse screen using a custom format that shows the customer's areaname preceding the name and address, for whatever purpose this may serve.


Your customer records contain many more fields then can be view on the screen at once. To help with this, you can


- select the columns (fields) you want and push the ohters off the grid. They can still be  scrolled to, but only the fields of interest are on the screen.  


- scroll right/left to view these fields


- shrink column widths to fit more columns.  If you have a field that only occasionally has more then,  say, 10 characters, adjust the column for a good fit for 10 characters and expand if necessary for the records with longer information.





See the topic on About custom browse screens for more information about customizing your browse screen



Types of Browse Screens used by H2OS


H2OS uses these variations on the standard Browse screen




Type of browse screen



Used for





Browsing customer records





General purpose grid view of any database table.






Custom developed Browse screens for specific applications.



Multiple grids,

Related tables



A screen with 2 or more browse grids containing information in related tables.


For example, the Customer and Job Records screen contains 2 grids, one showing customer records and the other job tickets for the currently selected customer. When a customer is selected in the left side grid, the right side grid contains this customer's job tickets.







Browse screens are in their own windows

Browse screens appear in their own windows on your screen, and each can be manipulated using standard Windows controls, such as resizing, minimizing and maximizing


The BROWSE command

The BROWSE command on the main H2OS screen launches a Browse window for your Customers table. Other database tables are typically accessed (and Browsed) by Browse commands that appear on the screens related to the table. .  



1st time Browse is used

For your Customers table, the 1st time you use the Browse command, a message will appear mentioning some options that are available


The default Browse screen layout

The default Browse screen layout typically shows all of the fields of the table in the order they appear in the underlying record format (schema), arranged from left to right within the spreadsheet-like grid.


While this format does provide access to the information in the table, it's not as useful as a layout  designed for a specific purpose or even to simply explore the table



Full screen browse

By clicking the "maximize" button in the upper right hand corner of the browse window, you can enlarge the window to full screen view.



Browse Restrictions


Browse screens are typically read-only, not allowing changes to the data being browsed, in keeping with the definition of "browse" mode versus "edit" mode, which allows for changes. .


Having said that, as a practical matter based on field experience, we have provided a means to bypass this restriction for certain database tables (all tables other then the customers and jobs tables, because changes to these particular tables must be made by screens designed for this purpose. These screen include, for example, creating audit trail records that track changes made to these tables, as well as other processes that may be needed when certain data is changed)


For tables that can be changed using BROWSE, an authorized operator (administrator) can click the "Allow changes" command that will appear on the Browse window when an Administrator is logged on.


Note that it is important that the operator have a clear understanding of the change and how it will affect processes that use the table being changed. In most cases, it's better to use the screens provided for making changes then the Browse screen.


Some ways a database table can be damaged:


Unfortunately, viewing the data in a given table will give no indication of it's acceptable values or uses by other programs.


There is no drill down from a browse screen, as the actual table is the lowest level of detail available.