Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let's check the situation with some dynamics in forms. Can users count on it?

I am about to test the ability of web based systems to control column behavior depending on data in other columns. For example, such options as hide, show, mark as required or change column value when some condition on other columns are met.

So, lets find out the peculiarities of such functionality in Quickbase, Caspio, TeamDesk, DabbleDB, TrackVia and Zoho Creator. We'll try to look into the specifics of its implementation and if there is such possibility at all.


Sabina Iseli-Otto from Dabble DB:
"Well, you get a short answer from us: we don't support dynamic column behaviour at all."


Matt Strenz from TrackVia:
"The ability to have dynamic data entry forms that will show different fields or options based off results in another is not something that is currently available in TrackVia but this is on our roadmap of enhancements to make in the future. We’ve done this at no cost to customers on a case-by-case basis for Website Forms."


  1. QuickBase can do dynamic fields by linking them through relationships. You can say "Show only cities that are in the state we just chose" by creating a Cities table, a States table and a relationship of one State to many Cities. It's a little weird when you're used to JavaScript and MySQL, but effective and easy.

  2. QuickBase can perform the functions you mentioned above using what's called "Form Rules". You can show, hide, require, unrequire, make read only and make editable form fields based on a condition(s) or the value of another field. You can also show or hide whats called a section in a form which can contain multiple fields.
    In addition...when the record is saved you can set the value of a field or abort the save event based on some condition(s).
    Form rules are very powerful and we use them extensively.
    One caveat here is that they don't work if you are editing data in whats called "grid edit" mode, since you don't have the form opened when performing edits in that manner.

    Keith Jusas