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Managing Form and List

Module Action Menu

Once you have configured a Form and List with columns, you can return to edit the configuration, to modify the characteristics of a column, to change or add Advanced Column Options, or to modify display rendering options.

To edit the table, mouse-over the module action menu (Figure 4-1).

Select Add New Record to add a new record to your Form and List. 

Select Show All Data as XML to open a browser window with all data in XML format. 

Select Delete All Records to delete all records currently stored in this Form and List. “Delete All Records” shows only when at least one record exists. 

Select Form and List Configuration to display the central Form and List Configuration settings where you specify all module definitions and properties (Figure 4-2).

Select Save as Template to create a Form and List template containing the configuration of this Form and List instance. Templates can be used to quickly configure new instances of Form and List based on existing instances of Form and List.

Select Export/Import to CSV to export or import a Comma Separated Value data file, useful for importing data in or exporting data out of Form and List. 

Working with the Form and List Configuration, Schema Definition is easy and intuitive: 

  • Click the pencil icon to Edit a column and to modify Advanced Column Options (see Advanced Options chapter);
  • Click [X] to Delete a column. All data stored in this column will be deleted;
  • Click the Up Arrow or Down Arrow  to  Move the position of a column;
  • Click Add New Column to add another field/column to this data collection.

Add New Column

Click Add New Column (Figure 4-3).

The Title is the name of the column used internally by Form and List and also used as the name of the label that displays next to the input field. A Title may contain spaces, too. 

From the dropdown list box, choose the data Type for the data in a column. (Figure 4-4).

Enable this option to force the user to input information for this field. 

Display on List
Enable this option to display the contents of this column in the list view, and display an input field for this column on the input form.  Disable this option for a column of data that you do not wish to display in list view. 

Restricted Form Field
Enable this option to display the contents of this column in the list view, and display an input field for this column on the input form.  

Note: All Admin role members and all roles that have the Form and List “Show all User Defined Columns” permission enabled will still see disabled Visible columns in the List View. 

Enable this setting if you want the Form and List Search function to search this column, when Search is activated in Grid Table Settings.

Data Types

There are multiple data types available for defining the columns of your Form and List, each with distinguishing characteristics. These provide you with a wide range of input and display controls that will enhance the presentation of your data. To gain the most value from the Form and List, carefully select the appropriate data type for each column. 

Calculated Column
To display the results of a calculated expression consisting of tokens, constants, functions, column values and mathematical operators, use the Calculated Column data type. Calculated Column expression examples are found in Chapter 5 section: “Expression”. Some expressions are made possible by the use of Hidden Columns, described below. 

Enable the Show on Edit Form setting to display the result of the expression when Form and List is in edit/form mode. This can be useful, for example, to display an image inline in a form. The value is NOT updated dynamically as fields are input or edited. 

Currency contains monetary amounts, in the currency format defined by default in Portal Settings. Note: changing the DotNetNuke portal currency will change the display format, but it will not recalculate the entered values! 

Date stores the date specified. You can select the date from the popup calendar. Date is formatted based on the specified settings of the client browser. Date and TimeDate and Time stores both the date and the time specified. You can select the date from the popup calendar. Date and Time are formatted based on the specified settings of the client browser. 

The Decimal data type stores numeric data with decimal fractions, e.g. 3.142 or 124.75. Values can be positive, negative or zero. Math operations may include rounding differences. The character used to represent the decimal point depends on the web browser’s local settings. 

To present files for download, choose the Download data type. Download supports external and internal links to unsecured and secured file system areas as well as access to files and folders that are securely stored in the DotNetNuke database. 

Stores data in the format of an Email address. Data of this Type will by default be displayed as a clickable link. If the user has entered a valid “mailto:” address such as, clicking the link opens the default Email client. Note that email addresses are not stored literally but instead the address is cloaked to protect against spam spiders. Also, you cannot use this format to launch to an IM (instant messaging) client. 

Use the Image type to display an image in this column, a unique image for each record. The user will be prompted to provide a link to an external URL, or select an image stored in a non-secure folder of the portal where the user has access. The user will be presented with non-secure folder access regardless of the user’s permissions. 

Data type Integer displays data in numerical format. Integers are typically used to represent numbers and can be positive, negative or zero in the limits of ±231. 

Link to User’s Profile
Link to User’s Profile data type allows the user entering a record to specify the Username of a valid member of the current site. When displayed in Form and List, the Username entered will appear as a hyperlink that, when clicked, will display the User Profile for that site member. Username entry is not case sensitive, but otherwise it must be entered exactly as a valid Username or else no link will appear, no warning or error is displayed, and the name entered is not saved. 

Data type Look-Up doesn't store any data, but instead it looks up additional properties from another column, defined in the Advance Column Option - Source Column. Additional properties are available for column types that point to Files (Download, URL, Image) or Users (Created by, Changed by, Email, Link to User's Profile). See ‘Available Token Help’ for more detail. 

Rich Text (HTML)
Stores and displays formatted HTML text, presenting the user with a Rich Text editor. Note, however, that HTML Rich Text editing may be suppressed by control settings or module security configured outside of the Form and List. 

This column type displays a line or rule, allowing you to separate fields into sections. When you choose the option to ‘Display on List’, the Title or name for the column will also display; disable this setting and only the line will display. ‘Acts as Fieldset’ setting will create a line and wraps a line box around all the fields that follow, until the next Separator is found. ‘Acts as Fieldset’ works only when ‘Appearance > Form Layout : DIV and Custom CSS’ is selected.  

Text data type stores and displays a sequence of characters (a string), which may include letters, numbers, diacritics (accent marks) and other special characters. By default, text is displayed “as-is” with no formatting applied. Sorting is literal - as data is sorted in a phonebook. Numbers are sorted by order of their character values (not numerically), that is: 1… 10… 100… 11… 111… 12 ... 

Time stores the time of day specified. You can select the date from the popup calendar. Time is formatted based on the specified settings of the client browser. 

With True/False, the user is presented with a check box, which can be selected (enabled) or unselected (disabled). This allows for “yes or no”, “on or off” choices. An unchecked or disabled value equals “no or off”; there are no null values. 

To store a website address for a page that is either in or outside of your portal, use URL. This data type will display to the user the DotNetNuke URL control. The user selects the appropriate link type (URL, Page or File) and depending on the link type, has the option to either enter data or select it from a list. 

Hidden Columns

In addition to the columns Types available from the Type dropdown list, depending on the column type you define, additional hidden columns are created. These hidden columns allow for data formatting, conditional testing, localization and XSL rendering. 

Shown in the following table, columns beginning with “+” are the hidden column names you may use in Filter Statements, calculated formulas, XSL style sheets, etc. Substitute the “+” with the Title (name) of your user defined column, for example, “myColumnName_UDT_Original” or “myColumnName_UDT_Url”. 

A hyphen “-” in this table means a hidden column is not available for this column Type. 

Link values are either “TabID=n”, “FileID=n” or URL.

Column Name (renders)
+_UDT_Original  +_UDT_Caption  +_UDT_Value +_UDT_Ticks  +_UDT_Url
Changed at
Date - - Localized Date DateTime -
Changed by

Display Name/
Link to Profile

Date Display Name  - - Profile URL
Created at Date - - Localized Date   DateTime -
Created by 
Display Name/ Link to Profile  Username  Display Name   -  -  Profile URL 
 Result of Expression  -  -  -  -  -
Currency  Value  -  -  -  -  -
Date  Date  -  -  Localized Date   Value in Ticks  -
Date and Time  DateTime  -  -  Localized Date   Value in Ticks  -
Decimal  Value  -  -  -  -  -
Download  HTML Link  FileID=  File Name      File URL
Email  HTML Link  Value  Caption  -  -  -
Image  HTML Image  FileID= or URL  Alt Text   File Path  -  Image URL
Integer  Value  -  -  -  -  -
Link to User’s Profile  HTML Link  UserID  Displayed Text  Username  -  Profile URL
Rich Text /(HTML)  Value  -  -  -  -  -
Text  Value  -  -  -  -  -
Time  Value  -  -  -  Value in Ticks   -
True/False  Image [(un) checked.gif]  [‘true’|‘false’]  [‘true’|‘false’]  [1|0]  -  -
URL  HTML Link  FileID=, TabID or URL  Caption  -  -  URL

Example 1: 

When a column named “WebSite” of Type URL is added to Form and List, there are three additional hidden columns created: 

 - WebSite_UDT_Original
- WebSite_UDT_Caption 
- WebSite_UDT_Url

Entering as “WebSite”, the hidden fields yield these values: 

Column Name  Content
 WebSite  <a href=’’ target = ‘_blank’>Web Site</a>
WebSite_UDT_Caption  Web Site

Pointing URL to an internal portal page, WebSite_UDT_Original may be “32” (TabID), and WebSite_UDT_URL would be /home.aspx, for example. 


Example 2: 

When a column named “Available” of Type True/False is added to Form and List, there is also a hidden columns created with the following names: 

 - Available_UDT_Original 
 - Available_UDT_Caption 
 - Available_UDT_Value 

Testing on Available_UDT_Original is useful for filtering purposes. For example, you can set a Filter Statement such as: [Available_UDT_Original] = ‘true’ to display only records where the ‘Available’ column is enabled.


Example 3: 

By default, the built-in column named “Created by” will render the user’s Display Name. However, if you reference the hidden column: 

- [Created by_UDT_Caption] 

… will display the user’s Username. 

Quick Tip
Form and List column Titles may contain spaces in the names. However, when you refer to these columns in  style sheets, formulas and Filter Statements, you should place brackets around the name, for example: [First Name] or [Changed by] 

Hidden Column EditLink
Form and List automatically creates the hidden column EditLink. EditLink provides the URL to edit the current row. If the current user does not have Row Edit permission, the column ID is not set, and the Edit image is not displayed.  EditLink can be used in XSL templates to display the edit image or a custom link to enable the user to edit the row

Last edited Sep 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM by rexha, version 19


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