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Adding an 'edit' feature to a web site (i.e. editing registration information, updating content, modifying a shopping cart list) requires that HTML forms are built that are populated with the data that is to be edited. One of the worst things about populating an HTML form with data is the fact that the HTML and ASP script need to be mixed together. Example
First Name: <input name="FirstName" value="<%=recSet("FirstName")%>">
This creates very messy code, and makes it a real pain to update the look and
feel of the form once the script is added.
There are several problems with this type of coding:
Anyone who designs the form must know ASP scripting.
The form cannot be editing in a WYSIWYG designer after the script has been added.
More processing time is required at the server due to the context switching
between the HTML and script. Although all of the code can be put inside
Response.Write functions, it creates an even more unmanageable mess.
- During the design phase of the form, the amount of work required to update it
is many times that of editing an HTML file alone.
With a set of functions called
AutoForm, all of these problems disappear, and it is even easier to do than the old
Here are the basic steps
- Create the HTML page with a form (or multiple forms)
- Create an ASP page that includes the above form in an
- Add the AutoForm.asp function file using an
- Call a single function for each item on the form you want populated
- You are now finished!
So in effect the HTML page acts as a template that our ASP page will load
and populate. No modifications to the HTML page are required whatsoever,
allowing the HTML page to be updated freely without disturbing the script.
Below is a sample of an ASP page that will load an HTML template page.
<!--<span class="code-comment"> ********** Add Form Template File below ********** -->
<!-- #INCLUDE FILE ="my_form.htm" -->
<!-- ********** Auto Form Functions ********** -->
<!-- #INCLUDE FILE ="autoForm.asp" -->
<%' load the data into the form using the AutoForm functions
StartAutoForm("MyForm1") ‘name of the form to load
SetTextBox "FirstName", "Troy"
SetTextBox "LastName", "Marchand"
SetCheckBox "Working", true
SetRadioButton "Mood" ,"Great"
ClearSelection "Numbers" 'for multi-select boxes, it is a good idea to clear them first
SetSelection "Numbers", "2"
SetSelection "Numbers", "4"
Although the values are hard coded in this example it would be just as
easy to use a record set to populate the form.
The only stipulation on the HTML page is that each element in the form needs
to be named, since all of the functions require a form element name as the
first parameter. The names used must also be agreed to by the HTML designer
and the ASP developer, since they will need to be used in both places.
Must be called before any of the other AutoForm functions are called.
If multiple forms need to be populated, call this function to set the form
that will be popluated.
formName - name of the form to be popluated
Must be called after a form has been populated with the AutoForm functions.
If another form within the same page needs to be popluated, call this function
SetTextBox( fieldName, value)
Popluates the specified textbox.
fieldName - name of element to populate
value - value to set into the field
SetSelection( fieldName, value)
Selects the specified item in the specified select box.
This function can be used for single and multi-select styles. If populating
a multi-select box then ClearSelection should be used to ensure that the default
selection is cleared.
fieldName - name of select element to populate
value - item to be selected
SetRadioBuffon( fieldName, value)
Selects the specified radio button in a group of radio buttons.
- name of select element to populate
- radio button to be selected
Clears all selections from the specified select box.
- name of select box to clear
Checks, or un-checks the specified checkbox element.
fieldName - name of checkbox to check/un-check
bChecked - set to ‘true’ to check, or ‘false’ to un-check