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I am trying to replicate a functionality that is in MS Access (Parent/subform). abuot 16 years ago I build a warehouse management system for a client in MS Access which they continue to use today. They especially like the ability to quickly create a purchase order or invoice using the MS Access forms.

I have convinced them of the need to move to a more "open source" platform that will allow for multiple users, (e.g. MySQL with PHP/JS/JQuery). They will only migrate to a new system if I can provide a similar experience to the one they use in Access.

Basically the flow is that the user selects a "customer" from a drop down and the contact information (from the customers table) for that client populates the "header" form. The user can make any edits if needed and then submits that form to the orderHeader table which is auto-numbered and generates the next OrderId.

The OrderId is passed to the orderDetail "subform" in which the user selects items from the inventory (from a view which has the latest inventory levels) as the item is selected the detail form record is updated with itemId, price, shipping weight. The user then enters the quantity into the record and the extended cost and weight are calculated.

I have been able to create a process where I create the header form, then call a detail form on a separate page, passing the $_POST value to the subform, but the user experience is not quite what they are looking for. I have also tried to use Ajax to pass the header data and return an OrderId, but that has not worked.

I have been looking for a solution for quite a while and have seen some stuff built in PHP frameworks like Laravel, but most times the detail form does not have an auto complete dropdown to control input.

I am open to doing more research and learning whatever I need to get this done.

What I have tried:

I have tried third party tools like PHPGrid (shows master/detail forms but doesn't support data entry), Scriptcase, PHPRunner etc.

I have used Ajax to support the dropdown boxes and Javascript to managed the DOM elements.
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