Performing Common Tasks

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VBA is very flexible in conjunction with Access. This chapter can't hope to show you everything that you can do with VBA, but it can offer you a selection of techniques to get you started. This section looks at some of the things you can do with forms and VBA:

  • Checking for a form's existence

  • Determining whether a form is open

  • Moving and resizing a form

  • Passing arguments to a form

  • Populating a form

Checking for a Form's Existence

You might at some point want to know whether a particular form exists in the current database. This is especially useful if you're writing general-purpose code that you plan to use with many databases. Fortunately, Access provides you with a built-in way to determine whether a form exists. Figure 10.1 shows a portion of the Access object model that's useful in this situation.

Figure 10.1. A portion of the Access object model.

graphics/10fig01.gif


As you can see, Access supplies a built-in object called CurrentProject. This object represents the user interface objects in the current database, and itself contains collections for each of the major classes of objects in the database. These collections contain AccessObject objects.

For example, the AllForms collection contains one AccessObject object for each form in the current database. The AccessObject object is not itself a form; rather, it is an object that indicates the presence of a form.

By combining the AllForms collection with error handling, you can easily tell whether a particular form exists:

 

 Function DoesFormExist(strName As String) As Boolean   ' Check for the existence of a form   On Error GoTo HandleErr   Dim ao As AccessObject   Set ao = CurrentProject.AllForms(strName)   DoesFormExist = True ExitHere:   Exit Function HandleErr:   DoesFormExist = False   Exit Function End Function 

This procedure starts by setting up an error handler, so that any errors cause VBA to jump to the code after the HandleErr label. It then attempts to create an AccessObject object corresponding to the form name that the user passed into the procedure. If this attempt succeeds, the form exists, and VBA sets the return value of the procedure to True. If the attempt fails, the error handler kicks in, and VBA sets the return value of the procedure to False. Either way, VBA next executes the Exit Function statement to return control to the caller.

Figure 10.2 shows how you might use this procedure in the Immediate window.

Figure 10.2. Checking for the existence of a form.

graphics/10fig02.gif


NOTE

Sometimes procedures such as DoesFormExist seem to worry beginning developers. Isn't it bad to deliberately cause an error in your code? The answer is no. If you're causing the error to collect information and catching it in an error handler, it is a valuable and useful technique.


Determining Whether a Form Is Loaded

Sometimes it's not enough to know whether a database contains a particular form. You might also want to know whether a particular form is open onscreen. In Chapter 8, you learned about the Forms collection, which contains only the open forms. By determining whether a form exists in this collection, you can tell whether the form is open. Here's the code to do this:

 

 Function IsFormOpen(strName As String) As Boolean   ' Check to see whether a form is open   On Error GoTo HandleErr   Dim frm As Form   Set frm = Forms(strName)   IsFormOpen = True ExitHere:   Exit Function HandleErr:   IsFormOpen = False   Exit Function End Function 

This code is almost identical to the code you just saw for checking a form's existence. The only difference is that it uses a different collection.

Resizing a Form

The MoveSize method of the DoCmd object lets you change the position and size of the object that currently has the focus. This method has four optional arguments:

  • The right argument specifies the new position of the left edge of the form relative to the Access workspace.

  • The down argument specifies the new position of the top of the form relative to the Access workspace.

  • The width argument specifies the new width of the form.

  • The height argument specifies the new height of the form.

Because these arguments include the width and height of the form, you can use the MoveSize method to resize a form without moving it. Here's a practical example. The Clients form in the TimeTrack database currently shows both clients and their projects, a potentially overwhelming amount of information. You'll make use of the MoveSize method to display the projects only when the user clicks on a button.

  1. Open the Clients form in Design view.

  2. Add a new command button to the form. Set its name to cmdProjects and its caption to "Show Projects".

  3. Add this code to the form's module:

     

     Private Sub Form_Load()   ' Make sure the form starts in small size   DoCmd.MoveSize Height:=3345 End Sub Private Sub cmdProjects_Click()   ' Show or hide the projects section   If cmdProjects.Caption = "Show Projects" Then       DoCmd.MoveSize Height:=6465       cmdProjects.Caption = "Hide Projects"     Else       DoCmd.MoveSize Height:=3345       cmdProjects.Caption = "Show Projects"     End If End Sub 

  4. Close and open the form. It then opens in condensed mode, as shown in Figure 10.3. Click the new button to switch the form to the expanded mode shown in Figure 10.4. Notice that the button's caption changes as well. Click the button again to return to condensed mode.

    Figure 10.3. The Clients form in its original condensed mode.

    graphics/10fig03.gif


    Figure 10.4. The Clients form in expanded mode.

    graphics/10fig04.gif


There are a few things in this code worth pointing out. First, the form's Load event occurs when a form is opened and its records are displayed onscreen. You're calling the MoveSize method in this event to control the original size of the form. Second, the code that responds to the button's Click event checks the button's caption to know whether it should expand or contract the form. By using this technique, you don't have to track the form's mode in a separate variable.

Passing Arguments Using OpenArgs

OpenArgs is both an argument to the DoCmd.OpenForm method and a property of the form. The reason for this dual use is that it enables you to pass information into a form at the time that you open it. This section of the chapter concentrates on the syntax of OpenArgs and shows how you can retrieve the information that it contains. Later on, in the "Case Study" section of this chapter, you see a more practical example.

Reports also have an OpenArgs argument, which you can read about in "Passing Arguments Using OpenArgs," p. 212.


The idea behind OpenArgs is simple: you can use this argument of the OpenForm method to pass any arbitrary string data that you want into the form. The value of this argument is then available to any VBA code in the form's module. Here's a quick demonstration:

  1. Create a new form in Design mode. Place a single text box control named txtOpenArgs on the form.

  2. Add this code to the form's module:

     

     Private Sub Form_Load()   txtOpenArgs.SetFocus   txtOpenArgs.Text = Me.OpenArgs End Sub 

  3. Save the form as Chapter10Test.

  4. Close the form.

  5. Run this code from the Immediate window to re-open the form:

     

     DoCmd.OpenForm "Chapter10Test", OpenArgs:="Pass this data" 

  6. The form will open and display the value that you specified for the OpenArgs argument.

TIP

To set most properties of a control, the control must have the focus. Each control that can receive the focus has a SetFocus method that you can call to ensure that it is the active control.


In addition to the OpenArgs method, there's one other new bit of VBA to note in this example: the Me keyword. Me is a shortcut for "the object that contains this code." When you're running code in a form's module, the Me keyword refers to the form itself. Consequently, Me.OpenArgs retrieves the value of the OpenArgs property of the form.

Populating the Form

So far you've been working with the appearance of the form, but you can also manipulate the form's data. Suppose, for example, you want to use the same form for more than one data set. As it stands now, the Timeslips form displays all the timeslips in the entire database, which is an overwhelming amount of data if you want to focus on what's happened lately. Let's combine the OpenArgs property with an extra query to restrict the data on the form:

  1. Create a new query in the database and add the Timeslips table to the query.

  2. Switch to SQL view and enter this SQL for the query:

     

     SELECT Timeslips.* FROM Timeslips WHERE (((Timeslips.DateWorked) Between Now()-7 And Now())) ORDER BY Timeslips.DateWorked; 

  3. Save the query as qryWeeklyTimeslips.

  4. Open the Timeslips form in Design mode. Switch to the form's module and enter this code:

     

     Private Sub Form_Open(Cancel As Integer)   ' Set the data source depending on how   ' the form was called   Select Case Me.OpenArgs     Case "All"       Me.RecordSource = "SELECT Timeslips.* " & _        "FROM Timeslips ORDER BY Timeslips.DateWorked;"     Case "Week"       Me.RecordSource = "qryWeeklyTimeslips"     Case Else       Me.RecordSource = "SELECT Timeslips.* " & _        "FROM Timeslips ORDER BY Timeslips.DateWorked;"   End Select End Sub 

  5. Save the form. You can test the code by entering an appropriate OpenForm command in the Immediate window. For example, use the first of these lines to open the form with all records displayed, and the second to open the form with only the records for the previous week displayed:

     

     Docmd.OpenForm "Timeslips", OpenArgs:="All" Docmd.OpenForm "Timeslips", OpenArgs:="Week" 

Of course, you can also call these statements from the user interface[md]for example, you can add a new button to the Switchboard form to open the weekly timeslips. By reusing a form this way with multiple data sets, you can make your application easier to maintain.

TIP

It's good practice to supply a Case Else with reasonable default behavior. For this form, if the user supplies an unexpected argument, the form will just display all records.


The RecordSource code is in the forms Open event procedure rather than in the Load event procedure. In the former, the records are not yet loaded, whereas in the latter it's too late to change the RecordSource. To learn more about the order of events, see "The Event Sequence for Forms," p. 167.


The key to the data displayed on the form is the form's RecordSource property. You can set this property to a SQL statement or the name of a query, as you saw in this example. You can also set the property to the name of a table if you want to base the form directly on the table without an intervening query.

As an alternative to setting the form's RecordSource property, you can apply a filter to the form after it's open. You can use the DoCmd.ApplyFilter method to take this approach. Let's modify the Timeslips form a bit more:

  1. Open the Timeslips form in Design view.

  2. Add a new command button to the form. Set the button's caption to "Show week" and set its name to cmdWeek.

  3. Modify the form's module as follows:

     

     Option Compare Database Option Explicit Private Sub cmdweek_Click()   'Filter to this week's timeslips   DoCmd.ApplyFilter "qryWeeklyTimeslips" End Sub Private Sub Form_Open(Cancel As Integer)   ' Set the data source depending on how   ' the form was called   Select Case Me.OpenArgs     Case "All"       Me.RecordSource = "SELECT Timeslips.* " & _        "FROM Timeslips ORDER BY Timeslips.DateWorked;"     Case "Week"       Me.RecordSource = "qryWeeklyTimeslips"       cmdWeek.Visible = False     Case Else       Me.RecordSource = "SELECT Timeslips.* " & _        "FROM Timeslips ORDER BY Timeslips.DateWorked;"   End Select End Sub 

  4. Save and open the form. Now click the button to filter the records.

NOTE

The DoCmd object's ApplyFilter method applies a filter, a query, or a SQL WHERE clause to a table, form, or report in order to limit or sort the underlying data. This method takes the form

 

 DoCmd.ApplyFilter [filtername][, wherecondition] 

Both arguments are optional, but you must specify at least one. If you use both arguments, wherecondition is applied.


Note the modification to the Form_Open procedure in the case where the record source is already filtered. In that case, there's no point in even showing the new button to the user, because it won't do anything.

These examples use SELECT SQL statements to retrieve the appropriate records. You can read about SQL in Appendix A, "Review of Access SQL," p. 347.


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    Automating Microsoft Access with VBA
    Automating Microsoft Access with VBA
    ISBN: 0789732440
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 186

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