Segmented controls and validation

What you'll be learning:

  • How to put segmented controls into your forms (such as the one below).

    A segmented control is essentially a set of related buttons

    Figure 38. A segmented control is essentially a set of related buttons

  • How to make a control in your form require an input.

    An example of form validation

    Figure 39. An example of form validation

This is what the form that you're creating in this section will look like when you're done.

What you'll be building

Figure 40. What you'll be building

  1. Open vehicleInspection.form.xml from the previous part of the tutorial, add the following controls to the form after the root panel control, and save the file.

        description="Vehicle Inspection"
        dateformat='(dtf yyyy"-"MM"-"dd" "HH":"mm":"ss)'
                label="Enter the license plate of your vehicle:"/>
                text="I have found all the listed elements in proper condition:"
                text="Front of Vehicle"/>
                label="Fuel/Oil Leaks"
                reference="SELECT 'Yes' UNION ALL SELECT 'No'"/>

    Study notes:

    • The <Control type="label"/> element is a label control that displays read-only text to the user. Long label text is broken up into multiple lines.

    • The submit="false" attribute specifies that the data in the control will not be sent along when the user submits the form - you can leave out static elements using the attribute to limit the amount of data that you move across the network.

    • Segmented controls in the mobile form language have a type of combobox and require the choice="button" and a reference attribute with a data-binding query. For more on this kind of static data-binding query, see the data-binding overview.

      Mobilengine forms give you several options when you want to present a set of answers for the user to choose from: drop-down, toggle choice, hyperlink choice, and segmented controls. Segmented controls display every selectable answer in a single row, and work best when there are only a couple of choices - ideal for Yes/No questions (See the overview of the finished form).

    • controls can have label attributes: this is the text that you want to display to the left of the control

  2. Why not publish the new form and see what your segmented control looks like before you add some more content? Do you still remember how to do that?

    c:\RockyJupiter>mebt run .
    mobilengine srv 22.0 (Release) v22.0.157.14908
    Executing run (compile and deploy to server):
    Service url:
    User: adding 'vehicleInspection.form.xml'
    Reset integration settings
    Import form 'vehicleInspection'

    After you publish, synchronize your device, and open the form.

    Your first segmented control

    Figure 41. Your first segmented control

  3. Nice work so far. However, you can't put your feet up yet - you want each of these segmented controls to be mandatory, so that the driver will not be able to submit the form if he or she has not selected either Yes or No. In other words, you need a validator. Add a closing tag to your segmented control element, and insert the following code inside it:

        label="Fuel/Oil leaks"
        reference="SELECT 'Yes' UNION ALL SELECT 'No'">
                message="Please indicate if the listed part is in order."/>

    Study notes:

    • There are validators for every kind of user input you could think of, and you can insert more than one at a time: simply list them inside the Validators element.

      Note that because you are now nesting an element inside the leaks segmented control, its tag is no longer self-closing (you need to close it on line 15).

    • The verifyat="submit" attribute specifies that the validator will alert the user about the control when he or she tries to submit the form - the other available option is to alert the user as soon as he or she modifies the control (verifyat="change").

    • The changeindicator="both" attribute specifies that not only the alert message is displayed, but the control is circled in red as well.

    • The value of the message attribute is the alert message that is displayed when the user tries to submit the form without entering input.

    If you don't specify a message attribute, the default error message Required field. will be displayed.

    This is how the validator above kicks in when the user tries submitting the form without picking a choice

    Figure 42. This is how the validator above kicks in when the user tries submitting the form without picking a choice

  4. Practice time: in the text editor, add three (3) more segmented controls below the first one, with the same Yes/No choices, and the same RequiredValidator, labelled Security of Load, Reflectors, and Indicators, and save the file. You can download the file if you want to.

    This is what you want to see when you're done

    Figure 43. This is what you want to see when you're done

  5. Save and publish the file as usual. On your phone, fill it in (or don't fill it in, and suffer the consequences), then submit it. Congratulate yourself for a job well done, then move on to the next tutorial.