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A True Story-Who Said That Listening to customers is old fashioned?

At Alpha Software, we have made our Alpha Five rapid application development software into a successful product by:

  1. Producing a development tool that is highly productive, extensible and programmable so that a developer never has to worry if they will run out of power;
  2. And by being a company that is close to its customers and is interested in moving quickly to meet customer needs.

Using our Alpha Five rapid application development software to easily add a tri-state checkbox  to your app

Illustrating these points, the below verbatim exchange between Alpha developer Mike W (full name removed for privacy) and Selwyn Rabins, the President and CTO of Alpha Software, took place over the weekend. On Saturday, February 23rd at 3:09PM, Mike W wrote:
OK, so I added field IsNew2 to a grid that was bound to an Access text field. (I included a copy of the screenshot below.) The checkbox is displayed along with the field value, when it’s a non-null value.

What I’m after is a tri-state checkbox so that the checkbox is checked, unchecked, or dulled. This way the user can determine which state it’s in. Furthermore, each time the user checks the box, it cycles through to the next state. In other words, just like a normal check box, but with an additional (third null) state. I use this tri-State checkbox in Access all the time, and developed one in ASP.NET based on the ImageButton. Doesn’t look like you support anything like this out of the box, or do you? 

Do you use standard HTML5 checkboxes for your Alpha5 checkboxes? I ask because in HTML5 you can toggle this 3rd state of an HTML5 checkbox using javascript and I’m assuming I could run javascript code as an after render event in Alpha5, correct? Or is there an easier way to present the user with a tri-state control in Alpha 5 that I’m just overlooking?
About 2 hours later Selwyn Rabins responded with an easy solution writing,  Actually, this can be done relatively easily.

In his description of the video,  Selwyn wrote, "In some applications you might have a logical field in a Grid that is displayed using a checkbox. If the Grid is based on a SQL table that allows for NULL values, there are really 3 different states that the field value can have: true, false and NULL. HTML checkbox controls only have two states - checked, or unchecked, so by default the checkbox will appear unchecked for both the false and NULL state. Using Javascript, it is possible to set a checkbox state to 'indeterminate'."

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About Author

Richard Rabins
Richard Rabins

Co-founder of Alpha Software, Richard Rabins focuses on strategy, sales, and marketing. Richard also served as CEO of SoftQuad International from 1997 to 2001, when it owned Alpha. In addition to his 30 years with the company, Richard played a key role as co-founder, and served as president and chairman of the Massachusetts Software Council (now the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council), the largest technology trade organization in Massachusetts. Prior to founding Alpha, Richard was a project leader and consultant with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), and a management consultant with Management Decision Systems, Inc. Richard holds a master's degree in system dynamics from the Sloan School at MIT, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and master's degree in control engineering from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has served on the boards of Silent Systems, Legacy Technology and O3B Networks, and is co-founder of Tubifi

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.