Include multiple table fields in Exact Forms Plus Word Merge

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Is it possible to have a related tables field values be included in an Exact Forms Plus Word Merge?
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David W. Brown

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Posted 6 years ago

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Ⲇanom the ultimate (Dan Diebolt), Champion

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I don't mean to dis a third party product or Exact Forms, but this technology is very limited and is going against the overwhelming trend of using client side technology for templating. My advice is to use one of the available client-side templating technologies along with the API to do your merging. Here is a simple introduction to client side templating from Smashing:

http://coding.smashingmagazine.com/2012/12/05/client-side-templating/

Here is a view of the jsfiddle mentioned in the article (click on the individual HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Resources, and Results tabs):

http://jsfiddle.net/webpro/huuDd/embedded/

QuickBase itself now uses client side templating via the Mustache library. You can see it yourself from the Manage User page:

https://www.quickbase.com/db/APPDBID?a=ManageUsers

Just look at the source and search for the Mustache delimiters {} or }}. Here is a formatted example of QuickBase's own usaged of Mustache:

http://pastie.org/7081415

New technology takes time to percolate and to be widely accepted. The changes QuickBase is making to the product with the new UX are necessary to modernize the product and provide more of a foundation for new features. Client side templating is extremely powerful and the Exact Form technology is dying a slow death. Resistance if futile.

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Keith, Champion

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Yes David, Exact Forms Plus does allow you to include data from multiple tables, related or not, in your final output document; word or pdf.



If your are not as tech savy as you need to be to implement some of Dan's suggestions, Exact Forms Plus is a great alternative for you. Native Exact Forms has not seen any new updates/features in a long time and is not really being supported however we are continually updating Exact Forms Plus to include many new features and have setup many clients that are very happy with this solution. We find that although there are a lot of very technical QuickBase do-it-yourselfers out there, there are also a lot of QuickBase users that don't have the time or resources to implement and support custom api driven technical solutions...so Exact Forms Plus is the right choice for them.
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David W. Brown

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I attempted to use SubTables, but the fields do not show up in the Configuration page.
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Keith, Champion

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David W. Brown

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Yes, Keith's help answered this question perfectly and it only took minutes to understand and correct.  Exact Forms Plus using Subtables is very powerful, thanks Keith!
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Ⲇanom the ultimate (Dan Diebolt), Champion

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Exact Forms Plus does do what Keith says and it is updated.

The bigger issue for me is that client side templating goes way beyond simply generating reports. Let's put it this way: Every web server uses some type of templating technology. Data stored in a back end database is merged into a template to produce the HTML you get in your web pages. The various web server technologies use various delimiters (eg <% %>,  {{ }} or ${}) to mark where specific variable should be substituted and other conventions but they pretty much all operate the same way: data from a database is merged into a template where the delimiters indicate and the merged result is delivered to the browser as HTML.

So reports, forms, SVG etc can be rendered using templating. Almost every web page you see is expanded using a server side template. This is standard operating procedure and all templating  libraries such as Mustache do is move this technology to the client browser. And there are even more amazing things that can do using libraries such as AngularJS (see http://quickbase.posterous.com/the-big-reveal)  and the upcoming Web Components spec.