Custom Search triggered by an Action Button

+4 votes

I love the idea of this tool: To provide just enough access to tables in a database to facilitate basic database admin actions without having to develop a fully-featured frontend for the database.

However, the missing feature for me to be able to efficiently use this as part of my (and my co-workers) daily workflow is saving and naming oft-used searches/filters. Without this feature, I'm required to spend too much time searching for data to view or edit quickly and then move on to another task with the same table but working with a different resultset.

I should be able to save and name multiple searches as filters for the current table. For example:

Sales in a Zip code
Sales by a sales rep
Sales of a given product

Moreover, these saved filters should allow for simple parameter prompts. For example, the "Sales in a Zip Code" would allow either a constant entered in the Zip Code column parameter, or something like "[Enter Zip Code]" where, upon selecting the "Sales in a Zip Code" filter, a modal dialog opens and allows me to enter the zip code I'm seeking using the prompt I specified (look at how this feature is implemented in Microsoft Access). If I also have a "[Enter the Sales Rep ID]" in the Sales Rep search criteria then the dialog prompts me for both criteria.

I'll add that a similar feature of naming layouts (selections of visible columns), naming sort orders (eg. "Sort by Create Date", "Sort by Delete Date, Customer Number", etc would be especially useful.

Finally, I'd note that if the above features were present, and control of Search Filters, Layouts, and Sort Orders could be controlled on the user level, you would have a tool that many of the very large user base of users of services like Airtable would profoundly appreciate and pay for. Imagine: Airtable types of features without their limitations, using my own databases that likely supports other corporate functions or websites, without giving up control.

Until such time as these features exist, I suspect I won't be able to use this tool as much as I'd love having direct control over admin access to tables that are part of our corporate workflow.

in Features (Todo) by (210 points)
retagged by
Would custom Administer defined searches implemented as Action Buttons satisfy your needs?
Perhaps. It would depend on if you were able to also implement promptable variables (e.g. [Enter the Sales Rep ID]).

My fear about that implementation would be a cluttered UI unless there was some Action Button grouping mechanism.

1 Answer

0 votes

This is an interesting and full bodied suggestion. I am only going to cover the multiple filters portion of this request here. Having multiple Forms/Views is covered in: Multiple Forms

Using Existing Functionality

The advanced search does allow you to quickly move between simple searches. If both Zip code and Sales rep fields are available in the advanced search, then clearing the Zip code field and selecting a Sales rep is a simple and painless process.

It becomes more complex when looking at a product because you normally have multiple products (items) per individual sale. This could best be accomplished by switching to the product table, selecting a product, and then viewing all of the joined sales for that product. This could be made easier by allowing the advanced search to also look at child table fields.

Adding Custom Search

dbFront allows you to save one default filter per table but allowing for multiple filters with the ability to quickly switch between them would definitely be handy.

Allowing an Action Button to trigger a custom search (optionally prompted) would be very powerful. The Custom Search buttons would be styled and placed separately and look like push buttons.

There are multiple ways that these search buttons can be implemented but the first choice would likely be via a SQL expression. Other options are:

  • Procedure,
  • View,
  • Create from current advanced search.

The cost to build this feature starting with a SQL expression is estimated at: $600 (USD)

NOTE: Please vote on this Feature Request if you want me to enhance the Advanced Search with multiple saved searches.

by (59.7k points)
edited by
What would the estimated cost be to build this feature?
I updated the answer with more details and an estimate.
Thank you Anthony. SQL expressions would do the trick.
@Splatter or anyone else - would you be interested in splitting the cost for this feature?
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