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Preface

Generally Form/document validation usually works in 3 ways.

  • Application Layer Validation
    1. Data is entered
    2. Client clicks save
    3. Application does validation
    4. Any errors are displayed
    5. User clicks OK
    6. User corrects form
    7. Client clicks save
    8. Data saved
  • Database Validation
    1. Data is entered
    2. Client clicks save
    3. Database does validation
    4. Any errors are hopefully displayed. Application has to be coded to catch / display errors.
    5. User clicks OK
    6. User corrects form
    7. Client clicks save
    8. Data saved
  • In Line Validation
    1. Data is entered
    2. Warning messages are displayed in line with data and are removed as data is corrected.
    3. User corrects data as it is entered
    4. Client clicks save
    5. Data saved

Usually all three of these validation methods are used to varying degrees in applications. But as developer time grows short on a project in line validation often gets overlooked. This is a disservice to our users. In line validation results in a shorter data entry cycle and helps to reign in user frustrations with data entry. If your still not convinced of its importance try a google search on the subject. I’m certain others have already written about this and articulated the arguments better than I could.

How this relates to TIER

TIER does application layer and database validation very well. Unfortunately in line validation is not something that comes free with the application layer validation. In practice I’ve not noticed many sites trying to use it. It’s not that hard to do but does require more work. With the benefit of limiting user frustration at least basic in line validation like required fields should be worked into every form and be a developers standard in form design.

The validation notices on the included example form are implemented by usingĀ  a TTierEdit control with validation and HideOnValidation set to true. It’s important to note these are informative only and do not force any validation on their own. Note that I set the font size of the asterisk to 18. At the same size of the text it looked disproportionately small to me.

In Line Validation Example Form.zip

Here are some screen shots of the included example form. Format to taste.

Required fields with no data.

 

Required fields with data.

 

Alternate validation being triggered.