Browser Forms Dropdown Box issue - InfoPath Dev

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Browser Forms Dropdown Box issue

Last post 02-01-2019 08:18 AM by arkainus. 3 replies.
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  • 01-31-2019 02:47 PM

    Browser Forms Dropdown Box issue

    Ok, I’m hoping someone can help me here or offer some insight, or creative idea on what to do. Everyone knows not to get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well known is this – never go in against a browser form, when your job is on the line!! *sigh* it’s not that serious and I hope everyone will forgive me my pun/Princess Bride reference. Anyhow... to my problem. I have an infopath form with a dropdown box that queries against data in a database server on-prem and auto-populates several fields for the end user once they’ve made their choice. The attorney fields shown in the attached pictures with a list of all of the attorneys. When a user selects a matter, the form is supposed to:
    1. Grab the database attorney and store (in a hidden field)
    2. Set the Primary | Secondary | etc. attorney based on what was grabbed from the database
    3. Set Primary | Secondary | etc. secretary info based on what attorney is in each of those positions

    In the filler, this behavior works perfectly. Dropdown values are set, I can use the dropdown to override info both prior to and after selecting a matter without issue. However, in the browser, something different happens.

    As stated, The green highlighted field (Pic1) is supposed to change everything based on the info selected – it selects against a database, and pulls down info, etc. It should grab the attorney and then based on the attorney, fill in the secretary info. Something strange happens though if I do not hit the dropdown for *each* dropdown box PRIOR to selecting a matter in the green highlighted box.

    In Pic2, I have only hit the dropdown for primary, which pulls up the list of attorneys and allows the inputter to override what would be pulled down from the database

    Pic3 I’ve chosen my matter, and the data has cascaded down to the fields. However, note the secondary and tertiary attorney fields are !blank!, though the secondary and tertiary secretary info is filled in (which could only happen if those secondary/tertiary fields changed data). Worse, if I try and hit the dropdown on the secondary or tertiary to at least fill in what data should be there, Pic4 illustrates that there is no more data there to work with or select from!

    Weird addendum. This is really baffling to me, but maybe someone can explain it. I’ve tried this in both internet explorer, chrome and edge all with the same results. I have a submit button that performs custom error checking. I try and minimize clicks for the end-user experience, so I like to auto close the form after submission, provided all supplied info is correct. If it isn't, an error message will display, and they can try again. As you can see in Pic1, Primary is required, so if I select matter first prior to hitting the dropdown, and get the blank results for all of my attorneys, like I do the secondary/tertiary in Pic3 below the form should not submit. This is because seemingly there is no info in the required primary field, but the form does successfully submit. And if I open the submitted item, lo and behold, the values that should be there for everyone based on the selected matter, are indeed there - though they didn’t display on the screen prior to submitting. If I omit another of my required fields (the doc link) so I deliberately trip the error prior to submitting, it causes everything to display correctly and the dropdown works as it should the whole time… (pics 5, 6 and 7). What am I doing incorrectly here? Short of the button press, is there another way programmatically to force a refresh so it doesn’t appear incorrect to the end user?

    Edit: I rar'ed the word doc with the pics/explanations in it as doc|docx are not allowed extensions. Thank you in advance for any help|insight you may be able to provide, and for your time/consideration.
  • 02-01-2019 06:56 AM In reply to

    Re: Browser Forms Dropdown Box issue

    Well, in case anyone stumbles upon this because they are having the same issue, what I figured out (or guessed would probably be more accurate) is the reason the dropdown worked if I tripped the error is because that error message field is hidden via a rule unless the errored field is set to true, so that made me think that forces the "refresh" that gets it all working again. I'm not sure why that would be but I decided to insert another section hidden by rule that contains only a single white colored period, and the last thing my change event for the matter dropdown box does now, is it will trigger the rule that "unhides" that white period, which tricks it all into working again. My end users do not see it, but it makes the whole form work again, so I'll have to accept the work around for now. If anyone has any thoughts/etc on why that occurs, I'd still love to hear them. Thank you for being a resource for us dying breed infopath developers.
  • 02-01-2019 07:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Browser Forms Dropdown Box issue

    This all sounds super weird. Including the Word doc screenshots. I am glad you have a workaround, but this just doesn't sound right. I guess if I were to try anything, based on the workaround you found, I'd right click the Matter dropdown in designer, and under the properties, find the browser tab. Set it to always postback and see if that makes a difference - I'd guess it is currently set to only postback when necessary, and it needs to postback to get the data correctly, and that your hidden section is causing a postback to happen now, when it wasn't before.....
    Hilary Stoupa

  • 02-01-2019 08:18 AM In reply to

    Re: Browser Forms Dropdown Box issue

    Yeah, I thought it was weird too.

    I did try the postback setting (on both the fields that cause the change and the fields being cascaded down to), but it didn't change the behavior. The only thing I can think is since the whole thing is triggered by the change of the dropdown, and 4 of the fields cascaded down to are dropdown boxes, that some sort of screen locking is what's causing that issue. But, to be honest, I have nothing to base that on, it just is how I chose to internally compartmentalize/rationalize that particular issue so my mind moves on from the issue.

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