InfoView forms constitute your main means of accessing data records. Each InfoView corresponds to a particular table that it "represents".
An InfoView may present to you more than a single table if the tables are relationally linked. This advanced topic is described in a separate chapter though, so for the remainder of the present discussion we will be assuming we are dealing with a relatively simple InfoView based on a single table.
All InfoViews have one thing in common: they have a DataNav toolbar at the top. This toolbar allows you to navigate between records of the table this InfoView belongs to, as well as manipulate the currently displayed record. The buttons, their functions, and their keyboard shortcuts (where available) are listed below:
Some notes are in order. New records are always appended at the end of the table. They automatically get the next available ID value (which is why you can't edit the ID value by hand). They also get their Author, and Creation and Modification Dates set automatically.
If you edit a record and navigate to another record without explicitly posting your changes, they are posted for you automatically. Same thing happens if you attempt to create a new record while in edit mode: editing changes are posted, and then the new record is created. Incidentally, this makes it a bit quicker to create one record after another: create, fill-in the data, create next one, etc.
Buttons may be enabled or disabled depending on where you are in the table and what rights you have with respect to the table or the current record. Rights only play a role if you are accessing a secured Alventis server, so we won't get into them here.
You may encounter two types of InfoViews.
Detail InfoView forms will have fields represented by individual Text Boxes, Memo Editors, Combo Boxes, Radio Groups, Image Boxes, and so on.
Grid InfoView forms will represent their table using a grid. Grids allow one to see several records at the same time. However, the concept of current record still applies. For instance, if you edit a record in a grid and attempt to focus another record, your changes will be posted. Grids offer some features that are quite unique and useful. You can learn everything about them in a separate chapter. On the other hand, they have some limitations. Since they are displaying an entire record on a single line, space is more limited and things may become quite crammed. Even more importantly, grids cannot display Memos. Not all is lost though.
Which brings us to Mixed InfoView forms. Such forms may have a grid that represents some fields of the table. Whatever doesn't fit in the grid may be represented by our good old Text Boxes, Memo Editors, and so on – all scattered (neatly of course!) around the grid. The grid is then still displaying all the records of the table at once. The other controls though are only displaying data from the current record. Including the Memo that you couldn't see directly in the grid.
A table can have more than a single InfoView representing it. You may, for example, want to have a Detail InfoView and a separate Grid InfoView: depending on what you are doing, each has its advantages. Another table may have two Detail InfoViews with different layouts that present the same data differently. Whatever the case may be, you can switch between InfoViews at any time using the rightmost button on the DataNav bar . Clicking it displays a menu of accessible InfoViews. The current one is shown with a blue icon next to it. If you select the same InfoView you are already using, it will get re-opened thus refreshing the current record (so you will see changes you or somebody else may have made to this record while you had it open). If you select another InfoView, your current record will be displayed in whatever other form you have selected. In all cases, if you do the InfoView switch in the middle of editing a record, your changes will be lost, so if this is not what you want, post them prior to switching.
Whatever InfoView form you select, your choice is remembered by Alventis, so this InfoView will be used next time you want to open a record from this table – be it in a standalone InfoView or in the Preview pane. It should be noted that you may have more than one copy of the same InfoView open at the same time, displaying the same or different records from the same table. One may be confined to the Preview pane, others may be floating around. When you switch to another InfoView form, this will only immediately affect the InfoView from which you initiated the switch: the other InfoViews will remain as they were until you close and re-open them (or switch them too – except the Preview that can't initiate a switch). You can sometimes use this to your advantage: perhaps by using one InfoView in the Preview form while working in a different standalone InfoView of the same table.
Other than what has been described above, InfoViews can come in all shapes and sizes (as long as they are rectangular and fit within Alventis' Workspace, to paraphrase Henry Ford). Basically, the contents and layout of an InfoView is very much up to its creator, i.e., any user armed with a copy of Alventis Professional.