Thursday, November 28, 2013

XAF: Soft Validation (What’s New in 13.2)

Our next major release (13.2), updates our Validation Module with more features that come with different behavior rules, such as Warnings and Information. These can be applied to your existing validation rules using code or the Model Editor.

The XAF validation module is a mature and flexible validation system, which allows you to create rules that can validate any business problem, For more information, check out the module documentation.

Suppose we have a Business Object that disallows saving a Customer if the Name property is blank. If this attempted the UI should respond with a “Everybody has a name!” message.

[DefaultClassOptions]

public class Customer : BaseObject {

    public Customer(Session session) : base(session) { }

    [RuleRequiredField("Customer_Name_Required", DefaultContexts.Save, "Everybody has a name!")]

    public string Name { get; set; }

    public string City { get; set; }

    public int Age { get; set; }

}

When an end user tries to save the Customer without a name, XAF will show the Validation Error listview and consequently abort.

image

Creating a warning rule

A common requirement for our Customer class is to warn the end user that, if possible, he/she should provide the Customer’s city. To do this, we need to mark the City property with a  RuleRequiredField. However, this time we have to set the ResultType to Warning as illustrated below.

[DefaultClassOptions]

public class Customer : BaseObject {

    public Customer(Session session) : base(session) { }

    [RuleRequiredField("Customer_Name_Required", DefaultContexts.Save, "Everybody has a name!")]

    public string Name { get; set; }

    [RuleRequiredField("Customer_City_Warning", DefaultContexts.Save, "Provide the City if possible",

        ResultType = ValidationResultType.Warning)]

    public string City { get; set; }

    public int Age { get; set; }

}

When the end user saves the Customer (in runtime) providing a Name and not a City, XAF will again show the Validation Error listview however, this time there will be an extra Ignore action.

image

If the end user executes the Close action, the object will not be saved however if he executes the Ignore action it will be saved. In both cases in the detailview there will be a warning action by the City textbox to draw the end user’s attention.

image

Creating an Information rule

XAF allows you to create validation rules even at runtime using the Model Editor. So let’s say we want to just inform the end user, if he enters a Customer Age not between 10 and 60. This means that we need to use a RuleRangeField rule as illustrated in the next two images.

image

image

When the end user saves a Customer (in runtime) with an invalid Age range, XAF will not display the Validation Error listview at all. However, it will display an Information icon to draw his/her attention to the Age property.

image

Where to see more examples?

You may explore our FeatureCenter application located in your C:\Users\Public\Documents\DXperience 13.2 Demos\eXpressApp Framework\FeatureCenter\CS folder to see a few rules in action.

What about the web?

The validation module as a platform agnostic module works similarly for the web.

image

The soft validation is in its first release (CTP), thus we look forward to your feedback as we get it ready for it’s official release. Let me know what you think.

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