Replication of Form from one application to another, or even same application is sometimes very much needed in a development phase especially upgrade projects.
We have something called the FDA compare mode within the Form Design Aid (FDA), for the purpose.
The FDA Compare tool enables you to compare one version of an application to another. You can compare them on the application level to determine whether forms have been added, deleted, or rearranged and whether the properties have changed. You also can compare the forms in the applications to each other to see whether controls have been added, deleted, or rearranged and whether the properties have changed. Infact, you can compare two different applications as well. This feature is useful when you have made a new application by copying an existing one and then modifying it. Then, when you upgrade, you can not only compare the base application to its new counterpart, but also you can compare a custom application.
You can also use this tool to merge/copy forms from one to another.
Now how do you do it:-
- Created a new Application say P55TESTD, and opened it in Design (FDA)
- Now, we are going to copy the form W01012A form of the P01012 application. NOTE: We can not copy a form without having atleast one form in the application.
- We need atleast one form in an application for the FDA Compare to work (That is what Compare means). So create a sample Message Box Form, and Save it.
- Now, select – File – Compare Mode (alternatively press Alt+C), and then select the Target application with which you need to compare.
- Enter P01012 (or the application/form you need to copy)
- You can see the Form Compare Mode loading with source application and the target application.
- Now, right click on the form you want to copy from P01012, and select Copy to Target Application
- At this point you get the opportunity to either copy the Form properties and the Controls, or just the Properties.We can select the Copy Form Properties and Controls and proceed (click OK)
- Following is the screen we are presented with after the copy.
- We can choose to close the Compare Mode by selecting File – Compare Mode (Alt+C) again
- Viola, your form has been copied to your application, with the controls, and the properties as is.
Now for those whom Copy to Target is disabled, you will have to right click on each Form Control and then select Copy to Target
The Main Caveat is that the Event rules are not copied. If you need to copy the event rules over as well, use Visual ER Compare with similar steps as above. Shall be writing an article to copy Event rules soon.