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Release Updates – Form Mode, Formula Commenting, UI Improvements and More …

Due to the easiness and rapid development style of BAU DB, it is a great tool for people, developers or consultants, who make applications for other people to use. Many friends of BAU DB have expressed love to use BAU DB to create database or business applications for people to use.
This release comes with some features that are useful when creating applications for other people, and some user interface and internal improvements as well. Just like all previous releases, thanks have to be given to all of you who have reported, suggested and inspired on these improvements.

Modes of Record Form (Input Pane)

Currently, each cell’s properties (settings and formulas) can be updated through clicking the “..” button on the top right corner of each cell. It’s just convenient to go with the on-screen setting.
When creating applications for other people to use, you might like to keep away the end users from wrecking the program. In this case, you can change the mode of the record form (input pane) to turn off the button. Thanks for Matthew’s inspiration on that.
Click this button to open cell properties page.
Before that, record form can be changed to “Report” mode already, so that record entry cannot be edited and becomes read only. Now, these two features are combined to become the different modes of the input pane.
In Worksheet Setting -> General Settings -> Form Mode, you can choose these options:
Input / Design – Can edit data and do on-screen setting
Input Only – Can edit data only, no on-screen setting
Read / Design – Cannot edit data, can do on-screen setting
Read Only – Cannot edit data, no on-screen setting
Select various modes for the input pane.

Automatic Upgrade of Working Files

This is a feature arising from the implementing of the above. Originally, there was the setting for the report mode of a worksheet with the options of True or False. The database field holding that was a True/False data type, which is either 0 or 1. In order to incorporate the various form modes now, the database field has been changed to a Text data type which stores directly the mode names.
Since that is a change of setting in each of the existing working app files, the program will automatically apply the change when you open an existing workbook that was created before this release. This mechanism of upgrading working files will also go alongside in the future releases whenever new features happen that require changes in the infrastructure of the working files.

Adding Comments to Formulas

The formulas of BAU DB are fun and simple to be used, and you can easily understand the behaviour of each worksheet by reading each line of formulas one by one. The openness of all settings and formulas is also a good point for end-users, so that they can get help from anyone in the future to ensure the continual growing of their applications.
Although the formula, which is in SQL format, is already easy enough and understandable, it will be more convenient if comments or remarks are added, so that, no matter for the sake of the original developers or the other developers and end users as well, people can know immediately what the formulas are doing at a glance. And the good news is that you can now do so handily!
You can type in comments in any part of a formula, and enclosed with a pair of curly braces. You can add comments in formulas from all areas – formulas used in record form, record list view, data processing and validation.
Comments can be added anywhere inside a formula.

Better Annotated UI of Worksheet for Newcomers

The 3 panes design of the worksheet UI (user interface) is to simplify the user experience. Users can search and edit record entry in the same screen without swapping back and forth. Though, some people who approach BAU DB the first time, may fall into a trap and don’t know where to start with. Okay, your voices are heard. πŸ™‚ Thanks for Jan and Chris. The followings are added to make BAU DB more user friendly:
Names of the 3 Panes at Startup
In a blank new worksheet, the names of the 3 panes are displayed. With these annotations, it’s easier to understand how to go with the worksheet.
Record Form – Input Pane, for editing record entry
Record List – Browse Pane, for listing and searching of record entry
Assist Info – Info Pane, for displaying related information or selection list
Input, browse and info pane.
Descriptions in Worksheet Setting
The titles of each part of worksheet setting are also changed to match with the above.
General Settings – edit the general properties of the worksheet.
Record Form’s Cell Properties – edit the properties of each cell in input pane.
Record List’s Column Properties – edit the properties of each column in browse pane.
Filter Box’s Properties – edit the properties of each box in filter pane.
Processing After Record Entry Saved – do some necessary data processing after a record entry is saved.
Validation Before Saving Record Entry – ensure the integrity of data by adding some rules and checking for the data entry.
The titles of different sections of worksheet setting.
The Link “Docs” in Menu Page
The program is now “connected” with the online documentations. It’s more handy to get help from the documentations, by clicking the link from Menu Page.
Access to online documentations handily with the link.

Better Navigation of Worksheet Setting

Again, thanks for Matthew’s report. The followings are improved for better user experience working with the worksheet:
Shifted Positions of “Save” Buttons
The “Save” buttons are shifted a little bit to the right, so that you can still scroll on the horizontal scroll bar of the grid of multiple fields when they are collided on the same level.
the grid is still scrollable when collides with Save button
Shortened Grid Heights
In worksheet setting, the grid heights of the multiple value cells were too large and difficult to navigate. The heights are now shortened and the whole grids can now completely show on a screen without the need to move up and down.
The grids can now show up completely in the screen.
Removed Continuous Row Increment when Scrolling Down Multiple Value Cells
This feature seem to be of no value to user. The continuous row increment as the grid is scrolling down is now removed. The movement of the grid will be stopped when it is scrolled down to the bottom row.
Multiple value cells is now stopped at the last row of the grid.

Countering Button Comes Out Right After Setting

This is the part two of the feature introduced in last release. Countering button is an on-screen button that you can add on the worksheet and adhere with some formulas as a way of on-demand data processing, and was explained in the previous release.
Now, this button is created immediately, right after its setting is confirmed in the cell setting screen, without the need to wait for the next startup of the worksheet.
Countering button comes out right after the setting is confirmed.

Some Other Improvements

Removed Confirmation Message when Creating a New Worksheet
Before that, a confirmation message “Insert worksheet setting completed.” would be popped out when a new worksheet is created. This message is now removed for a smoother operation.
No More Displacement of Default Value Button
The default value button was displaced a little bit upward in some situations. This is now corrected.
No more displacement of default value button
Loading a Record Entry Faster
It’s found that a record entry is loaded twice each time it is called into the record form. It is now normalised with only one shot of loading and you should feel it become faster.
Loading Screen Text Faster
The codes has been changed with the loading of screen annotations in a worksheet becomes faster now.
Formula for Currency Selection Corrected in the Sample Application
The formula is now corrected and pointing to the petty table to display the currencies.
Corrected formula for displaying currency in the sample application.

User Manual – More Styles of Excel Spreadsheet Reporting

This part of user manual about the various styles of Excel spreadsheet reporting is completed. You can learn more dot dot commands that are useful in making reports. I am sure you will get a lot of funs from it.

How do I Update

As usual, download from here and install it on top of your current installation. This installation has updated the setting file – bauSetup.dbp. If your have changed anything in that file, make a backup of it and apply your own changes to the new file after installation.
Do you like the updates of this release? As always, your comments makes BAU DB better and better. I truly understand that only you, who are sitting in front of the program and using it, can tell the good and bad of it.

Release Updates – Countering Button for Execution of Formulas

This release is the update of a very useful feature – adding a button on a worksheet so that you can execute a set of formulas to process data on demand. Thanks for Pierre’s help and the feature is now ready!

Countering Button – On Demand Formulas Execution

You can create a button in the cell of a worksheet. In the property setting of a cell, select “Countering” in Nature and add the cell caption in Initial Value.
Setting the property of a cell to create the countering button.
When you exit and enter the worksheet again, the button is created in the cell.
A countering button is created on the worksheet.
Now, you can go to Processing Data in Worksheet Setting to add the formulas that you would like to execute by pressing the button you have just created. You can create more than one button on a worksheet, and so you have to specify the button caption with the keyword – “Countering” together in Counter Formula. The formulas to be executed are added in Update Formula.
Add formulas in Process Data for the countering button.
These formulas will only be executed when the countering button is pressed, not when saving record entry. This feature of Countering Button added the flexibility for you to process data, and is a very convenient and useful features.

How do I Update

You can go to download page to get the new update and install it on top of your current installation. This installation has updated some messages in the setting file – bauSetup.dbp. If your have changed anything in that file, make a backup of it and apply your own changes to the new file after installation.

Release Updates – Word Automation, Windows 10 Installation, Accumulative Summation Across Records

Hello friends,
This release comes with the interesting and exciting features that you will love. Let’s go!

Automated Document Using MS Word

Thanks for Pierre’s suggestion, apart from printing the content of a record entry onto a pre-formatted Excel spreadsheet, you can now choose to use Microsoft Word to create automated document template. This added option of using Word makes the feature of automated document more complete because some documents are better created and formatted in Word.
Using Word document to create template is the same as using Excel spreadsheet, just embed cell captions enclosed with double colons in the document template file. Multiple value cells can be populated in a table of Word.
Using MS Word for automated document template.
Document template of Word is filled with data.

Removed Blurred Screen Effect in Windows 10

This installation program fixed an unwanted effect in Windows 10.
If you have selected to scale up the sizes of items in Windows 10 in display setting, the screens of the program get blurred. This issue does not happen on the other versions of Windows – Win XP, Win 7, WIn 8 etc. It’s just because the handling of Display Scaling has been changed in Win 10.
Blurred screen occurs in Windows 10.
Setting of scale-up Windows items
Actually, to remove the blurred effect, you can change manually the setting in properties of the execution file – baudbs.exe.
Disable DPI Scaling manually by property setting.
Right click the execution file in C:\Program Files(x86)\BAU DB Free\baudbs.exe
In “Compatibility” tab, check the box of “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings” and press “OK”.
To save your work, this installation program creates a registry entry for the execution file to disable display scaling automatically, so that you have no need to change the property manually. This will only happen for Windows 10 installation.
DPI Scaling is disabled by a registry setting created by the installation program.

Accumulative Summation of Record Entries

There are two new formula keywords, AccSum and AutoSeqNo, to be used in Processing Data After Saving Record. These 2 formula keywords are useful for working across a series of record entries in a specific order.
There are use cases, like working with bank account transactions, you will like to calculate the accumulated account balance after each of the transaction record. The accumulated account balance of a transaction is the sum of the account balance of the last transaction with the amount of that transaction.
Calculate the accumulated sums for a group of transactions.
Now suppose we organize each transaction as a record entry in a worksheet. If the transaction records are entered following the real-life order, it’s alright simply to apply formulas to calculate the account balance for the current transaction record only.
However, in actual operations, it’s always not so perfect and the record entries may not be entered in the actual order of the happening of the transactions, and therefore we have better calculate the accumulative sums for a group of records as a whole in the actual order.
These formulas calculate the accumulated balance.
In this example, the formula uses AccSum to calculate and propagate the accumulated balance for those transactions with transaction date after the current transaction.
AccSum AccBal, TranAmt from f where AccNo='f.AccNo' and TranDate>=datevalue('f.TranDate') order by TranDate
If you like, you can enumerate the transaction records in the order of transaction date. This formula uses AutoSeqNo to enumerate the transaction records of the same month:
Update f Set SeqNo=AutoSeqNo where AccNo='f.AccNo' and format(TranDate,"yymm")=format('f.TranDate',"yymm") order by Trandate
The calculated accumulated balances of the transactions.
These two formula keywords shows you how BAU DB can be used to process data in a handy way.

Option to Open Another Workbook and Close the Current One

When you have already opened a workbook, and press the “O” button in Main Menu, it will open another workbook while leaving the current workbook intact. Thanks for Nagendra’s comment, and yes sometimes people may like to close the current workbook and open another to work.
Instead of letting you close the current workbook manually, it’s worthwhile doing something to automate this process. Okay, here you go and you can now choose to open another workbook from the Main Menu with or without closing the current workbook.
This button is used to open another workbook and close the current one.
When you mouse over the “O” button, it splits up into two buttons. The right hand side’s “oc” button, short form for open and close, is the newly added button to open another workbook and close the current one, and the left hand side’s is the same button to open another workbook while keeping the current one.
The fun of the button is that, once you are familiar with the behavior of this button, you can choose to go directly to either the left or right side of the “O” button, so that you can go directly to the button you want.
Point to the left side for
The same is working for creating new workbook with the “+” button and “+c” button. Wish you will love these 2 buttons πŸ™‚

Smaller Installation Program

The installation program is now downsized from 5.8M to 3.1M, which give you faster access to the amazing features of BAU DB. Thanks for Nagendra again! You reminded me that some system files of Windows can be neglected in the installation file and thus make it slimmer.
At that time of discussion with Nagendra, I had chosen the conservative approach to leave the system files in the installation program as usual, to play safe for the risk if some users really lose any of those system files that BAU DB needs.
Although the worry is not without ground at all, the chance of missing those system files is rare. This fact is further supported by the Windows File Protection feature, with which I have done a testing on it recently. The fat is that whenever a system file is deleted, it is refilled immediately.
Now, the installation program, bausetup.exe, is downsized to 3.1M with the Windows system files removed. All these system files are still available in the installation program with selection of destination location, bausetup-s.exe, just in case when some users really need it.
The above 2 updates illustrate the importance of listening to user’s opinions, which is also the area that I have to pay more attention and improve on my side πŸ™‚

A Fix in Worksheet Setting

In worksheet setting, when a value in “Column Caption” in Browse Pane’s Cell Properties is changed, it will lead to the 2 values, “Table” and “Field”, of a label cell in Input Pane’s Cell Properties filled with values, whereas for a normal label cell, there shall be no value defined for “Table” and “Field”.
This triggering by an action in Browse Pane’s Cell Properties which changes the data in Input Pane’s Cell Properties is due to some wrong indexes of formulas which is stored in the file bauSetup.dbp and these formulas are fixed now.
If you have changed anything in the file – bauSetup.dbp, like added local translation of the screen texts and program messages, you should make a backup of it before running the installation program, and apply your change back to the new file when installation is completed.

A Fix about Page Break in Excel Report

The page break location in Excel reporting of MultiPreprint format is not correct. This is fixed now.

A Fix in Concatenate Column Cell Values

“Concat” is a calculation formula type, which concatenates all the values of the cells in a column of multiple value cells and separates the values with comma. This fix removed the commas that appear in the beginning and end of the string.

And Finally …

Thanks again for the appreciations of BAU DB from all of you, and most importantly all the comments and suggestions that have made BAU DB better and better. Though, this is my job to make BAU DB becomes a great tool, the opinions and thoughts from you – the actual users are irreplaceable. That’s why I call you all friends now. And this is also my duty to open up and listen better to your thoughts πŸ™‚

How do I Update

As usual, download from here and install it on top of your current installation. This installation has updated the setting file – bauSetup.dbp. If your have changed anything in that file, make a backup of it and apply your own changes to the new file after installation.

Release Updates – 2015/12/7

This updates is about the user manual. Thanks for your requests and suggestions, the documentation is now completed with the basic concepts of the feature of BAU DB and the contents should be sufficient so that you can get your hand in customizing your own database solutions.
BAU DB is an easy-to-use tool which lets you create powerful and flexible solutions to manage business and work. Apart from that, it is also an easy-to-learn tool. This is a summary of what is included in the documentation so far:
The purpose of the first section – “Quick Starter” is to let you start working with BAU DB immediately.
In “Going Straight to Data Entry“, you will know how to use BAU DB in a single click to create a ready-to-use database application and you can go straight to enter the cell captions and save data on the worksheets.
In “Automated Documents Using Excel“, it explains the simple steps to add some cell captions of BAU DB worksheets into Excel and turn it to a document template immediately so that you can generate automated documents for the data entries you have created.
In “The Actual Database“, it reveals the relationship of worksheets wit the actual database underneath. With this understanding, you can edit your worksheets to add more cells and also apply automation formulas that manipulate the tables and fields of the database.
In “Automating The Data“, you can learn the formulas and apply them to automate selection lists, input validations, calculations and manipulations of data between worksheets.
In “Reusing Pre-Existing Spreadsheet Data“, you will understand how to import your existing data in spreadsheet format into BAU DB worksheets in some simple steps, so that you can continue your works in BAU DB.
In the second section, “More Features” explains more features of BAU DB along with a real life sample, so that you can understand apart from using the default worksheets, BAU DB allows you to create an application from scratch as well.
In “Download The Sample Application“, it shows you the way BAU DB opens an application file is just like Excel opens a workbook file. It also introduces briefly about each worksheets of the application so that you can better understand the examples in the following sections.
In “Settings of a Worksheet“, you will learn how to edit a worksheet with its input cells associated with database fields and different field types. You can also edit the entry list views and the filtering boxes.
In “Data Flows Between Worksheets“, more use cases and examples are shown. You will meet some useful and convenient techniques there.
In “Manipulations of Data After Saving an Entry“, it will shows you the features of data manipulations that simplify things and empower you to apply some formulas to perform some tasks.
In “More Automation Features“, there are more fun and convenient features that sum up and made BAU DB an easy and simple tool for building applications.
Once again, thanks for Jan’s suggestion to add the explanation of database table and field and Ramos’s suggestion to add the steps of importing data into BAU DB. In the coming session, topics like usage of formula, cell properties and reporting will be rolled out. As suggested by Nagendra, forum is also need to build. For the time being, let me know if there are anythings that you want to know and not yet found in the documentation.

Release Updates – 2015/9/17

This release includes a small update in the program, some changes in the installation file, release of the Quick Start tutorial and … Thanks Giving.

The experience of making software over the Internet is just amazing. People from all over the world came to visit the site and downloaded the software. Through the website, I could meet with wonderful people who are powerful users and passionate developers. They are always giving invaluable comments and suggestions which are all vital for improving BAU DB.

It’s all due to the fact that they are real users. They are also so passionate that they have spent much efforts to help figuring out how to make the software better. We share the common goal and I know they have saw through the vision of BAU DB already πŸ™‚

If there is an ability that is the most difficult and powerful at the same time, I would say it is the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Making software is also such a job, in which only real users could tell the true feeling about using the software. Instead of thinking all the stuffs out of myself as a developer, now I know you could share with me all the useful comments and suggestions in order to make a great software tool for people to use.

And these people are you.


Thanks for Philip, you pushed me to create the documentation and now the Quick Starter guide is completed. The tutorial goes through the overview and features of BAU DB. After reading the tutorial, you could understand why BAU DB is a rapid and easy tool to create database solutions and you should be able to get started using it for your works. That said, I have to gear up my effort in order to complete the other parts of the documentation as well.

Choose Location for Installation

Thanks for Michael, the installation program can now choose the location for installation and could be download here. Since I would like to keep the installation program to be simple, and stupid :), it is now divided into 2 versions. The first one is the standard version which provides the quick installation experience to users while the second version provides the flexibility to choose destination location for the installation files. Nevertheless, BAU DB is light-weighted (yet flexible and powerful) which does not consume much disk spaces.

Program Running on Windows XP

Thanks for Nagendra, you helped to make the program runs better in WinXP. Due to the format about sorting sequence of a few Access files, for which before the program was running in Chinese environment, the program cannot run on WinXP properly. Now I twisted it to a general sequence and now BAU DB can run on WinXP smoothly. This issue has never impacted the other Windows versions and occurred only in WinXP. As for the issue with UXTHEME.dll, the file is now omitted from the installation program so that it will not over-write the patched uxtheme.dll file and crack the Windows. Your effort of checking the other system dll files is valid and excluding them will make a smaller installation program. To play safe and ensure the installation program can run on all computers successfully, these system dlls are kept in the installation program. Besides, I have made some improvements about the alignments of screen controls in Main Menu and About screen and they look much better now in WinXP.

Add Pictures to a Record Entry

Thanks for Matthew, you reminded me of the feature about adding pictures to a record entry, which actually has been a feature of BAU DB for a long time and just that I missed mention it in any description pages. Now the description is completed and you could find it in the Quick Start tutorial and its introduction is added in the feature page too. You also reminded me of giving example database file and the sample app file can be now downloaded here. You sent me the list of comments and suggestions which I have gone through them already. I will put them up one by one on the list.

How do I Update

As usual, to get the update, simply download from the download page and install it on top of your current installation.

Release Updates – 2015/8/10

This release is a bunch of small enhancements. These include added warning messages when formula used are not correct, some user interface improvements and some enhancements about formula settings.

Message for Update Data

Warning message is added when formula used to patch data is not correct. To accessing this function, press “Amend Data” button in Main Menu and a window will pop out in the bottom right part.

patch database record using formula in main menu

Inside the window, you can use SQL formula to update or patch data in the database. This feature is convenient when you need to update a number of records altogether, or you need to update some data fields that are not shown in the worksheets, for some special reasons out of your normal operations.

This enhancement is that when your formula applied is not correct, now there is a message notifying what’s wrong with the formula.

warning message pops out when applied database update formula is not correct.


Processing of Data after Saving Record

The other two enhancements are related to data processing after record saving. In each worksheet, you can set up formulas for processing of data that are inside the worksheet or in the other worksheets, in order to fulfill your business automation and requirements.

You can find the formula setting in Main Menu -> Worksheet Setting -> Processing After Document Saved, which is near the bottom of the page of Worksheet Setting.



Value Replacement

In the setting, there are Counter Formula and Update Formula. Counter Formula calculates some values which are then transferred and replaced in the corresponding Update Formula for updating records. To replace values in the Update Formula, these keywords are used : “value”, “value1”, “value2”, … and so on. Before this enhancement, only up to “value9” can be used in the Update Formula. Now, this update allows up to “value99” for replacing values, which should be more than enough for normal use cases.



Dummy Counter Formula

It is possible in some use cases to execute Update Formula only without running query in Counter Formula. Before, a dummy counter formula “Select Dummy from tblDummy” is required, even though no actual meaningful calculation or result is obtained from this expression. This update allows just to leave counter formula blank when there is no calculation or query required to supplement the update formula.


These enhancements are all small fixes that help the program better communicate with end users, and these updates let you get a glimpse of a few convenient features of Bau DB and why Bau DB is an interesting and fun tool πŸ™‚ to create automated database solutions by yourself without much requirement of technical know-how.

How do I Update

As usual, to get the update, simply download from the download page and install it on top of your current installation.

Release Updates – 2015/7/3

This update introduces an interesting function – on screen setting of date selection list.

How to Access the Feature

You can easily call out the field setting screen by pressing the small button in the top right corner of each field cell. Inside the field setting screen, you can define a formula in the box of “Lookup Formula”, to display a list of data items in the display pane, for cell entry selection or just to display relevant data for reference purpose. And one of the most common feature that will be used is to define a calendar date list for entry selection when the entry cell is a date field.

database field setting button on the worksheet


This New Update

This update added the very convenient feature of on-screen setting of formula for displaying date list, instead of creating it from scratch. Press the “Date List >” button just under the label “Lookup Formula”, and you can find the screen for setting date list formula.

database field setting button on the worksheet


In the simplest form, just press the “Apply” button, and then press “Save” button in the field setting screen. You can now find a list of date values shown in the display pane.

date list created instantly in the database worksheet


You can always customize the content of the date list by changing the settings on the screen.

Use Case 1

In some applications, you may like to limit the starting date value, you can set the Smallest date values to, for example, Today + [-2] days so that the date list always starts by date value of 2 days before.

date list started by a defined date value


Use Case 2

In some applications, you may want to select a date value for every 7 days later, so you change the increment between date values : [7] days, and the displayed date list is like this:

date list with date values incremented by certain days.


Use Case 3

In some applications, you may want to choose the dates backward and you would like to reverse the date value order. Okay, in this case just select “Descending” for display order. Please note that in descending order, the limit of the starting value is the Largest date value, not the Smallest date value.

date list with descending display order


As a reminder, always turn Input Box to “TextCmb” for selection list. And in many cases, it will be useful to set Initial Value to “Today” for entry cell which is a date field.

general setting of date field


After all, apart from changing the on-screen settings, you can directly edit the formula in the formula box to custom for your own need. So, do you like it? This on-screen setting demonstrates that BAU DB is very easy and simple to use as an instant database solution. You can always provide flexibility to your applications, while keeping the setting up works to be as simple as possible.

How do I Update

Simply download from the download page and install it on top of your current installation.