Handling numeric ranges in text

I’ve often said in the last six months that the frustrating thing about XPages in comparison to “old Notes” is that sometimes things that were easy before, are now hard. So many of us have 12-18 years of Notes development and can code in LotusScript basically off the top of our heads that doing XPages is almost like starting over.

Such is the case I’ve recently had with handling some text keywords that determine dollar ranges for workflow routing. In the original XPages design, the dollar ranges were in a combo box, for the user to select manually. As such, all four range values were simply put as text values in a multi-value text field in a keyword document. Well, since asking (or trusting) one’s users to select the dollar range seems excessive when we could simply compute it for them, I decided to modify that part of the XPage I’d inherited.

Intially, the four values used in the combo box would return an alias value bound to a field on the document, so the keyword document had these values:

Under $500|1
$500 to $3,000|2
$3,001 to $150,000|3
Over $150,000|4

In my simple world of formula language and LotusScript, I would have been able to use a simple formula that included @TextToNumber, some @RightBack’s and @Left’s to establish what the range border values are. Tossing it into Client Side Javascript (CSJS), it vexed me. So, rather than handle it, I created a range keyword that just had the numeric values and a text keyword that had the nice display text. I promised myself I’d get back to it and in one of the miracles of the modern era, I got back to it within a few weeks (after Connect-o-Sphere both enthused and confused me in the same week).

There’s a computed field used to determine the total value of the purchase order, so I had snuck my code for determining the dollar range right into that formula. This intrigues me because I can have code to recompute the dollar range value only when that total value changes – an option I wouldn’t have had under “old Notes”, where it would have recomputed every time.

I realized that if I’m computing the text to display the dollar range anyway, I could drop the aliasing off the end of the keyword values, which should make them more accessible to my local admins for configuring their workflow. I used Javascript to bind the computed combo box value as follows:

var choices = new TS_Keywords().Lookup("Procurement / Checklist dollar ranges", true);
if (poDoc.isEditable()){
	var number = viewScope.dollarRange; }
else { number = poDoc.getItemValueInteger("DollarRange") };
if ( number > 0 ) {
	number = number-1;
return choices[number];

TS_Keywords was written for us by Teamwork Solutions, but basically we’re just getting the multi-value text field with it.

So, to handle that multi-value text field, I needed to use several String methods in Javscript: slice, length, replace and parseInt. I was rather surprised that it both looks like such a complex line of code, but is also relatively simple.

//compute dollarRange and store as a viewScope variable

var number = 4
// compute numeric values of the checklist ranges from the text keyword
var rawlevels = new TS_Keywords().Lookup("Procurement / Checklist dollar ranges", true);
var levels = new Array (rawlevels.length);
for (var i=0;i<rawlevels.length;i++) {
	var space = rawlevels[i].lastIndexOf("$");
	levels[i] = parseInt ( rawlevels[i].slice ( space + 1, rawlevels[i].length ).replace(",","") );

// find which range the total falls into
if ( thisVal <= levels[0] ) { number = 1 };
if ( thisVal > levels[0] && thisVal <= levels[1] ) { number = 2 }; 
if ( thisVal > levels[1] && thisVal <= levels[2] ) { number = 3 };

While I’m sure this is not the most efficient way to handle this, it avoids the multiple keyword nightmare I was going to foist on those local administrators and might guide someone generally in the direction of solving their own coding problems.

Categories: Client-Side Javascript | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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