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Data entry design question

I have a web page where various fields are filled in.  To populate one of these fields I need to go back to the server to get a list of vendors.  The page where I am entering the data from will not be submited to the server when the user is tyring to go get the list of vendors so I can't navigate away from the page and loose all their data entry.  My thought is to have a pop-up window which would go get the list of vendors and have the pop-up return what vendor was selected.  
If I go the pop-up route I would like the window under the pop-up to be covered in gray.  I have seen something like this before but can't remember where I saw it or how to do it.

Any other suggestions?
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cotaej
Asked:
cotaej
1 Solution
 
imhauserCommented:
You can use a ModalDialog using window.showModalDialog(sUrl)
You can pass the selected vendor to the opener window.

Eric
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itwerxCommented:
Why not load the vendor list into an array when the form is loaded. That way the data can be accessed without having to go back to the server.
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joespCommented:
you can't do what you think you saw.  One limitation of using a browser as a front-end GUI is that you can't have windows talk to each other.  All communication must go through the server.  What you may have seen, was a pop-up which submitted all info to server, then select from popup, store popup info along with previous form's submission in same database row, and then retrieval of that row in old form, with net result that new form = old form + popup selection.
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cotaejAuthor Commented:
I was considering the Modal popup but have 2 issues with that.
1) As I said I want the main window behind it greyed out
2) I would like to have Box come up with no title bar/buttons, I want to create my own

As for the array option I am considering that, however I want to keep the page size low and might have more vendors then I want to come down with the main page.  Also I don't have a place to display the info so I need to do some sort of pop-up.  

I am thinking the modal popup will most likely be my best option if I can get past the two issues listed above.

Thanks
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dcryslerCommented:
that's one of the cool features of asp.net, it allows you to post back to the server and it automatically maintains the state of the form so you don't loose any previously typed-in data.

we use cold fusion here and we end up doing the same thing manually by having a form post to itself.  the first time you request a form you get blank values, but subsequent requests populate the input fields with the received form variables.

to avoid the post you could try using a hidden frame or a hidden iframe to make the query.  You can reference data in these frames using client side javascript. I've never used this approach, but it should be possible.  You could return a combo box in the hidden frame, then loop through it's item list and copy the values to your visible control.
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