Exception avoided in FTSearchSorted in #XPages

Regular readers will remember that I’ve been playing around with using FTSearchSorted in order to create Excel spreadsheets from Notes databases in XPages. I’d had that in my sample database for a while, but hadn’t used it our production environment yet. I worried that my experience with crashes was going to be repeated and that it would take forever to integrate it into the design. Fortunately, I got over my concern about crashes (that’s what an admin team is for, right?) since my coding and the versioning all make it seem stable. The integration of the changes (modify one form, one button on a custom control and a few lines in a script library) was relatively quick. So, in the spirit of the 442nd, I decided to “Go For Broke”.

Having pushed the changes to my development environment, I set up a new report with a querystring and a sort column. My brilliant code would soon return a report of all contacts with their city = “Bethesda”, sorted by… Position since that was a column in the view and I was being random. It didn’t work. I played around with the querystring and finally decided to use FTSearch without using sort or my sort column. That worked. So, I tried FTSearchSorted, with the column name in parentheses, so it would definitely be string. Then, a number for the column instead. Then, I decided, I wouldn’t provide a sort column at all. That worked. So it wasn’t the method and it wasn’t the values I was passing to it. It just returned a silly null object every time.

So, I turned to Stack Overflow. Sure enough, someone else had the problem. The answer provided (too short in the Stack Overflow admins’ minds) was from Thomas Adrian, “make sure the view is user sortable”. Aha! I went back to my form, on which I had placed useful help text that I didn’t bother to read:

A column may only be used for sorting if it has been designed to allow “Click on column header to sort” on the Sorting tab of the column properties. The relevant options are Ascending, Descending, and Both. Trying to sort a column in an unsupported direction throws an exception.

I even bolded the important part of the text on my form. I hadn’t read it when I picked my sort column, so it threw an exception every time I used one of those unsorted columns.

Since I’ve demonstrated that even I won’t read my help text, I’ve changed the code on the button that allows you to select which column to use as your sort column so that you can’t choose one that isn’t sorted either ascending or descending. It will only list choices that are click to sort one way or the other (or both).

Forall columns In columnArray
	If ( columns.Isresortascending Or columns.Isresortdescending ) Then
		' add each view name to an array if it is eligible for click to sort
		Redim Preserve headerArray ( count )
		headerArray ( count ) = columns.ItemName
		Print headerArray ( count )
		count = count + 1
	End If
End Forall

I’ve added a clearer explanation to Thomas’ answer, but that short sentence was all the answer I needed. Once my expansion of his answer clears the editors, it will look nicer up there, but since you’ve already read this blog post, you won’t need it, eh?

I’ve updated the sample database, so you can download it to see the rest of how it works if the code sample is not enough. I’ll be at MWLUG starting tomorrow afternoon, so make sure to say “Hello”!

Categories: Server-Side Javascript, Xpages | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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