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What is the Dynamic User Interface (DUI)?

While LIMS-plus v5 strives to provide as many fields as possible that will capture relevant data for specific entities in the application, the needs of all customers can never be fully anticipated. Thus, LIMS-plus v5 has the built-in flexibility for organizations to create individual fields and entire forms that are customizable to the environment of the organization. A dynamic user interface, or DUI, is the implementation of this functionality. DUIs are created for specific entities in the application, such as evidence, examination results, activities, etc. They are called "dynamic" user interfaces because they can be changed based on rules created in the DUI Designer. An example of a DUI that can be created for evidence items is detailed below. This is not a comprehensive document on how to create all types of DUIs, but rather an introduction into the DUI design process.

Users who will be using the DUI Designer will need to be assigned the Security Roles that have the appropriate permissions set. The permissions related to using the DUI Designer are:

  • Admin - User Interface | Designer - Add
  • Admin - User Interface | Designer - Delete
  • Admin - User Interface | Designer - Edit
  • Admin - User Interface | Designer - View

Please note that the Admin - User Interface | Designer - View permission is the permission that determines whether the user is able to access the Designer command on the User Interface submenu (ON), or sees a grayed out Designer command on the User Interface submenu (OFF). Users cannot work with the DUI Designer if they are not also given the associated View permission.

Access the DUI Designer

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Open the Admin menu, go to the User Interface submenu, and select Designer.

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On the Designer screen, depending on the entity for which the DUI will be created, select the appropriate item from the first drop-down list. This list will then filter the second drop-down list to display the specific areas for which DUIs can be created. The following few steps show each of the selections in the drop-down lists.

DUIs for Case Entities

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When Case is selected from the first drop-down list, the specific areas for which DUIs can be created correspond to:

  • Evidence - DUIs can be created for Evidence items (Evidence tab of an open case).
  • Case Offense - DUIs can be created for Offenses (Offense tab of an open case).
  • Case Agency - DUIs can be created related to Agencies (Agency tab of an open case).
  • Crime Scene - DUIs can be created related to Crime Scenes (Crime Scene tab of an open case).
  • Investigation - DUIs can be created related to Investigations (Investigation tab of an open case).
  • Case Individual - DUIs associated with Individuals can be created (Individual tab of an open case).
  • Communication Log - DUIs can be created for Communication Logs (Comm Log tab of an open case).
  • Narrative - DUIs can be created for Narratives related to Investigations (Investigation tab of an open case).

The two images below show an example of a custom DUI created for the Case Individual entry form:

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DUIs for Activities

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When Activity is selected from the first drop-down list, the specific DUIs that can be created correspond to:

  • Communication Logs
  • Training Records
  • Court

The two images below show an example of a custom DUI created for the Training Record Activity form:

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DUIs for Examinations (Results Entries)

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When Examination Result is selected from the first drop-down list, the specific DUIs that can be created correspond to the list of result entry forms for the root Examination Type. These Examination Types are specific to the Analytical Modules in which they will be used. The list seen here will not correspond with another organization's list, but is merely an example of what might be seen. Examination Result DUIs are not specific to the items related to an examination, but to an overall result of an examination.

In the case of a Biology Screening Examination, for example, an organization might choose to create an Analytical Module to use for all Biology Screening Requests. The results entry form that is named in the Analytical Module setup might also be "Biology Screening." The DUI associated with this Examination might include fields to record narrative results, conclusions of analysis, etc.

DUIs for Sample Results

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When Sample Result is selected from the first drop-down list, the specific DUIs that can be created correspond to the list of results entry forms for items related to Examination Types. These Examination Types are specific to the Analytical Modules in which they will be used. The list seen here will not correspond to another organization's list, but is merely an example of what might be seen. Sample Result DUIs are specific to the items related to an examination.

In the Biology Screening Examination example, the results entry form that is listed in the Analytical Module setup might be named "Item Screening Result." On this DUI, included fields might be for the entry of Preliminary Blood Screen Results (e.g., KM positive, negative, or inconclusive); Preliminary Semen Screening Results (AP positive, negative, inconclusive, Spermatozoa identified, No Spermatozoa present, PSA positive, negative, or inconclusive), etc. Because these results are specific to the samples being tested, this would be an example of a DUI for a Sample Result.

DUIs for Agencies

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When Agency is selected from the first drop-down list, the specific DUIs that can be created correspond to:

  • Agency
  • Agency Reps

As an example, if the lab has some agencies under its jurisdiction and there is a different fee schedule for them as opposed to outside agencies, a DUI can be created to capture the agency's "location" (e.g., within jurisdiction or outside of jurisdiction). This DUI can then allow the lab to separate these agencies by their "location" to determine which fee schedule to apply for billing.

DUIs for Staff

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When Staff is selected from the first drop-down list, the only DUI will correspond to Staff. An example of additional staff data that might be captured is a proficiency test schedule (annually, bi-annually, etc.), their pay grade/rate, etc.

DUIs for Tests

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When Tests is selected from the first drop-down list, the specific DUIs that can be created correspond to the list of tests that can be performed on evidence, such as toxicology screens. The list seen here will not correspond to another organization's list, but is merely an example of what might be seen. When designing the DUI for a test, it can only have one row. There are also limitations as to what objects or controls can be included in a test. These are mentioned below.

DUI Designer

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No matter which DUI will be created, the same screen will appear when the Start New Design button (1) is clicked. Alternatively, an existing template for that entity can be edited. Existing templates will appear once the specific entity is chosen. To edit an existing template, check the box next to the template and click on the Edit Template icon (2). In this example, a template for Case Evidence is being created. There are two templates in process and a third one is being added, called "Shoes." No fields have been created on the Design Grid yet, but the grid consists of 4 Rows and 4 Columns (3). Rules for the display of the template will be added later (4).

Edit the "Shoes" Template

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Place a checkmark in the checkbox next to "Shoes" and click the Edit icon (1).

The DUI Toolbox

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There are two tabs next to the Design Grid. Select the Toolbox tab and click on the pin in the top right corner to "pin" it open (1). The toolbox contains all of the field types that may be added to a DUI. To select a field type, simply drag it from the toolbox onto a section of the grid. Only one entity can be added to each grid square. The entities are:

  • Label - adds a label to the grid.
  • TextBox - adds a textbox to the grid. This allows users to type information into the box.
  • DropDownList - adds a drop-down box to the grid. The user must choose from the selections in the drop-down list.
  • DateTimePicker - adds a date/time fields to the grid. The user will be able to enter a specific date/time or select from the calendar presented.
  • CheckBox - adds a checkbox to the grid. The checkbox has an internal label and, therefore, requires no additional label.
  • RadioButton - adds a radio button to the grid. The radio button has an internal label and, therefore, requires no additional label. The difference between a radio button and a checkbox is that in a series of radio buttons that are grouped together, only one entity can be selected.
  • ListBox - adds a list box to the grid. This is a list of items where more than one item in the list can be selected. Can not be used in tests.
  • GridView - adds a grid to the grid. This appears as a grid to the user, where each section of the grid can be a different entity type (for example, a drop-down list, checkbox and textbox can all appear in the grid). Can not be used in tests.
  • Image Attachment- Can not be used in tests.
  • RichTextBox - similar to a textbox, but allows rich text (font, font size, bold, italics, etc.). Can not be used in tests.

 

Field Properties

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Each field type has a list of properties associated with it that will differ depending on the type. These can include the properties seen in the above example, which is a textbox. The properties of a textbox include:

  • ID
  • ColumnName
  • Type
  • Visible
  • ReadOnly
  • TextAlign
  • Width
  • Data Source
  • MaskExpression
  • IsRequired
  • Req. Validator Message
  • Max Length
  • Regular Expression
  • Enabled for Chunk
  • Is Locked after Release
  • Calculation Expression

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: When adding objects to the DUI, do not copy and paste information into the DUI designer. Doing so can result in the entry of spaces or special characters in the related database column names which may have a negative impact on the function of your DUI. Always type your settings into the DUI designer field property fields.

 

DUI Display Rules

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Rules can be set to determine when the DUI will display and when it will not. The Rules for the Shoe example are shown above. Being able to set specific Rules is the "dynamic" portion of the DUI.

In the Shoes DUI example, the fields should probably only be displayed when the evidence description contains the word "shoe." If the evidence is described as a knife, it would not make sense to ask the user to define shoe type, color, manufacturer, etc. As shown in the image above, the Shoe template will be displayed whenever the evidence description contains the word "shoe" - and will not display if the evidence description does not contain the word "shoe."

Setting Permissions for the DUI

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The DUI can have permissions associated with it, so that only specific user roles are able to access the fields - even if the conditions of the rule(s) are met. Click the Define Permissions icon (1) next to the Shoe template to add or edit permissions.

User Roles

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After clicking on the Define Permissions icon, the Permissions window will open with the list of user Roles. Place a checkmark in the checkbox(es) next to each of the user roles that should have permission to access the DUI that has just been designed.

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