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Dynamic Form Fields

Forms don’t have to be empty. When a Web browser loads a form page, one or more fields may already be filled with information from a database.

You can use this feature for update forms on your site. It can also come in handy when, for example, you’ve created an Employee Directory section for your company’s site. Suppose that, on the Insert New Employee page, you built a pop-up menu that lets the Human Resources department select a department for the new employee.

You, the designer, could create a menu like this by manually typing the name of each department. But what if the names of the departments change, or new departments are added? You’d have to reopen the page and edit the form field each time. But if you opted for a dynamic menu instead, the page would build the Departments pop-up menu automatically by retrieving the current list of departments from the database (see Figure 23-9).


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