Shell database for Panorama X?

I first used Panorama in the early 1990s, when it was the “database that thinks it’s a spreadsheet.” I updated versions as needed and was happy to continue using Panorama 6 until I bought a new MacBookPro in 2020; that forced me to move to Panorama X.

Since then, I’ve been frustrated because all I really want is a simple tool for personal files – nothing fancy. I worked with 4th Dimension databases for 10 years – as a second career – and that ended 7 years ago. I’m not starting a third career so I balk at the learning curve that’s needed to start from scratch with Panorama X.

During my 4D work, a 3rd party shell product was available that offered a simpler approach to creating a new database. Does such a tool exist for Pan X? My quick look at the Database Exchange doesn’t reveal anything like that. So I’m turning to the forum.

Thanks for your help!

I am not certain what your issue is, but if you are only using simple tools for personal files, all you need to do is convert your old Panorama files to Panorama X. See,Field%20definitions

Beyond that, Panorama X works pretty much the same as Panorama 6. You can create a new file simply by choosing New in the file menu.

Or choose New From Template to automatically create a ‘pre-made’ (simple) database…

I like this thought. I hadn’t realized there were templates available. Thanks! I’ll give it a try.

No, the available templates weren’t the answer. Back to the drawing board.

I watched a tutorial on Form Design–and made notes–a couple of times in 2021. I think I have to go back to that and try again. I knew how to create forms in older versions. In 2001, I printed a nice looking two column document, with photos, for a class reunion. Now I’m struggling with an (individual record) form for data entry.

Bernadette, It’s not so much that Panorama X works differently as it is things are in a different place. It’s like a grocery store that rearranged the food on the shelves. All the food types are still there, but you have to spend more time trying to find something.

For example, you don’t create your fields and set their “properties” in a Design Sheet - you do it right from the DataSheet view.

If your previous files were not overly complex, they may import into PanX as is and you are on your way. Be sure to read the Link BruceDeB provided. But if it’s just the data - you could export the whole shebang from your old Pan to a text file, then import that file onto PanX - with no concern about “conversion”.

Good analogy. And it fits my reaction: I don’t like it when my grocery store rearranges things either!

I converted old databases two years ago, when I first had Panorama X. I had several dozen Pan 6 files on my old iMac; of those, I moved one dozen to the MBP and converted them to Pan X using the directions provided. There are really only a few that I want to continue using; the others are available in case I ever want to access the data.

I also still have a few 4D databases with information I’m ready to move to Panorama. For those, I’ll have to start from scratch; exporting the data from 4D and importing it into a new Pan X database isn’t an issue but creating new forms is.

Once you have your fields set up in the datasheet of your new file, select New Form… from the View menu to start creating your form. This will open a new form temporarily named Form_A in graphics mode. Now from the Construct menu choose Fields and Variables. In the dialog that opens select the fields you want to be included on the form and they will be added to your form ready for data entry. This will give you a nice place to start and you can add features from this point onward.

Thanks, Gary.

I think I’m done here for now. I appreciate that there’s such a supportive, helpful group to turn to. If I get to the point of writing procedures, I know I’ll need help with that.

I’ll be back!

I was going to suggest that, but Gary beat me to it. However, I still have a chance to point you to the help page for this feature, which can really do a lot to simplify construction of new forms.

Yes, working with forms changed quite a lot. This is because the old way to work with forms was really antiquated – lots of modal dialogs, special modes for creating objects vs. clicking on them, and generally very non-standard compared to modern macOS apps. This isn’t really surprising since the old interface was developed in the 1980s. New users found this old style interface completely baffling – it wasn’t like any other modern program. The new interface, with inspector panels instead of dialogs, is much more familiar for users of other modern macOS programs.

To help Panorama 6 users with learning the new interface, there is a special video designed specifically to explain the differences in working with forms between 6 and X. You can watch this from the Help menu or in your web browser using this link:

This is one of a set of four videos designed to help Panorama 6 users with learning Panorama X. You can find these in the Help menu, on the web page, or using these links:

Converting from Panorama 6 - Converting from Panorama 6 on Vimeo
Panorama 6 to X: Basics - Panorama 6 to X Basics on Vimeo
Panorama 6 to X: Form Design - Panorama 6 to X Form Design on Vimeo
Panorama 6 to X: Programming - Panorama 6 to X Programming on Vimeo

I takes about an hour to watch all four videos, I think you’ll find it time well spent. The biggest key is to get familiar with the inspector panels. Once you know which panel each option is in, you’ll be able to work quickly.