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Controls - Do you include '-All-' option in your ComboBoxes?
  v2.0 Posted at 2/05/2015 12:52 AM by Daniel Smon
ComboBoxes are often used for filtering data. It is best to have an '-All-' option to give your user chances to select all data.

It is important to understand the idea of visual text. In a list you could see either:
  • -None- or
  • No activity assigned
They both have the same meaning, but the first one is immediately visible whereas the second one must be read.

If the ID column in your database is a string data type, it ​is useful to add a constraint to limit the types of characters that it can contain. Adding a constraint can make it simpler to build your front-end, as you won't need to worry about encoding or escaping to handle special characters.

In SQL Server, you can add a check constraint that limits your column to alphanumeric characters, a hyphen, or underscore using the following T-SQL:

ALTER TABLE [TableName] ADD CONSTRAINT CK_String_Identifier​
    CHECK ([StringIdColumn] NOT LIKE'%[^a-zA-Z0-9_\-]%')​



ComboBox without All
Figure: Bad Example - No '-All-' option so the user cannot select all data
ComboBox without All
Figure: Good Example - Having an '-All-' option gives a user a chance to select all data
Also, keep it simple!
All Stores
Figure: Bad Example - '-All Stores-' isn't needed
All
Figure: Good Example - Keep it as a simple '-All-'
All
Figure: Good Example - Keeping it simple makes it easy to spot (that there is no filter) when you have multiple fields.

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