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Using Lookup Tiles in Dynamic Popups: a Caveat

Known Problem with no Workaround


In Helix RADE 6.0, we removed a limitation in Dynamic Popup construction. Earlier versions of Helix exclude abaci that include lookup tiles from the slot machine selection lists.

We now know why this restriction existed.


Dynamic Popup menus are truly dynamic: if you have a view open with a dynamic popup and data in the popup's source relation changes, your popup menu will be updated to reflect that change.

In the case of a lookup value, the abacus containing the lookup tile is in one relation and the data being looked up is in another. The change in that "indirect" relation (the one the lookup retrieves data from) is not reported to the dynamic popup, so no update occurs, and the data seen in the popup becomes inaccurate.

So, in effect, a dynamic popup menu that relies on data values derived from an abacus that contains a lookup always has the characteristic of a cold form; i.e: Keep Current is unselected.


Now that we have discovered the reason why abaci containing lookups were previously excluded from dynamic popups, we will investigate the possibility of adding the required "change message" to keep the data within a dynamic popup current even when the indirect relation changes.

As this is not considered a bug (no spec exists for this situation) we will not be releasing a fix prior to our next major revision, if at all.

Given this knowledge, you should assess your uses of this technique and determine what action you need to take (redesigning your collection, informing your users of the limitation, etc.) to avoid any data entry errors this could cause.


This limitation exists in all Classic Helix products.

This limitation does not exsit in macOS Helix products.