What is a multiple value lookup?

A multiple value lookup is a special form of the normal lookups. In normal lookups, depending on how the lookup was invoked (i.e. from the portal or a document), the user typically has the option of returning a record to the calling page or to copy/edit that record. In multiple value lookups, each result row is displayed with a check box next to it. When the user clicks on the "return selected" button, all of the checked records will be returned to the calling page.

Multiple value lookups for maintenance documents

The maintenance framework provides a significant amount of support when returning from multiple value lookups.  Normally, no java code needs to be written to return values.

maintainableCollection definitions need to have several attributes defined that will provide the MV lookups with the information necessary to perform all processing.

<!-- note: the field names do not correspond to real fields in BO and have been modified to make the example clearer -->
<maintainableCollection name="accountChangeDetails" businessObjectClass="org.kuali.module.chart.bo.AccountChangeDetail" sourceClassName="org.kuali.module.chart.bo.Account" sourceAttributeName="accountChangeDetails">
    <maintainableField name="changeChartOfAccountsCode" template="chartOfAccountsCode" required="true" readOnlyAfterAdd="true" />
    <maintainableField name="changeAccountNumber" template="accountNumber" webUILeaveFieldFunction="loadAccountName" required="true" readOnlyAfterAdd="true" />
    <maintainableField name="changeAccountName" template="accountName" readOnly="true" />
    <maintainableField name="versionNumber" />

<maintainableCollection>'s need to have several attributes defined:

<maintainableField>'s may have one attribute defined:

Multiple value lookups for transactional/other documents

This type of documents is less structured.  Therefore, more steps are required to return values from a multiple value lookup.

Rendering a multiple value lookup icon

Rendering a lookup tag is simple: simply invoke the multipleValueLookup.tag from the JSP page.

The following are the MV lookup specific attributes for this tag:

Struts form support

To return from a MV lookup, forms for the return struts action must/should support the retrieval of the following parameters:

If the latter two variables are non-blank, then it signifies that the user attempted to return results

Nervous system support

  1. After retrieving the lookupResultsSequenceNumber and the lookupResultsBOClassName and they are non-blank, find the class corresponding to lookupResultsBOClassName (using Class.forName)
  2. Get the lookupResultsService Spring bean, and invoke something similar to the following
KNSServiceLocator.getLookupResultsService().retrieveSelectedResultBOs(lookupResultsSequenceNumber, lookupResultsBOClass,

This method returns a java.util.Collection of the BOs selected.

Passing the universal user id ensures that only the user that initiated the lookup may retrieve those results

Add returned result BOs into a document collection

The section above described how to retrieve a collection of the BOs being looked up. Often, in many documents that invoke multiple value lookups, the selected rows are returned as some additional elements in some (sub)collection defined on the document. The class type of the looked up BO does not match with the collection element type. For example, for the account global documents, a multiple value lookup is available to lookup multiple Account objects, but the collection to which these results are added has elements of type AccountChangeDetail.

The KNS provides support to facilitate the addition of rows into the collection.

// retrieve the list of BOs
Collection<PersistableBusinessObject> rawValues = KNSServiceLocator.getLookupResultsService()
        .retrieveSelectedResultBOs(lookupResultsSequenceNumber, lookupResultsBOClass, GlobalVariables.getUserSession().getUniversalUser().getPersonUniversalIdentifier());

// request is the http servlet request
String lookedUpCollectionName = request.getParameter(RiceConstants.LOOKED_UP_COLLECTION_NAME);
// the collection from the document, and we're assuming that it's of type java.util.Collection
Collection documentCollection = (Collection) ObjectUtils.getPropertyValue(document, lookedUpCollectionName);

// the type of elements from the documentCollection variable above
Class collectionElementClass = ...;

if (rawValues != null) {
    // see below for an explanation of this Map
    Map<String, String> template = getTemplate();
    for (PersistableBusinessObject nextBo : rawValues) {
        PersistableBusinessObject templatedBo = (PersistableBusinessObject) ObjectUtils.createHybridBusinessObject(collectionClass, nextBo, template);
        // Do other necessary processing before adding to the collection, including setting fields untouched by ObjectUtils.createHybridBusinessObject

In the above example, the template map is used to indicate how fields from the looked up BO (e.g. Account) are mapped into the collection element BO (e.g. AccountChangeDetail). For each key-value mapping in the map, the key is a field name in the collection BO, and the corresponding value is a field name in the looked up BO.

In the method call ObjectUtils.createHybridBusinessObject(collectionClass, nextBo, template) above:

  1. A new BO of type collectionClass is constructed.
  2. For each key-value mapping of template, the field named with the key of the new instance created in (1) is assigned with the value of the field in nextBo named with the mapping's value.
  3. The instance created in (1) is returned.

To see how the maint doc framework implements adding elements to a collection, look at KualiMaintenanceDocumentAction.refresh(ActionMapping, ActionForm, HttpServletRequest, HttpServletResponse)