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Building a Check Register in REALbasic, Part 7

By Brent Malcolm

Washington Apple Pi Journal, reprint information

This article is another in the series about simple programming in REALbasic (RB) to construct a check register. What began as a demonstration to build a simple check register has been transformed into a more full-featured application as a result of the addition of features as the series has developed. The application through Part 6 can be downloaded here:


This article will demonstrate the addition of Automatic Deposit.

Automatic Deposit

Many people receive an automatic electronic deposit from their employer, the Social Security Administration or some other source. I will show you how to add the capability to track an automatic deposit, so that it is always recorded in your check register.

First I click on the Add Window icon and then, in the Property/Value table, I establish the following parameters for the new window:

Name: autoDeposit
Width: 700
Height: 375
Frame:  1-Movable Modal
Title: Automatic Deposit

To the new autoDeposit window I add a new control, the TabPanel, and assign the following parameters:

Width: 660
Height: 335

In the Appearance section of the Property/Value table I click on the ellipsis of the Panels and define the TabPanel as having two tabs. I title them:

Establish Auto Deposit (Tab 0)
Auto Deposit Status (Tab 1)

Tab 0 of the new window

Figure 1.  Here is Tab 0 of the new window I have created so my checkbook register will automatically record my paltry social security check every month.

I configure Tab 0 of the autoDeposit window as shown in Figure 1 with a list box, a couple of edit fields and a group box with some popup menus. The only new control is the popup menu, which I'll cover in a moment. Tab 1 is configured as shown in Figure 2.

Tab 1 of autoDeposit

Figure 2.  Tab 1 of the autoDeposit window lets me review the status of that social security check deposit.

I need a few new variables for my autoDeposit window. In the globalFinancial module I'll define nAutoDeposits as an integer, autoDepList(0) as a string array and autoDepositFlag as a boolean. In the autoDeposit window I'll define autoDepositChangeFlag and fixedDate as boolean. I'll define autoDepositIndex, listSelection and rowSel as integers.

In order to call the new autoDeposit window, I've added a menu item (Automatic Deposit...) to the Special menu just below the Reconcile menu item added in the Part 4 article. Its menu handler reads simply:


This new method, init, configures the window:


The loadDepositorsList method loads the list box in Tab 0 with the same list of depositors that is loaded in DepositWindow. In order to make this operate properly, the variable nDepositors is moved from DepositWindow to globalFinancial.

dim i as integer

for i = 1 to ndepositors
  depositorsList.addrow depList(i)
depositorsList.headingindex = 0

The loadReviewList method loads the list of established automatic deposits (if any) into the list box (AutoDepReview) in Tab 1. This list will come from automatic deposit information that will be read from the Preferences file (that I will cover later):

 dim i As integer

for i = 1 to nAutoDeposits
  addAutoDepReviewRow(autoDepList(i), i - 1)

The setInitialValues method initializes the radio buttons, edit fields and popup menus:

depositorsList.index = 0
rcvdFm.text = ""
autoAmt.text = ""
dateButton.value = true  // fixed date radio button
datemenu.listindex = 0  // fixed date
daymenu.listindex = 0  // day of week
seqMenu.listindex = 0  // week of month
fixedDate = true  // boolean

tabPanel1.value = 0  // tab 0 active

I haven't yet defined what will appear on each of the popup menus, but RB makes it easy. Each popup menu Property/Value table has an InitialValue item. Clicking on its ellipsis reveals a window where the menu labels are entered. Figure 3 shows the InitialValue window for the seqMenu (week of the month). Similarly, the popup menu under the Fixed Date button will list the days 1 through 31 and the day-of-week popup menu will list Monday through Friday.

Pop-up menu

Figure 3.  When I set up my automatic deposit I use this pop-up menu to fill in the information the program needs to schedule the deposit.

Is Input Data OK?

When the user has entered the data in Tab 0 and clicked on the OK button, its action handler contains the following method:

dim i As integer

if rcvdFm.text = "" then
  msgBox "You must select the Depositor."
end if
if autoAmt.text = "" then
  msgBox "You must indicate the amount of the automatic deposit."
end if
if dateButton.value and dateMenu.listindex = 0 then
  msgBox "You must select a date for the automatic deposit."
end if
if dayButton.value then
  if seqMenu.listindex = 0 or dayMenu.listindex = 0 then
    msgBox "You must select the day for the automatic deposit."
  end if
end if

if autoDepositChangeFlag then  //modifying existing auto dep
  i = autoDepositIndex
else   //new automatic deposit
  nAutoDeposits = nAutoDeposits + 1
  i = nAutoDeposits - 1
  autoDepReview.addRow ""

autoDepReview.cell(i, 0) = rcvdFm.text
autoDepReview.cell(i, 3) = Format(StrToVal(autoamt.text), "###,###.00")

if fixedDate = true then
  autoDepReview.cell(i, 1) = "Y"
  autoDepReview.cell(i, 2) = findAutodate(0, datemenu.listindex)
  autoDepReview.cell(i, 4) = "0"
  autoDepReview.cell(i, 5) = str(datemenu.listindex)
  autoDepReview.cell(i, 1) = "N"
  autoDepReview.cell(i, 2) = findAutodate(seqMenu.listIndex
    daymenu.listindex + 1)
  autoDepReview.cell(i, 4) = str(seqMenu.listindex)
  autoDepReview.cell(i, 5) = str(daymenu.listindex + 1)
end if

depositorsList.selected(rowSel) = false
setInitialValues  // reset panel 0
tabPanel1.value = 1
autoDepositChangeFlag = false

This is a very long method but it's not too complex. The first series of if-statements merely checks for errors. Then the data are loaded into the Tab 1 list box (autoDepReview), the Tab 0 controls are reset and Tab 1 is displayed (Figure 2). The only new thing is the call to a method called findAutoDate. This method decodes the date or day of week selections into a real date. Below I describe how to set this up.


This method receives the list indices from the popup menus in Tab 0. It converts them into a date that is returned to the calling method. This will be the date that will trigger the next automatic deposit. The findAutoDate method below is placed in globalFinancial because it will be called by other than the autoDeposit window:

// receives i as integer, j as integer
 // determine deposit date from week number and day of week OR
// from simple date
// i is week of month, j is day of week
// i = 0 means a simple date input and j = date of month

dim s as string
dim d, today as date

today = new date
d = new date
d.day = 1

if i = 0 then // simple date input
  d.day = d.day + j - 1
  if today.totalSeconds >= d.totalSeconds then
    d = addMonth(d)
  end if
  d.day = d.day + dayToDate(d, i, j) - 1
  if today.totalSeconds >= d.totalSeconds then //should be next month
    d.day = 1
    d = addMonth(d)
    d.day = d.day + dayToDate(d, i, j) - 1
  end if
end if

s = d.shortdate
return s

To begin, two new dates are defined (d and today) and by virtue of them being new, they are set to the current date–the date the method is run. The date d is then set to the 1st day of the current month.

If i equals 0,  I make d.day equal to j (the list index of the dateMenu popup). Then I test to see whether today's date is greater than d.day. If not, then d will be the next trigger date. Otherwise, I add a month to d using the method addMonth.

The other case occurs when a specific week and day-of-week is selected.
There are two embedded methods in findAutoDate: addMonth and dayToDate.


This method adds a month to the date that is sent:

  // receives d as date

if d.month <> 12 then
  d.month = d.month + 1
  d.year = d.year + 1
  d.month = 1
end if
return d

This is a simple process unless the month is 12 (December), in which case the month is reset to 1 and one is added to the year.


This method receives a date, an integer representing the week number and an integer representing the day of the week. Sunday is 1. The method returns the date of the month.

// receives d as date, i as integer, j as integer
// i = week, j = desired day-of-week
// d has been set to first day of month
// returns day of d.month
// that satisfies i & j input

dim nWeeks, nDays, offset as integer

nWeeks = 7 * (i - 1)

offset = j - d.DayOfWeek

if offset > 0 Then // j is later than d.DayOfWeek
  nDays = nWeeks + offset + 1
  nDays = nWeeks + (8 - d.DayOfWeek + j)

Return nDays  // date of month

This is simply an algorithm that converts a week and day-of-week into a date. It first looks at the relationship between the desired day-of-week and the day-of-week of the first day of the supplied month. That determines offset. Offset is then tested and whether it is positive or negative determines the way the final day of the month is calculated.

Is Data Review OK?

If all is well and the user clicks on the Tab 1 OK button, its action event handler executes:

autoDepositFlag = true
prefsHaveChanged = true

The rebuildAutoDepList method reloads the string array autoDepList(0) in globalFinancial. This array will be used later when I write the automatic deposit data out to the Preferences file.

dim i As integer
dim amt As Double
dim s As string

redim autoDepList(0)
for i = 1 to nAutoDeposits
  s = autoDepReview.cell(i - 1, 0) + chr(9)  // Depositor
  amt = StrToVal(autoDepReview.cell(i - 1, 3))
  s = s + str(amt) + chr(9)  // Amount
  s = s + autoDepReview.cell(i - 1, 1) + chr(9)  // Fixed Date?
  s = s + autoDepReview.cell(i - 1, 4) + chr(9)  // Week
  s = s + autoDepReview.cell(i - 1, 5) + chr(9)  // Day
  s = s + autoDepReview.cell(i - 1, 2)   // Next Date
  autoDepList.append s

This method first zeros the autoDepList array and then reloads it with data from the list box in Tab 1.

Then, the following is added to the writePrefs method described in Part 5 so that the automatic deposit data is saved:

// autoDeposit status
o.writeLine "Number of AutoDeposits" + chr(9) + str(nautoDeposits)
for i = 1 to nAutoDeposits
  o.writeline autoDepList(i)

This method first writes the number of automatic deposits contained in autoDepList and then writes each line of the autoDepList array into the preference file.

The autoDepositFlag will indicate the presence of an automatic deposit when the application is first opened and it will be set by this new code that is added to the existing readPrefs method described previously:

// get autoDeposit data
s = instream.readLine
nAutoDeposits = val(NthField(s, chr(9), 2))
if nAutoDeposits > 0 then
   autoDepositFlag = true
   for i = 1 to nAutoDeposits
     autoDepList.append instream.readLine

When is an Automatic Deposit Posted?

The last thing to do is to test the automatic deposit information when the application opens to see if one of the automatic deposit trigger dates has passed and if so, make the appropriate entry in the check register. The following lines of code are placed in the readDataFile method after all of the data records have been read.

// check for automatic deposit
if autoDepositFlag then

This code simply calls the autoDepCheck method  if the autoDeposit flag has been set true by the previous code in readPrefs. The autoDepCheck method:

dim t, s As string
dim i, j, k As integer
dim d As new date

for i = 1 to nAutoDeposits
  t = NthField(autoDeplist(i), chr(9), 6)  // Trigger date
  if DateSeconds(t) <= d.totalseconds then
    // update Check Register window
    s = t + chr(9) + chr(9) + chr(9)
    s = s + NthField(autoDepList(i), chr(9), 1) + chr(9) + chr(9)
    s = s + NthField(autoDeplist(i), chr(9), 2)  // Amount
    addTransRow(s, ntransactions)
    ntransactions = ntransactions + 1
    msgBox "Automatic Deposit made for " + NthField(autoDeplist(i), chr(9), 1)
    testEntryDate(ntransactions)  //see if it's an "old" date
    ListHasChanged = True

    //update next trigger date
    j = val( NthField(autoDeplist(i), chr(9), 4))
    k = val( NthField(autoDeplist(i), chr(9), 5))
    autoDepList(i) = Replace(autoDepList(i), t, findAutodate(j, k))

This method looks at the trigger date of each automatic deposit listed in the autoDepList() array. If it is less than today's date, a record is built and then added to the check register using the method, addTransRow which you saw in Part 1.  The method also calls testEntryDate that was added in Part 5, to insure that the Check Register is kept in chronological order. Lastly, the next trigger date is computed and added to the autoDepList() to be written out to the Preferences file.

This concludes this article on REALbasic. The final article will add the coding necessary to start using the CheckRegister with your own checking account.

The compiled application to-date along with the data files and the source code can be downloaded here: