Browse Prior Art Database

Metadata feature lists that drive User Interface Screens

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014926D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 96K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a mechanism for dynamically generating User Interface (UI) screens specialized to a particular type of data based on metadata. Metadata is used in this context to refer to business data separated out from the business logic.

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Metadata feature lists that drive User Interface Screens

Disclosed is a mechanism for dynamically generating User Interface (UI) screens specialized to a particular type of data based on metadata. Metadata is used in this context to refer to business data separated out from the business logic.

In some applications, there is a need to gather information for a particular object that has a large number of options and information requirements that vary with the options chosen. When this occurs, it is difficult to develop the large number of screens to gather all of the information required. This invention solves this problem by putting the definition of the information into metadata and producing a single screen to display the fields to gather the information for the item. The invention has the advantage of being generic and of reducing the time required to develop the application by using the single screen.

In this invention, item categories are modeled in metadata as a series of hierarchical lists of elements. The "leaf" elements contain a set of "feature" elements. Each of the "feature" elements describes a different feature of the item (manufacturer, color, etc.). There are three different types of feature elements: pick list features, free form features, and boolean features. The pick list features contain a name for the feature and a metadata list of elements representing the possible values of the feature. Free form features provide a name for the feature and a rule for inputting information. The boolean features contain only the name of the feature.

When users select a particular item, they are presented with a screen that displays fields for the features of the item selected. The screen...