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Custom Data Entry Form System for Software Applications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000108098D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 106K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Berry, DG: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a programming system for custom data entry forms that enables application development to be independent of the customer's unique data requirements. Business information systems need many types of Data Entry Forms from which to create and edit Business Objects. An example of such a Business Object is the Purchase Order (PO). The PO form is an integral part of any traditionally designed software application running a purchasing system and is bound at compile time. Every potential customer for such an application has different requirements as to the type and format of data within the Business Object, as well as the physical layout of the Data Entry Form as displayed by the application.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Custom Data Entry Form System for Software Applications

       Disclosed is a programming system for custom data entry
forms that enables application development to be independent of the
customer's unique data requirements.  Business information systems
need many types of Data Entry Forms from which to create and edit
Business Objects.  An example of such a Business Object is the
Purchase Order (PO).  The PO form is an integral part of any
traditionally designed software application running a purchasing
system and is bound at compile time.  Every potential customer for
such an application has different requirements as to the type and
format of data within the Business Object, as well as the physical
layout of the Data Entry Form as displayed by the application.
Formerly, applications have had to have this information at compile
time, requiring a different version of the application for every
customer.  This article describes a system that does not resolve the
Business Object and Data Entry Form information until run time,
allowing customers to design their own Business Objects and Data
Entry Forms without rebuilding the base application.  This allows the
application developer to maintain a single version of the application
for customers with very different data requirements.

      The proposed design would consist of the following components:
Application Program, Business Object Database, Object Dictionary,
Data Entry Form, Form Processor, Form Description File and Messages.

      An application program that requires a Data Entry Form to be
displayed for editing a Business Object would call the Form
Processor, passing the name of the form and a reference to the object
that contains the data elements to be displayed on the form.

      The figure shows the relationship of an application program and
the proposed design.

      The following is a list of the actions performed when an
application invokes the form processor.  The numbers refer to the
figure.
1.   The Application gets the Business Object data from the database.
2.   The Application loads the Form Processor, passing a reference to
the Business Object data and the name of the Business Object.
3.   The Form Processor creates a working copy of the Business Object
data and queries the Object Dictionary to find the Form Descrip
tion File an...