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Graphical User Interface for Managing Complex Object Trees

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000108100D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 3 page(s) / 122K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bright, MS: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article describes a graphical user interface and method for packaging applications to manage user access to a complex object from a single window on a programmable workstation. A manufacturing enterprise has a uniquely defined database containing the items that are manufactured by the business. An item in the database consists of a complex tree of sub-objects. The tree is complex owing to the fact that each node is an object type and can contain multiple instances of objects of that type. Each instance of the object type has its own instance of a downstream branch. Each object type may have unique applications for managing the data in the object. Manufacturing applications for managing these objects are marked by hierarchical panel transactions traversing the complex tree.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Graphical User Interface for Managing Complex Object Trees

       This article describes a graphical user interface and
method for packaging applications to manage user access to a complex
object from a single window on a programmable workstation.  A
manufacturing enterprise has a uniquely defined database containing
the items that are manufactured by the business.  An item in the
database consists of a complex tree of sub-objects.  The tree is
complex owing to the fact that each node is an object type and can
contain multiple instances of objects of that type.  Each instance of
the object type has its own instance of a downstream branch.  Each
object type may have unique applications for managing the data in the
object.  Manufacturing applications for managing these objects are
marked by hierarchical panel transactions traversing the complex
tree.

      The Complex Object Handler (COH) is a container class that
dynamically builds a graphical view of a complex hierarchical object
tree and manages access to the object-nodes by user, as shown in the
figure.  Iconic child objects are displayed at the object nodes and
can be manipulated directly by mouse or keyboard selection. Instances
of classes associated with object nodes are bound at run time and
launched by the COH in response to an open event initiated by the
user.  Late binding of the object-node class instances allows new
classes to be developed to the COH specification by third party
software developers and shipped separate from the application using
the COH class.

      In general, a complex object consists of a tree of object
classes (data categories) with possible multiple instances at the
object nodes.

      The complex object is represented graphically by icons at the
root and nodes of a tree.  Object nodes required to commit the high
level object will blink if empty.  Empty objects have a dashed
border.  Optional object nodes are connected to their parent by
dashed, rather than solid, lines.  Selection of an object node is
indicated by reverse video.  Object nodes unavailable to the user are
greyed.

      Object nodes are labeled by their name and key data. Where
multiple instances occur at an object node, the key is displayed at
the top of a drop-down list.  Selection of an instance from the list
at the node displays the instances of nodes belonging to the newly
selected branch.  An open event at an object node with multiple
instances will result in a filter dialog with t...