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Browse Prior Art Database

Communicating with Datastructures

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114765D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-29
Document File: 6 page(s) / 180K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Toase, RL: AUTHOR

Abstract

A mechanism is described for communicating between a program and a user interface, or a program and another program, in a manner that is transparent to the originating program.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 33% of the total text.

Communicating with Datastructures

      A mechanism is described for communicating between a program
and a user interface, or a program and another program, in a manner
that is transparent to the originating program.

      The Basic Mapping Support (BMS) function of IBM*'s CICS
transaction processing programs provides a mechanism for the
separation of application logic from presentation logic.  However,
over time, and with extensions to support new functions on IBM 3270
display devices, BMS has introduced many 3270 like functions that
tend to make the application device dependent.

The mechanism described here provides a means of defining a
datastructure that:
  o  Is sufficiently abstract that it may be used for either program
      to user or program to program communication, transparently to
the
      communicating application.
  o  Contains sufficient information to allow data conversions (such
      as EBCDIC to ASCII) to be performed.
  o  Contains sufficient information to be mapped onto a user
      interface if this is what is desired.  However, no definition
of
      the user interface is contained in the supermap in order to
make
      the supermap definition independent of the platform on which
the
      user interface is to be run.
  o  The definitions required are independent of the programming
      language used.
  o  Is extensible so new datatypes may be defined.

      The mechanism with which the above objectives are achieved is a
supermap.  A supermap consists of two logical parts, which are:
  o  The logical definition of the datastructure, that will be seen
by
      the host program
  o  A set of connections that connect the data items in the
      datastructure to the user interface.

      At runtime, a copy of the supermap resides at either end of the
communication link.  The information in the supermap is used to:
  o  Perform any necessary data conversions.
  o  Map the data from the remote end into either a user interface or
      a receiving application datastructure.

      Program to User Interface Communication - In a program to user
interface communication situation, there are two scenarios to
consider, at development time and at runtime.

      At development time, as shown in Fig. 1 the abstract fields are
defined, and connections are made between the fields and the user
interface objects.  The supermap is then used to generate an
application datastructure in a supported programming language.

      At run time, as shown in Fig. 2, the server application updates
the datastructure.  The datastructure is then merged with the
supermap to produce a datastream which is transmitted to the user
interface virtual machine.  The user interface machine also has a
copy of the supermap, which it then merges with the datastream in
order to update the user interface.

      Program to Program Communication - The...