Browse Prior Art Database

Generic Input/Output Data Formatter

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118548D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 93K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Wright, BJ: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for formatting user input and output data. The method consists of a formatter function and a database. The formatter retrieves user input data or displays user output data based on the definitions in the database (Fig. 4).

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

Generic Input/Output Data Formatter

      Disclosed is a method for formatting user input and output
data.  The method consists of a formatter function and a database.
The formatter retrieves user input data or displays user output data
based on the definitions in the database (Fig. 4).

      Database

      Some applications request input and display output by grouping
several related fields onto one screen or page.  From a programming
standpoint, the related fields on one page are represented as a data
structure.

      Other applications already represent input and output data by
data structures through the use of APIs that pass data structures as
parameters.

      A database is used to maintain the definitions of the input and
output data structures.  The database allows the formatter to be
generic, getting its knowledge of each structure from the database.
The database  definition includes information for each field such as:
  Attribute     Description                      Example
  StructName    Name of data structure           address
  FielName      Name of field within             city
                 structure
  FieldDesc     Description of field (Help Text) City of residence
  FieldType     Type of field                    ASCIIZ (Null
                                                  terminated string)
  FieldOffset   Offset of field within structure 32
  FieldSize     Size of field in bytes           11
  Quantity      Number of elements (if an array)1

           Table 1 Sample Data Structure Record Definition

      For example, an application that uses address information might
use an internal data structure such as:
  struct address
  {
    char name ( 11 );
    char street ( 21 );
    char city ( 11 );
    char state( 6 );
    char zip ( 6 );
  }

   ...