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Graphic APPC Configuration Interface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000120890D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-02
Document File: 5 page(s) / 208K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Barrett, K: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Configuring communications software for APPC is not an easy task. Creating a successful user interface to facilitate this task requires meeting several design goals: - Guidance: APPC is very complicated, using terminology foreign to the uninitiated, and requiring the configuration of many APPC subcomponents. Naive users require an extra measure of assistance to guide them through the configuration process. Power: The interface must not sacrifice functionality or place unnecessary constraints on the user while providing this guidance. Experienced system administrators must be able to configure APPC in a way that is most comfortable for them.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 34% of the total text.

Graphic APPC Configuration Interface

      Configuring communications software for APPC is not an
easy task.  Creating a successful user interface to facilitate this
task requires meeting several design goals:
  -    Guidance:  APPC is very complicated, using terminology foreign
to the uninitiated, and requiring the configuration of many APPC
subcomponents.  Naive users require an extra measure of assistance to
guide them through the configuration process.
     Power:  The interface must not sacrifice functionality or place
unnecessary constraints on the user while providing this guidance.
Experienced system administrators must be able to configure APPC in a
way that is most comfortable for them.
     Responsiveness:  Because APPC consists of many subcomponents
that can be configured in practically any order, it is easy for the
user to lose track of what has been done and what is left.  The user
interface must provide some sort of feedback which adequately
reflects the current state of the configuration process.

      The Graphic APPC Configuration Interface is a novel approach to
Communications Manager configuration that addresses these
difficulties.  Its implementation is based on three fundamental
principles:
1.   The main panel should display the state of the configuration to
the user.  It should present a picture illustrating the current
configuration, and its appearance should be sufficiently different
from other Presentation Manager* panels so that the user will be
alerted to expect different behavior.
2.   The main panel should represent a central location from which
the configuration of all APPC subcomponents can be initiated.  This
allows (and encourages) the user to see the effects of his last
changes on the network before beginning the next step.
3.   A special help system, more extensive than standard help
messages, should be provided to help the naive user decide what to do
next.  The large number of options that supply the experienced user
with the power he demands often confuses the naive user.  This help
system should be implemented so as to be unobtrusive to the
experienced user.

      When Graphic APPC is first invoked, it appears as shown in Fig.
1.  The large box on the left of the figure is a pictorial
representation of the user's workstation.  The subcomponents that the
user can configure in his workstation include the SNA base profile,
conversation security, and transaction programs.  All labels on the
screen are selectable objects; for example, placing the cursor on
"SNA Base" and double-clicking the mouse button would invoke the
regular Communications Manager panel for configuring the SNA base
parameters.  The box on the bottom center of the panel contains
selections for configuring modes and initial session limits.

      At the top of the panel is an Intelligent Context-Sensitive
(ICS) Help box. ICS Help will not be described in detail here;
however, in short, it...