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Combo Box Control with Integrated Advanced Filter Functionality

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000211453D
Original Publication Date: 2011-Oct-05
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2011-Oct-05
Document File: 3 page(s) / 105K

Publishing Venue

Siemens

Related People

Juergen Carstens: CONTACT

Abstract

“Combo Box Controls” are often used in user interfaces of software applications with a graphical user interface” (GUI). They allow selecting one item from a list of multiple available items. Figure 1 shows a typical Combo Box Control. Figure 2 shows an example for the use of a Combo Box Control in the “Manual Acknowledge Dialog” of a network control system. The dialog allows acknowledging alarms for a single field device identified by its name.

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Combo Box Control with Integrated Advanced Filter Functionality

Idea: Bernd Steiner, DE-Nuremberg

"Combo Box Controls" are often used in user interfaces of software applications with a graphical user interface" (GUI). They allow selecting one item from a list of multiple available items. Figure 1 shows a typical Combo Box Control. Figure 2 shows an example for the use of a Combo Box Control in the "Manual Acknowledge Dialog" of a network control system. The dialog allows acknowledging alarms for a single field device identified by its name.

Figure 3 shows the Combo Box Control expanded, displaying the list of available items for selection. It is obvious that the list of available items is very long, thus the user has to scroll up and down in order to locate the item to be selected. A Combo Box Control as shown in Figure 3 has the disadvantage that the more items are contained in the list of available items, the more difficult it becomes to locate a specific item. The user has to scroll the list of available items up and down by using keyboard keys, the mouse wheel, if available, or the vertical scrollbar at the right side of the list of available items until he locates the required item. But a Combo Box Control allows typing the first characters of the items to be found, which in turn highlights the first item which matches the entered characters. However, locating items by typing the first characters of the item text is not sufficient in many cases.

A novel "Combo Box Control" with "Integrated Advanced Filter Functionality" is proposed. It is named "Filter Combo Box Control" throughout the document and has the following key functionality:

• The "Filter Combo Box Control" provides an Application Programming Interface (API) which allows controlling the behavior of the new control.

• "Filter Combo Box Control" supports two modes, a "Normal Mode" and an "Advanced Filter Mode". The API of "Filter Combo Box Control" allows configuring which mode should be active at one point of time.

• In "Normal mode", the control behaves like a normal Combo Box Control. It allows selecting items from a list of available items and allows to locate items by scrolling the list of available items up and down.

• In "Advanced Filter Mode", the control provides advanced methods for locating items in the list of available items:


• The use of wildcards like '?' or '*' is supported.


• The use of regular expressions is supported.

• When the "Advanced Filter Mode" is enabled, the list of available items is automatically filtered while the user enters his search expression, e.g. a regular expression or a term with wildcards, or after pressing a key, which initiates the filtering, e.g. the

key. The list of available items is thus reduced and only displays items, which match the search expression.

For better understanding, the some figures show examples for the use of the new "Filter Combo Box Control". Figure 4 shows the new "Filter Combo Box Contro...