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Disclosed is a method for allowing the user to select a character to visually differentiate between null and blank values when viewing or inputting data on a screen.
English (United States)
This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately
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Display of Nulls Fields for Input and Output
Disclosed is a method for allowing the user to select a character to visually
differentiate between null and blank values when viewing or inputting data on a
In SQL databases, there is a concept of a field being "null", or empty. This is
different, for purposes of searching or sorting, than a field that contains blanks.
With this implementation, a user-specifiable character is displayed in input or
output fields to indicate a null value. The user may select (e.g., in a user profile)
one of two valid options for the null indicator: the "-" character or the "#"
character. That way, if the user has a need to use one of these characters in his
data fields, he may select the other character to be the null indicator, and yet the
program maintains control by not allowing the user to specify a very commonly
used character (e.g., "A") to be the null indicator.
When data is displayed to the user, null fields are indicated by this character
so that the user can distinguish between null and blank values. In addition, when
the user is adding or changing data, if this character is the only character in the
field, the field will be set to null. Blanking out the field with the space bar or using
the "delete to end of line" key from the first position of a field will not set the value
to null since the dialog manager used in this case will pass a blank to the
program and the program cannot determine whether to set the field to...