Overview: Working With Tables

A table is a rectangular area of the host screen that contains one or more records. The records contained in a table may exist on multiple pages spanning multiple screens. The screens that contain these records are identical to the first screen, except for the data contained in the table.

The term record is used in the same sense as it is used in a database system. Records can span table pages and there can be different detail table pages for each record.

Tables can contain either fixed length or variable length records. Each fixed length record is the same physical size, which is determined at design-time. Variable length records, on the other hand, can vary in physical size. The size is determined at run-time and by the contents contained within the field.

A table has design and runtime properties. The design time properties define the table's physical size and location, type and width of records, rules to define the runtime location of first and last records and the end of the table, rules to navigate to the next page and the next detail table page of the table, and a list of next details. Runtime properties, such as PAGE_COUNT and TABLE_HEIGHT, are used in the design time rules.

About Detail Tables

A table becomes a detail table when it contains a record or records that has additional information associated with it that is accessed from another screen. For example, a detail table contains a list of customers from which it is possible to select a single customer record, pressing an AID key opens another screen containing more detailed information on that customer.

The host handles the communication between records and specific detail screens, but your table properties must include a list of the detail screens associated with the table to provide the path information.

A typical table navigation scenario

Consider a remote email system with the following screens.

  1. Logon Screen

    The logon screen is the first screen, in which the user enters a login ID and password.

       |                                         |
       |                                         |
       |                                         |
       | LOGON SCREEN                            |
       |   USERNAME ==>                          |
       |   PASSWORD ==>                          |
       |                                         |
       |                                         |
       |                                         |
  2. Inbox Screen

    The Inbox screen shows the list of emails for that person.
    Inbox screen

  3. Email Screen

    The Email screen shows a mail message and a list of attachments.
         Email screen

  4. Attachment Screen

    The Attachment screen shows the contents of an attachment.
         Attachment screen

The user must go through the following steps to access an attachment:

  1. Display the logon screen and log on.
  2. Display the list of emails in the inbox.
  3. Choose a mail from the list to display the contents of the email. The contents consist of the email message and a list of attachments.
  4. Select an attachment.
  5. Navigate back to the first screen in the table.

For instructions on recording tables and extracting data from your table, see Creating Tables.

Related Topics
Bullet Creating Tasks, Overview
Bullet Creating Tables
Bullet Table Property, Constant, and Variable Descriptions