As an alternative to specifying screen layouts dynamically, the
INPUT statement offers
the possibility to use predefined map layouts which makes use of the Natural
object type map.
This document covers the following topics:
Clearly structured applications as a result of a consequent separation of program logic and display logic.
Map layout modifications possible without making changes to the main programs.
The language of an application user interface can be easily adapted for internationalization or localization.
The benefit of using objects such as maps will become obvious when it comes to maintaining existing Natural applications.
Maps (screen layouts) are those parts of an application which the users see on their screens.
The following types of maps exist:
The dialog with the user is carried out via input maps.
If an application produces any output report, this report can be displayed on the screen by using an output map.
Help maps are, in principle, like any other maps, but when they are assigned as help, additional checks are performed to ensure their usability for help purpose.
The object type "map" comprises
the map body which defines the screen layout and
For information on split screen maps where the upper portion may be
used as an output map and the lower portion as an input map, see
Feature in the
Maps and help map layouts are created and edited in the map editor.
The appropriate local data area (LDA) is created and maintained in the data area editor.
Depending on the platform on which Natural is installed, these editors have either a character user interface or a graphical user interface.
For information on using the data area editor, see Data Area Editor in the platform-specific Editors documentation.
For information on using the map editor, see Map Editor in the platform-specific Editors documentation.
For a comprehensive description of the full range of possibilities provided by the Natural map editor (character-user-interface version), see Map Editor Tutorial.
For information on input processing using screen layouts specified
dynamically, see Syntax 1 - Dynamic
Screen Layout Specification in the
For information on input processing using a map layout created with
the map editor, see Syntax 2 - Using
Predefined Map Layout in the
An input map is invoked with an
INPUT USING MAP
An output map is invoked with a
Processing of a map can be stopped with an
ROUTINE statement in a processing rule.