PxPlus IDE (Integrated Development Environment)

IDE Main Launcher (Windows)

 

When launched from a Windows platform, the IDE Main Launcher presents all the PxPlus development tools, installation and setup components in a tree-like format with expandable/collapsible nodes. Expanding a "parent" node (e.g. Data Management) displays a list of the different tasks that are available under that heading, as illustrated below.

As of PxPlus 2016, a Web version of the PxPlus IDE is also available that provides easy accessibility to many of these PxPlus development and setup tools. See IDE Main Launcher (Web).

Important Note:
If you are running a version of PxPlus that is higher than your activation, you will not be allowed to process any NOMADS panels due to potential compatibility issues.

IDE Main Launcher (Combine View On)
(Combine View was added in PxPlus 2016)

IDE Main Launcher (Combine View Off)

Note:
When you update your system with subsequent versions of PxPlus, the IDE Main Launcher will reflect any new development tools or utilities that have been added, while keeping intact any tasks you have previously defined.

To help you become familiar with the IDE Main Launcher, detailed information about its components and functionality is provided below.

(IDE Title Bar)

The title bar displays the PxPlus version associated with the Main Launcher (i.e. PxPlus 2016 IDE) followed by the name of the current Project, as shown in the Project drop box.

If the IDE Main Launcher is running on WindX, the word "WindX" is included in the title (i.e. PxPlus 2016 IDE WindX).

The capability to display the word "WindX" when applicable was added in PxPlus 2016 Update 0001.

(IDE Menu Bar)

The menu bar consists of the following selections: Projects, Menu, Options, Update and About. For a detailed explanation of these selections, see Menu Bar below.

PxPlus #### IDE

This bolded heading displays the PxPlus version associated with the Main Launcher (i.e. PxPlus 2016 IDE), as seen on the IDE title bar.

If the IDE Main Launcher is running on WindX, the word "WindX" is included in the heading (i.e. PxPlus 2016 IDE WindX).

Position the mouse pointer over this heading to display a floating tip with the Serial Number of the current PxPlus installation.

The capability to display the PxPlus version number, as well as the word "WindX" when applicable, was added in PxPlus 2016 Update 0001.

Project

Select the current Project from the drop-down list of private and public projects that have been created. At least one project must be defined.

Note:
When initially starting the IDE, a "Default" private project will be created. This "Default" project cannot be modified or deleted.

Position the mouse pointer over the Project hyperlink to display a floating tip with the current Working Directory. Click the Project hyperlink to launch the Edit Project dialog for modifying an existing project.

Expand/Collapse

(Magnifying glass with a +/- plus/minus sign) Click this button to expand/collapse the nodes in the tree view, as well as the Project drop box selections.

Refresh

(Left/right circular pointing arrows) Click this button to refresh the contents of the tree view display and the Project drop box selections.

(Tree View)

The tree view displays the PxPlus development tools, installation and setup components with expandable/collapsible nodes. Expand a "parent" node to access a list of the different tasks available under that heading. Tasks are launched one task at a time; however, you can launch multiple tasks.

Display Tasks

(Available when the Combine View option is Off)

When Combine View is Off, select (or deselect) this check box to open (or hide) the Tasks Dialog.
When Combine View is On, the Tasks Dialog integrates with the Main Launcher to create one window with three folder tabs across the top for Tasks, History and Project.

Display Help

Select (or deselect) this check box to open (or hide) the PxPlus - Integrated Development Environment Help window. See On-Line Help below.

 

Note:
Only one instance of the IDE Main Launcher can be displayed at a time. The size, location and tree view display of the IDE Main Launcher persist when the dialog is closed so that these remain the same the next time the dialog is opened.

Menu Bar

The menu bar on the Main Launcher consists of the following selections: Projects, Menu, Options, Update and About. The options that are available for each of these selections are explained below.

Projects

Create Project

Displays the Create Project dialog for creating a new project with the following details:

Name

Enter the name for the new project.

Directory

Enter the working directory for the project. This defaults to the path for the current working directory. You can enter a different pathname or click the Query button to select a different working directory.

Access

Select the level of accessibility to the project. Drop box selections are Private (default) and Public.

Edit Project

Displays the Edit Project dialog for modifying an existing project. You can modify the Name, Directory and Access for the current project (default) or select a different project from the Project drop box.

Note:
The Default private project cannot be modified. If you modify a project that is not the current project, the current project is not affected.

The capability to select any project for editing was added in PxPlus 2016 Update 0001.

Delete Project

Displays a message that asks you to confirm the deletion of the current project.

Note:
The Default private project cannot be deleted.

Copy Project

Displays the Copy Project dialog, similar to the Edit Project dialog, for copying an existing project, including all its tasks, to a new project. You can copy the current project (default) or select a different project from the Project drop box. Enter the new project Name and specify the Directory if it is different from the current working directory. Select the Access level for the new project (default is Private).

Note:
If the current project is copied, the Project drop box (on the Main Launcher) switches to the new (copied) project automatically.
If a different project is copied, the Project drop box (on the Main Launcher) is not changed and continues to display the current project.

Project Location

Launches the Define Project Data Location utility for defining an alternate directory for project data files.

 

Menu

Task Definition

Launches the Task Definition dialog for creating and maintaining tasks.

Menu Maintenance

Launches the Menu Maintenance dialog.

 

Options

Combine View

Combines the Main Launcher with the Tasks dialog (Display Tasks check box) to create one window with three folder tabs across the top for Tasks, History and Project, as shown above. This combined view provides convenient access to these selections from one central location.

When this option is not selected, these selections are accessed from concurrent windows, as is the case when selecting the Display Tasks check box. (By default, this option is Off.)

The Combine View option was added in PxPlus 2016.

Lock Tasks Dialog

(Available when the  Combine View option is Off)

Select this option to "lock" the Tasks dialog to the Main Launcher window so that when the Main Launcher is moved, the Tasks dialog moves with it at the same time. To see this dialog, select the Display Tasks check box at the bottom of the Main Launcher.

Note:
If this option is selected, you can still move the Tasks dialog independently.

Lock Help Dialog

Select this option to "lock" the Help dialog to the Main Launcher window so that when the Main Launcher is moved, the Help dialog moves with it at the same time. To see this dialog, select the Display Help check box at the bottom of the Main Launcher.

Note:
If this option is selected, you can still move the Help dialog independently.

 

Update

 

Launches the Update Manager dialog used for accessing the Online Update feature. See PxPlus Online Update.

 

About

 

Launches a separate dialog with detailed licensing information about the current PxPlus installation. This information includes the Serial Number, PxPlus Type, Expiry Date, User Count and Version, as well as a list of activated packages if applicable.

The About option was added in PxPlus 2017.

Certain tasks are project related and therefore must be assigned to a project. Designating a task as project related is controlled by the Project Related? check box option on the Task Definition dialog. An icon precedes each of the tasks displayed on the Main Launcher. To distinguish between a project related and a non-project related task, different icons are used. Referring to the screen shot above as an example, the icon for the project related task Data Dictionary Maintenance is a different color than the icon for the non-project related task CSV Import.

For a project related task, the current working directory is changed to the working directory defined for that project. If present, the start_up program in that directory will be run prior to launching the task. Only one project can be worked on at a time.

The IDE Main Launcher can be customized to meet the needs of an individual or a company by using the tasks accessed through the IDE Maintenance category on the tree view. Those tasks consist of Task Definition, Menu Maintenance, Import Menu Structure and Export Menu Structure. Each of these is explained in detail in the sections below.

Task Definition

The Task Definition dialog is used to define tasks that are to be performed in an application. You can enter a new Task Name and Description or click the Query button (binoculars) to select an existing task name from the list. This dialog is invoked by selecting IDE Maintenance > Task Definitions from the main tree view or by selecting Menu > Task Definition from the main menu bar.

The available options are presented on two tabs, Logic and Display. These options are explained below.

Logic

Task type

Click the drop-down arrow for a list of transaction types:

Menu/Sub-Menu

These tasks are menus to be displayed on the Launcher. For example, select the task IDE_MAINT from the Task Name query list to see the Task type for this menu.

Object to instantiate

These tasks instantiate objects within a new session of PxPlus.

Program to run

A task that simply needs to run a program is defined using this Task type.

Report to produce

A task that needs to display a report in the Report Viewer.

Screen to process

A task that needs to process a NOMADS panel.

Web Service

A task to run a Web Service. (added in PxPlus 2017)

Project Related?

Check box to indicate if the current task is assigned to a project.

Windows Only?

Check box to indicate if the current task is for Windows only. These tasks will not appear in the tree view when not in a Windows environment.

PxPlus Task?

Check box to indicate if the current task is a PxPlus task. Internal field.

Task for

Click the drop-down arrow for a list of possible locations from which this task can be launched: Both Desktop and Web, Desktop Only, Web Only.

Panel/Program

(Not Applicable for Menu/Sub-Menu Task Type)

Enter the panel/program that is associated with launching the task. See Examples - Panel/Program by Task Type below.

Parameter 1 - 4

These four fields are used to define parameters to be passed when launching a program, panel or object.

Display

ICON/Image

If no bitmap is specified for a transaction, the standard menu and task bitmaps are used. However, these may be overridden for individual tasks by entering bitmap information in this field.

Wiki/URL

Used to enter a Wiki page or URL address containing on-line help associated with the current task.

Examples - Panel/Program by Task Type

The table below provides examples of Panel/Program entries for each applicable task type.

Task Type

Panel/Program

Object to instantiate

Enter the object pathname:

Example:

  *ide/tasks

This example instantiates the *ide/tasks object.

Program to run

Enter the program pathname:

Example:

  *plus/util/dictdef

This example runs the *plus/util/dictdef program.

Report to produce

Enter the report pathname:

Example:

  *plus/winutl/windows_services.pvr

This example displays the list of Windows Services defined in the Report Viewer.

Screen to process

Enter the screen and the screen library:

Example:

  Themes;*win/scrnlib.en

This example processes the Themes screen located in the *win/scrnlib.en library.

Web Service

Enter a Web Service ID or a URL:

Example 1:

  id=CLIENT_QRY

This first example processes the CLIENT_QRY Web Service defined in Web Services Maintenance.

Example 2:

  http://localhost:8888/services/rpt.pxp?rpt=gl_trialbal.pvr&type=html

This second example processes the specified Web Service report in this URL.

Once a Web Service task has been defined, you can add this task to a menu using Menu Maintenance and then launch it from the IDE Main Launcher. When the task is launched (using EZWeb Server), the results of the Web Service are displayed on a resizable panel. Below is an example of the CLIENT_QRY Web Service launched from the IDE Main Launcher.

Note:
When selecting to launch a Web Service task, EZWeb Server will automatically start (if not already running), using the saved EZWeb Server settings. If a port for EZWeb to use has not been assigned, a message will prompt you to define the port.

When running WindX, the Web Service task will not be allowed to start, and a message will display.

Menu Maintenance

The Menu Maintenance dialog allows tasks previously defined through Task Definition to be added to a menu or sub-menu for display on an application launcher. Invoke this dialog by expanding the IDE Maintenance category on the tree view and selecting Menu Maintenance or by selecting Menu > Menu Maintenance from the Launcher menu bar.

This dialog consists of the following options and buttons:

Menu Entry

This drop-down list is loaded with all tasks defined with the Task type Menu/Sub-Menu.

System Transactions
Transactions in selected menu

System Transactions (on the left) is a list of tasks that are not yet located on the selected menu.
Transactions in selected menu (on the right) is a list of tasks currently on the selected menu.

Double-click or drag-and-drop a task to move it from left to right.

Delete

Deletes a selected item from the Transactions in selected menu list (on the right). Pressing the Delete key also deletes a selected item.

Up
Down

Use these buttons to change the item order in the Transactions in selected menu list (on the right).

Reset

This button becomes available after a change has been made to the Transactions in selected menu list (on the right). Click this button to revert to the initial state of the menu.

Save

This button becomes available after a change has been made to the Transactions in selected menu list (on the right). Click this button to save the changes.

Close

Closes the Menu Maintenance dialog. If any unsaved changes are detected, you are prompted to save the changes.

Import Menu Structure

The Import Menu Structure dialog allows a menu structure to be imported. Invoke this dialog by expanding the IDE Maintenance category on the tree view and selecting Import Menu Structure.

In this dialog, the box on the left displays the existing menu structure. The box on the right displays the name and structure of the menu to be imported.

Export Menu Structure

The Export Menu Structure dialog allows either the entire existing menu structure or a portion of it to be exported. Invoke this dialog by expanding the IDE Maintenance category on the tree view and selecting Export Menu Structure.

In this dialog, click the Select All button to select all the menu items for export. To export only specific sub-menus or individual menu items, click the Unselect All button to clear all selections, and then click the check box beside only the desired items.

Tasks Dialog

Select (or deselect) the Display Tasks check box at the bottom of the Main Launcher to open (or hide) the Tasks dialog. Like the Main Launcher, the size and location persist, meaning that the size and location of this dialog at closing will be retained the next time this dialog is accessed.

This dialog consists of two tabs, History and Project, from which any number of tasks can be launched. Each of these tabs is explained in detail below.

Note:
The Display Tasks check box is only available when the Combine View option is Off.

History Tab

The History panel on the Tasks dialog (when Combine View is Off) displays a list of the libraries, panels (windows and dialogs), programs, menus, queries, data dictionary tables and reports that have been recently accessed and/or created. An icon precedes each listed task to give a visual indication of the task type. Tasks are launched based on the current working directory to which they were associated at the time they were added to history.

Up to 25 tasks, including those flagged as favorites, can be saved to history. When this number is exceeded, the task list rolls forward to continuously reveal the most recent 25 tasks.

Note:
Programs and Data Dictionary tables are only updated to the History panel when they have been modified.

To flag a task as "favorite", two methods are available:

Using either of these methods relocates the task to the top of the list and flags it with a star.

To remove the "favorite" flag from a task, click on the task to highlight it and select the Favorites button (star) or select Add/Remove from Favorites from the right-click popup menu.

To view details about a selected task, select the Properties button (to the right of the list view below the star) or select Show Properties from the right-click popup menu. A Properties dialog provides the following details about the selected task (for information only):

Task

Name of the selected task

Type

Task type (i.e. library, window, data file, query, etc.)

Favorite

Indicates whether the task is flagged as "favorite"

Full Pathname

Path that indicates the file location

Working Directory

Directory that was associated with the task at the time the task was saved to history (may not necessarily be the working directory for the project)

Projects

Lists all the projects in which the task is found

Note:
Tasks may exist in multiple projects.

To refresh the contents of the list view display with any new objects that have been recently accessed and/or created, select the Refresh button (left/right circular pointing arrows) to the right of the list view.

To view a list of task icons and the types they represent, position the mouse pointer over the ? button to the right of the list view. (The ? button was added in PxPlus 2017.)

To add a selected task to a project, the right-click popup menu provides the following two options:

Add to Project XXXX

Where:  XXXX is the current project. This option adds the selected task to the current project (as indicated on the IDE title bar and the Project drop box). See the Note below.

Add to another Project

Displays the Add to Project dialog for selecting another project (from the Project drop box) to which you want to add the selected task. See the Note below.

 

Note:
The Add to Project XXXX option on the right-click popup menu is not available for tasks that already exist in the current project.

For screen libraries, the popup menu selections, Add to Project XXXX and Add to another Project, are not available. To add screen libraries to a project, double click on the screen library task to display the NOMADS Library Object Selection window. You can either highlight only specific tasks and then select Projects > Add Selection(s) to Project from the menu bar or add all tasks by selecting Projects > Add All Objects to Project.

Only panels, queries, menus, programs and reports can be added to a project.

When adding a History task to a project with a working directory that differs from the working directory for the task, a Working Directory Conflict message box displays to notify you about this difference and inform you that continuing with this process may result in problems when accessing the task in the new project. At this point, you have the option of selecting OK to continue with adding this task to the project or selecting Cancel to terminate the process.

Project Tab

The Project panel on the Tasks dialog (when Combine View is Off) lists all tasks for the specified project (on the Main Launcher) in a tree view format grouped into categories, i.e. screen libraries, programs, panels, reports, etc. A task type icon precedes each listed task (same icons used to identify tasks on the History panel).

To refresh the tree view display with the contents of the project, select the Refresh button (left/right circular pointing arrows) to the right of the list view.

To view a list of task icons and the types they represent, position the mouse pointer over the ? button to the right of the list view. (The ? button was added in PxPlus 2017.)

To run a selected task, double-click on the task or select Launch Task from the right-click popup menu.

To remove a selected task from a project, select Remove from Project from the right-click popup menu. When the last task listed under a heading is removed, the main heading node is removed at the same time.

To add a selected task to another project, select Add to another Project from the right-click popup menu. The Add to Project dialog displays for selecting another project to which to add the selected task.

Project Maintenance can be used to add one or more tasks of various types to a predefined project, as well as remove tasks, all at one time. To access this utility, select Project Maintenance from the PxPlus IDE category of the IDE Main Launcher tree view.

On-Line Help

The Help button in the upper right corner of a dialog opens the current PxPlus on-line Help for that task. For example, when the IDE is launched, the Help button displays PxPlus IDE information. As each task on the Main Launcher is selected, the Help button provides information for that particular task.

Select (or deselect) the Display Help check box at the bottom of the Main Launcher to open (or hide) the PxPlus Help window. Like the Main Launcher, the size and location persist, which means that the size and location of this Help window at closing is retained the next time the Display Help check box is selected.