NOMADS Graphical Application

File Maintenance Generator

The File Maintenance Generator provides a simple seven-step process that, when completed, generates new NOMADS panels and/or Webster+ HTML pages as file maintenance panels, inquiry-only panels or non-file maintenance forms.

File maintenance panels provide the capability to browse, write, edit and delete records. Inquiry-only panels provide view-only access to records, as well as browsing capability. Non-file maintenance forms create informational/dashboard-like NOMADS panels and/or HTML pages. See Panel Contents.

Invoke the File Maintenance Generator either from the PxPlus IDE Launcher or NOMADS Library Object Selection. See Invoking File Maintenance Generator.

The File Maintenance Generator Steps include options to:

Enhanced Layout and Two-Column Layout

The File Maintenance Generator provides two panel layouts to choose from when creating a new file maintenance panel: the Enhanced Layout and the Two-Column Layout.

Prior to PxPlus 2024, only the Two-Column layout was available. Starting with PxPlus 2024, the Enhanced layout has been added, and it is now the default layout when creating a new file maintenance panel. This can be changed by setting the Layout option in Step 1: Definition.

See the tutorial How to Use the Enhanced Layout in File Maintenance Generator.

Important Note:
The Enhanced layout is not backwards compatible with previous versions.

While either layout can be used to define folders, add data fields, add objects, etc., the Enhanced layout has distinct advantages. It provides the capability to format rows as true Full, Half, Third or Quarter sections and maintains these sections when generating NOMADS panels and Webster+ HTML pages. Panels can be up to four sections (columns) wide, giving you greater flexibility when adding controls to a panel.

With the Two-Column layout, NOMADS panels can have a maximum width of two columns, which are referred to as the Left Side and Right Side. Instead of treating each column as a true Half, each side is made as wide as it needs to be to accommodate the widest control. On the other hand, Webster+ HTML pages can have multiple sections placed across the page, depending on the HTML Section Size setting (accessed from the right-click menu).

(The File Maintenance Generator was added in PxPlus 2019.)
(The ability to create HTML pages using File Maintenance Generator was added in PxPlus 2021.)
(The Enhanced Layout was added in PxPlus 2024.)

File Maintenance Generator Steps

This table describes each step:



Step 1: Object Definition

Define the file maintenance object:

  • Set the Layout option (Defaults to Enhanced)
  • Select the type of form(s) to create: NOMADS panel, Webster+ HTML page, or both
  • Set the Non-File Maintenance Form option if creating an informational/dashboard-like NOMADS panel and/or HTML page
  • Select a data dictionary table
  • Enter a file maintenance object for the file definition
  • Enter an optional HTML interface program

(The Layout option was added in PxPlus 2024.)

Step 2: Object Properties

Define the options for record update behavior, screen behavior and record messages.

Step 3: Screen Layout

Define the options for screen positioning, browse and action buttons, and panel header:

  • Define NOMADS Panel Header Options and add panel notes
  • Specify the locations of Browse and Action buttons
  • Define any Additional Buttons to add before and/or after the browse and action buttons
  • Specify whether an optional embedded panel and/or HTML page will be included
  • Specify a Webster+ template file

Step 4: Control Settings

Define the options for field and screen layout (i.e. prompt alignment, tab sequence, etc.), fonted text and full horizontal lines.

Step 5: Key Settings

Define the options for a record query or a fixed Key segment only if the primary Key has more than one segment.

Step 6: Field Layout

Define the layout for the file maintenance Main panel and any folder panels:

(The ability to add Smart List Boxes, Smart Charts, Images, Embedded Panels, HTML Short Codes, and Hyperlink Prompts was added in PxPlus 2021.)
(The ability to add Buttons was added in PxPlus 2021 Update 1.)
(The ability to add Input Fields, Text and Grids was added in PxPlus 2022.)

Step 7: Generator Completion

Complete the File Maintenance Generator and generate the panels. Before panels are generated:

  • Review selections for previous steps and make any necessary changes
  • Enter the name of a File Maintenance Template for saving settings
  • Set the Launch the Screen Designer option to edit the generated panel(s) after completion

Panel Contents

The generated file maintenance panels are based on data files defined in a PxPlus Data Dictionary and are built with controls representing the data fields in the Data Dictionary and Data Class Objects. The Data Dictionary also supplies key structure information to enable accessing and writing the data records. Element names, prompts, default values, validation rules, print formats, associated queries, help and control types are derived from the data dictionary and data class definitions.

If a data element definition includes a Dynamic data class, information from the dynamic data class will load the control's properties on a generated panel. If the Dynamic data class definition is for a Multi-Line control, Extended Class Validation can be defined to provide additional table validation and allow access to data elements for creating display-only Multi-Line controls when designing NOMADS panels.

If a data element definition includes a non-dynamic data class, information for the control's properties will come from the data dictionary. The only exceptions are Short Description (used for prompts) and Default/Input Value, which always come from the data dictionary. See Element Description.

Non-File Maintenance Forms, which do not use the standard file maintenance logic, can also be created. This provides the capability to generate informational/dashboard-like NOMADS panels and/or HTML pages.

(The ability to create Non-File Maintenance forms was added in PxPlus 2022.)

Once the file maintenance panels and/or HTML pages are generated, they can be easily modified by using the NOMADS Panel Designer or the HTML Editor. Alternatively, they can be regenerated by using the File Maintenance Generator. See Updating a Generated File Maintenance Panel.

(The ability to regenerate an existing file maintenance panel was added in PxPlus 2020.)

See Also

Invoking File Maintenance Generator
Enhanced Layout
Two-Column Layout