Panel Designer

Using NOMADS+ Toolbar

 

The NOMADS+ Toolbar is a toolset used for application screen development and works in conjunction with the Design panel. The NOMADS+ Toolbar consists of two main components: NOMADS+ Toolbar and Design panel. Each of these windows can be moved and positioned anywhere on the desktop. The functionality of the other components, such as Properties, Header Panel, etc., remains unchanged.

In the example below, the NOMADS Panel Designer was launched using the NOMADS+ Toolbar version. On the design panel, the ProductCode multi-line control is selected, and the PRODUCTCODE row in the NOMADS+ Controls Grid is highlighted.

The NOMADS+ Toolbar is comprised of a Menu Bar, Controls Toolbar, Ribbon Bar, Control Grid and a separate Design panel. When selecting a screen object from the Library Object Selection window, the NOMADS+ Toolbar and Design panel are launched. Each NOMADS+ Toolbar/Design panel that is launched is associated with a unique ID number, with each having the same background color.

Note:
The background color is only used for identification purpose when in design mode. When testing a panel, the panel reverts to the true background color that has been assigned to it.

The size and location of the NOMADS+ Toolbar/Design panel persist, which means that the size and location at closing will be retained the next time these are accessed.

The Design panel can be locked to the NOMADS+ Toolbar so that these can move simultaneously, although the Design panel can be moved independently at any time.

The NOMADS+ Toolbar and Design panel windows work concurrently so that making changes to one is immediately reflected in the other.

(The NOMADS+ Toolbar was added in PxPlus 2014.)

Menu Bar

The Menu Bar consists of the following selections: Panel, Edit, Controls, Options, Utilities, Sizing, Projects, iNomads, Panel Details, Help and Quit.

The options available for each of these selections are listed below in the order they are displayed on the Menu Bar.

Panel

Drop-down menu for panel level options.

Header

Display Panel Definition properties. Same as the Header tool bar button.

Copy to

Copy the current panel to another library or to a new library name.

Print

Print the details of all panel controls. Same as the Print tool bar button.

Menus

Define a menu bar for the panel. See Menu Bar.

Save

Save changes to the panel without exiting. Same as the Save tool bar button.

Lock to Toolbar

Locks the Design panel to the NOMADS+ Toolbar to allow these to be moved simultaneously.

Note:
The Design panel can be moved independently at any time.

Show Tooltip

Display a floating tooltip showing the name and position/size co-ordinates for a selected object.

When launching the NOMADS Panel Designer for the first time, the default setting of this option coincides with the Hide tips system option, which is found by selecting the PxPlus icon in the upper left corner of the NOMADS Panel Designer. If Hide tips is initially Off, then Show Tooltip will be set to On.

To suppress tooltips from displaying each time you access the Panel Designer, set Show Tooltip to Off.

Default to Pointer

Sets the Pointer Tool as the default for the NOMADS+ Toolbar/Design panel. Setting this option to Off changes the default from the Pointer Tool to the Button control.

(The Pointer tool and Default to Pointer option in NOMADS+ were added in PxPlus 2019.)

Test

Switch to test mode. Same as the Test tool bar button.

Close

Exits the NOMADS+ Toolbar/Design panel with the option to save/abandon changes.

Delete Panel

Delete the panel from the current library.

 

Edit

Drop-down menu for panel editing options. These may also be invoked via quick key sequences (where indicated). A list of Edit Keys is also available on the NOMADS+ Toolbar Help menu.

Undo

Undo up to 50 changes. Same as the Undo tool bar button.

Redo

Sequentially reapplies the last changes that were undone by the Undo option until a new change is made. After a new change, Redo will recall only changes that were "undone" after the newest change.

(The Redo functionality was added in PxPlus 2014 Feature Pack 1 - Update 0005.)

Delete Object

Same function as the Delete key.

Size

Set sizing mode for selected object(s). Use arrow keys to change dimensions. Press Enter to set the new size.

Move

Set moving mode for selected object(s). Use the four arrow keys to move object. Press Enter to set the new location.

Paste

Paste object(s) from Clipboard.

Cut

Cut selected object(s).

Copy

Copy selected object(s).

Select All

Select all of the components on the panel.

Block Paste

Launch the Block Paste dialogue for merging objects from another panel.

Duplicate Object

Create a duplicate of a selected object with the same dimensions and properties as the original. See Duplicating Components.

New Object

Create a new object with the same dimensions as the original but with none of its properties. See Duplicating Components.

Align or Distribute

Launch options for group spacing of selected controls.

Grid Alignment

Change grid alignment for the current panel.

Show grid

Display grid lines on the panel.

Tab order

Launch the Tab Order Definition dialogue. See Tab Order.

 

Controls

These options are also accessible as buttons in the Controls Toolbar.

Button

Single button.

Radio Button

Radio button.

Check box

Check box for toggling On/Off (or Tri-State) options.

List box

View items as a list.

Drop box

Drop-down menu of items/values.

Multi-line

Input field.

Grid

Columns and rows of cells for entering information.

Chart

Chart-style illustrations.

Data Class

Standardized Data Class definitions.

Dictionary

Reference to data dictionary table.

Standard Text

Plain system font for display text.

Fonted Text

Windows fonts for display text (titles, labels).

Image

Bitmap or multimedia item.

Boxes

Frame lines for grouping panel sections.

Shapes

Shapes such as Pie, Arc, Polygon, etc.

Vertical Sbar

Vertical scrollbar.

Horizontal Sbar

Horizontal scrollbar.

Tab Selector

Create tabbed folder.

COM object

Use external (COM) control.

Embed Panel

Place contents of another panel onto the current panel.

Group Items

Used for selecting multiple controls in a group so that the same function (i.e. copying/pasting, moving, deleting) can be applied to them at the same time. When this tool is selected, use the mouse to draw a selection box around the controls to be grouped. (Similar functionality to the Pointer Tool.)

Pointer Tool

Use the Pointer Tool (default) for selecting either a single control or for drawing a selection box around multiple controls in a group so that the same function (i.e. copying/pasting, moving, deleting) can be applied to them at the same time. (Similar functionality to the Pointer Tool used in Property Sheets.)

Setting the Default to Pointer option (on the Panel menu) to Off changes the default from the Pointer Tool to the Button control.

(The Pointer tool and Default to Pointer option in NOMADS+ were added in PxPlus 2019.)

 

Options

Miscellaneous options.

Create Label For Dictionary Element

When selected (displays a check mark), this option generates a fonted text label for a data dictionary Element control (see Data Element Controls) when the control is drawn on the panel. At the same time, the Include Element Label check box is selected. Both of these options remain selected until either one is deselected or the Panel Designer is exited. (The Include Element Label check box was added in PxPlus 2018 Update 0001.)

Note:
This option has no effect on Check Box and Radio Button element controls and will be ignored if selected. These controls will be created as normal.

To apply this option:

1.

Select the Create Label For Dictionary Element option.

2.

Select an element to be placed on the panel (see Element). The Element button changes to dark red and displays the name of the selected element. At the same time, the Include Element Label check box displays, already selected.

3.

Draw the element control. (At this point, a message displays only if the selected element is associated with a Dynamic Data Class.)

4.

A Fonted Text Properties window displays for the generated element label. By default, the label is positioned to the left of the control but can be adjusted if needed.

Change Bulk Edit/Property Sort Order

Opens the Change Bulk Edit/Property Sort Order window for customizing how property groupings are displayed in Property Sheets, the Panel Bulk Edit Utility, and the Library Bulk Edit Utility (for the Properties to Edit grid).

 

Utilities

Drop-down menu for panel/library utilities.

Bulk Edit

Allows you to change the design properties of two or more selected panel controls within the current active panel. See Panel Bulk Edit Utility.

Dependency Definition

Launches utility that enables selected controls to be hidden, locked, enabled based on a preset condition. See Dependency Definitions.

Drag&Drop

Launches utility that allows selected items to be moved between controls at run time. See Drag and Drop Utility.

Group Assignment

Launches utility for assigning controls to a group name for a selected library and panel. See Group Assignment (Panel Level).

Suppress Groups

Launches utility for choosing which group(s) of controls to display or temporarily suppress from displaying on the current panel in the NOMADS Panel Designer. See Suppress Groups.

(The Suppress Groups utility was added in PxPlus 2021.)

Visual Class Assignment

Launches utility for assigning visual classes to controls. See Visual Class Assignment.

Resize

Launches the Custom Sizing Definition Utility for defining resizing options for the panel and for all the controls on it.

Tab Order Definition

Launches utility for defining the tab sequence. See Tab Order.

User CTLS

Launches utility for assigning CTL values that are used to associate programs or events with specific function key values when running the current panel. See User-Defined CTLS.

Auto Complete

Launches utility for defining auto complete functionality for use in a Multi-Line Control. See Auto Complete.

Calendar

Launches utility for defining calendar functionality for use in a Multi-Line Control. See Calendar.

Assign Substitute Panels

Launches Substitute Panel Maintenance for specifying conditions to apply when loading a substitute panel instead of the original one.

Assign Alternate Panels

Launches Alternate Panel Maintenance for specifying conditions to apply when resizing and displaying an alternate panel instead of the original one.

Nomads+

Launches a multi-functional dialogue that combines folder style and property sheets, listing all panel controls and specific properties in a grid format.

Property Sheets

Displays the properties for a selected control using a two-column table format. See Using Property Sheets.

Folder Style

Displays the properties for a selected control using a tabbed folder format. See Using Folder Style.

 

Sizing

Drop-down menu for panel and/or objects sizing.

Fixed

Panel size is fixed and objects have fixed sizes and locations.

Resizable

Panel is resizable but objects have fixed sizes and locations.

Resizable/Auto Scroll

Panel is resizable, and objects have fixed sizes. However, specific objects can be set to scroll by selecting the Enable Scrolling property in their Properties table or in the Custom Sizing Definition Utility.

Resizable/Auto Size

Panel is resizable, and objects are resized and relocated based on the ratio of the original size to the new panel size.

Resizable/Custom

Panel is resizable, and each object can be resized (Auto Size) or remain fixed in size (Fixed). Auto size objects are automatically relocated, whereas fixed-sized objects will have the following Movement options available: Default, Default (Centered), or Anchored (Top, Bottom, Left, Right, Top/Left, Top/Right, Bottom/Left and Bottom/Right).

 

Projects

Drop-down menu for projects.

Create New Project

Launches the Create Project dialogue for entering a new project (Private or Public) for the current working directory. Click the Query button to select a different working directory.

Add to Project

Launches the Add to Project dialogue for adding the current task to an existing project that is selected from the Project drop box.

To manage all the tasks within a project, see Project Maintenance.

For information on adding tasks to a project from other locations, see Adding Tasks to Projects from Other Locations.

 

iNomads

Note:
iNomads is not available with a base PxPlus activation. Contact your PxPlus reseller or visit the PxPlus website www.pvxplus.com for product information and licensing.

Lists options for creating and running a panel in iNomads.

(The iNomads menu was added to the Panel Designer in PxPlus 2016.)

Create/Edit Transaction

Launches iNomads Transaction Maintenance for defining the program or NOMADS panel to use for an iNomads application.

Run transaction

Displays the current saved panel in iNomads in "test" mode on a new Web browser page using the admin template. This allows you to preview the panel so you can determine if further adjustments are needed in the NOMADS Panel Designer. If the panel already exists in iNomads Transaction Maintenance, that transaction will be run.

Note:
This "test" functionality is not available when running WindX.

 

Panel Details

Launches the Panel Details dialog.

(The Panel Details dialog was added in PxPlus 2018.)

 

Launches the Panel Details dialog, which contains a summary list of panel information and includes the following categories: Alternate Panels, Dependencies, Drag And Drop, Groups, Menu, Substitute Panels, User CTLS and Visual Classes. The category headings are clickable, invoking the associated utility program to edit the panel.

  

 

Help

Additional Help options.

Edit Keys

Provides a list of keystroke combinations that are mapped to NOMADS functionality; i.e. Ctrl + S = Save, Ctrl + C = Copy, Ctrl + V = Paste.

Note:
The standard edit keys Home and End apply only when using the Folder Style and Property Sheet versions of the NOMADS Panel Designer.

About

NOMADS Designer version number.

 

Quit

 

 

Exits the NOMADS+ Toolbar/Design panel with the option to save/abandon changes.

Controls Toolbar

The Controls toolbar is a collection of creation tools that are used when adding controls to any panel. These tools are explained below.

To create a control:

 

1.

Click the appropriate tool in the Controls toolbar.

 

2.

Draw the control on the panel by holding down the left mouse button, dragging the dotted outline to the desired size and releasing the mouse button. The control's Properties window displays.

 

3.

Enter the associated logic and set other design properties as needed.

For information on drawing, resizing, moving and arranging objects in the Panel Designer, see Creating Panel Controls and Modifying Objects.

Pointer Tool

Use the Pointer Tool (default) for selecting either a single control or for drawing a selection box around multiple controls in a group so that the same function (i.e. copying/pasting, moving, deleting) can be applied to them at the same time. (Similar functionality to the Pointer Tool used in Property Sheets.)

Setting the Default to Pointer option (Panel menu) to Off changes the default from the Pointer Tool to the Button control.

(The Pointer tool and Default to Pointer option in NOMADS+ were added in PxPlus 2019.)

Button

Standard button control familiar to all GUI users.

Radio Button

Radio buttons typically appear in a group of two or more circular buttons, where only one button in the group may be activated (set to On) at any time.

Check Box and Tri-State

Users can toggle check boxes between states: On to select an option, Off to disable it. An optional third state may be defined (for a Tri-State control).

List Box

List box controls allow users to select items from a displayed list. The different list box styles available in NOMADS include Standard, Formatted, List View, Report View and Tree View.

Drop Box

A drop box is similar to a list box, but it only displays a single line of text and provides a drop-down arrow button for access to other items in the list.

Multi-Line

A multi-line control is an input field used primarily for entering one or more lines of text.

Fonted/Fixed Text

Provides headings and labels for controls in a panel.Fonted text provides several style options. Fixed (standard) text is for fixed PxPlus font only.

Image/Picture

Places a graphic on the panel. Does not respond to events.

Box/Frame

Draws a box/frame around a selected group of controls on the panel. Does not respond to events.

Shape

Draws graphics on a panel. Does not respond to events.

Folder

Panels can be set up to display as a layered file folder to provide access to tabbed sub-panels.

Grid

The grid is a two-dimensional array of cells (similar to a spreadsheet) that may comprise a combination of different panel components.

Chart

Creates a chart-style illustration on the panel.

Vertical/Horizontal Scrollbar

Vertical and horizontal scrollbars provide slider controls.

COM Control

The external tools (COM) interface allows you to incorporate an object that is not native to PxPlus; e.g. access to MS Calendar, Excel or Internet Explorer browser can be added to the panel.

Embed Panel

Allows you to place the contents of another panel onto the current panel.

Group Items

Used for selecting multiple controls in a group so that the same function (i.e. copying/pasting, moving, deleting) can be applied to them at the same time. When this tool is selected, use the mouse to draw a selection box around the controls to be grouped. (Similar functionality to the Pointer Tool.)

Data Class

(Available only if Data Class Definitions file exists)

This button (or the Query down arrow) displays a list of defined data classes stored in the providex.dcl file. For information on creating data classes, see Data Classes.

Select a data class for the type of control to be placed on the panel. When selected, the text Data Class is replaced with the name of the selected class, and the button color changes to dark red. When the control is drawn, the Properties window is automatically loaded with information from the selected class.

File

(Available only if Data Dictionary file exists)

This button (or the Query down arrow) displays a list of dictionary files stored in the providex.ddf file. Select the dictionary file that contains the element(s) to be placed on the panel, and then use the Element button to select an element from the selected file. When a file is selected, the text File is replaced with the name of the selected file, and the button color changes to dark red.

Element

(Available only if Data Dictionary file exists)

If a dictionary File was selected previously, this button (or the Query down arrow) displays a list of the elements in the selected file only. If no dictionary File was selected, this button displays a list of all the elements in all dictionary files (sorted by Table Name). Elements are stored in the providex.dde file. For information on defining elements, see Element Description.

Select an element to be placed on the panel. When selected, the text Element is replaced with the name of the selected element. If a dictionary File was not selected previously, then the text File is replaced with the name of the dictionary file containing the selected element. The Element button color changes to dark red. When the control is drawn, the Properties window is displayed for the selected element.

Note:

When drawing a data element control:

   If the element was defined with a data class that is not dynamic, the element values will be written to the control properties.

   If the element was defined with a dynamic data class, a message will ask if the element values are to overwrite data class values for corresponding properties. Respond Yes to apply the element values or No to apply the data class values. See Dynamic Control Properties.

(Dynamic data classes and properties were added in PxPlus 2018.)

Include Element Label

(Available only when a Data Dictionary element is selected)

When selected, this option generates a fonted text label for a data dictionary Element control (see Data Element Controls) when the control is drawn on the panel. At the same time, the Create Label For Dictionary Element option (Options menu) is selected. Both of these options remain selected until either one is deselected or the Panel Designer is exited.

Note:
This option has no effect on Check Box and Radio Button element controls and will be ignored if selected. These controls will be created as normal.

To apply this option:

1.

Select an element to be placed on the panel (see Element). The Element button changes to dark red and displays the name of the selected element. At the same time, the Include Element Label check box displays.

2.

Click the Include Element Label check box.

3.

Draw the element control. (At this point, a message displays only if the selected element is associated with a Dynamic Data Class.)

4.

A Fonted Text Properties window displays for the generated element label. By default, the label is positioned to the left of the control but can be adjusted if needed.

(The Include Element Label check box was added in PxPlus 2018 Update 0001.)

Ribbon Bar

The Ribbon Bar consists of functions that are commonly used for the development of screen panels. A list of available selections is provided below.

Save

Saves changes to the panel without exiting.

Test

Switches to test mode.

Properties

Displays the properties for the selected control.

Header Panel

Displays Panel Definition properties.

Menu

Defines a menu bar for the panel. See Menu Bar.

Undo

Undo up to 50 changes.

Redo

Sequentially reapplies the last changes that were undone by the Undo option until a new change is made. After a new change, Redo will recall only changes that were "undone" after the newest change.

(The Redo functionality was added in PxPlus 2014 Feature Pack 1 - Update 0005.)

Bulk Edit

Allows you to change the design properties of two or more selected panel controls within the current active panel. See Panel Bulk Edit Utility.

Cut

Cut selected object(s).

Copy

Copy selected object(s).

Paste

Paste object(s) from clipboard.

Commit

Invokes the TortoiseSVN Commit procedure for committing panel changes to the repository. This option is enabled only if both of the following conditions are met:

  The programs/files associated with the current panel are integrated with the PxPlus Version Control System Using TortoiseSVN.

  Changes to the current panel have been saved.

Up
Down

Moves a selected row up or down within the grid only if that row has the Tab Stop check box selected. Moving a selected row changes the tab order of the controls in the current panel.

The tab order can also be modified in the Tab Order Definition window, which is accessed either by selecting Tab order from the Edit menu or by selecting Tab Order Definition from the Utilities menu. See Tab Order.

Test using Alternate/Substitute Panels

(Available only when Alternate Panels and/or Substitute Panels have been assigned to the current panel)

Select this check box to test the alternate or substitute panel logic for the current panel when the Test option is selected.

  

To test the current panel without the alternate or substitute panel logic, uncheck this option (default).

(The Test using Alternate/Substitute Panels check box was added in PxPlus 2017 Update 0002.)

Suppress Groups

Click the text portion of this button to launch the Suppress Groups utility that is used for choosing which group(s) of controls to display or temporarily suppress from displaying on the current panel in the NOMADS Panel Designer.

Click the drop down arrow to access a Display All Groups option for displaying all groups on the current panel.

  

(The Suppress Groups utility was added in PxPlus 2021.)

Controls Grid

The Controls grid displays all the controls in the current panel in tab order sequence.

Within this grid, the following most commonly used parameters for each control can be modified, and any changes made are automatically reflected in the Design panel:

Control

Unique name assigned to the control.

(Properties Button)

Brings up the properties window for the selected control. Works the same as the Properties button on the Ribbon Bar.

Example:

If the row selected is a Multi-Line control, clicking the Properties button invokes the Multi-Line Properties window.

Type

Type of control (i.e. Button, Multi Line, etc.).

When creating List Box, Chart and Shape controls, the specific type of List Box, Chart and Shape is also displayed.

  

(The specific type of List Box, Chart and Shape was added in PxPlus 2019.)

Text

Text associated with the control.

Column

Starting column position of the control.

Line

Starting line position of the control.

Width

Width of the control in number of columns.

Height

Height of the control in number of lines.

Tab Stop

Indicates whether the control is included in the tabbing sequence.

Movement

Indicates the resizing behavior set for the control. See Panel Resizing.

(Delete Button)

Deletes the currently selected control. If the control was deleted in error, use the Undo toolbar button to bring it back. The deleted control is not written to the Clipboard; therefore, it cannot be pasted.

(The Delete button was added in PxPlus 2020.)