Understanding form files

A form specification file is a source file that defines an application form providing for end user interaction with a program.

The form file defines the disposition, presentation (in other words the decoration), and behavior of screen elements called form items.

The source file must have the .per file extension: myform.per. Programs load the .42f compiled version of the form files, and use interactive instructions (dialogs) to control the form.

To compile a .per source file to a .42f format, use the fglform form compiler. When a SCHEMA is specified in the form file, fglform requires that the database schema file already exist. Compiled form files depend on both the source files and the database schema files.

Compiled forms will be loaded by the programs with the OPEN FORM or the OPEN WINDOW WITH FORM instructions. The .42f form file is searched for in several directories, as described in the FGLRESOURCEPATH reference topic.

Once a form is loaded, the program can manipulate forms to display or let the user edit data, with interactive instructions such as INPUT or DISPLAY ARRAY. Program variables are used as display and/or input buffers.

The content of a .per form file must follow a specific syntax as described in Form file structure.