INPUT ARRAY instruction configuration

This section describes the options that can be specified in the ATTRIBUTES clause of the INPUT ARRAY instruction. The options of the ATTRIBUTES clause override all default attributes and temporarily override any display attributes that the OPTIONS or the OPEN WINDOW statement specified for these fields. With the INPUT ARRAY statement, the INVISIBLE attribute is ignored.

HELP option

The HELP clause specifies the number of a help message to display if the user invokes the help the INPUT ARRAY dialog. The predefined 'help' action is automatically created by the runtime system. You can bind action views to the 'help' action.

The HELP clause overrides the HELP attribute.

WITHOUT DEFAULTS option

The WITHOUT DEFAULT clause defines whether the program array elements are populated (and to be displayed) when the dialog begins. Once the dialog is started, existing rows are always handled as records to be updated in the database (i.e. WITHOUT DEFAULTS=TRUE), while newly-created rows are handled as records to be inserted in the database (i.e. WITHOUT DEFAULTS=FALSE). In other words, the REQUIRED and DEFAULT attributes defined in the form are only used for newly-created rows.

It is unusual to implement an INPUT ARRAY with no WITHOUT DEFAULTS option, because the data of the program variables would be cleared and the list empty. So, you typically use the WITHOUT DEFAULT clause in INPUT ARRAY. In a singular INPUT ARRAY, the default is WITHOUT DEFAULTS=FALSE.

FIELD ORDER FORM option

By default, the form tabbing order is defined by the variable list in the binding specification. You can control the tabbing order by using the FIELD ORDER FORM attribute. When this attribute is used, the tabbing order is defined by the TABINDEX attribute of the form items. With FIELD ORDER FORM, if you jump from one field to a another with the mouse, the BEFORE FIELD / AFTER FIELD triggers of intermediate fields are not executed (actually, the Dialog.fieldOrder FGLPROFILE entry is ignored.)

If the form uses a TABLE container, the front-end resets the tab indexes when the user moves columns around. This way, the visual column order always corresponds to the input tabbing order. The order of the columns in an editable list can be important; you may want to freeze the table columns with the UNMOVABLECOLUMNS attribute.

UNBUFFERED option

Indicates that the dialog must be sensitive to program variable changes. When using this option, you bypass the traditional BUFFERED mode.

When using the traditional "buffered" mode, program variable changes are not automatically displayed to form fields; You need to execute a DISPLAY TO or DISPLAY BY NAME. Additionally, if an action is triggered, the value of the current field is not validated and is not copied into the corresponding program variable. The only way to get the text of the current field is to use GET_FLDBUF().

If the "unbuffered" mode is used, program variables and form fields are automatically synchronized. You don't need to display explicitly values with a DISPLAY TO or DISPLAY BY NAME. When an action is triggered, the value of the current field is validated and is copied into the corresponding program variable.

See also The buffered and unbuffered modes.

COUNT option

The COUNT attribute defines the number of valid rows in the static array to be displayed as default rows. If you do not use the COUNT attribute, the runtime system cannot determine how much data to display, so the screen array remains empty. You can also use the SET_COUNT() built-in function, but it is supported for backward compatibility only. The COUNT option is ignored when using a dynamic array. If you specify the COUNT attribute, the WITHOUT DEFAULTS option is not required because it is implicit. If the COUNT attribute is greater than MAXCOUNT, the runtime system will take MAXCOUNT as the actual number of rows. If the value of COUNT is negative or zero, it defines an empty list.

MAXCOUNT option

The MAXCOUNT attribute defines the maximum number of rows that can be inserted in the program array. This attribute allows you to give an upper limit of the total number of rows the user can enter, when using both static or dynamic arrays.

When binding a static array, MAXCOUNT is used as upper limit if it is lower or equal to the actual declared static array size. If MAXCOUNT is greater than the array size, the size of the static array is used as the upper limit. If MAXCOUNT is lower than the COUNT attribute (or to the SET_COUNT() parameter), the actual number of rows in the array will be reduced to MAXCOUNT.

When binding a dynamic array, the user can enter an infinite number of rows unless the MAXCOUNT attribute is used. If MAXCOUNT is lower than the actual size of the dynamic array, the number of rows in the array will be reduced to MAXCOUNT.

If MAXCOUNT is negative or equal to zero, the user cannot insert rows.

ACCEPT option

The ACCEPT attribute can be set to FALSE to avoid the automatic creation of the accept default action. This option can be used for example when you want to write a specific validation procedure, by using ACCEPT INPUT.

CANCEL option

The CANCEL attribute can be set to FALSE to avoid the automatic creation of the cancel default action. This is useful for example when you only need a validation action (accept), or when you want to write a specific cancellation procedure, by using EXIT INPUT.

If the CANCEL=FALSE option is set, no close action will be created, and you must write an ON ACTION close control block to create an explicit action.

APPEND ROW option

The APPEND ROW attribute can be set to FALSE to avoid the append default action, and prevent the user adding rows at the end of the list. If APPEND ROW=FALSE, it is still possible to insert rows in the middle of the list. Use the INSERT ROW attribute to disallow the user from inserting rows. To deny automatic temporary row creation if only APPEND ROW=FALSE is used, set AUTO APPEND is not set to FALSE.

INSERT ROW option

The INSERT ROW attribute can be set to FALSE to avoid the insert default action, and prevent the user inserting new rows in the middle of the list. However, even if INSERT ROW is FALSE, it is still possible to append rows at the end of the list. Use the APPEND ROW attribute to disallow the user from appending rows. To deny automatic temporary row creation if only INSERT ROW=FALSE is used, set AUTO APPEND is not set to FALSE.

DELETE ROW option

The DELETE ROW attribute can be set to FALSE to avoid the delete default action, and prevent the user removing rows from the list.

AUTO APPEND option

By default, an INPUT ARRAY controller creates a temporary row when needed (for example, when the user deletes the last row of the list, a new row will be automatically created). You can prevent this default behavior by setting the AUTO APPEND attribute to FALSE. When this attribute is set to FALSE, the only way to create a new temporary row is to execute the append action.

If both the APPEND ROW and INSERT ROW attributes are set to FALSE, the dialog automatically behaves as if AUTO APPEND equals FALSE.

KEEP CURRENT ROW option

Depending on the list container used in the form, the current row may be highlighted during the execution of the dialog, and cleared when the instruction ends. You can change this default behavior by using the KEEP CURRENT ROW attribute, to force the runtime system to keep the current row highlighted.

Using TTY attributes

The ATTRIBUTES clause can define TTY attributes such as colors (RED, GREEN), and REVERSE. These attributes will be used during the dialog execution.

Important: In GUI mode, form elements can also be decorated with presentation styles. Pay attention to the specific rules that apply when combining TTY attributes and presentation styles.