Dynamic screen designing in RPG

15 pts.
is it possible to design rpg screen at run time. I mean designing and using screen through rpg code.

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There are ways of doing this, but they’re quite complex to use.


Martin Gilbert.

using API’s it is possible to design dynamic screen at run time.


Thanks for the feedback, we don’t get enough of it.
This question comes up from time-to-time.
If this were easier we would have developed a fraction of the screens that exist.


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There are 2 practical ways of doing this.

Using the DSM routines is feasible, though it’s more like working in Assembler, and carries with it a need for thorough design and careful constructio to make it maintainable. You will also find that it takes maybe 3 iterations to become modestly proficient.

secondly, as a 5350 screen in 24×80 mode carries only 1920 characters, you can design screens in rpg using this as a template. insert hex start and end fild characters and constan ts as needed. When reading back the screen DS you need to examine the entire ‘buffer’ to spot changes. Logical add used to be good for this.

Extending this idea though, as you say you want to recreate WRKDBF, then provide a subfile with a single visible field, and construct the content of the line as needed.
So – you provide a select panel taken from the field list you derived with the API, the user selects the fields wanted and sequences them, and you then move each to the ‘field’ in the requested sequence, with a separator.

Users won’t know the difference, and it’s all done in rpg.

Keep at it – we’d all like an open source version of WRKDBF back in the bulletin boards.


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  • philpl1jb
    Please describe further - are you trying to produce screens with different languages or fields mapped to different regions of the screen? Subfiles for dispaly?
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  • ranevikas
    Hi philip/Martin, Thanks for your posts. I am not doing any multi language/regions screen. I was having requirement to develop an dbu like utility for the user with some extra features to be added (Company specific). The final screen design came out to be quit complex to handle with our normal subfiles. Thus we had a thought of going for dynamic screen solution were we can handle the screen display. But after our initial research on this subject we agreed to what martin said. Currently dropping the DSM possibility, we are looking for work around to solve our screen problem. regds.. vikas
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