Common Development Tools
Many common operations are carried out during application development. These operations are supported by facilities found in the Development Center.
The Development Center provides common development tools such as a windowed command prompt that enables direct execution of Zim commands. The output appears in the main DC window. Support is also provided for
- direct editing of application components
- import and export of object definitions and data to and from other Zim databases and SQL database servers
- generation of application system documentation through dictionary reports and creation of hypertext files
- maintenance facilities for some tables making up the Application Framework
Access to Common Development Tools is provided by DC’s Tools menu. The facilities available from the Tools menu are
- command prompt
- object manager
- designer actions
- import and export
- application documentation
- end user messages, event and action mapping, and state transitions
- remote access preparation
For those users who prefer to enter commands directly or for situations where direct command input is more effective, DC provides a command window. Commands can be entered directly, previous commands can be recalled (and modified if desired), and a variety of built-in command line utilities can be executed. Output from the commands is displayed in the main DC window. The command prompt window can be left open while you use other Development Center facilities. This enables you to execute commands from time to time by switching to the command prompt window.
Use the object manager to
- create, edit and view object definitions in the Object Dictionary
- help developers manipulate and analyze their applications
- provide a powerful set-oriented method of managing objects and object dependencies
- provide a homogeneous view of objects independent of object type
- provide facilities to co-ordinate development when working in a team context
- provide object import, export, comparison, and conversion functions
- enable keyword indexing of objects
- provide high-level services for use in building custom development tools
This menu item enables direct design editing of application components without opening the application. An application component is a part of a generated application that is usually associated with a window. This tool is used in cases where an application component has no window, the application component has become corrupted so that it cannot be executed, or in cases where the developer wants rapid access to editing the component.
Import and Export
DC supports many kinds of import and export functions. You can import and export data, object definitions, or entire databases. The source/target of these operations can be another Zim database or an SQL database server.
Zim/SQL Definition Import and Export
This option is used in client-server configurations and enables you to import database definitions from a server and create corresponding Zim definitions, export your Zim database definitions to a server, or compare your definitions with the definitions on the server.
The Export/Import Wizard transfers object definitions, data, Framework support data, and application designer objects between Zim database applications. A step-by-step process prompts the developer for each group of objects requiring exporting and importing.
Direct access to the DC report generators is provided here. Typically, this menu item is selected to design and run reports that are useful only during development.
DC enables you to automatically create a variety of forms of system documentation. For example, you can generate hypertext files that cross-reference object definitions and program code. You can also generate one or more reports from a set of standard Object Dictionary reports for any or all object types.
End User Messages, Event/Action Mapping, and State Transitions
These menu items support maintenance of various tables in the Application Framework that contain application message text, mappings between user interface events and application actions, and state transitions (used in data entry windows).
Remote Access Preparation
DC provides the facility to prepare a Zim application for remote access using the Zim ODBC drivers. For more information about ODBC, see About the ODBC Drivers.