The Data Dictionary Lookup is a browse based program that can be used to display and maintain the information that is stored in the Cove Data Dictionary File (File 173). The Data Dictionary file is used to store File/Field Level Help information.
The File/Field Level Help System provides extended descriptive information about the specific Files and Fields that are maintained in the Stream Database. File/Field Level help describes how each file and each field in each file are used by the system. The File/Field help also lists any specific requirements for the file or field and other relevant information. This information can be displayed quickly and easily from inside the application. Customer specific or “House Help” information (such as specifically how each field is used by your company), can also be maintained in the system. Field level help is supported in the VDF applications and in some Console Mode programs. Field level help can be accessed using the following methods.
In Lookup or List Based Programs
• The ALT+F1 keys or the “Column Help” option that is available using the right mouse menu will display the field help for the field currently highlighted in the list. Addtional information about the Main File being displayed by the Program can be accessed using the File Info button that is displayed in the Help Object.
• The Help Button on the Standard Toolbar will display the File Description for the Main file being used by the Program. You can access the help for each of the fields in this file using the Field List Button that is displayed in the Help object. This option will allow you to access help for fields that are in the file being displayed but that are not displayed in the columns included in the list.
In Panel or Form Based Programs (Detail Panels, Manager Programs).
• The ALT+F1 keys or the “Field Help” option that is available using the right mouse menu will display the field help for the currently selected field. Addtional information about the Main File being displayed by the Program can be accessed using the File Info button that is displayed in the Help Object.
• The Help Button on the Standard Toolbar will cause the system to display the File Description for the Main File being used by the Program. You can access the help information for each of the fields in this file using the Field List button that is displayed in the help object. This option is especially usefull in panels that have read-only or non-accessible fields, as these fields cannot be selected.
When the above key combinations or mouse options are used in a program, the system accesses the DATADICT (Cove Data Dictionary) File and it displays any extended text descriptions that have been entered in the file for the selected database file or field. The DATADICT file (File 173) is a data file that is maintained by Cove Systems and this file is typically over-written when a system update is performed.
The data dictionary information is displayed in the Data Dictionary Field Help dialog in the VDF programs and in the Offline Editor for the Data Dictionary file (FV173EOO) in console mode programs. These two programs display both the fixed (file#, field#, record type, length, and name) and variable or descriptive information that is stored for the file field combination.
Once the appropriate data dictionary record is loaded, the system checks for any extended descriptions that have been entered for the file field combination. These descriptions can come from the following sources.
The data dictionary records for each file and field combination contain a comment field and this field is loaded by Cove systems with the standard description that describes the field and how it is used. This information is updated when the DATADICT file is overwritten as described in the previous section.
The VDF field level help system also supports “House Help” House help allows you to create and maintain site specific or house descriptions to define how you use the field in your business and business processes. The House Help information that you enter for a file field combination is stored in the TEXTDATA file (File 240) as this file is not overwritten when a system update is performed.
If House Help is entered for a file or a file, field combination, the VDF Help object will automatically display the house help information when the program is called. You may then switch back and forth between the Cove and House help information by pressing the appropriate button inside the help object You may also update existing records while inside the dialog. Note:You should not update the Cove Help information as this will be overwritten when the new file is delivered.
Please note that the Data Dictionary Lookup program displays only the information that has been entered into the Cove Data Dictionary File. The Data Dictionary Field Help program that is called from the Lookup allows you to display both the Cove Help information stored in the Data Dictionary file and the customer specific House Help information that is stored in the TextData file.