The Repository field definitions are the foundation of your business application. The objects within the Repository are often built off these basic definitions. Your components and the functions will be built using the field definitions so it is very important to take time to carefully define fields in the Repository. It is the centralization of a single definition and its reuse that provides the great productivity benefits.
Properly defining all field characteristics in the Repository is critical. When you define a field's characteristics, you are really defining screen layouts, report layouts and other important information which will be used in your applications. For example, a default value defined in the Repository will be automatically used when a screen is displayed; or a function can ask for a field to be set to its default, based on the Repository field value. It is important to take the time to carefully consider each characteristic of the field definition.
Remember, the LANSA Repository is an Active Object Repository. (Refer to What is an active repository?) For example, a prompt function can be assigned to fields in the Repository. The specified prompt function is automatically available from each screen on which the field appears. When the prompt function is changed in the Repository, the new function is immediately available on all screens in the application. There is no recompilation of the application.
If you are using LANSA's Multilingual Support, you will enter descriptions, labels and column headings for all languages specified for the partition. This allows a single application to be executed in more than one language at the same time. Refer also to 1.5.5 System & Multilingual Variables Development.
Also, remember that the LANSA Repository is "open" and the information can be shared and reused. Other PC-based application development tools can access the Repository field definitions and use this information when creating and executing their applications.