4.25 The Action Bar Control Table

The CUA 1989 Basic Interface Design Guide defines an "action bar" like this:

"The action bar is the panel element at the top of the panel that consists of a list of choices that represent a group of related actions that the users can request. A group of actions appear in a pull down when users request an action bar choice. Pull downs are located immediately below the action bar. The actions typically affect information displayed in the work area or in some way control the user's dialogue with the application."

The action bar implementation within LANSA is at the process level.

A process, which is typically used as a menu in an SAA/CUA partition, can be made to act as action bar instead.

This facility is controlled by the "Process Menu/Style" field that is specified when "Creating a new process".

Additionally, it can be changed via the "Miscellaneous Process Details" facility.

A single line action bar process might appear like this:


 File        Edit        Options     Help                             




If a user selected the first action bar choice (file), then a pull down might appear like this:


  File        Edit        Options     Help                            


  | _ 1. Open          |                                              

  |   2. Close         |                                              

  |   3. DTX to H/O    |                                              

  |   4. FAX to H/O    |                                              




An action bar can use from 1 to 3 lines across the top of the panel. Each line can contain at most 6 action bar choices, thus totalling 18 choices within one process.

Each action bar choice has an associated pull down. Each pull down can support at most 9 choices. Thus 18 x 9 = 162 choices can be controlled from one action bar.

When a process is used as a normal menu, no extra details are required.

However, when a process is used as an "action bar", additional details about the layout and options in the action bar and its associated pull downs must be specified in a table called the "Action Bar Control Table".

This is what described in this section: the mechanics of how to define an action bar via the action bar control table.

This section does not describe:

It is absolutely essential that you are aware of all these things before attempting to create an action bar application.

The relevant sections from the following guides/manuals must be read in full before attempting to design or implement an action bar application: