Glossary

Alphanumeric

A combination of numbers and letters.

Array field

A field containing multiple occurrences of the same type of information. The individual pieces of information stored by an array field are called elements. For example, a seven-element array field could be used to store daily sales totals instead of seven individual fields.

Array index

The number designating a specific component within an array field. Each component field within an array field has an array index.

Component

One field of a composite field.

Composite

A group of fields and their associated data types that form a single data type.

Constant

A fixed numeric or string value.

Control field

A unique field within a record that's used to control access to the record. Typically, the control field is part of the first key for the table.

Control type

The main characteristic of a data type, controlling the type of information that can be stored in fields with the data type, and some aspects of how the information will be displayed. Commonly-used control types are push button, integer, check box, date and currency.

Data type

A resource that defines the characteristics for a field, such as its keyable length, control type (push button, check box, string and so on) and format. A single data type can be applied to several fields, but a field can only have one data type applied to it.

Dictionary

A file used by Dexterity-based applications to store all of the resources that make up the application.

Display name

One of the names specified for a table. The display name is used when the name of the table is displayed to the user.

Duplicates

A key option that specifies whether the key will allow multiple records in the table to have the same key value.

Element

One of the fields in an array field.

Encrypted field

A field that is altered in the table, making it difficult to view the contents of the field by accessing the table from outside of the application.

Field

A field contains a single piece of information used by the application dictionary. A field can be displayed in a window or stored in a table. The kind of information the field displays or stores depends on the data type associated with it. Global fields can be displayed in a window, stored in a table or printed on a report. Local fields are available only within the form in which they are created and are used as window fields.

File

A collection of information stored on a disk.

Format

The extra characters, spacing and attributes that can be applied to a data type when data is entered, displayed or printed.

Global field

A field that can be used throughout an application. Global fields can be displayed in windows, stored in tables and printed on reports.

Integrating application

A Dexterity application that runs concurrently with a main product application.

Key

A field or combination of fields within a record that is used as a basis by which to store, retrieve and sort records. Keys are also used to define table relationships, in order to link tables.

Key segment

One field of a group of fields that compose a key.

Keyable length

The number of characters that can be entered in a field. A name field, for example, that can only contain 30 characters, has a keyable length of 30.

Local field

A field that's available only within the form in which it appears. Local fields are used as window fields; they're not stored in tables.

One-to-many

A type of relationship between two tables. For every record in the first table, there are many records in the second table that are related to it. For example, an invoice header table contains a list of invoices, while an invoice line item table contains a list of the items on each invoice. For one invoice in the first table, there are many line items in the second table, so there's a one-to-many relationship between the tables.

One-to-one

A type of relationship between two tables. For every record in the first table, there is only one corresponding record that is related to it in the second table.

Resource Descriptions tool

A tool that displays information about the current dictionary's fields, windows and tables.

Physical name

For tables, the name under which a table is stored by the operating system or database.

For global fields, a shortened version of the field name that is used as the column name when the field is used in a SQL table.

Primary table

The first, or main table in a table relationship. If the relationship between the primary table and the secondary table is one-to-one, all of the fields in the secondary table's key must be present in the primary table.

Record

A collection of data made up of one instance of each field in a table.

Record size

The number of bytes in the fixed-length portion of the record. This value is the sum of the storage sizes of the fixed-length fields in the record.

Required field

A field in which a value must be entered to process information, such as an ID or customer name. In Dexterity-based applications, required fields are displayed in a different color or type style when a user chooses the Show Required Fields menu item.

Secondary table

The table that's related to the first, or primary table in a table relationship. If the relationship between the primary table and the secondary table is one-to-one, all of the fields in the secondary table's key must be present in the primary table.

Series

A predefined category to which forms, tables and reports are assigned in an application dictionary.

Storage size

The size, in bytes, that an application uses to store the information entered in a field. The storage type is specific to the field's data type.

Storage type

One of the eight standard forms used to store the data in a field. The storage types are: boolean, integer, long, currency, string, text, date, and time. The control type determines which storage type is used to store the data in the field.

String

A sequence of up to 255 ASCII characters.

Table

A collection of related data formatted in rows. Each row represents a separate record, and each column represents a separate field.

Table field

A global field that's used to store information in tables.

Table group

A group of logically-related tables. For example, a customer master table, a customer address table and a customer history table could all compose a table group.

Table relationship

A link between tables that have fields in common. These relationships allow the Report Writer to select fields from all of the related tables and use them on a single report.

Technical name

The name used within application scripts to refer to a table or window.

Unique index

An index that requires the key values of each record to be unique. Individual key segments may contain the same data for multiple records, but there can't be duplicates of the key values as a whole.

Window field

A global or local field that has been added to a window layout. Global fields are typically stored in tables, and can be added to report layouts; local fields aren't stored in tables and can't be printed on reports.