To define the entities/commands in a procedure, and the order in which they are accessed, enter the Procedure Steps form, a sub-level of the Procedure Generator form.
A procedure is composed of a set of entities and/or commands that are executed in a fixed order. Each entity, identified by its name and type, constitutes a separate step in the procedure. The order of execution is determined by the Step column.
Note: When modifying the order of execution, it is not sufficient to modify the value in the Step column. You must create an identical step with a different Step value, and delete the step that previously existed. Similarly, in the version revision you create for the modification (see Installing Your Customizations), you must include both the step addition and step deletion.
There are several different types of procedure steps, each of which is a valid entity:
- a report (R), which generates a report after data processing
- a form (F), used to input data
- a procedure (P), which activates a sub-procedure
- a Basic command (B), used for parameter input, message output and flow control
- a form load interface (I), used to load data into a Priority form
- a table load file (L), used to import external data into the application
- a compiled program (type C), used to manipulate data.
Specify the name of the entity or Basic command that constitutes each procedure step (in the Entity Name column), as well as its type.
The following is a list of useful Basic commands.
- BACKGROUND (Background Execution) — Causes the remainder of the procedure to be run in the background.
- CHOOSE (Select Parameter) — Creates a menu of exclusive options, one of which must be chosen by the user (by flagging one of the radio buttons). This Choose menu will not be displayed if the procedure is run as an Action from a form.
- CHOOSEF (Select Parameter) — Same as CHOOSE, except that the menu will be displayed when the procedure is run as an Action.
- CONTINUE (Continue) — Opens a pop-up menu of two exclusive options, one of which must be chosen by the user. The procedure will continue if the OKoption is chosen; it will halt if the Canceloption is selected. This pop-up menu will not be displayed if the procedure is run as an Action from a form.
- CONTINUEF (Continue) — Same as CONTINUE, except that the menu will be displayed when the procedure is run as an Action.
- END (End of Procedure) — Ends execution of the procedure; generally used in conjunction with the GOTO command.
- GOTO (Jump to Step) — Causes a jump to a designated procedure step (e.g., to repeat the procedure, or a portion of it, following a CONTINUE command).
- HTMLCURSOR (Create HTML Document) — Declares the cursor for a document. This step first creates a linked file that holds the records selected in the PAR input parameter.
- HTMLEXTFILES (Attach Files) — Causes the program that prints a document to include a flag in user input which allows the user to print attachments (stored in a sub-level of the document) as well.
INPUT (Parameter Input) — Inputs parameter values; in the case of user input, creates a parameter input screen. The input screen will not be displayed if the procedure is run as an Action from a form. In document procedures, this command is also used (as a final step) to display the document.
Note: User input can also be defined for the SQLI program, as well as in specific report columns in a processed report (see more below).
- INPUTF (Parameter Input) — Same as INPUT, except that the parameter input screen will be displayed when the procedure is run as an Action.
- MAILMERGE - Used when generating documents powered by the letter generator.
- MESSAGE (Message) — Displays a procedure message on screen. The message number is stored in an INT parameter and the message content is recorded in the Procedure Messages form. This message will not be displayed if the procedure is run as an Action from a form.
- MESSAGEF (Message) — Same as MESSAGE, except that the message will be displayed when the procedure is run as an Action.
- PRINT (Print Message) — Displays on screen the contents of a file. Execution of the procedure continues after the user confirms receipt of the message. If the file is empty or does not exist, execution of the procedure continues uninterrupted. Alternatively, this command displays a designated string of characters. This message will not be displayed if the procedure is run by Action from a form.
- PRINTF (Print Message) — Same as PRINT, except that the message will be displayed when the procedure is run by Action.
- PRINTCONT (Print Message & Continue/Stop) — Like the PRINT command, displays on screen the contents of a file, but also offers the user the options of continuing execution of the procedure or halting. This message will not be displayed if the procedure is run as an Action from a form.
- PRINTCONTF (Print Message & Continue/Stop) — Same as PRINTCONT, except that the message will be displayed when the procedure is run as an Action.
- PRINTERR (Print Error) — Displays on screen the contents of a file containing an error message and causes procedure failure. If the file is empty, or no file exists, the procedure continues uninterrupted.
- SHOWCOPY (Create Certified Copy) – Creates a certified copy of a document. The command takes two parameters: the document ID and the document type (for a financial document, IV and 'I'; for an inventory document, DOC and 'D'). It must be followed by an END step and a BACKGROUND step. See, for example, the IVSHOWCOPY procedure. For more on certified copies, see Special Document Features.
- UPLOAD (Upload file to server) - Uploads a file to the server (from a known path). Cannot be used with EXECUTE.
- DOWNLOAD (Download file from server) - Downloads a file from the server (to a pre-specified path). Cannot be used with *EXECUTE.
- URL (Open Webpage) — Opens a webpage according to a web address stored in an ASCII file.
- WRNMSG (Warning Message) — Like the MESSAGE command, displays a procedure message on screen. The difference is that a Cancel button appears as well, allowing the user to halt execution of the procedure. This message will not be displayed if the procedure is run as an Action from a form.
- WRNMSGF (Warning Message) — Same as WRNMSG, except that the message will be displayed when the procedure is run by Action.
The following basic steps are reserved for use by Priority Software only.