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Why Aren't You Using App Builder Already? - (2023-US-30MP-1401)

Don McCormack, Principal Systems Engineer, JMP

 

App Builder was introduced in JMP 10. In the beginning, it had its bumps and warts and was, arguably, a bit of a challenge to use. As a long-time JSL scripter, I, too, was reticent to use App Builder and preferred to code everything from scratch, even dialog boxes. But I got tired of the work needed to make small visual tweaks to my dialogs and custom report windows, so I gave App Builder another look -- and have not looked back. If it's worth an interface, I'm using App Builder.

 

In this session I talk about some of the basics of creating applications with one or more interactive elements. I discuss key elements that make App Builder great, along with some lesser-known features. Topics include building multiple module applications, scoping, managing windows, working with the App Builder interface, how JSL is different with App Builder, and working with other JMP elements such as Data Tables, Add-In Builder and Workflows.

 

 

In  this  session,  we're  going to  talk  about  Application  Builder.

 

If  you've  ever  had to  build  an  application  in  JMP

that  required  visual  elements, say,  a   Report window  or  a dialog  box,

Application  Builder is  the  tool  that  you  want  to  use.

It  will  allow  you to  create  that  application

more  quickly  and  more  easily.

Additionally,  it  will  let  you  create an  application  that's  more  compact,

that's  easier  to  maintain, and  more  robust.

I'm  going  to  assume that  you're  watching  this

because  you're  interested in  Application  Builder,

but  you  also  have a  little  bit  of  JSL  background.

You  may or  may  not  have  used  Application  Builder,

but  you  know  a  little  bit about  scripting   in JMP.

Let's  get  started.

I've  got  two  examples that  I'd  like  to  use  to  illustrate

some  of  the  visual and  programming  characteristics

that  might  not  be  obvious or  that  might  not  be  documented

for  the  Application  Builder.

I  am  going  to  start with  a  very  simple  example

that  I've  actually  attached to  a  menu  here.

It's  just  a  dialog  box.

It's  going  to  allow  me

to  navigate  my  directory  structure either  from  a  tree  that  I  already  have  set

or  I  can  pick  a  different  directory.

Once  I'm  there,

I  can  look  to  see  whether  or  not files  of  specific  types  are  available,

select  that  file,  and  then  open  it  up.

Now,  one  of  the  important  aspects

of  this  particular  example is  that  it  doesn't  involve  a  data  table.

We're  going  to  see  in  the  second  example how  to  deal  with  data  tables,

when  I  want  to  incorporate data  tables  into  my  application.

It's  a  little  bit  trickier, so I'm  saving  that  example   for second.

Let  me  put  this  off  to  the  side so  we  have  something  to  reference.

Okay,  so  let's  go  ahead and  get  started  with  Application  Builder.

Under  Files,  New,  Application.

I  will  almost  always  start with  this  blank  application.

Reason  I  do  that  is  I  can  always  get to  any  of  those  templates.

I  could  build  any  of  those  samples starting  with  this  blank  application.

Blank  application  is  just  going  to  give  me

more  flexibility in  terms  of  where  I  want  to  go.

Now,  if  you're  unfamiliar

with  Application  Builder, if  you've  never  used  it  before,

the  layout  is  relatively  straightforward.

On  the  far  left, we've  got  our  source  panel,

and  in  that  source  panel are  all  of  the  items  that  I'm  going  to  use

to  display  information, to  organize  elements,  and  to  do  things,

things  like  buttons  and  checkboxes.

In  the  middle,  I've  got  my  palette where  I  actually  build  the  visuals

of  my  application.

On  the  right, I  have  an  Objects  window  that  shows  me

the  tree  structure of  the  item  that  I  built.

I've  got  my  Properties  window

where  I  can  select  an  item and  change  its  properties.

That's  one  of  the  things  that  makes Application  Builder  faster  to  use,

is  that  I  can  go  in  there, I  could  select  an  item,  select  an  object,

and  change  the  properties  interactively,

not  having  to  worry about  what  the  name  of  the  message  is

or  writing  up  the  code to  make  those  changes.

Now,  what  I  find is  that  I  often  use  the  same  properties

when  it  comes  to  specific  elements.

Things  that   typically  have some sort of  text  element,

I  like  text  of  a  certain  size and  a  certain  style.

Certain  container  boxes, I  like  to  have  borders  around  them.

Rather  than  drag  and  drop  items into  this  palette  and  make  changes,

what  I  often  do is  I  will  start  with  a  template.

Here  I've  created  a  template that  will  allow  me  just  to  copy  and  paste

from  the  template  into  my  palette.

For  example,  for  my  list  box, I've  changed  the  font  on  that  list  box,

changed  the  font  size.

I'm  just  going  to  Control  C  to  copy  that.

I'm  going  to  paste  it into  my  new  application.

The  great  thing about  working  from  a  template

is  that  it  works for  composite  items  as  well.

In  this  case,  I've  got  multiple  items.

I  have  two  button  boxes that  are  stuck  next  to  one  another

using   a horizontal  list  box, and  then  I've  got  a  horizontal  center  box.

I  can  actually  copy  those,

Control  C,  copy  those  en masse, and  paste  those  into  my  application.

Now, a  couple  of  things  about  item  selection.

If  you  work  quite  a  bit  with  PowerPoint,

one  of  the  things that  you're  going  to  find  out

is  that  to  select an  item  in   Application  Builder

is  a  little  bit  different.

Whereas  in  PowerPoint, you  need  to  select  the  entire  item,

with  Application  Builder, all  you  need  to  do  is  select  part  of  that.

You'll  notice  that  by  selecting part  of  that  horizontal  center  box,

the  entire  box  is  selected.

That  makes  items  much  easier  to  select

in  the  sense  that  all  I  need to  do  is  grab  part  of  the  item

to  select  the  entire  item  in  entirety.

Now,  I  have  a  second  option that's  available  to  me  as  well.

That  is,  if  I  find  an  item  hard  to  select,

I  might  have,  let's  say, a  hierarchy  of  container  boxes

and  it's  hard  to  get  to  the  right  box,

I  might  have  tiny  objects that  are  behind  other  objects

and  it's  just  hard  to  grab  onto.

I  can  always  make  my  selection from  my  Objects  panel  as  well.

Here,  I'll  select  my  Objects  panel

and  you'll  notice that  it  selects  the  item  in  my  palette.

The  only  drawback  to  this is  that  I  can  only  select  one  item

from  the  Objects  panel.

But  again,  it  makes  it  very  handy if  that  item  is  very  hard  to  grab  onto.

Let  me  move  on to  my  next  couple  of  items

I  want  to  talk  about.

To  do  that,  what  I'd  like  to  do is  move  on  to  a  partially  built…

Here,  I've  partially  built  my  application.

Here,  I've  got  all  the  components.

I  just  need  to  group  them.

That  brings  me to  another  piece  of  functionality

with  an  application  builder that  you  might  not  be  aware  of.

Let's  take  these  three  items  here.

What  I  want  to  do  is  I  want to  group  them  together  horizontally.

You  might  think,  "Well,  to  do  that,

I'll  take  a  horizontal  list  box, I  will  drop  it  into  my  pallette,

and  then  drop  those  items and  position  them  in  the  palette."

When  I  am  putting multiple  items  into  a  container,

I  find  it  much  easier to  select  those  items,

right-click,  and  say  Add  Container.

By  doing  so,

I  can  apply  the  container  to  the  items rather  than  the  other  way  around.

One  of  the  other  advantages of  having  this  functionality

is  that  if  I  were  to,  let's  say…

While  the container is  still  selected,  right-click,

I  can  actually  change  the  container.

Let's  say,  I  don't  want  an  H list  box.

I  want  an  outline  box.

Maybe  that  H list  box  was  better.

I  can  also  change  that  container.

That  works  from  the  workspace,

and  in  addition, it  works  from  the  Objects  panel.

You'll  notice  that  if  I  right-click over  the  item  in  the  Objects  panel,

I  can  also  change  the  container, I  can  add  a  container,  and  so  on.

Now,  in  certain  circumstances,

there  is  an  additional piece  of  functionality,

and  that  is  the  ability to  remove  a  container.

I  can  remove  a  container  anytime it  is  not  the  lowest- level  container.

For  example, if  I  were  to  put  this  in  another…

Let's  add  an  outline  box  to  that.

Now,  what  I  can  do…

Let  me  just  move  this so  this  is  out  of  the  way

of  the  other  items.

Now  that  I've  got  that  outline  box

with  a  horizontal  list  box and  then  all  my  items,

I  can't  remove  that  horizontal  list  box because  it's  the  lowest  level,

but  if  I  were  to  right-click on  the  Outline  box,  I  can  remove  that.

Again,  sometimes  it's  easier  to  just  grab the  items  and  apply  the  container  box

to  those  items  rather  than  dropping  them into  the  container  box.

Let  me  recap some  of  these  tips  that  we  talked  about.

Again,  I  can  organize that  source  panel  items

by  either  grouping  them  or  alphabetically.

I  don't  think  I  showed  that,

but  just  let  me  point  out that  if  you  go  onto  the  hotspot

of  the  Application B uilder, go  to  Source  Panel.

If  I  were  to  change  that  group  by  column, they're  in  groups.

If  I   would  prefer  them  alphabetically, I  have  that  option  available  to  me.

However  you  find  it  easier to  recognize,  to  find  those  objects,

I  can  reorganize  that  source  panel.

Work  from  a  template to  make  things  easier  and  faster,

not  having  to  change  properties for  items  that  you  always  change.

Applying  the  container  to  the  objects

rather  than  dropping  the  objects into  the  container is  often  much  quicker.

The  Object  panel  is  there  to  do  selection,

to  add  containers, remove  containers,  and  so  on.

Copy  and  paste  works  for  a  single  item or  for  multiple  items  as  well.

Okay.

Let  me  move into  some  of  the  scripting  concepts.

To  do  that, I  have  my  pre-built  dialog  box  here.

I've  got  everything  organized the  way  I  want  it  to  be  organized.

I  don't  have any  scripts  associated  with  it.

Now  there's  a  couple  of  things that  I  need  to  point  out  visually

that  really  are  implemented

via  the  scripting, but  they're  important  to  know  about.

Not  every  property  from  every  item is  available  to  change  interactively.

For  example, you'll  notice  that  this  list  box,

I  still  have  an  item  in  it.

Well,  what  if  I  wanted  to  start that  list  box  with  absolutely  no  items?

As  it  turns  out,  interactively,

there's  no  way to  get  rid  of  that  last  item.

I've  got  to  do  that  using  a  message.

Same  thing  goes  for  setting.

If  I  want  to  set  this  check box,

if  I  want  to  set the  first  selected  item  to  be  JMP  files,

that  has  to  be  done  through  messaging.

That's  not  available  interactively.

The  place  where  I  do  that, I'm  going  to  go  to  the  scripting  tab.

I've  got  namespaces.

I've  got  different  options for  application,  my  module.

We'll  talk  a  little  bit about  the  namespacing

in  the  next  example.

But  anytime  I  generate  a  module,

I'm  going  to  have a  different  module  container

for  my  script, and  then  I'm  going  to  have  one

for  the  overall  application.

I'm  going  to  go  to  the  module,

and  what  I  want  to  do is  I  want  to  set  that  list  box  to  be  empty

when  it  starts.

Let  me  go  back  and  select  that  list  box.

I  see  that  the  name that  I'd  given  to  that  list  box

is   lbfiles.

I'm  going  to  have  to  message  that.

Now  it's  important  to  know

that  when  I  message an  object  that  is  visible,

I  can  only  do  so after  those  objects  are  created.

That  message  has to  appear  after  that  line.

That  is  a  line  in  which the  visual  items  are  instantiated.

After  they're  instantiated,

I'm  going  to  say   lbfiles,  Set  Items, and  we're  just  going  to  leave  it  blank.

That's  just  basic  JSL  scripting

that  you  should  know how  to  do  or  you  should  be  familiar  with.

Now,  another  important  point is  that,  let's  say  at  this  point,

I  want  to  test  it  to  make  sure that  that  is  working  properly.

When  I  run,  when  I  debug  a  script,

I  don't  do  it  from  my  Edit  menu, nor  do  I  do  it  from  my  options

if  I  have  a  run or  debug  script  available  in  my  icons.

All  the  running  and  debugging has  to  happen  from  the  hotspot.

I  have  two  options  here.

I've  got  the  Run  and  Debug  Application.

This  is  how applications  are  run  and  are  debugged.

Great,  I  ran  the  application.

It  looks  like it's  removed  that  initial  item,

so  things  are  good  to  go.

Now,  let's  talk  about  getting  scripts

into  things  like button  boxes  or   checkboxes.

What  if  I  wanted  to  associate  a  script?

Let's  start  with  this  Cancel  button.

One  of  the  things that  the  Cancel  button  does

in  the  application is  just  dismisses  the  dialog  box.

I've  got  two  places where  I  can  put  that  script.

I  can  put  that  script in  the  Scripts  window

where  we  saw  before  where  I  had that  initial  setting  of  my  list  box.

Or,  again,  I'll  select  my  Cancel  button.

If  I  scroll   into  the  properties down  in  the  Properties  panel,

I  see  this  item.

I'm  going  to  hover  and  you  should  see where  it  says  Edit  Script.

I've  got  this  area where  I  can  write  my  own  script.

If  I  want a  little  bit  larger  area  to  work  with,

like  the  Formula  Editor,

I  can  click  on  this and  I  can  write  my  script  here.

I'm  going  to  go  ahead  and  do  that.

We'll  talk  a  little  bit about  the  namespaces,

but  what  I  need  to  know  is  that this  is  called  thisM oduleI nstance,

and  I  have  to  use  the  message  Get  Box.

That'll  return  a  link  to  the  window that's  created  by  the  module,

and  then  Close  Window.

That  should  work.

Whenever  I  use  scripting  in  that  fashion,

whenever  I  don't  have  a  function  name associated  with   a script,

if  you  go  to  the  documentation,

it  will  be  referred to  as  an  anonymous  script.

Again,  if  I  want  to, I  might  want  to  test  that.

Let's  go  ahead  and  run  the  application.

I'll  hit  the  Cancel  button  and  that  works.

That's  one  place  I  can  put  my  script.

I  had  mentioned  that  I  can  also put  the  script  in  the  Script  tab.

Now,  whether  you  put  it in  the  Properties  window  or  the  Script  tab

is  really  a  personal  preference.

I  have  a  tendency to  avoid  the  Properties  window

simply  because  I  forget that  I  put  scripts  in  there

and  I  can't  remember where  a  particular  script  is.

What  I'm  going  to  do  now

is  just  Control C, I'm  going  to  copy  this  item.

Let  me  just  go  ahead and  clear  this  box  out  for  now.

Anytime  I  want  to  create  a  script for  any  of  the  objects  to  do  things,

quickest  way  for  me to  get  that  script  into  the  Script  tab

is  to  hover  over  it,  right-click,

and  you'll  notice  at  the  very  bottom, there  will  be  one  or  more  selections.

Most  of  the  objects within  the  Application B uilder

only  do  one  thing:  the  Text Edit.

Number  Edit  Boxes do  a  couple  of  different  things

and   Mouse  Box  does a  whole  bunch  of  different  stuff.

Here,  I'll  select  the  script  I  want,

and  this  is  what  happens when  I  press  the  button.

You'll  notice  that  as  soon  as  I  do  that, it's  going  to  generate  my  function.

It's  going  to  give  me a  little  stub  of  a  function.

It's  going  to  give  it  a  name

based  on   the  variable  name I  gave  the  button,

and  it's  going  to  give  me just  a  little  fill-in  for  some  code.

Here  is  where  I  would  put the  script  that  I  showed  you  earlier.

Let  me  just  paste  that  in  there.

Okay.

Couple   things  to  point  out  is  that  first,

the  default  argument  of  a  link of  a  pointer  to  the  object  is  supplied

when  you  generate  a  script  this  way.

You  don't  necessarily  need  it, but  it's  given  to  you  by  default.

Also,  the  default  local  is  used,

which  means that  anything  defined  within  the  function

is  local  to  that  function.

If  you  want  to  change  that, you  need  to  get  rid  of  the  default  local.

Again,  let's  go  ahead  and  test  this  out.

That  works  as  well.

Again,  two  options  here  in  terms of  where  you  can  put  that  script.

You  can  either  put the  script  in  the  Script  window

or  you  can  put the  script  in  the  Properties  panel.

One  final  note about  scripts  in  the  Script  tab

is  that  they  don't  have  to  appear after  the  objects  are  instantiated.

You  can  actually  put  them anywhere  in  the  script.

You  don't  need to  have  the  script  available.

You  don't  need to  have  the  objects  available

before  that  function  is  created.

You  can  put  that  anywhere.

As  a  matter  of  fact, I  often  will  separate  all  my  functions.

I'll  put  those  at  the  top  of  the  script,

and  then  I'll  put all  my  messages  to  objects

obviously  below  this  object  instance.

That's  about  all  I  wanted to  cover  with  this  particular  example.

I  want  to  move  on  to  the  second  example.

In  this  example,  I  want to  cover  a  couple  of  visual  elements.

As  I  had  mentioned,  I  want  to  talk  to  you about  how  you  deal  with  data  tables

when  you  have a  table  that  you  want  to  use.

I  want  to  talk a  little  bit  about  tab  boxes,

so  when  you  have  a  tab  display.

Some  folks  have  a  tendency of  finding  them  a  bit  confusing.

So I  want  to  talk  about  tab  display.

Finally,  I  want  to  touch on  two  important  scripting  notes.

One  is,  how  do  I  pass information  from  one  module  to  another?

Often  I  will  have  one  module,

like  a  dialog  box  that  passes information  to  another  dialog,

and another  module, which  is  a   Report window,

so  I  need  to  know  how  to  do  that.

I  also  need  to  know a  little  bit  about  the  namespaces

that  the  Application B uilder  generates.

Let  me  start  with  demonstrating what  this  example  looks  like.

In  this  example,  you  get  a  dialog  box.

You'll  notice that  my  Run  button  is  grayed  out

until  I  drop  things into  the  list  box  on  the  right.

I'm  going  to  go  ahead  and  click  Run.

Two  JMP  platforms  are  used.

The  distribution  platform is  in  the  first  tab

and  the  scatter plot  matrix in  the  second  tab.

Now,  the  beauty  of  the  way this  application  was  set  up

is  that  it  doesn't  matter the  data  table  that  I  use,

it  doesn't  matter  the  number  of  columns, which  columns  I  pick,  and  so  on.

If  I  were  to  rerun  this,

different  set  of  columns, different  column  names…

Let  me  just  minimize  that.

My  computer  is  having

a  little  bit  of  problem redrawing   the  screen.

There  we  go.

It  works.

It  works  regardless  of  the  data  table.

Let  me  go  ahead  and  close  that.

I  am  going  to  start with  a  fresh  application

to  illustrate  some  of  the  visual  aspects.

I'm going to say  New, A pplication.

Again,  I'm  going  to  start with  a  blank  application.

What  you'll  see  is  that  some  of  the  items in  that  source  panel  are  not  available.

There  are  actually  seven  items

that  are  not  available and  only  become  available

when  you  open  up  a  data  table.

If  I  have an  application  that  I'm  generating,

and  that  application is  going  to  be  using  a  data  table,

what  I  like  to  do is  to  start  with  something

from  the  sample  data  directory.

In  this  example,  I  mean,  this  is  not from  the  sample  data  directory,

but  what  I  would  do  if  I  were  creating an  application  for  general  use

is  that  I  would  open  something  up from  the  sample  data  directory,

I  would  build  my  report,

and  then  I  would  use  that as  the  basis  for  my  application.

The  reason  I  do  that is  that  when  I  start  dropping  in

some  of  these  items that  require  a  data  table—

in  this  case, I've  got  this  column  list  box  all—

you'll  notice  that  it's  going to  add  that  data  table  to  my  application.

Now,  with  these  types  of  applications,

I  need  something  there, at  least  as  a  stand-in.

The  advantage  of  having something  from  the  sample  data  directory

is  that  it's  unlikely  to  change  names,

it's  unlikely  to  change  locations, and  it's  unlikely  to  be  deleted.

It's  a  safe  bet  in  terms of  what  data  table  to  use.

You'll  also  notice that  I  can  specify  the  path  here.

I  can  give  it  a  different  label.

I  don't  have  to  start with  the  current  data  table,

but  that  is  the  default.

That's  what  I  find  that  I  use  most  often,

is  I'm  building an  application  that's  for  general  use

that's  going  to  be  used on  the  current  data  table.

I'm  going  to  go  ahead  and  change.

I  have  a  stock  variable  name that  I  use  for  that,  so  we'll  change  that.

That's  the  way I  will  typically  start  an  application

that  requires  a  data  table.

Before I  move  into  the  scripting,

let  me  talk a  little  bit  briefly  about  the  tab  boxes.

If  we  scroll  up  to  the  containers, we  see  we've  got  two  different  tab  boxes.

We've  got  a  tab  box  and  a  tab  page  box.

As  it  turns  out, the  only  one  I  really  need  is  the  tab  box.

If  I  were  to  drop  that  tab  box  in  there,

and  let  me  just  to  call  out the  tab  box  in  my  Objects  panel,

and  I  were  to  drop any  item  in  that  tab  box,

and  let's  just  drop  a  border  box  in  there,

you'll  notice that  it  automatically  generates

a  tab  page  box.

I  do  not  need to  drop  something  in  a  tab  page  box

and  then  drop that  tab  page  box  into  my  tab  box.

All  I  have  to  do  is  work  with  the  tab  box.

If  I  want  to  add  tabs,

all  I  need  to  do  is, again,  select  that  tab  box,

make  sure  I've  got  it  selected  here,

right-click, and  I  have  the  option  to  insert  tabs

either  before  the  currently  selected  tabs

or  after  the  currently  selected  tab, or  if  I  want  to,  I  can  also  delete  tabs.

Now, one  of  the  questions  I  often  hear  as  well.

I've  got  my  tabs  set  up  a  certain  way.

How  do  I  move  tabs from  one  space  to  another?

Currently,  there's  no  interactive  way to  do  it,  unfortunately.

What  you  would  have  to  do

is  you  would  have to  manually  add  a  tab  page

and  move  the  contents of  those  tab  pages  around.

You  might  be  tempted to  save  the  script  to  a  Script  window

and  change  things  that  way,

but  I  often  discourage  folks from  working  with  the  saved  script

or  making  alterations  to  the  saved  script just  because  there  are  a  lot  of  elements

within  that  saved  script that  are  not  documented,

that  are  particular to  the  Application  Builder.

I  would  stay  away from  making  changes  to  that  saved  script.

Let's  do  this.

To  talk about  the  scripting  elements  of  my  box,

I  have  pre-built  an  application.

Actually,  before  I  move  on, let  me  point  out  a  couple  of  things

that  occasionally  will  happen  to  folks

who  wonder, "Well,  why  won't  the  display  box  work?"

One  of  the  things,  if  you've  had some  experience  with  Application  Builder,

one  of  the  things  you  might  have  heard  of is  a  parameterized  application.

Let  me  go  to  pass  number  one.

I've  got  my  dialog  box  built.

What  I've  done  is  I  have  opened  up a   Report window,  a   data  table,

generated  a  couple  of  reports

and  just  dropped those  reports  into  the  blank  area.

For  example,  what  I  did  in  this  case was  I  had  my  cars  data  table  opened  up.

I  had that  distribution  platform  generated,

and  all  I  did  was  drop  that in and  worked  with  the  report.

Now,  if  I  were  to  stop  there and  use  that  for  my  report,

what  would  happen…

Let  me  close  out  my  items.

I've  actually  done  that, and  I've  saved  that  here.

What  would  happen  is  that  unless  I  use the  data  table  I  started  with,

I  will  not  get  any  results.

Here,  I've  got  my  air  traffic.

I'm  going  to  use  that  saved  script.

Everything  looks  good  so  far.

I  get  nothing.

If  I  were  to  switch  back  to  my  cars

and  try  the  same  thing, and  I'm  going  to  grab  different  columns,

run, I  get  the  same  columns  I  started  with.

The  reason  is, anytime  I  use  a   Report window,

if  I  want  to  change those  columns  that  get  used,

if  I  want  to  change the  data  table  that  gets  used,

I  have  to  use  a  parameterized  version.

Let  me  go  to  the  example of  the  parameterized  version,

and  I  will  point  out  the  differences.

It's  not  that  one.

My  parameterized  version  is  here.

Here's  my  parameterized  version.

Dialog  box  looks  the  same.

My  report  looks  slightly  different

in  the  sense  that if  I  were  to  select  on  the  reports,

you'll  notice  in  the  very  bottom,

I've  got  these  roles, and  these  are  filled  out.

If  I  do  the  same  thing  with  scatter plot,

select  the  report, my  roles,  that's  filled  out.

Now  when  I  run  the  application, can  change  the  data  table.

But  in  most  circumstances,

I  am  fixed  to  the  number  of  columns that  I  use  when  I  built  the  application.

Let  me  show  you  an  example  of  that.

Let  me  close  this  out.

Let's  go  with  the  air  traffic  data  table.

Here's  my  second  example, my  parameterized  example.

You'll  notice that  when  I  call  up  the  dialog  box,

I've  got  a  space  for  the  three  columns that  I  initially  used  for  distribution.

I've  got  a  space  for  the  columns I  used  for  my  scatter plot  matrix,

but  that's  what  I'm  limited  to.

As  it  turns  out,

if  I  am  dealing  with  platforms that  come  from  the  Multivariate  menu,

then  I  can  use a  variable  number  of  columns.

Anything  else,  I  am  fixed to  the  specific  number  of  columns

that  I  used  when  I  built  the  application.

Here's  the  workaround, here's  the  solution.

Let  me  do  this.

I'm  going  to  go  back  to  my  cars  data  table and  open  up  my  final  example.

Again,  dialog  box  looks  the  same.

Report  does  not  have  anything  in  it.

I  just  have  placeholders to  put  my  built  application,

my  built  platforms.

Here's  where  the  ideas of  namespaces  and  passing  variables

becomes  very  important.

When  an  application  is  created,

there  are  two  different  namespaces that  you  have  to  be  aware  of.

One  is  the  thisA pplication  namespace.

That  is  variables  that  get  created that  can  be  shared  by  any  of  the  modules.

If  we  look  in  the  Objects  panel, I've  got  my  applications  here,

these  three  variable  names, they  are  in  the thisA pplication  namespace.

Let  me  actually  type  that  out.

The  name  of  the  variable is  thisA pplication.

It's  in  that  namespace.

The  other  namespace that  I  have  to  be  aware  of

occurs  in  each  one  of  my  modules.

Each  one  of  my  modules  gets their  own  thisM odule Instance.

You've  already  seen  this when  we've  instantiated  objects

on  the  visual  parts  of  the  application.

I  have  got  a thisA pplication and  thisM oduleI nstance.

How  do  I  pass  data from  one  module  to  the  other

to  make  sure  things  get  done  correctly?

Well,  where  we  do  it  in  this Application is  in  this  spot  right  here.

Here  I'm  referencing  that  second  module, that  report  module.

Let  me  also  point  out that  I've  got  some  options  to  change

whether  or  not  it  gets  launched  at  start.

Obviously, I  don't  want  this  to  be  launched

until  the  user  picks  columns.

I've  got  my  report  module  referenced.

I'm  going  to  use  Create  Instance to   create  that   Report window,

and  I'm  going  to  pass  the  items that  were  put  in  the  list  box  this  way.

Now  on  the  report  module  side,

the  business  gets  done in  the  OnM oduleL oad.

On  OnM oduleL oad, everything  defined  within  OnM odule

is  local  to  the  function.

What  I  need  to  do  is  I  need  to  create a  variable  specific  for  the  module

that's  going  to  store that  data  that  gets  passed  in.

I've  done  that  right  here.

A fter  that,  I'm  just  using somewhat  standard  JSL  to  be  able

to  generate  my  platforms using  the  platform  calls.

Everything  that  you're  seeing  here, this  is  standard…

A  bit  on  the  complex  side,

but  standard  JSL in  order  for  me  to  do  that.

One  more  thing  I  want  to  briefly  explain

that  you  might  have  noticed that  I  know  folks  always  ask  about,

and  that  is  if  I  go  to, let's  say,  one  of  my  modules,

there's  a  whole  bunch of  different  module  types

that  I  can  pick  from.

Dialog  box  is  exactly what  you'd  think  with  no  menu.

Dialog  box  with  a  menu is  a  window  with  a  menu.

A  modal  dialog  box  is  exactly  that.

It's  a  modal  dialog  box.

A   Report window.

The  difference  between  a   Report window and  say,  a  dialog  with  a  menu

is  that  you  can  save a  report  to  a  journal,  a  JRN  file.

The  other  two  items  that  are  in  there,

there  is  a  Launcher  item, which  is  internally  different

than  a  dialog, but  externally  the  same,  more  or  less.

Then  display  box  is  used  as  a  template to  be  embedded  in  other  modules.

It  does  not  generate  its  own  window, but  it's  used  to  embed  in  other  windows.

Probably  a  good  place  for  me  to  stop.

Lots  more  to  talk  about.

As  I  mentioned, there'll  be  a  PDF  that  you  can  download.

All  of  the  examples  that  we  saw, they'll  be  there.

There'll  be  some  additional  examples

and  much  more  detail in  terms  of  what  I  can  explain.

Hopefully,  you  found   this  all  helpful,

and  hopefully,  that'll  motivate  your  want to  use  Application B uilder  more  often.

Thank  you.

Comments

Very informative. Thanks for sharing. I would want to try app builder as well.

Thanks @WebDesignesCrow. In the next few weeks, I'd like to add examples to the JSL Cookbook. I've one there now and am actively working on two more.

For the in person Discovery, I did something a bit different (there was some overlap). If you weren't able to attend, you can find the first half of the presentation in the JSL Cookbook recipe, Create a Parameterized Application with Application Builder. I will recreate the second half of the presentation in another JSL Cookbook recipe in the next few weeks. You can also find a finished version of the app there.

I will post again when the second recipe is finished.

Nice

I have finally create a JSL Cookbook recipe that covers the material that I used for the second half of the in person Discovery Summit this past October in Palm Springs. Here's a link to the recipe. Take a look and let me know if you have questions.

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