The Windows runtime interface

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The Windows runtime interface (windows, tabs, menus, icons...) is what you see when working:

with USoft Definer.

with a User Application created in USoft Definer, and optionally customised with USoft Windows Designer.

This section describes the Windows runtime interface.

You may want to use this interface as a comfortable, low-maintenance interface for data administrators. Alternatively, you may want to create a fully customised Windows application for end users. In that case, USoft Windows Designer allows you to "paint" the end user interface exactly the way you want it.

For web applications, the architecture is quite similar:

USoft Windows Designer lets you build on Definer metadata and create ("paint") a finished Windows runtime interface.

USoft Web Designer lets you build on Definer metadata to create ("paint") a finished browser-based runtime interface.

The basic elements of the Windows runtime interface are:

Info Windows

Info Windows are the primary interface for querying, inspecting and manipulating table data. There is an info window for each tablee. An info Window may look like a tab or like a floating window.

Info Boxes

Info Boxes are contained in Info Windows. Each Info Box enables you to query, inspect and manipulate data in a specific table.

Lookup Windows

A Lookup Window exists because of a parent-child relationship. Lookup Windows enable you to query parent data and to select a parent value to be pasted in a foreign key field at child table level.

Related Windows

A Related Window exists because of a parent-child relationship. Related Windows enable you to see the child data that belong to some currently selected parent table.

Subtype Windows

Subtype Windows enable you to see subtype columns of some subtype of the currently selected supertype table.


Dialogs are windows that help the user perform some specific task. They are different from Info Windows, Info Boxes, Lookup Windows, Related Windows and Subtype Windows in that they are not associated with specific tables in the database.


The menu bar appears below the title bar and offers access to standard functionality such as Query and Update.

The Objects List

The Objects List is a default menu that allows standard access to each of the individual Info Windows.

The Picklist

The Picklist displays all the database objects that you have used in the current Definer session. You can use this to quickly open a window without using the menus or the Objects List.

The Workspace

The workspace allows you to predefine which windows you want to open automatically when you start a Definer session, and which you want to be cached in memory (for faster opening when requested).

The Toolbar

The toolbar contains buttons that you can click as shortcuts to several actions, instead of using the menus.