Introduction to the Screen Painter in Software

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Introduction to the Screen Painter
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The screen painter is one of the ABAP workbench tools that, together with the menu painter, allows you to define and design R/3 screens and to program the behavior of the screens associated with the dialog steps of the R/3 transactions. In other words, these tools allow you to define the flow logic for R/3 screens and programs. A SAP R/3 transaction is executed following the logic associated with each screen and running the ABAP programs which are indicated in the screens' logic. To define how a screen is going to be processed, the screen painter needs four components: 221
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The DYNPRO Concept Screen Attributes. The function of the screen attributes is to indicate a screen type and associate the screen object to the SAP system, such as the ABAP programs which are to be executed when at that screen. It also describes the screen order within a transaction. Fields. Fields are the main screen elements. Fields are defined in the ABAP dictionary or internally in the programs. Field attributes establish relationships between the screen fields as well as define their behavior when end users are executing the transaction. Screen layout. This function establishes the layout of the graphic elements on the screen, such as input fields, labels, icons, radio buttons, check boxes, and element groups. Flow Logic. This is the main screen definition for controlling the flow logic of the screen, that is, how it reacts to user inputs and calls associated ABAP modules and programs as defined using the ABAP program editor.
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The DYNPRO Concept
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DYNPRO, or dynamic program, has been quite a common term in SAP naming conventions. A DYNPRO refers to a screen together with its flow logic. Actually, DYNPROs should be considered synonymous with screens as created by the screen painter. The screen painter uses a procedural programming language different than the ABAP language. This language is interpreted by the screen processor rather than by the ABAP processor. For more information, please refer to the SAP official guides.
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Starting the Screen Painter
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To call the screen painter tool, from the main ABAP workbench, select the option Development User interface Screen Painter or just click on the Screen Painter push button on the application toolbar. Alternatively, enter transaction code SE51 in the command field. Figure 7 20 shows the screen painter initial screen.
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Figure 7 20: Screen painter initial screen. On the initial screen painter screen, you can see some radio button options which are used to maintain the elements involved in screen definitions as described previously. To access any of these options, first enter the program name (type M, Module pool) related with the screen to create or modify and a number for identifying the screen. You can also start the screen painter from the repository browser by double clicking on the corresponding screen for a certain program. 222
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Using the Screen Painter In this case, the system goes directly to the initial maintenance screen corresponding to specific Screen flow logic. From any of the screen painter screens, you can navigate to other screen painter component maintenance screens.
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Using the Screen Painter
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Independently of the chosen path to call the screen painter, the process of creating a DYNPRO includes the creation and definition of all the needed screen components. A logical sequence might be the one presented in the following list. Step Create the screen and attributes Select and position the needed fields within the screen Establish the field attributes to which the screen belongs Define the screen flow logic with respect to the transaction to which it belongs Creating a New Screen: The Screen Attributes Screen Painter Menu Option Screen Attributes Fullscreen Editor Field list Flow logic
Enter the name and number for the new screen and click on the Create push button located to the right of the Program input field. The system will display the Change Screen Attributes screen. Once located on the attributes screen, you have to enter the following information in the required input fields: Short description. Brief description to identify the purpose of the screen. Screen type. Normally, you select the Normal option for the usual R/3 windows. There are, however, other common screen types such as Modal dialog box or Subscreen. The Modal dialog box screen type is used to establish independent and interactive dialogs (often confirmation dialog boxes) within a screen or transaction. The Subscreen type represents "screens within screens" and its logic is controlled from within the original screen. Next Screen. Number of the screen which must be processed after the current one during the normal transaction logic. There are other input fields for defining screen attributes. Only the main ones were introduced. Others can also be important for specific applications. Refer to the online help for information on the purposes of other fields in the screen attributes. Once the screen attributes are defined, you should save them. When all screen elements are defined, you should use the generate function for the screen to become active in the runtime system. On the initial screen painter attributes screen, there are several options in the application toolbar which you can call to navigate directly to define other elements needed for creating screens. Defining the Screen Layout Defining a screen layout requires the following steps: Setting the fullscreen editor to the needed editor mode Starting the fullscreen editor Selecting the definition for the fields to insert in the screen using the existing ABAP dictionary field definitions or the existing program field definitions 223
Using the Screen Painter Positioning the fields in the screen area using the fullscreen editor Defining or converting the fields in graphical elements Positioning the graphic elements that are independent of the screen fields Defining the attributes of every screen element Checking the screen Generating the screen Establishing the Screen Painter Editing Mode The screen painter includes two editor modes: a graphical one and an alphanumeric one. The graphical editing mode works similarly to typical Windows applications using popular drag and drop features. This interface works at the presentation level (normally a Windows PC) and must be separately installed when installing the SAPGUI presentation software. The graphical editor is not available on all platforms. The alphanumeric mode uses a different interface which is a little harder to manage. Results, however, can be exactly the same. While in graphical mode, you can directly position graphical elements in the screen layout; with the alphanumeric mode, you have to select them using menu options. To select the editing mode you wish to work with, from the initial screen painter screen, select the option Settings Graphical fullscreen, and then you can click the option Graphical Screen Painter. If the graphical editor is not installed on your workstation, the system will display a message in the status bar and will automatically present the alphanumeric mode. The next sections only introduce the basic functioning of the graphical editing mode since it's a more friendly and practical editor. Overview of Screen Elements The main elements in a screen painter editing screen are as follows: Element Text fields Input/output fields Radio buttons Description / Use Free text or field labels for other screen elements. Display only elements. Input and/or display fields. Graphical elements associated with an input field. They must be logically associated into a group. Radio buttons allow users to assign entries that are mutually exclusive for a field. Graphical elements associated with input fields that are normally used in boolean YES/NO operations. Used for activating a particular function, passing the function code associated with the ABAP processor for the processing of the Process After Input (PAI) modules. This function is only executed when there is ABAP code associated with the push button function. Graphical display element that allows several screen elements to be grouped together. Rectangular screen areas reserved for displaying additional screens at execution time. 224
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