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The Anatomy of a Sesame Application: Terminology


A Sesame application consists of one or more databases that are in some way related - such as a Customer database, an Orders database, and an Inventory database. A database consists of all the records, and all the forms (as well as optional sub-forms) and reports that show these records. For example, an Orders database might consist of all the order records, the order form and the Orders By Month report.

A layout is a form or report. Since Sesame is form-based, you will create your databases by building and editing layouts (or forms). It defines how you will look at and use the parts of your information.

A layout element is anything you put on a layout or form. Sometimes referred to as an LE, they can be purely cosmetic (such as a line or box), display data from your database records, display the result of a calculation, or let you change information simply by clicking or making a selection from a pick-list. Layout elements are bound to the fields whose information they display.

A field is a component of a database and is where Sesame actually stores your data, such as a telephone number. A field is not unique to a specific form. The same field can be displayed on different forms.

A record is a logical collection of fields. A record is displayed in a form. A form displays one record at a time.

For example, an Orders record may have fields for OrderDate, CustomerName, and ShipToAddress. It is rare in Sesame that you will work with an actual field. Normally, you will work with layout elements. A layout element that displays the value (content) of a field is said to be bound to that field. The only time that you will need to deal with an actual field is if you change its data type or its name.

For more information on the anatomy of a Sesame application, see Appendix 4: Advanced Concepts as well as the "Terminology" section under the Designing a Sesame Application chapter in the Sesame User Guide.

Summary:
An application, which consists of two files — application.db and application.dat — is comprised of one or more databases each with one or more forms and optional subforms. Forms and subforms are both comprised of layout elements. Most of those layout elements will be bound to fields.
  • Data is stored in fields.
  • Fields are displayed on forms using layout elements, which can be thought of as placeholders for those fields.
  • A layout element is unique to a specific form, and a form is defined by its elements.
  • A field is not unique to a specific form. The same field can be displayed on different forms.
  • Layout elements are bound to the fields whose information they display.