Introduction > Interface Elements
  
Interface Elements
While the QAD .NET UI and character UI vary in appearance and navigation techniques, they have some elements in common:
The primary interface displays in the form of a hierarchical menu.
You select a menu item, which displays a set of fields, which are grouped in frames (or tabs for component-based programs).
Menus
Regardless of the type of interface your system uses, access to application features is controlled by a hierarchical menu system. Selecting a menu item either launches an application or drills down to a lower-level submenu.
The interfaces provide multiple access points to application programs. For example, you can launch a program by entering its Progress name or menu number on a command line in the character UI and in the search box in the QAD .NET UI. The QAD .NET UI offers point-and-click program launch as well as other interface-dependent methods of executing applications.
Fields
A field is a piece of data that is stored as an individual unit in the database. The system expects you to enter a certain kind of data in the field. For example, a field labeled Item Number would store only codes for inventory items.
Usually, you can enter or change data in a field, but sometimes the field displays system-generated data. If the system administrator has secured a field—that is, restricted user access—and you do not have access, you can see the field value but cannot update it.
The system supports different types of fields:
A logical field requires a simple Yes or No response. In the QAD .NET UI, logical fields display as check boxes. Logical fields are like switches—you can turn them either on or off.
Character fields accept alphanumeric data.
Date fields accept valid dates only.
Integer and decimal fields require numeric input.
Codes
Data entry in individual programs is simplified by codes. Each code usually represents a record with several pieces of data. For example, an item code is defined with the item weight, status, revision, ABC class, and so on. Once the code is set up, you enter the code and the system automatically retrieves all the information in the data record during processing.
In daily processing, codes are entered on transactions to simplify data entry and on inquiries and reports to access data records. During implementation, codes are entered in control programs as default values for transactions. Codes can also be associated with other codes when setting up static data.
Frames
Fields in non-component based programs are grouped together in frames. You normally complete a number of different frames in order to create an object. For example, in order to create a purchase order, you must complete header information, line information, and trailer information, each of which type is contained in its own frame. Frames can contain sub-frames for additional required information, such as defining tax parameters for a purchase order. When a program requires more than one frame, you must complete the first frame to get to the second, and so on.
Most standard maintenance programs in the QAD .NET UI display as HTML pages using the same sequence of frames that display in the character interface. A few maintenance programs display the traditional character interface in a terminal-emulation window.

Purchase Order Maintenance, Tax Info Frame