Once you have created your data layout files and data sets and configured the Screen Designer environment, you are ready to start building a graphical user interface. To facilitate this process, the Screen Designer offers a WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop environment for creating character-based and graphical screens. In the designer, you can:

When you add a new screen to your program, AcuBench generates the Procedure Division code necessary to display and accept that screen. As you drag and drop controls onto the screen form, AcuBench builds a Screen Section description of the screen. Each change that you make, laying out the screen and defining interface-handling code, is recorded in the program structure file (PSF) and used to generate the COBOL code to drive your program's user interface. In other words, as you work in the Screen Designer, you are doing more than describing the appearance of a screen. You are building a fully functional user interface to your application.

This chapter discusses the process of creating new screens, designing screen layout, changing screen and control properties, associating code with screen elements, and generating screen handling code.

Note that this chapter does not discuss methods for importing existing character-based or graphical screens into the Screen Designer. These methods are discussed in Bringing Existing Code Into AcuBench.