Updating a Character-based Screen

To help you transform your character-based application into a graphical one, ACUCOBOL-GT includes a screen conversion tool known as the Character-to-GUI Wizard. The tool works by watching a running character application and, at a specified point, constructing an equivalent graphical screen. This screen is automatically imported into the AcuBench Screen Designer, where you can make modifications to it as desired. You can then use AcuBench to produce a Screen section description of the graphical screen and integrate the new Screen section into your original program.

The Character-to-GUI Wizard is designed to work with any character screen that you have created using ACUCOBOL-GT syntax. This allows it to work with most existing character-based programs. Note that the wizard works with programs using either of ACUCOBOL-GT's two main screen handling techniques: the Screen section and in-line ACCEPT/DISPLAY statements.

When the wizard converts a character screen to a graphical one, each field in the original screen is created as either a label or an entry field. These controls are placed in the same positions as the corresponding fields and have the same size. Labels are given the same text as the fields from which they are created. The source data item, if any, is attached to the control in such a way that it becomes the corresponding value property when the control is viewed in the Screen Designer. Most other information, including color, is not copied. Color is not copied because most character color schemes do not look good under a graphical system.

The wizard uses special rules when deciding whether to make a field a label or an entry field. If you find that these conversion rules result in undesirable effects (for instance, screens with an overabundance of entry fields), you can try converting the screen using alternate rules.