The ACUCOBOL-GT Screen Section uses data structures that are similar to the record descriptions in Working-Storage. However, the Screen Section offers an alternate method for displaying information to the user's screen and accepting data from the keyboard. It lets you display and update data items in groups, rather than as individual fields.
The Screen Section enables a non-intelligent terminal to emulate an intelligent one by acting as if it were displaying and accepting an entire screen of data at one time.
Intelligent terminals can readily accept and transmit an entire terminal screen. The user moves around the screen and fills in a form consisting of several fields. The intelligent terminal stores all of the entries for the form in a buffer, and then transmits an entire screen full of information at one time.
Non-intelligent terminals are not designed to process data in this way. Instead, data is displayed and entered on a field-by-field basis. However, the ACUCOBOL-GT Screen Section lets non-intelligent terminals emulate intelligent terminals by acting as if they are displaying and accepting an entire screen of data at one time.
Although the data is actually handled behind the scenes on a field-by-field basis, the COBOL programmer can display or accept either individual fields or entire screens with one COBOL statement. Although it's common for a screen entry in the Screen Section to describe an entire screen, it need not do so. The language is so flexible that the programmer can decide whether to include one field, a few fields, or a screen full of fields in a Screen Section entry. See Screen Section for more information about the Screen Section.