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OpenEdge Development: AppBuilder
Introduction : Single-window or multi-window design?
 
Single-window or multi-window design?
A basic part of your application‑design process will be to decide whether to use a single window or several. SmartWindows offer you the additional option of multiplexing your space by paging within a single window—a process that resembles using overlays.
There is no simple answer to this single‑versus‑many design question. A full discussion of the tradeoffs involved is beyond the current scope of this guide. One way to begin thinking about the question, though, is to consider how much natural parallelism is involved in the problem your application will address.
Single‑window designs are often best for applications that deal with:
*A single, highly serial problem.
*Multiple tasks that are largely unrelated.
Multi‑window designs might work well for applications that present separable but related clusters of functionality.
Multiplexed (paged, paneled) designs may seem the most natural choice for applications that require a mixed interface, where there is a certain core functionality that remains in view while another part of the window changes in a task‑oriented way.
No matter what you choose, you will probably find that you can make legitimate arguments for a different choice. The advantages of one design over another are typically relative, not absolute. For example, AppBuilder itself uses a multi‑window design (main, palette, workspace), yet it is not hard to imagine it as a single‑window design instead.
Multi‑window applications are generally somewhat more difficult to design and develop. You might decide during the design phase of the project that there are advantages to a multi‑window design, but that they are outweighed by the practical difficulties. Or you might decide that the advantages you could offer your customer make a multi‑window design well worth the extra effort required to create it.