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OpenEdge Development: AppBuilder
Introduction : Visible versus nonvisible objects
 
Visible versus nonvisible objects
Although the majority of building blocks used in a database application might be associated with the GUI presentation, not all are. The modules that read and write the database, for example, generally operate behind the scenes. There is usually no reason to give those operations a visible representation at run time. But at design time, the situation is different. Programmers require easy access to all building blocks. For your convenience, AppBuilder makes every building block visible in some way at design time, even those that are not visible at run time.
The design‑time representation of visible objects is nearly identical to their run‑time representation. This means that you can usually position and size them in a WYSIWYG manner.
The design‑time representation of a nonvisible SmartObject is a small, borderless area containing the object’s filename, an icon that identifies the object’s class, and a menu button. Figure 1 is an example of how a nonvisible SmartObject appears at design time. (The eight small black squares are the resizing handles that appear when the object is selected.)
Figure 1: Design‑time representation of a nonvisible SmartObject
All SmartObjects display a Menu button (sometimes called a Ventilator button) as part of their design‑time representation. The menu under the Menu button, shown in Figure 2, provides access to the object’s property sheets, SmartLinks, and master definition.
Figure 2: SmartObject Menu Button menu
Other nonvisible objects are generally represented by simple, abstract icons. They exhibit little commonality in the details of their appearance.