TelFormFactory User Guide
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Screenshot of TelFormFactory from Terry Comms Ltd.
TelFormFactory produces an XML Schema from which TelForms are automatically generated. TelForms are Java data input forms for a number of platforms. XML Schema is an international standard for describing the content of information. Data is in XML format - another international standard. Systems managers need to ensure accurate data is entered into the system, but this is not always done well. The XML Schema ensures coordination between the Client and the System, and can also be passed on to third parties to be integrated into wider Systems strategies, for example in database support. Data is checked by the TelForm and confirmed at the Central Office. TelFormFactory ensures attractive, easy to use Web Forms are produced, with ease and a minimum of ambiguity for all.
Currently TelForms are available in these formats:-
TelFormFactory now assumes the latest stable Java release. For mobiles midp1 refers to Java 2 Micro Edition Connected Limited Device Configuration 1.0 (CLDC) and Mobile Information Device Profile version 1.0. (MIDP 1.0) targeted at devices with limited resources such as pagers and mobile phones. This is to provide greater device coverage even though it may mean less functionality or performance. In particular CLDC 1.0 does not allow for Floating Point processing, ie decimal calculations.
NB: It should be noted that in designing the TelForm model - no account of Colours, Founts, Sounds, Logos and the like, are made of the TelForm on the device. Future releases to TelFormFactory will shortly allow for these to be specified by the TelForm designer and/or by the TelForm user.
Note: TelFormFactory requires version 1.6 of the Java Development Kit ie JDK not JRE. TelFormFactory has only been tested with the Sun JDK. The downloaded file TelFormFactoryversion-id.zip can be unzipped into any convenient directory. It is not a permanent installation, is not registered and may be deleted at any time.
To run TelFormFactory double-click on the command file according to your system:
In case of problems, open a console screen, change to the programme directory and enter
The command file should:-
The TelFormFactory interface consists of 3 panels. The left panel is the Type Template Panel, top right is where messages to the TelFormFactory user are displayed, and below that is where TelForm model is arranged. The Type Template Panel has pages of datatypes or TelForm field types which are added to the TelForm model by dragging and dropping the type icons.
See Operations descriptions below.
The XML Schema validates data by comparing against its datatype definition which is given in the World Wide Web ConsortiumW3C XML Schema specification. Place cursor over each Datatype icon for tooltip text. TelFormFactory provides 4 'pages' of Datatypes from which you choose the type of field to be added to the TelForm. Two pages of these are extracted directly from the W3C Recommendation part 2 (2 May 2001). These are indicated by the prefix 'xsd:' indicating membership of the XML Schema namespace or grammar. Datatypes and pseudo-datatypes belonging to http://telform.co/ns/2009/telform namespace are seen with the colon prefix tok. See Datatypes for details.
Note: Menu selection instructions are followed by keyboard shortcuts eg [altF] indicates press Alt key and F key simultaneously to Open the File Menu options. The shortcut key is underlined on the Menu Option.
Press OK to apply your values. Save the file (cf).
Note: Each TelForm field also has a 'Help' commentary associated with it. Effort spent in providing guidance to TelForm users can save a lot of expense in support.
The XML tree structure is built up by the Drag & Drop of datatype icons from any of the TeleFormFactory 'datatype' pages to an appropriate icon already in the model. Note the following restrictions on which type may be added to existing model types :-
Drag and drop more Data types onto the root to build up the fields of the TelForm. See the 'HELP - Data-types' screen for description of each Datatype. Place the mouse over each Data-type icon for a brief Tooltip text comment describing the Datatype.
Note: Observe the TelFormFactory Messages panel for feedback and error messages. Use Scrollbars when provided (this happens dynamically) to move up and down the Messages and Model panels. Sub-trees within the TelForm Model may be folded by clicking the switches to simplify tree view.
Note: There are no Toolbar icons for these actions at this time.
From Menu: File [altF] Save TelFormFactory File [altT] brings up a file system browser dialogue to Save TelFormFactory File. The filename ends with .xml.This is not the XML Schema, nor does it represent the data produced by the TelForm - it is a means of storing the TelForm model and meta-information so that it can be retrieved, modified and maintained with TelFormFactory. The file browser initially opens in the user home directory, subsequently this location is saved in User Preferences. The format and content design of the TelFormFactory file is a Work in Progress and XML Schema will be published.
From Menu: File [altF] Open TelFormFactory File [altO] brings up a file system browser dialogue to Open TelFormFactory xml file. Again, by default this opens in the user home directory. New Fields can be added to the TelForm. Also in Edit Mode (see section) fields may be deleted or re-positioned within the TelForm. The TelFormFactory file should be saved after alteration.
Once a TelForm has been built or loaded - Press XML Schema icon or From Menu: File [altF] Save XML Schema File [altS] to bring up a file system browser dialogue to Save XML Schema File. The XML schema filename ends with .xsd. This will generate the XML Schema in the file specified. The resulting Schema will be verified by the validating software selected in User Preferences. It may be wise to save the TelFormFactory file before generating the XML Schema.
Select the Radio Button on the Toolbar according to the TelForm package required - namely Applet, Application, Midp_1. The icon shows a latched appearance and can be deselected by pressing again. All 3 packages can be selected at once with little difference in processing time, depending on system.
Press TelForms OUT icon or From Menu: Actions [altA] Generate TelForms from XML Schema File [altG] to start processing.
The TelForm output will be seen in a directory named out local to the TelFormFactory jar file. Below the out directory there are Applet, Application (also called main), and Midlet sub-directories which contain the TelFormFactory products. There may be 3 subdirectories for each TelForm package:-
TelFormFactory generates the following files in directory out/applet/pub:-
Only the TelForm_NameTelForm.jar is generated in out/main/pub. Standalone applications have a 'main' method which means it can be launched from the command line with the command 'java -jar TelForm_NameTelForm.jar. On some platforms it may also be launched by clicking on the jar-file icon.
The TelFormFactory out/midp1/pub directory contains TelForm_NameTelForm.jar which has the midlet code and the jad file TelForm_NameTelForm.jad which conforms to Java Archive Descriptor standard. This gives information about the programme in a format understood by devices. Devices may therefore decline to download the jar file if the JAD indicates it is incompatible. It also has other information such as download location of the jar file and costs.
Applets are normally restricted in capability such as File system or Network access unless security requirements are met such as having been signed with your digital signature. Midlets are similarly restricted, though user permission can over-ride this. Applications are not normally restricted but it is in the security interests of the TelForm producer and the user for TelForm packages to be signed. Edit the appropriate batch file with your details to use the Java Development Kit jarsigner tool. From the command line enter
Editing TelForm root node properties
Left Click on the TelForm Root icon to see the following properties and edit them for your TelFormHost:
Click on any TelForm node icon in the TelForm tree (other than the Root) to see the following properties and edit them:
Editing the TelForm Tree
Right-Click on a TelForm icon to delete it from the model tree. A confirm dialogue must be passed before processing.
Optional and Recurring fields.
By default, when an element is seen in the XML Schema, which equates to a field in the TelForm, the corresponding data value must appear once. It is as if two default parameters were missing from the XML Schema, namely minOccurs="1" and maxOccurs="1". For an optional element the TelForm designer would click on the icon in the Model area, and change the minOccurs value to 0. This indicates the field does not need to be completed.
It may be that some fields should be allowed to appear several times, eg alternative Telephone Numbers or addresses. In this case the maxOccurs value would be changed to the maximum allowable value. To edit the minOccurs and maxOccurs values click on the TelForm field icon.
An XML Schema validator checks data by comparing it to its Datatype specified in the XML Schema. The data entered in the form is compared with its datatype and is accepted or rejected on the result. Datatype comparison alone is still a fairly primitive means of detecting data errors but XML Schema also incorporates data testing against Perl-like Regular Expressions. Perl is a scripting language which incorporates a syntax for further definition of permissable values in a data object. This syntax forms Regular Expressions, though there are differences between Perl Regular Expressions and XML Schema Regular Expressions. The next version of TelFormFactory will include Regular Expression Builder to facilitate the use of Reg. Ex.
A number of Open Source and Commercial XML Schema validators are provided with this release of TelFormFactory. They may have different characteristics. These may be switched in or out of the validating process in User Preferences. The commercial products will be provided in a future licensed version of TelFormFactory. Internet access may be required for the validator to load referenced Schema components.
Schema validation is where an XML Document is tested against an XML Schema and found to comply. This validates a Schema file against the W3C reference Schema for Schema.
From Menu: Actions [altA] Validate Schema [altS] brings up a File system browser. Select the Schema File, and OK. Observe the Messages area which will give the results of validation according to the selected validators.
This validates a local XML data file against a local Schema file.
From Menu: Actions [altA] Validate XML [altX] brings up a File system browser. Select the Schema xsd file, and press OK. Another File system browser will come up for you to select the xml data file. Press OK and observe the Messages area which will give the results of validation according to the selected validators.
DTD was a previous technology in the sphere of XML document validation. It has weaknesses and limitations but some documentation and software are still around which assume that DTD is the only method of validation so it pays to be aware. Tools are available to translate a given DTD to XML Schema.
From Menu: Options [altO] This shows the sub-menu for following groups of options:-
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