Monday, 8 November 2010

Alternative View Mapping Technique

The recommended technique for passing data between action blocks is to use view matching on the USE statement. One disadvantage of this method is that the views need to be mapped all the way down the calling chain. For example, if we want to pass some data from AB1 to AB9, then the view(s) must be mapped on every possible USE statement:


With some very complex structures involving hundreds of possible paths through the logic, this can involve a lot of extra views being created in the intermediate action blocks in the calling chain and the potential for not mapping some of the views, thus the data is lost during the calling chain.

A technique that we have used to provide an alternative method of passing data around is to have a common action block that stores the data in an uninitialised local view.

The logic of the action block is as follows:

in action code
link my_data string (exported)
temp my_data string (not initialised)

IF in action code = 'P'
MOVE link my_data to temp my_data
MOVE temp my_data to link my_data

The revised logic for the application is now:

SET temp action code to 'P'
SET temp my_data string to 'whatever data you want to pass'
WHICH IMPORTS: temp action, temp my_string

Any action block that wants the value of my_data can then use SAVE_DATA to get the value without it needing to be passed on every intermediate USE statement.

Note that this technique will only work within a single load module and cannot be used to share data across load modules unless SAVE_DATA is created as an external action block with shared memory.

In the vast majority of cases, you should still use view mapping, but there might be some cases where the above technique will allow you to easily share a small amount of temporary data between a large number of action blocks without needing to include it as data passed on all USE statements.

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