Page 610 - ExtendSim User Guide
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Creating a Custom User Interface
Centralizing data in a database
☞ If you delete the block from which you cloned a dialog item, the cloned item is automatically deleted.
To find and open the dialog from which an item was cloned, choose the Clone tool and double- click the cloned item.
Unlinked clones
If a block’s structure is modified by deleting a dialog item or changing the tab order of the dialog items, clones associated with that block may become unlinked. In this case, the clone will be grayed out and “???” will appear in place of the cloned dialog item.
Unlinked clone
Choosing the clone tool and double-clicking the unlinked clone will cause an alert message to appear. Then the dialog of the block from which the clone originally came will open. You may then select a replacement item to clone, or simply delete the clone if it is no longer needed.
Centralizing data in a database
Cloning is a quick and easy way to create a user interface. However, for large models it may be too tedious to clone all the necessary items for easy access. ExtendSim databases are useful for organizing data for complex models into a central location.
You can create databases to store parameters to be used in the model, model results, or a com- bination of the two. Use the linking technologies to dynamically link dialog parameters or tables with the database. Or use the Read and Write blocks to dynamically access database data. Since databases are primarily data management systems, see further discussion at “ExtendSim databases for internal data storage” on page 747.
Hierarchy
Hierarchy is useful for customizing a model’s interface. It reduces the number of blocks visible on the model worksheet, so models are easier to understand and navigate. It is also used to organize the model into easily-recognized components, separating the model into process ele- ments that are more closely tied to reality.
For instance, you could encapsulate portions of a model into hierarchical block then clone dia- log items to the top of the hierarchical block's worksheet for easy access. Or add custom pic- tures as icons for groups of hierarchical blocks that all relate to a certain part of the process you’re simulating. You could also create a hierarchical Help block for the model user, as dis- cussed at “Help block” on page 592.
For more information about working with hierarchy and customizing and animating hierarchi- cal blocks, see “Hierarchy” on page 618.
Creating a dashboard interface
In addition to permitting cloned items in the Notebook or model worksheet for creating a user interface, ExtendSim lets you add customized buttons, popup menus, and on/off switches.
Model window showing a custom button, a custom popup menu, and a cloned dialog item
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