Right out of the box, Panorama is a very flexible program. Its built in menus and tools bring incredible power to your fingertips. In spite of this power, however, Panorama is a general purpose tool. To get the most out of Panorama you’ll want to customize it to meet the specific needs of your business or industry. Doing this takes an up front investment of time and/or money. But if done properly, the payoff can be huge—a tool optimized specifically for running and organizing your business or life, not someone else’s idea of how things should be done. You’ll save time, reduce errors, and look more professional to your customers, vendors, employees and/or supervisors.
Programming Isn’t Magic
If you’ve never programmed before, the idea of programming may seem like magic. But really there’s noth- ing magic about it at all. Programming doesn’t really add any new features or capabilities to Panorama. Anything that can be done with programming can also be done manually with Panorama’s standard menus and tools.
If programming doesn’t add any new features, what is it for? Many database tasks take more than one step to complete. To set up a report, for example, you may need to select certain information, sort the database, and perform calculations. A program allows you to define such a sequence of steps in advance. Once the sequence of steps is defined, you don’t have to perform that sequence of steps manually any more. Simply ask the computer and it will perform the steps for you, flawlessly and at the highest possible speed. This lets the computer do what it does best, remember things accurately, and frees your mind for more important tasks. Eventually you can teach Panorama all the everyday tasks you need for running your organization.
Programming “Tape Recorder”
A great way to start writing simple programs is to let Panorama write the programs for you. Panorama includes a built-in recorder than can automatically write programming code for you as you perform data related tasks in Panorama. As you perform each action, you can actually watch the code write itself. To learn more, see Procedure Recorder.
To learn more about programming with Panorama, see these topics:
- Accessing the Clipboard -- reading from and writing to the system's clipboard.
- Action Menu -- simple way to create your own menu items.
- Alerts -- displaying a variety of standard modal alerts.
- Automatic Field Code -- running a short program when data is entered into a field.
- Channels -- provide a standard way to interface with external resources (email servers, phones, web sites etc.)
- Code -- basics of programming code.
- Control Flow -- making decisions about what code should be executed in response to changing conditions.
- Custom Dialogs -- creating custom dialogs using forms.
- Custom Menus -- creating custom menus, menu bars and pop-up menus (and customizing standard menus).
- Custom Statements -- creating your own custom statements that can be used in your code.
- Database Navigation & Editing -- using program code to navigate within a database, and to add and remove database records.
- Debug Instrumentation -- conditional logging of the internal state of Panorama program code.
- Drag and Drop -- dragging data to and from a Panorama form.
- Generating & Analyzing HTML -- generating HTML code from data, and extracting data from structured HTML.
- Internet Access -- accessing information from web servers.
- Procedure Editor -- editing named procedures.
- Procedure Recorder -- recording database actions as code.
- Procedures -- basics of procedures for automation.
- Program Access to Databases -- using a program to create, open, import or export databases.
- Program Error Handling -- handling errors and exceptions that occur when a program is running.
- Programmable Database Administration -- using a program to access and/or modify the structure of a database.
- Programmable Form Management -- using a program to work with forms.
- Programmable Graphics -- using program code to create and modify graphic objects in a form.
- Programmable Outlines -- using a program to create and manipulate data outlines.
- Programmable Printing -- using program code to print reports, mailing labels, etc.
- Programmable Searching -- using program code to search and select data.
- Programmable Sorting -- using program code to sort a database.
- Programmable Text Export -- using a program to export text from a database.
- Programmable Window Management -- using a program to arrange windows.
- Programming Database Fields -- using a program to add and remove database fields.
- Scripting -- embedding scripting languages (AppleScript, shell scripts, Python, Ruby, PHP, Perl, etc.) into Panorama program code.
- Speech Programming -- using program code to convert data to speech (voice).
- Statements -- index of all statements available for use in Panorama procedures.
- Subroutines -- writing code that can be called from other code.
- Supressing Display -- temporarily disabling display of changes in a program (to reduce "flickering" and increase performance).
- Timer Workshop -- provides a tool for monitoring timers and testing timer configurations.
- Timers -- executing recurring periodic background code at fixed intervals.
- Transforming Data -- using program code to modify data in bulk.
- Triggers -- finding out what event triggered the execution of program code.
- activeobjectaction -- allows a procedure to communicate with the object on the current form that is currently being edited (if any).
- automaticprocedurename( -- returns an available procedure name.
- changeobject -- modifies the properties of one object in a form.
- changeobjects -- modifies the properties of one or more objects in a form.
- changetimer -- modifies a repeating task that will be performed periodically when Panorama is not otherwise busy.
- cloneform -- copies all of the objects in a form (optionally, with modifications) into the active form.
- cloneobjects -- duplicates objects in a form (with modifications).
- closeactiveobject -- closes any object whose text is currently being edited.
- downloadpartialdatabase -- downloads specified components of the current database from the server. The current database must be shared.
- exportallprocedures -- saves all the procedures in an editable text format.
- exportprocedure( -- exports a procedure and the procedure's meta data as a binary object that can be imported with the importprocedure statement.
- formxy -- programmatically scrolls a form to a new position.
- getmaxwindow -- retrieves the position and size of the of the largest possible window on the main screen.
- getprocedureoption( -- returns information about a procedure.
- getproceduretext -- gets the contents (source) of a procedure and places it in a variable.
- getproceduretext( -- gets the contents (source code) of a procedure.
- getwindow -- retrieves the position and size of the current window.
- Implicitly Triggered Procedures -- Procedures that are triggered automatically when the user performs some normal Panorama action are said to be "implicitly triggered."
- importdatabase -- imports data from another database into the current database.
- importdictprocedures -- converts source code exported by the ExportAllProcedures statement into a dictionary.
- importjson -- imports a JSON array into the current database.
- importjsonline -- imports a JSON record into the current record.
- importline -- imports a line of text into the current record.
- importprocedure -- imports a procedure into a database.
- importrawdata -- imports raw binary data into an existing database.
- importtext -- imports text into an existing database.
- info("proceduredatabase") -- returns the name of the database that contains the currently running procedure.
- info("procedurename") -- returns the name of the currently running procedure.
- join -- joins data from another database into the current database.
- joinonerecord -- joins matching data from another database into the current record.
- loadallprocedures -- loads all the procedures from a dictionary into the current database.
If a procedure doesn't exist it will be created.
- makenewform -- creates a new form in the current database.
- makenewprocedure -- creates a new procedure in the current database.
- Mark Menu -- allows you to set bookmarks in source code to help navigate to specific spots in a long program.
- newdatabase -- creates a new database.
- newformobject -- creates a new graphic object in a form.
- objectaction -- allows a procedure to communicate with an object on the current form.
- partialdatabaseupdate -- updates one or more components of an existing database.
- printonemultiple -- prints a form over and over again without advancing from record to record. Instead of advancing from record to record, a variable is incremented each time the form is printed. This statement is designed for printing calendars or thumbnails.
- printtopdf -- prints the current database to a PDF file.
- printusingform -- allows the current database to be printed using a different form than the one currently being displayed.
- procedureexists( -- checks to see whether a procedure exists or not.
- procedureinsertfieldname -- inserts a field name into a procedure, adding chevrons if necessary.
- procedureinsertformname -- inserts a form name into a procedure, adding quotes.
- procedureinsertprocedurename -- inserts a procedure name into a procedure, adding quotes if necessary.
- proceduresearch -- searches for text in a procedure.
- proceduresearchexact -- searches for text in a procedure.
- proceduresearchnext -- searches for text in a procedure, starting from the current location.
- proceduresearchnextexact -- searches for text in a procedure, starting from the current location.
- Program Menu -- assists with running and debugging code, and with developing custom dialogs.
- recompile -- recompiles all procedures in a database.
- saveallprocedures -- saves all the procedures in the specified database into a dictionary.
- saveoneprocedure -- saves a specific procedure in the specified database into a dictionary.
- saveopenprocedures -- saves all the open procedures in the specified database into a dictionary.
- savepartialdatabase -- saves specified components of the current database, leaving other components out.
- serverupdate -- temporarily disables record locking and server updates when using a shared database.
- setprocedureoptions -- modifies one or more properties of a procedure (source code, Action menu options, etc.).
- setproceduretext -- changes the text of the currently open procedure.
- setwindow -- specifies the dimensions (size and location) of the next window that is opened (with openform, opensheet, openprocedure etc.).
- Source Menu -- used to assist in editing program code.
- startbonjour -- starts monitoring the local network for available hosts.
- starttimer -- sets up and starts a repeating task that will be performed periodically when Panorama is not otherwise busy.
- stopbonjour -- cancels monitoring of the local network for available hosts.
- windowbox -- specifies the dimensions (size and location) of the next window that is opened (with openform, opensheet, openprocedure etc.).
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