Generating and saving a DataWindow object

When you have finished interacting with the wizard, PowerBuilder generates the DataWindow object and opens the DataWindow painter.

When generating the DataWindow object, PowerBuilder might use information from a set of tables called the extended attribute system tables. If this information is available, PowerBuilder uses it.

About the extended attribute system tables and DataWindow objects

The extended attribute system tables are a set of tables maintained by the Database painter. They contain information about database tables and columns. Extended attribute information extends database definitions by recording information that is relevant to using database data in screens and reports.

For example, labels and headings you defined for columns in the Database painter are used in the generated DataWindow object. Similarly, if you associated an edit style with a column in the Database painter, that edit style is automatically used for the column in the DataWindow object.

When generating a DataWindow object, PowerBuilder uses the following information from the extended attribute system tables:


PowerBuilder uses


Fonts specified for labels, headings, and data


Text specified for labels and headingsDisplay formatsValidation rulesEdit styles

If there is no extended attribute information for the database tables and columns you are using, you can set the text for headings and labels, the fonts, and the display formats in the DataWindow painter. The difference is that you have to do this individually for every DataWindow object that you create using the data.

If you want to change something that came from the extended attribute system tables, you can change it in the DataWindow painter. The changes you make in the DataWindow painter apply only to the DataWindow object you are working on.

The advantage of using the extended attribute system tables is that it saves time and ensures consistency. You only have to specify the information once, in the database. Since PowerBuilder uses the information whenever anyone creates a new DataWindow object with the data, it is more likely that the appearance and labels of data items will be consistent.

For more information about the extended attribute system tables, see Managing the Database, and Appendix A, The Extended Attribute System Tables.

Saving the DataWindow object

When you have created a DataWindow object, you should save it. The first time you save it you give it a name. As you work, you should save your DataWindow object frequently so that you do not lose changes.

To save the DataWindow object

  1. Select File > Save from the menu bar.

    If you have previously saved the DataWindow object, PowerBuilder saves the new version in the same library and returns you to the DataWindow painter.

    If you have not previously saved the DataWindow object, PowerBuilder displays the Save DataWindow dialog box.

  2. (Optional) Enter comments in the Comments box to describe the DataWindow object.

  3. Enter a name for the DataWindow object in the DataWindows box.

  4. Specify the library in which the DataWindow object is to be saved and click OK.

Naming the DataWindow object

The DataWindow object name can be any valid PowerBuilder identifier up to 255 contiguous characters.A common convention is to prefix the name of the DataWindow object with d_.

For information about PowerBuilder identifiers, see the section called “Identifier names” in PowerScript Reference.

Modifying an existing DataWindow object

To modify an existing DataWindow object

  1. Select File>Open from the menu bar.

    The Open dialog box displays.

  2. Select the object type and the library.

    PowerBuilder lists the DataWindow objects in the current library.

  3. Select the object you want.

    PowerBuilder opens the DataWindow painter and displays the DataWindow object. You can also open a DataWindow object by double-clicking it in the System Tree, or, if it has been placed in a window or visual user object, selecting Modify DataWindow from the control's pop-up menu.

    To learn how you can modify an existing DataWindow object, see Enhancing DataWindow Objects.