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Introduction Pattern

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This pattern model user's introduction of data to the system.

The user must perform this request by introducing data using a keyboard, natural speaking, or with any other available communication channel. The system can assist the input of data leading the user (with help messages and examples), or limiting the user (e.g. with error messages, edit masks, valid-ranges for data).

In a system designed to access and query a library, users must introduce data such as ISBN, book titles, authors names, etc. to feed the search.

The previous data items can be represented by arguments declared in a class.

This is a basic idea: interface modeling is linked to conceptual modeling by specifying for every class method argument the visual properties selected for the introduction of the quoted arguments while executing the method. We will specify these interface patterns for such method arguments. Alternatively, we can attach the pattern to any class attribute, assuming that any method argument associated with the attribute will act under the pattern properties.

For instance, let's assume that we have an event argument representing a european postcode. We could provide for it an edit mask such as #####-A which forces it to take as valid data only those which have the format: five digits and a letter at the end. For the age attribute of a person class, we can specify a range of values such as this one: 14 < age < 150. In the same way, we can define a default value, and messages of validation and help, displaying extra information to the user during the request for data or even when the input data is not valid.

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