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Building Data-Driven Object-Oriented Applications: Selected Techniques

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This tutorial describes a system's architecture in which an application is built using reusable modules or classes of objects. The application can be built, controlled, maintained, and enhanced through changes to the underlying data and parameter files. An application designed in this way allows for more flexibility and lower maintenance than one where the code is written to perform specific functions. Generalized modules or classes of objects, the actions of which are dictated by parameters, lend themselves to the inevitable changes that are made to the system. Many modifications can be accomplished by changing values in parameter files instead of changing the source code. Features of this approach include

  • adding new reports
  • changing or reordering menu items
  • controlling user access and security.

A sample application that makes use of SAS/AF and SAS/FSP software using Screen Control Language (SCL), the SQL procedure, and the SAS macro facility is presented and described in detail. The use of a toolbox library of reusable modules and objects is also illustrated.

The data-driven approach combined with the use of reusable tools or objects can be adapted to a wide variety of data processing tasks of varying complexity. The techniques presented here merit attention as models which may suggest solutions to many system design problems.

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