Input Controls

May 25, 2018 Business

Input controls are an integral part of a user interface (UI), which enable the user to interact with a software program and its data. Input control includes the necessary measures to ensure that input data is correct, complete and secure (Rosenblatt & Shelly, 2012). There are many types of input controls that can be used in various applications. For example you have List box, drop-down list box, an option button, or radio button, and a check box, just to name a few. To give you some detail on the four input controls I mentioned above; a list box displays a list of choices that the user can select.

If the list does not if in the box, a scroll bar allows the user to move through the available choices. A drop-down list box displays the current selection; when the user clicks the arrow, a list of the available choices displays. An option button, or radio button, represents one choice in a set of options. The user can select only one option at a time, and selected options show a black dot. A check box is used to select one or more choices from a group. Selected options are represented by a check mark or an X. (Rosenblatt & Shelly, 2012).

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One of the most common program user interfaces that I use on a daily basis is our ticketing system for our help desk and desktop support at work. There are so many input controls on this web based application and it helps us to access user information that is relevant to fixing an issue for the end user. On the application, you have input boxes to which you would input the name or user id of the end user. This information pulls up additional contact information of the client. The additional information, auto populates in the additional text boxes.

Also, there are drop downs and radio buttons to indicate the path of the break/fix or escalation of the ticket to a possible resolution. We have quite a few web based applications that we work with to assist in troubleshooting an issue with the end user and their computer. The drop down and radio buttons give me access to additional information in the database, which gives a naming designation to some of the other data that auto populated. This helps in the process of determining which direction I need to go, based off the troubleshooting steps that I have taken to fix the problem, for the end user.

Other things to consider, when you are designing a user interface with input controls is the screen design. It is one thing to have input controls all over the page, just doing whatever values, you have set for them. But it is another thing to have the input controls and the screen in harmony, where both are pleasing to the eye of the end user and also user friendly. Screen design requires a sense of aesthetics as well as technical skills. You should design screens that are attractive, easy to user and workable. You also should obtain user feedback early and often as the design process continues.

The opening screen is especially important because it introduces the applications and allows users to view the main options. When designing an opening screen, you can user a main form that functions as a switchboard. A switchboard uses command buttons that enable users to navigate the systems and select from group of related task. ( Rosenblatt & Shelly, 2012). It is important to have data integrity, when you are designing any kind of application with input control access. Your input controls are programmed to allow the end user to retrieve information from the internal database.

When the procedurals for accessing the input controls are correct, then the information the end user is seeking becomes readily available and you do not receive any errors. However, there are times when the program does not follow the rules to access information and you can develop error messages. Data with “integrity” is said to have a complete or whole structure. Data values are standardized according to a data model and/or data type. All characteristics of the data must be correct – including business rules, relations, dates, definitions and lineage – for data to be complete.

Data integrity is imposed within a database when it is designed and is authenticated through the ongoing use of error checking and validation routines. As a simple example, to maintain data integrity numeric columns/cells should not accept alphabetic data. As a process, data integrity verifies that data has remained unaltered in transit from creation to reception. As a state or condition, Data Integrity is a measure of the validity and fidelity of a data object. As a function related to security, a data integrity service maintains information exactly as it was inputted, and is auditable to affirm its reliability.

Data undergoes any number of operations in support of decision-making, such as capture, storage, retrieval, update and transfer. Data integrity can also be a performance measure during these operations based on the detected error rate. Data must be kept free from corruption, modification or unauthorized disclosure to drive any number of mission-critical business processes with accuracy. Inaccuracies can occur either accidentally (e. g . through programming errors), or maliciously (e. g. through breaches or hacks).

Database security professionals employ any number of practices to assure data integrity (Teeling, 2012) A good example of a data integrity error would be something like this: An error occurred trying to insert this document into the database. The original error message was: java. sql. SQLException: [MERANT][SequeLink JDBC Driver][Oracle]ORA-02291: integrity constraint(WM1. FK_BIZDOC_DOCTYID_BIZDOCTYPDEF) violated – parent key not found… This particular error is a case of a violation of foreign key violation within the database.

This can be caused by inputting improper values in a text box or a drop-down menu, where it would not correlate with the other data that was inputted by the user in the database. It would simply take, inputting the correct data and in more serious cases, going into the database to repair the corrupt data portion of the data table. This can also lead to certain restrictions that are set for user access. If you have multiple users, of whom you want only a certain set of users to access certain data, then you would set up restrictions.

The advantages of setting up restrictions are simply that you only want those who you have given access to, to access certain data. The disadvantage of restricting a user interface is prohibiting an end user from retrieving important information. Setting up a web based user interface is an important function for input and output of data for almost anything we can think of, when we use computers today. User interfaces and input controls help us in very day life from accessing our bank account to making hotel reservations. An example of a GUI for a hotel reservation is below:

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