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The WAM patterns - recipes for web interface generation

WAM GUI fragments can be used to solve database web interface design problems. In the next table we overview the "recipes" WAM objects implement for solving these problems:

how to represent …
/ how will … 
...restrict the GUI

recipes for GUI generation

Table or View

A table record can be visualized and edited in a row. Table records can be visualized and filtered in a list. A finder can provide simple front-end navigation.


A row field, a list column, a looked-up column

Data type

Row field and list column validation, formatting

User-defined type

Special formatting, validation, user navigation (e.g. email, URL, image)

Primary key

Determines default auto-numbering policy, avoiding the need to fill the key fields


Restrict edition at the GUI, introspect into admissible values


Hide or disable GUI objects and navigation links for a particular user or group

Foreign key, Foreign key path

Minimal specification of lookups, detail lists, user-driven joins in lists

Foreign key graph

Default navigational structure

Database objects have programmer names

Use a presentation function: WAM_PRESENTATION

External presentation strings are absent from database engine meta-models, hence the central role WAM_PRESENTATION assumes in the WAMmodel.

Each line in the above table can be seen as a "pattern", and so the whole can be seen as "WAM's GUI pattern catalog". We find this somehow related in spirit to efforts like Coram and Lee's, Martijn van Welie's, and Rossi et al., although in WAM's case with a more restricted scope - database applications.

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