Glossary of Common Terms

The following is a list of terms we commonly use in the Method environment.  Each of these concepts is explained in more detail throughout this book, so use this list as a one-stop cheat sheet for a basic definition of each term!

Action: A command caused by an event that tells Method to perform a particular function. Applied to controls individually or in sequence.

Action Result: The result of an action saved as a Method variable which can be used in subsequent actions.

Action Set: A sequence of actions that can be set up on one control and called to by other objects.

App: A pre-built or custom program designed to perform a specific function in Method. Has the ability to “talk to” other apps.

App ribbon: A unique object used to display data from related apps in Method.

Active Record: A record that is actively in use and/or being displayed on a screen. 

Base Table: Table upon which a screen is based during screen creation.  Cannot be altered once specified.

Button: A clickable object that can be assigned one or more actions to take place after the click event.

Canvas: The space in the designer where sections, objects, and fields are dragged to build a screen.

Caption: Commonly the title ascribed to a control; can be hidden.

Cell: Individual unit found in sections; formed by the intersection of columns and rows. Similar to cells in Excel spreadsheets.

Column: A vertical separation of values in a grid or a section; combined with rows to form cells.

Contact: A unique type of record in Method that can refer to a contacts as they related to a customer, employee, vendor, lead or other name.

Container: Dragged onto the canvas, used to contain and order objects. see: Section

Control: The general term used to describe things that can be dragged onto the designer canvas: includes objects, fields, and containers.

Customize: The act of modifying existing apps or building entirely new ones using a suite of tools in the Designer mode of Method, based on criteria unique to your small business.

Database: A repository of information; made up of tables. Analogous to a filing cabinet.

Designer: A mode in Method that allows users to manipulate elements of a screen and even build a screen from the ground up.

Dropdown: A field or object type that displays a data list. When used as a field it can create relationships with other tables.

Event: Something done by the user to trigger an action (e.g. click a button, load a screen).

Expression: A combination of values and operators that computes and produces an output.

Field: Used to store information in a table.

Filters: Used to selectively display information based on a set of predetermined criteria.

Focus: Term used to refer to a control actively being used by a user (e.g. if a user clicks into a text field, that field has gained focus, and when the user clicks away, the field has lost focus).

Grid: Unique object used to display information in a specific order. Similar to grids in Excel spreadsheets.

Icon: Picture or symbol object which can be dragged onto the designer (e.g. a floppy disc for “save”).

Linked Field: A field that references the data value of a field from related table. Note a relationship between the two tables must exist before this can happen.

Load State: The default state of a control when a screen is first loaded.

Object: Series of controls that can be dragged onto the canvas to add different functionality to a screen (e.g. a button, chart, date picker, etc.).

Padding: Added “white space” around a section, cell, or control.

Record: An entry within a table.

Record ID: The unique number (primary key) identifying an entry within a table.

Redirect: The act of automatically redirecting a user to a specified screen.

Required Field: A field that must contain a value in order for Method to save the record.

Responsive: The act of auto-adjusting a screen’s size and layout depending on the device upon which it is being viewed (e.g. a tablet or smartphone).

Row: A horizontal separation of values in a grid or section; combined with columns to form cells.

Screen: Individual element of an app made up of sections and controls designed to perform a particular function; analogous to a page in a book (e.g. New Contact screen, Edit Contact screen). 

Section: Unique control used to hold objects, fields, and other sections, and to manipulate space between controls on the screen.

Snapshot: A small tile found on the App’s main tile used to display pertinent information about the app and/or serve as a shortcut to a particular screen.

Starting Screen: The default screen that loads when an app is first opened.

Table: Stores information. Multiple tables combined to form a database.

Unique Field: Field that requires the value to be unique for that particular field within the table.

Version: A way to make changes to a version of a screen while the live version is running.  Can also be used to test changes to a screen without interrupting live use.

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