MENU DRIVEN SYSTEMS - IBM Mainframe

The menu-driven system is the most user friendly and efficient way of conversing with the terminal users for the on-line system or transaction. It works as follows. The terminal user needs to know only one or a few transaction-ids, each of which displays a primary menu screen. In some on-line transaction systems, even this is not necessary. As soon as the user signs-on to the system, based on his user-id and authorization profile he will be positioned on to a home menu or primary menu. On the primary menu screen, the user can make a choice for processing options. Thereafter the functional menu screens automatically guide the user through the process. The menu-driven approach has many advantages over the conventional dialogue between the system and the terminal user:

  • It is very user-friendly.
  • It provides better performance if the program is coded in a pseudo-conversational mode.
  • It makes the pogrom easy to be modularized, thereby high maintainability and low resource usage. But while designing the menu-driven system due consideration should be given to the following aspects:
  • The options in the menu should be grouped together in a functional order.
  • The options should be displayed in a logical order.
  • The most frequently used options should be at the top.
  • Always come back to the menu after the completion of the process.
  • Provide facility for terminating the process, and going back to the menu, say by pressing an attention key.
  • Provide a mechanism for canceling the entire transaction.

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