What is DMF?
DMF or Dialogue Management Facility is a GUI (Graphical User Interface) presentation manager. DMF serves as a host to PC front-end components which interface to S/390 back-end transaction processors. DMF supports front-end applications hosted by WIN32 (Windows 95/98/NT) platforms. A DOS version of DMF is also available.
      The appearance and behaviour of a DMF-based application is driven by "Resource Files." Resource Files reside on the workstation or file server. These files are the "content" that define the front-end application. This content includes screen definitions, transaction templates, and procedural scripts. DMF serves as the "engine" whose role is to interpret these files.

Features of DMF

1. Dynamic Content Distribution
The XML resource files that define the workstation front-end application are read by DMF from the workstation's disk drive or from a file server to which the workstation is networked. Copies of these files are also held on the back-end host system. DMF, in conjunction with Object Framework, dynamically refreshes its own local copies of these files in the case of missing files or incorrect version files. Since a front-end DMF application consists only of compact XML resource files — there are no large executables — the workstation software distribution problem is eliminated.

2. XML Syntax
With DMF, resource files are pure text files which use the non-proprietary standard XML as the foundation for their syntax rules. This syntax is used to define screens in "forms" which include the usual GUI elements — literals, text fields, list boxes, selection boxes, etc.
      DMF supports user-defined XML objects. For example, resource files specifying business rules using XML's simple keyword-value pair syntax could be created to describe products. Scripted logic within dialogue definitions can examine values of parameters specified in these business rules.
See information about XML at the World Wide Web Consortium's Site.

3. CBASE Session Data
The CBASE component of DMF can be thought of as a mini relational DBMS running on the workstation platform. It is used to store data elements (or variables) for the life of a transaction or the session. These variables are referenced by syntax elements in XML resource files. CBASE elements can be linked by data bounds to elements defined in other XML resource objects -- for example, a CBASE element can be bound to a screen element or to a transaction template element.

4. Interoperability with Mainframe Host
DMF enables interfacing with S/390-based transaction processors using Object Framework's API features and transaction templates. A transaction template is an XML resource file which describes the keywords of a host to workstation or workstation to host XML message. It also specifies the link between each keyword-value in the message and an element in a CBASE object.