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This course introduces you to the Screen Design Aid (SDA), which is part of the Application Development Toolset program product.

The course begins with an introduction to display files and the Data Description Specifications (DDS) used to create them. While you do not need an extensive knowledge of DDS in order to use SDA, a basic knowledge of DDS for display files makes it easier to understand the choices you have when using SDA.

Next, the course walks you through the process of using SDA to design screens. The course then describes how to use SDA to create a *MENU object, define a subfile, and associate online help with a display or menu.

The course ends by describing some additional functions and capabilities of SDA, including its display test function, and its support for defining windows.

Approximate Study Time: 3.5 hours


After completing this course, you should be able to use SDA to:

  • Design a display
  • Create a display file
  • Define the fields on a display
  • Specify field-, record-, and file-level keywords
  • Assign indicators to fields
  • Make modifications to a screen design
  • Create a menu display
  • Create a *MENU object
  • Define a subfile
  • Generate help specifications
  • Create online help for a menu
  • Test a display file
  • Create a window display
  • Design a display that includes the current date, current time, system name, and/or user profile name for the current job

Topic Outline

Introduction to Display Files, DDS, and SDA

Creating a Basic Display File

Rounding Out the Essentials

Creating a Menu

Creating Subfiles

Online Help

Additional Capabilities


This course is intended primarily for programmers but can be taken by anyone who will be using SDA to design screens and create display files.


This course assumes that you have a basic knowledge of IBM i facilities and programming in the IBM i environment. You can satisfy this prerequisite by successfully completing the following Manta series: