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EnumeratorDefinition - Enumerator instance (category)

The enumerator consists of an identifier as category name, an enumerator value and an optional object type (complex data type) for the category. Since enumerations in ODABA support hierarchies (hierarchical classifications), enumerators may contain a list of subcategories (enumerators).

When no enumerator values are defined, the values are created automatically according to the position of the instance in the enumeration list.

An enumerator may refer to a list of sub items. Enumerator values in the hierarchy must be unique. When the enumerator is typed, all subcategories must refer to the same type or specializations to the type.

Enumerators can be linked with multilingual definition topics, which allow defining label and definitions in different languages.

Enumerator attributes

Enumerator attributes are read into the dictionary on demand. In order to request enumerator attributes, one may access the enumeration via odaba::TypeDefinition or access enumerator attributes as attributes of enumerator values. The following enumerator attributes are accessible:

  • code - the numerical enumerator value as being stored in the enumerator attribute
  • name - the enumerator name as being used in programs
  • label - language depending enumerator name
  • title - language depending short description
  • description - detailed language depending description of the enumerator value (html)
  • condition - condition or default value associated with the category
  • type - data type associated with the category

When defining enumerated attributes within a complex data type or as variable (e.g. within an OSI function), enumerator attributes may be provided for the enumerator value currently set in the attribute.

// OSI

// obtain from enum value

... fragment ( Languge my_lang ) { my_lang contains an enum-value

  Message(;       // display enumerator name

  Message(my_lang.label);      // display enumerator label

  if ( !my_lang.condition.isEmpty() )

    Message(my_lang.condition);// display condition


// obtain from type definition in dictionary

... fragment ( Dictionary  &dict ) {


  TypeDefintion        td = dict.typeDefinition("Language"); // system enum

  int                  count = td.enumerator.count;

  EnumeratorDefinition ed;


  while ( --count >= 0 ) {

    ed = td.enumeratorDefinition(count);

      Message(;        // display enumerator name

      Message(ed.label);       // display enumerator label

      if ( !ed.condition.isEmpty() )

        Message(ed.condition); // display condition



Internally, enumerator attributes are odaba::String (except code , which is numeric). Hence, within OSI functions one cannot apply operators on enumerator attributes, but odaba::String functions, only.

Multilingual enumerator support

In principle, multilingual support is provided for enumerators. Thus, label , title and description may be provided in several languages. Language depending attributes are provided according to the language set in option DSC_Language . Since enumerator definitions are part of the dictionary, language cannot be changed while running the application.

In order to provide textual information in a certain language, one may directly access enumeration definitions as being stored in the resource database (dictionary). The DSC_Language option has to be set to the required language before reading.

// read value descriptions from dictionary database

// (fragment)

  String   oldLanguage(Option("DSC_Language").toString());

  Option("DSC_Language") = "German"; // set documentation language

try {

  Property  enum_ph(dict,"SDB_ValueList");

  Property  evals(enum_ph,"values"); // all values

  Property  topic(evals,"resource_ref(0).definition");

  Value     title(topic,"name");

  Value     label(topic,"label");

  Value     characteristic(topic,"definition.characteristic");


  while ( )

    output(label.toString() + "(" +title.toString() + "): " +


} catch ( ... )

// handle exceptions


  Option("DSC_Language") = oldLanguage; // reset original language

Hierarchical enumerations

ODABA supports hierarchical enumerations, i.e. each category (enumerator) may get any number of subcategories. Internally, the hierarchical view to enumerators will be provided, i.e. each enumeration definition provides a list with the top level enumerators and each enumerator provides a list with subcategories.

Within the dictionary, enumerations are provided as SDB_ValueList , which contain a list with all enumerator instances ( values ) as well as a list with top categories ( top_values ), where each category may have got a number of subcategory values ( sub_values ).

In order to provide subordinated enumerators for an EnumeratorDefinition in the dictionary, one may call subEnumeratorDefinition() or subEnumeratorEntry() .

// read categories recursively

// (fragment)

try {

  Property  enum_ph(dict,"SDB_ValueList");

  Property  evals(enum_ph,"top_values"); // top categories


  while ( )


} catch ( ... )

// handle exceptions


// display catagory and sub-categories

void displayCategory(Property &eval, int level) {

  Property  evals(eval,"sub_values"); // sub-categories

try {

  output(sys_ident.toString() + "(" +level + ")");

  while ( )


} catch ( ... )

// handle exceptions



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