Developing and Deploying Siebel Business Applications > Getting Started in the User Interface Layer >
In Siebel applications, the text that is displayed on the screens and views is stored in the repository and compiled to an SRF file. This includes the names of every screen, view, and field. For example, when you display information on accounts, the view has fields with names such as Account Name, Account Team, Site, Status, Territory, and so on. These names are stored in the SRF file. When you display a page, the server uses the SRF file to determine which fields to show, and what text (strings) are associated with each field.
This model of keeping the strings separate from the view definitions is called symbolic strings. It may seem awkward to not have text directly on a view definition, but there are some strong advantages to using symbolic strings.
- Reduces redundancy because many objects can refer to one symbolic string. For example, you only need to define the term "Account Team" one time. Every time you want to use "Account Team" on other views, you use the same link as you did on the first view.
- Results in a more consistent user interface. By reusing the same symbolic string, you avoid having slightly different phrasing used on similar views. For example "Acct. Team", "Act. Team", "Account Group", "Client Team", and so on.
- Simplifies maintenance because you only have to maintain one string for a given term. If you need to change the name from "Account Team" to "Client Group", you update the symbolic string and that change then appears in all views that use that symbolic string. This is much more efficient and effective than having to change each view individually.
- Simplifies translations by eliminating duplicated translations of the same word. Because the symbolic strings are reused, the same term does not exist multiple times.
- Reduces localization costs, time, and inconsistencies. If the term "Account Team" is on five views, it would need to be translated five times. By using symbolic strings, the term is translated once. This saves on localization costs and reduces the overall time for the project. The use of symbolic strings also helps prevent inconsistent translations. Although the NREC example does not cover localization, many custom implementations of Siebel applications are localized.