Input Controls Essay

1034 words - 5 pages

Input Controls
There are a number of ways that a user is allowed to input, change or select data with in a program, five of the more common input controls; text box, drop-down list box, check box, file input box and radio button. The ability to input data into the program is critical, and any data incorrectly entered will result in errors or a failure in the program.
A text box allows the user to enter information about a task or the system will perform. Basically a text box is used to input text in a single or double-line field. This type of input control is useful for entering data like names, addresses, screen names, email addresses.
The drop-down list box is commonly found on ...view middle of the document...

The last type of input control is the file input box, which is predominately used on websites to upload documents.
Data integrity
Data integrity with input controls is achieved both by the nature of the controls themselves and basic script validation techniques. As far as scripting is concerned, each data field can be easily verified upon submit before sending the data to the server. For the types of input controls chosen, selecting incorrect input controls can result in data integrity issues (Glynn, 2012).
A dialog box control is rather straight-forward. It is also the easiest field to realize data issues with. Obviously, you would not want to use a select input control for an individual’s name. However, using this type of control opens databases up to SQL injection attacks, entry of HTML entities, and entry of incorrect or bad data. With SQL injection and HTML entities, it is critical that the data entered is cleaned before being processed by the server. For a field like “First Name”, entry of SQL or HTML should be identified and rejected. In general, you also would not want to use a password field for something like “First Name.” While it is great to be able to mask data, the user should be able to see if they have entered a typo. Asking the user to verify the entry of every single text field would be unreasonable.
The potential for data integrity issues if a select input control is not used when it should be are obvious. If a user is supposed to choose a U.S. state, allowing him to enter text would be disastrous. The user could enter “Somewhere.” They could also enter “I’m not telling.” Restricting entry is important for fields that have limited, predefined options.
Option buttons are in the same category as select input controls when it comes to data integrity. Selecting to use something like text instead of a group of radio buttons would be undesirable. For...

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