The majority of enterprise applications on the market today require developers to design, code and test every screen. This is not the case with Compiere. Compiere uses a centralized and active Applications Dictionary to store meta-data and rules for managing your custom solution. The Applications Dictionary is an integral part of the Compiere Model-driven Application Platform that enables you to customize your solution quickly and easily.
Compiere's Applications Dictionary is at the meta-data layer, and it knows how to access transaction data and how various data are related. The Applications Dictionary contains definitions of a data entity (type, validation, etc.), how it is displayed (label on screens and reports, help, display sequence and position relative to other fields), and the display rules. The Applications Dictionary also manages security and access control rules.
The Applications Dictionary is 'active', meaning it is used at runtime and is context-sensitive. For example: it 'knows' that payment terms are not available for 'over-the-counter sales.' Thus, payment term fields are not displayed or editable in over-the-counter sales transactions. If you change the transaction type to a 'standard order,' payment terms become a mandatory part of the transaction.