|Multiple tables per file
Store information about related things in the same file, eg. pupils, classes and teachers, with the layouts based on the tables.
Drag & drop relational links
Simply drag and drop fields from one layout to another to create a join between the underlying tables.
Where a single record relates to multiple records in another table, you can use a scrolling subview to display all the records that this one refers to. For example, if you have a table with a record for each class in a school, you could have a subview showing the pupils in each class.
A graphical table view allows you to define the linking fields that relate the various tables in your database.
You can set up integrity constraints to ensure that the linking fields always refer to a valid record in the related table. Cascade update and delete options extend this by automatically updating or deleting related records when a record's linking field is altered, or the record is deleted.
|Smart value lists
A value list is a list of field values displayed in a menu, that allows you to enter data into a field without actually typing it in - simply click on the item you want, and the value will be entered for you.
DataPower's unique "smart" value lists take this much further, by using its knowledge of the database structure to decide which values to put in the menu, and what to do when you click on an item. Depending on the nature of the join being shown, this may involve entering a value in the field, moving to a different record in the table, or even entering data into a field in a different table!
For example, in the subview example above, only pupils whose 'class' field matches the name of the class in the current master record are shown in the subview. A value list on the 'pupil name' field inside the subview would show a list of all pupils in the school, and if you choose a pupil name from the list, DataPower will actually alter the class field for that pupil to make the pupil record appear in the subview.
A query can be a combination of sort, search, join, summaries etc. and you can store any number of them in the database for future use.
You can also attach each layout to any of your stored queries, so for example you could have a layout that showed overdue library books sorted by author.
Queries can perform actions as well as simply searching the database - you can define 'update' queries that search for a given set of records and update the values in them, or a 'delete' query can be defined that searches for a given set of records and deletes them.
For queries that take a long time to execute, you can also specify that you want to keep the results, so that next time the query is used the results will be available instantly.
When searching, DataPower can often make use of pre-existing sort indexes, which allow it to find records instantly rather than having to search through the whole table.
SQL, or Structured Query Language, is the industry standard database query language that is used by most of the relational database systems in the world.
You can define your queries using DataPower's graphical tools and then switch to the SQL editor - changes you make in one are automatically translated by DataPower and reflected in the other.
SQL queries can be used in just the same way as any other queries you create.
You can create 'buttons' on your layouts and then program them to execute script commands when the user clicks on them.
The object-oriented script commands available range from simply switching to another layout to defining and executing user-defined procedures and functions, creating and deleting queries, and directly manipulating the contents of the database.
Your user-defined functions can also be used by formula fields.
|Formula editor window
By popular demand, DataPower now gives you a full editor window for entering formulae and scripts. The window supports full cut/paste and drag/drop, and also allows you to choose commands from a pair of scrolling lists above the window, which saves you having to remember them all!
Say goodbye to those annoying multiple error boxes - the throwback window will collect up all errors that creep into your database into a single window, and you can double-click on an error to edit the formula or script that caused it.
Errors that are fixed are automatically removed from the window, even if the fix involved changing a fieldname somewhere else rather than editing the formula which had the error.
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