Overview of Batch Operations

Description

While working with Alpha Anywhere, you can change data at any time by simply navigating to a record and typing in new values. This method is fine if you are just working with a few records, but editing can become enormously time-consuming if you are working with hundreds or thousands of records. To handle larger data manipulation tasks, you can use an Alpha Anywhere Operation. "Operation" is a general term for a process which changes data in existing tables, or even creates new tables as Part of the operation.

Some typical operations:

  • Change all field values to uppercase or lowercase
  • Summarize or cross-tabulate records in a table
  • Mark or Delete duplicate or out-of-date records
  • Add records from one table to another table
  • Import or Export spreadsheets or text files
  • Post values from one table to another
  • Update the field values in all, or a subset of records

Alpha Anywhere has a variety of operation types that let you transform data in almost any way you can imagine. The following topics describe how operations work and how they are defined. Most Operations have various settings you can save; so when running the same operation later, you won't have to define a new one.

The table below provides a quick summary of all of Alpha Anywhere's data processing operations. Each of the operations in this table are discussed in this chapter.

Operation

Data Source

Description

Results

Append

Master table and Transaction table

Takes records from the transaction table and copies them to the master table. The transaction table may also be updated during this process.

Changes master table and (optionally) changes transaction table

Copy

Master table

Copies the records in the master table to the result table. Copy can be used with a set to copy values from multiple tables into a single table.

Result table

Crosstab

Master table

Creates a result table whose field names correspond to field values in the master table. The data in the field are cross-tabulated summary values.

Result table

Export

Master table

Takes data from the master table, and coverts to a different file format, such as a spreadsheet.

Result file

Export Table to SQL Dialog

Local .DBF table

Exports data and creates or overwrites a SQL back-end table.

SQL back-end table

Export Database Tables to SQL Dialog

Local Alpha Five .DBF tables

Exports data and creates or overwrites SQL back-end tables.

Multiple SQL back-end tables

Import

Import file

Takes data from a source-file, such as a spreadsheet, and copies it to the result table.

Result table

Import Table from SQL Dialog

Back-end SQL database

Imports data and creates or overwrites a local .DBF table.

Result table

Intersect

Master table and Transaction table

Creates a result table containing fields from the both the master and transaction tables. Use this operation to find records that the master and transaction tables have in common.

Result table

Join

Master table and Transaction table

Creates a result table containing fields from both the master and transaction tables. Use this operation to join fields from the transaction table to the master table.

Result table

Mark, Delete, Unmark

Master table

Marks, unmarks, or deleted records in the master table according the criteria you specify. You can also use this operation to find and delete duplicate records.

Marks, unmarks, or deleted master records

Post

Master table and Transaction table

Takes values from the transaction table and posts (add, subtract, replace) them to fields in the master table. The transaction table may also be updated during this process. Add and Subtract operations (not Replace operations) made to the master table will be reversed if the source record in the transaction table is deleted.

Changes master table and (optionally) changes transaction table

Query

Table or Set

Applies filter and order expressions to a table or set.

Limits and orders the records currently viewable.

Subtract

Master table and Transaction table

Creates a result table containing fields from both the master and transaction tables. Only records from the master table which do not match records in the transaction table are included in the result table.

Result table

Summarize

Master table

Creates one or more result-records that summarize the data in the master table.

Creates result table

Update

Master table

Changes the field values in the master table using the criteria you specify.

Changes master table

Limitations

Desktop Applications Only

See Also