An Alpha Anywhere User Guide to the Desktop.

Alpha Anywhere File Types

If you look at an Alpha Anywhere database through Windows Explorer, you will see that there are many files that begin with each table's or set's name, but have different file extensions. The following table provides a cross reference to lists of functions and methods relevant to each file type.

Create and Restructure Sets

This guide covers topics such as: editing and existing set, creating a new set, adding a table to a set, referential integrity, child table filters, and more

Creating Labels for a Set

If you are creating a Label layout for a set, and your set contains one or more one-to-many links, by default you will get only one Label for each primary record in your set. If you want to get a separate Label for each child linked to the primary table, you can choose a different addressee table.

Creating the Vendors Set

How to create the Vendors set.

Designing Sets

There are many rules for good set design. These are a few good recommendations from Alpha Anywhere developers for designing sets that are easier to maintain and use.

Displaying Data from a Set

This script demonstrates how you can use an Xdialog box to display data from a set. It shows data from the invoice.set in the AlphaSports sample application.

Duplicating a Set

When you duplicate a set, you create a new set definition that has the same structure, and contains the same field rules, layouts, operations, etc. that were associated with the original set.

Fetching at a Particular Level in a Set

While fetching through the primary table of a set allows you to retrieve each composite record, you can also fetch only child or parent records from a specific level in the set.

Fetching in a Set

When the current table is the primary table of a set, Alpha Anywhere's fetching mechanism automatically updates the record pointers in each of the sets component tables. The record pointers are synchronized according to the way in which tables are linked in the set definition.

How to Structure Sets

Each set design represents a particular view of the data in your databases. Reversing the database hierarchy can give you a different perspective on your data. The hierarchy in which you link databases is determined by what information you need to retrieve from the set. The INVENTORY set structure answer the question, "For a particular product, what is the name and address of the vendor who manufactured the product?" The VENDORS set structure answers the question, "Which product does each vendor manufacture?"

Linking Tables in a Set

A set is a group of tables, linked together so that you can search, report, and view data from component tables, as if they were a single table. When entering data in a set, Alpha Anywhere places the information in the correct table, along with the necessary linking information. You can create layouts, such as forms, browses, and reports, and perform and save operations for a set. In this lesson, you learn about sets, and create a set for AlphaMovies data.

Packing the Tables in a Set

To pack the tables in a set:

Renaming a Set

To rename a set:

Repair Set Structure

The Fix Table Name in Set dialog allows you to fix table references in a set when the location of one or more tables in the set has changed.

Run a Custom Backup Job

The Run a Custom Backup Job action creates a zip file to backup your database. You can specify which files to backup in the genie, or you can specify a saved setting which defines which files to include in the backup zip file. The Zip Database dialog creates saved settings. If you want to run the same backup operation repeatedly, first save the backup settings through Tools > Zip Database.

Send Set

To email one or more components of a set as a ZIP file:

Set Information Dialog Box

When the Tables/Sets tab of the Control Panel is visible, select a set and click Set > Properties to display the Set Information dialog box. The Set Information dialog box displays the following information about a set:

Set Links

In building a set, you first select the primary table, and then add a link to each table you want to add. You can establish a link between two tables that have related data (e.g. Product and Vendor, or Invoice and Customer). To establish a link, the databases must have one or more fields that store the same data in each table. In the following example, the VEND_ID field is the linking field between the Product and Vendor tables.

Set Overview

A set is a collection of logically related tables, linked together so that you can search, report, and view data from component tables, as if they were a single table. Tables in a set are linked (or related) through a common field or expression. For example, you might use a set to create an invoicing system. Suppose you have two tables: one stores invoice information and the other stores customer information.

Set Variable to Constant or Expression Result

The Set Variable to Constant or Expression Result action stores a constant or expression result in a variable.

Sets - Linking on Multiple Fields

When you create a set, Alpha Anywhere allows you to specify that the link is based on multiple field. Originally you could only base the link on a single field, or an expression. However, if you based the link on an expression (e.g. alltrim(lastname) + alltrim(firstname)), you could not enter new records because Alpha Anywhere had no way of knowing how to decode the expression to fill in the individual linking fields.

The Set Diagram

A set's structure is illustrated using a set diagram that shows which databases belong to the set, and the hierarchy in which the are linked.

Understanding Levels in a Set

The number of levels in a set is determined by the number of one-to-many child tables in that set. The following set does not have any one-to-many links. It only has one level, the top level, or the Invoice_items level.

Understanding Link Alternatives

One-to-One Links and One-to-Many Links

Using Sets

With sets you can link logically related tables together as if they were a single table. A set reduces the storage of redundant information, making your data easier to update, less prone to errors, and more efficient. Sets also offer options not available with single tables. In almost every case, Alpha Anywhere treats sets exactly like tables. You can create layouts and perform and save operations for a set. When entering data into a form designed for a set, the information is automatically placed into the correct table along with the necessary linking information.

What is a Set?

Alpha Five uses a conceptual model called a set to describe a system of tables and their relationships to each other. A set is a combination of lined tables. Once defined, you can use a set as if it were a single table; you can view data in the set, enter new data, or use it to design a report. Sets enable you to:

Zip Set

To collect one or more components of a table into a ZIP file: