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Aggregate Formatting

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Specify allows the user to customize the format in which many fields are displayed. Certain types of fields are actually aggregates of many elements. Aggregate formatting can be used with One-to-Many forms (sometimes referred to as an "embedded form"); these forms may have more than one element contained in one field.

Without aggregate formatting, if you were to create a query with a one-to-many field, it would appear that you had a duplicate record in query results and grids. This is because it would display the second preparation, agent, etc. on a second line.

To correct this, you can use the aggregate formatting feature to display each record as one.
For this example I will be using a fish database, and we will be formatting the "prep and use info." field. The format we will be creating will show each type of preparation and the number of objects prepared that way.
We will also add a count of the total number of preparations.

This is just one example, there are several different forms that have the One-to-Many property. If you encounter one of these this is the procedure used to implement aggregate formatting.

First, log in as an administrator and open the form customizer.

For this example, the field we want to format is in Collection Objects.

Select the field to be formatted and enter the Edit menu from the top menu bar and select "Field Properties". In our example we used the "Determination [CollectionObjectID]" in your form.

Click "Format"

When the format window pops up, select "TaxonName" from the left box.

Next click "add expr" from the bottom of the upper-right box, this will allow you to add an expression (such as a space or comma) between fields.

In the expressions editor, place a space in the text box. Also check the box next to "Omit if next expression is blank", and select OK.

Next, click "FullTaxonName" from the Fields box. This is an element, such as a preparation method, that has multiple values. Select this same field for the "Order By" drop-down box.

If we were to stop now, our output would be formatted to show the TaxonName and FullTaxonName for each determination. We can add the number of Determinations for each Collection Object. This may be perfectly acceptable, but you can add the total count of all TaxonNames as well.

Select the checkbox next to count, and change the caption to be "# of Determinations".

Click OK twice and save your changes.

Now let's test our formatting.
Create a new query from the collection objects form using catalog number and the field you just formatted (We used: Determination [CollectionObjectID]).

Enter your query; I used a search that displayed all determinations by clicking on the Search and Edit Collection Objects option on the Navigation Panel. Then I replaced the default search settings with only one field, Determination. Then click the search button.

The search results will automatically display in a grid view. Here we displayed the results in custom view. Your results will display with the format showing the number of Determinations represented for each TaxonName.

Specify includes other types of customizable fields. For an additional reference see "customize the display format" in the user manual.

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Created by cj
Last modified 2006-05-15 01:52 PM

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