10 More Reasons to Like Arbutus (21-30)
- Variable arrays
- Directly read spreadsheets and access tables
- Wizard-wide data
- Summarized duplicate presentation
- Re-link directly to spreadsheets
- View entire file when editing layout
- Intelligent table deletion
- Temporary file prefix
- Pre-sort when Extracting or Exporting
- Hide tables and other objects
Note: The following 10 More Reasons to Like Arbutus are aimed at technical or advanced users. Questions or comments? Please contact us.
Arbutus allows you to store many separate values in a variable array. Arrays are limited in size only by your memory (RAM), so millions of array entries are possible. Array values may be created either by assigning values, or through the use of the SAVE FIELD command, which will transfer an entire table column into a variable array. Arrays can be used to:
- Store tabular information
- Provide input to commands
- Improve performance
- Support customizable user interfaces through dialog boxes
When reading spreadsheets or access tables, you can take a snapshot of the data at a point in time (flattening), or directly read the source without flattening. Flattening ensures the data remains unchanged. Directly reading it ensures the most current data is automatically used.
When defining tables, the data definition area is the full width of the screen, providing the maximum view of the data.
When analyzing for duplicates, the tabular output summarizes the result to a single line per key, showing the number of items duplicated. This provides a quick reference to the duplicates found, rather than a cumbersome detailed listing. Of course, each line includes a drill-down link that immediately lists the entire set of duplicates for that key.
When accessing refreshable sources, such as spreadsheets and XML, you can directly re-link to a different source file (like a spreadsheet), even if the data is flattened into an intermediate file.
With Arbutus, you can specify an automatic temporary file prefix. If specified, Arbutus will automatically delete any objects that start with this prefix when a project is closed. This applies to any object type, including tables, indexes, and procedures.
Any objects in a project may be hidden to improve the user interface. This can be used, for example, to prevent intermediate tables from appearing in the Overview. This capability is also useful to ensure that only the ‘top level’ procedure is visible for selection.
Hidden objects can be accessed in the same manner as any others, as long as you know the name. This is typically not an issue, as most hidden objects are only referred to by procedures. With Arbutus, you can also show hidden items, should you forget the name, or need to access them for editing.