10 More Reasons to Like Arbutus (31-40)

  1. View user interface features
  2. Report data format function
  3. Run DOS commands from inside procedures
  4. Join “Venn Diagram” mode selection
  5. Multi-table ODBC queries and direct reads
  6. Application menu for shared procedures
  7. Duplicate fields
  8. Elapsed time constants
  9. Create dates in any format
  10. Deletions automatically go to Recycle Bin

Note: The following 10 More Reasons to Like Arbutus are aimed at technical or advanced users. Questions or comments? Please contact us.

See: 10 More Reasons to Like Arbutus (41-50)


31. View user interface features

The View supports a number of useful user interface capabilities:
  • “Drag and Drop” column headings allows you to easily build filters, even if the column headings don’t match the column names; just click on the column heading and drag it to the filter edit box
  • “Red Negatives” allows you to highlight negative values
  • Quick Filter “Replace” allows you to replace an existing filter with a new filter created from the data
  • Smart Search allows “Google-like” searches of your data
  • Optimized thin filter processing ensures that when a very small percentage of the records meet a particular filter, the View display is still smooth


32. Report data format function

The Format() function can be used to identify the underlying format of a field. For example, Format(“12345-AbC”) = “99999-XxX”. This is particularly useful when analyzing data quality, to ensure that exceptions are clearly noted.

You can even Classify on the format, to show a summary of the various data formats in your data.




33. Run DOS commands from inside procedures

Sometimes there is no substitute for a DOS command. When this happens, the Run command is available. This can be used to invoke other programs (like Notepad) or to run built-in DOS commands that accomplish the requirement. Run may even be used to execute DOS Batch files, to achieve even the most complex tasks.


34. Join “Venn Diagram” mode selection

With the Join command, you can select command options by clicking on a Venn Diagram right in the dialog box. This capability complements the dropdown that is normally used to select the Join type.


35. Multi-table ODBC queries and direct reads

All ODBC-based queries can specify that multiple tables be joined in the query. You have full control over the tables to be joined, the WHERE conditions to be applied, and the columns to be selected.

In addition, you can specify whether the data for each table should be “flattened” (capturing the state of the table at that time), or read directly (always accessing the most recent data).

Finally, “Speed Search” allows you to quickly identify the table(s) of interest from potentially very long table name lists. When you speed search for any text, like “invoice”, then only the tables that contain that text in the table name will be shown. This might be “Invoice Details”, “Invoice Headers” and “Summary Invoices”, but would exclude all the other table names.


36. Application menu for shared procedures

Shared procedures are a powerful feature for group, department, or organizational data access, as they ensure a consistent application of processes across the group. Menu support enhances the usability of this capability. Any shared procedures are automatically presented in a special Applications menu, for even easier use. They are presented in a hierarchical manner that matches their placement in the folder.



37. Duplicate fields

You can duplicate any field at any time with Arbutus. This is particularly useful when you need to create additional fields that have characteristics similar to another field.


38. Elapsed time constants

In conjunction with Date and Time support, Arbutus allows all manner of date and time constants. In addition to specifying a date and/or time, Arbutus allows you to specify elapsed times. For example, this could be used to identify records that occur within 15 minutes of each other, or perhaps to identify those cases when the time clock In and Out times are more than 8 hours apart.


39. Create dates in any format

The Date() function is normally used to convert a date into a character format, usually for further processing. In addition to creating a date in the default format, the function supports an optional 2nd parameter that specifies the format that is to be created. For example, Date(start_time, “YYYY-MMM-DD”) might produce a result like “2012-Mar-17”. Any date format is supported.


40. Deletions automatically go to Recycle Bin

When deleting objects, such as tables, procedures, and the like, deletions are automatically placed in the Recycle Bin when one is available. This allows you to recover accidental deletions.


10 More Reasons to Like Arbutus (41-50)