10 More Reasons to Like Arbutus (81-90)
- Items may be deleted in the Overview, even if presently open
- Wizard visual cues
- Split() function can reference segments from the left or right sides
- Export delimited, append
- Set maximum wait for Pause and Dialog commands
- Procedure Editor selectable tab, font, and indent
- Left() and Right() functions
- “Push-Down” query optimization
- Command language support for multiple tables open
- Unsigned binary data
Note: The following 10 More Reasons to Like Arbutus are aimed at technical or advanced users. Questions or comments? Please contact us.
When working in the Overview of the project, if you want to delete an item that is presently open, it can be inconvenient to have to close it first. Therefore, Arbutus automatically closes any item that is being deleted.
When manually defining data in the Wizard, it can be difficult to see exactly how wide the field is that you are defining. This is particularly true when you are trying to match an external definition that you are referring to. This is where “Wizard Visual Cues” helps. As you define data, a tool tip constantly tells you how wide the field will be if you select that point.
Often, fields combine separate items in a single field. The simplest example of this is a field like “John Smith”, which combines the first and last names. The Split() function is used to pull out individual pieces, like “John” or “Smith”. This is normally done by specifying the position from the left, like 2 for the last name. Unfortunately, data often includes irregularities, like “John Robert Smith”. In this case, the 2nd item is not the last name.
To address this situation, the Split() function may reference the item from either end of the field, so for example, you could specify that the last name is the last item in the field.
Certain types of exported data naturally lend themselves to appending new data. Delimited files are one such example. Arbutus supports Exporting to delimited files with the APPEND option, automatically suppressing the column headings that would otherwise normally be added to the data.
A common user interface practice is to supply default values when asking for user input. When this is the case, and it is reasonable that the defaults are correct, then you can specify a maximum wait time. If the user does not respond in the specified time, then the procedure will continue as if OK had been pressed.
The Procedure Editor allows you to set preferences for:
- the initial font size to be used for editing
- the amount of indent to be applied when pressing the TAB key, and
- the amount of indent to be applied when wrapping long lines of text
The Left() and Right() functions allow you to easily reference the first and last characters of any string. This can be useful as a simpler alternative to the Substring() function.
When reading relational data directly, such as ODBC sources, Arbutus automatically utilizes “Push-Down” query optimization. This informs the source system of the filter criteria to minimize the size of the result set returned.
With Arbutus, you can open multiple tables at one time using the user interface. In addition, this capability is also supported by the command language, so that procedures may similarly open multiple tables. The Open command includes options to allow multiple tables to be opened, and the SET TABLE command is used to switch between them.
Not all binary data is signed. For example, it is quite common for a 2-byte value to store a value between 0 and 65535. Arbutus supports this type of binary data, in any length, in either big-endian or small-endian format. This is just one of the over 20 data types automatically supported.