Simple Merge of External Data

   So, by now you have pointed Pathagoras to one or two external databases. Now, let's see what we can do with that data.

   The first thing you need is a document with bracketed variables. So bring one up to the editing screen via the Document Assembly routine or via a DropDown list.

   Next, call up the Instant Database screen (typically the press of <Alt-D> displays the screen). At this point, you have two choices:

Using external data with an Instant Database mask: If you have prepared a 'mask' which contains the document variables, call it up from the list in the upper left corner of the screen. (If the first row of your external database does not contain field names, you must use a mask. That is the only way that Pathagoras can know what variables your document contains.)

(If the first row of your external database does contain field names, use of the mask is optional. If you choose a mask in this case,  Pathagoras will attempt to match the variable names in the mask with the database field names.)

Using external data with no IDB mask: If you do not pre-display a mask, then the first row of the external database must contain your field names. (Brackets are not mandatory. Pathagoras can add them, but the field names from the database must otherwise match the variable names in the on-screen document.  Because both sides of the IDB screen are 'blank,' Pathagoras will complete both sides for you by placing the database's field names (with brackets added, if needed) in the left side of the IDB screen and the 'personal' values at the right.

Once you have decided on the above issue (mask vs. no mask), click the red Power Tools button and then click the 'External Database Link' button in the lower right quadrant of the repainted Power Tools section. A screen similar to the following will appear.

idbimport2

  Select the database from which you want the data drawn. The first database is the default and the screen will be pre-populated with values from that database. Select the secondary file or the "Navigate to" option to display other choices. Select the record you want to use.

   Once the IDB screen is populated with the external data, you can make any changes that you wish. We recommend at this stage that you click the Scan button to add any variables in the document that do not exist in the external record. Provide values for those newly added variables. (The variables that were added via Scan will appear at the bottom of the IDB screen, or on subsequent pages.) Click the Next button. As always you will be asked whether you wish to save the data as a new IDB record. Your answer depends upon how you intend to use the record in the future. If you are pretty sure you won't then don't save it. If you think you might, then save it.

   Notes:        

While the primary import file always displays by default, you have instant access to the secondary import file (if set).

You can navigate to any other data containing file, even if not registered.

You can use the controls at the right to designate the mask variable you wish to start import into. (Just as a reminder: You can reserve the first X number of fields in your mask for keyboard input, and take advantage of the external data to fill in the rest, or as much of 'the rest' as exists in your import file. Just select from the controls at the right the first  variable in the mask you wish to begin receiving the imported data.)

 

Click the button_next_h button in the menu bar to continue reading.