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4.1 Introduction to Searching

 Let's first understand what exactly a search means in nxqddb.


A search is simply a term used to describe the action that a user takes to finding information from a Qddb database.

Detailed steps on how to perform, narrow, and even configure your searches are discussed in the following sections. This chapter also provides many sample searches for you to learn by example.

4.1.1 Steps to searching

 Searching is extremely easy in nxqddb. And, since all nxqddb windows share the same look and feel, once you learn how to search in one window you'll have mastered all nxqddb windows. The basic steps to performing a search are:

  1. Be sure that you are in Search Mode. The default mode is search mode for all nxqddb windows; meaning, when you first open a window, you will be placed in Search Mode. The mode bar will read Search Mode to let you know that you are in Search Mode. If you're not in Search Mode, click the Modes/Search Mode menubutton.
  2. Key in the values in the appropriate fields and then press the Enter key. You also have the option of choosing the Edit/Search menubutton to perform the search. However, users find that it is easier to press the Enter key.
  3. After pressing the Enter key to invoke the search, nxqddb will search its database to find the requested information. If nxqddb finds more than one instance, then a listbox will be displayed to allow you to choose the particular instance desired. Choosing a row in the instance listbox will populate that instance in the search window and the mode will change from Search Mode to Change Mode (or Read-only Mode if you've configured Read-only on the window).
  4. If no instances are found that match your search criteria, nxqddb will display No matches found. in the Status bar and you will be returned to the window to try again.
  5. If exactly one instance is found that matches your search criteria, nxqddb will populate the window with the found instance and you'll be placed in Change Mode (or Read-only Mode if you've configured the window for Read-only Mode).

4.1.2 An example of a common search

 Suppose you wanted to view a particular person in your addressbook; but you only remember that his first name is John. From within the nxqddb window, you would type John in the First name field and then perform the search by pressing the Enter key. All of the people that have a first name of John would be found and displayed to you in a Search results listbox. You would then be able to choose from the list to find the person for whom you were searching.

4.1.3 nxqddb searching is case insensitive

 nxqddb performs case insensitive searches. This just means that nxqddb finds all occurrences of a word whether it is capitalized or not. For example, suppose you search on McDonald. nxqddb will return all clients that have any combination of McDonald such as mcdonald, Mcdonald, McDonald, Mcdonald, MCDonald, or MCDONALD.

nxqddb's case insensitive search feature is extremely helpful if data has been entered into your database with inconsistent capitalization.

4.1.4 Meaningless search fields

Sometimes it becomes convenient to exclude fields from a search when the results of searching the field are meaningless. In Qddb, you can specify whether or not to exclude a field from being searchable. Meaning, if you edit your Schema file to enter the keyword exclude next to a field name, Qddb will not store any index information for that field. And, the focus will skip over that field if the user tabs to the field while in Search mode.

To see the ``exclude'' feature at work, modify your AddressBook schema by typing the word exclude next to a field name. Then, restart nxqddb AddressBook2 and observe how the cursor skips over the excluded field while in search mode.

4.1.5 Clearing search fields

 To clear all search fields, click the Edit/Clear menubutton.

A good habit to develop is to always clear the search fields prior to performing a search. To clear the search fields, click the Edit/Clear menubutton.

If your search does not return what you think it should, it may be possible that you have fields populated from a previous search. It may also be possible that one of the notebooks not currently displayed contains a search field value that you do not want to include in your search. By always clicking the Edit/Clear menubutton prior to entering your search criteria, you are more likely to have a successful search.

4.1.6 Sample searches

   For the following sample searches, you should be in the nxqddb AddressBook2 window in Search Mode:

Find person named John
Key in John in the First name field and press the Enter key. If there are no Johns, then a status message stating No matches found will be displayed and you'll return to the nxqddb window to try again. If there is a person whose first name is John, then the information corresponding to John will be displayed in the nxqddb window. Of course, if there is more than one John, then the list of people whose first name is John will be displayed for you to choose from. Chances are(if you're database is large), there will be more than one person that has a first name of John. So, you will likely want to narrow your search by keying in a last name as well.

Find person named John Doe
Key in John in the First name field and Doe in the Last name field; press Enter.

Find all people that live in a particular state, say Ky
Key in Ky in the State field and press enter. Note, this search result would likely yield a large number of people if you live in Kentucky. So, you would probably want to narrow the search to include a city or zip code.

Find all people that live in the city of Louisville
Key in Louisville in the City field and press Enter. All the people that reside in the entered city will be displayed in a listbox for you to view, print, or choose to display in the client window.

Find all people that reside in Zip Code 41017
Key in 41017 in the Zip Code field and press Enter.

Find all Females
Click the Female radiobutton and then press Enter.

Find people named Butch, Billy, and Bobby who live on Main street
Key in Butch , Billy , Bobby in First Name field and key in main in the Street field; then press Enter. Remember, capitalization is not required; typically, users find it convenient just to type all searches in lowercase letters.
By entering more than one word in a search field separated by a comma(,) nxqddb returns the union of those instances that match either word. In this case, the returned instances will be all Main street residents that have one of the names: Butch, Billy or Bobby.

Find a person named John Doe who likes basketball
Key in (1) John in the first name field, (2) Doe in the Last Name field and (3) Basketball in the Comments field and then press the Enter key. Be sure to press the enter key outside of the Comments field. Meaning, tab out of the comments field prior to pressing return so that nxqddb will execute the search. Remember, pressing the return key from a text area widget has a different meaning; namely, the cursor is placed on the next line.

Find all people born on May 2, 1986
Key in 05/02/86 in the Birthday field and press Enter.

Find all people born in Month of May for 1975
Key in 05/01/75-05/31/75 in the Birthday field and press Enter.
By keying a dash in a search field, nxqddb knows to perform a range search. The search results will include those instances that match the values that fall within the range specified, including the two end dates - in this case, 05/01/96 and 05/31/96.

Find all people born today
Key in today in the Birthday field and press Enter.

Find all people born yesterday
Key in today -1 day or yesterday in the birthday field and press Enter. Note, there must be a space after the word ``today'' but no space between the dash and the number one(1).

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Next: 4.2 More Advanced searches Up: 4 Searching Previous: 4 Searching

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