|By Richard (Rik) Brooks||
|January 24, 2013 10:15 AM EST||
Every programmer knows about the IF command. It's pretty much a fundamental part of the syntax of every computer language that has ever existed. I don't need to explain how it works.
The DataWindow can't use the IF command though. It does, however, support an IF function.
IF(expression, TRUE, FALSE)
In its simplest form this means that if the expression evaluates to TRUE, then whatever statement you supply for the TRUE part is executed. If not then the FALSE part is.
Let's begin with a simple example. Let's create a DataWindow that will show employee information. Here is the SQL for it:
FROM employee employee_a,
WHERE ( employee_a.dept_id = department.dept_id ) and
( employee_a.manager_id = employee_b.emp_id )
ORDER BY department.dept_name ASC,
We will use this to show employee information and to show the manager's name of the employee (that's the employee_b part. Also notice that I named the employee and manager names so that I won't get confused when I get back to the DataWindow painter.
Also notice that I am sorting first by department name then the name of the employee. The reason for this will become obvious later.
Let's Start with a Green Bar
We have a lot to work with here. First there will be quite a few rows. When you have a lot of rows it becomes hard to keep your eye on one row as you go across the screen. It's easy to make mistakes. Green bar paper was meant to help that. Green bar paper is paper that has green bars printed across it. Those green bars help the eye stay on whatever row it's seeing.
In other words, green bar paper helps the reader keep on the same line.
That could come in handy for us. We don't have to use green for the color and in fact I've always liked to use a pale yellow. That way the color doesn't get in the way of the text. We can still use colors for the text and use the yellow to line up the data.
We create our DataWindow using the SQL given above. The first thing that I do is delete everything from the surface of the DataWindow. A Ctrl-A (for all) and then the delete key handles that quite nicely.
Now for the Pale Yellow
We need a custom color. The lightest of the yellows is not pale enough. Colors are defined by Red, Green, and Blue. Each of the colors can be a value of 0 (complete lack) to 255 (brightest). If you want a bright red that would be 255, 0, 0. If you want white that would be 255, 255, 255. Black would be 0, 0, 0. All of the dark colors would be half of 255.
If you think about it you can come up with a lot of different shades. Since yellow is red and green we want full red, full green, and 75% blue. That would be 255 * .75 or 191. There's no need to be concerned with fractions here.
Go to Design in the menu then select Custom Colors.
Notice where the figure says to click there first. That way you define where your custom color goes. Once you've selected that go over to the right and type in your values for red, green, and blue. Now you have a custom color that you can use forever. Of course you can change that color any time but since you have 16 custom colors you can probably have all your favorites there.
Back to the DataWindow
Okay, now we have a DataWindow from which we have deleted everything. To do the green bar we need a rectangle object. Simply place it on the screen and stretch it out to be as long as you think the row will be. Set the foreground and background colors to be your new pale yellow custom color. Make sure that the rectangle is taller than your row will be. You will eventually slide the detail band up to cover it.
Take a look at Figure 2. You should move the rectangle as close to the top of the detail band as you can. Here's a hint. Select the rectangle by clicking on it. Drag it all the way to the left. Then, using the up arrow, move it toward the top of the detail band one keystroke at a time. Eventually you will hit the up arrow and the rectangle will vanish. It has gone into the header band. Hit a down arrow and it comes back. It will then be as close to the top as possible.
Figure 2 points out that you should leave some space between the bottom of the rectangle and the detail band. We will move the detail band up later, making the rectangle neatly fill the entire detail area.
The next step is to implement the green bar. What we will do is have the rectangle be invisible on every other line. It really doesn't matter whether the rectangle is visible on the even or odd lines. I guess it's a matter of choice. Personally, if we are going to have column headers I like to start with the rectangle. That way we don't have a large white area at the top.
Again, it doesn't really matter though.
How do we do this? We find the visible property of the rectangle. If that property is 1, then the rectangle is visible. If it is 0 then it's not.
That means that we need the IF function. It needs to be:
IF(odd_row, 1, 0)
That's not so bad. If the row is an odd number, set the visible property to 1, otherwise to 0.
The next question is how in the world do we find out if the row is odd? Well, there is a function that we can use called Mod(x, y). The x is the number that you want to divide by y. The y is the number you want to divide into x. Mod will return the remainder of the operation.
For example, mod(13, 4) will return 1. 13 / 4 = 3 with a remainder of 1.
If we can know the current row we can use a mod(currentRow(), 2). If this returns a 1, the row is odd. Otherwise it's even.
Figure 3 shows you the properties for the selected rectangle. You can see that the Visible property is circled. See the little button to the right of it? Whenever you see one of those the property can have an expression. Click on that button.
Now look at Figure 4. It shows the dialog that you use to create your expressions. Notice that we are setting the expression for the rectangle. I also wanted to point to the list of available functions. You can see the CurrentRow() function in the list of functions. In our case I am showing you where I got it. The Mod function (which I also used) is farther down in the list but it's there.
Over to the bottom right you can see a list of all of the columns in the DataWindow. If we wanted to we could make the visibility of the rectangle dependent on the value of one of the columns. For example, we could have said:
if(employee_status = 'L', 1, 0)
In that case the rectangle would only be visible for every employee that was on leave. In fact, since there are three possible statuses of each employee we could have three different rectangles, each with a different color and set each dependent on the status. That way our DataWindow would show a different background for each status.
Let's not do that though.
What we did was to use a function that would allow us to turn on the rectangle for odd numbered rows and turn it back off for even rows. Let's look at that expression:
if(mod(getrow(), 2) = 0, 0, 1)
The getRow provides us with the current row. The mod function will return the remainder of the getRow() / 2. Thus, for row 1 we will get:
if(mod(1, 2) = 0, 0, 1
for row 2 we will get:
if(mod(2,2) = 0, 0, 1)
This will result in us getting a visible rectangle for every other row. That's exactly what we wanted. Now we can populate our DataWindow with the columns that we want in the order that we want. I really like using computed fields for columns that I don't intend the user to change, especially names. So my first column will be the user name. I set that up as a computed field.
employee_employee_last_name + ', ' + employee_employee_first_name
Now the name will be properly formatted (see Figure 5).
That looks a lot better than putting the two names on the DataWindow and having a variable space between the first and last.
Now let's put the manager on the DataWindow. The expression for that would be:
'Manager: ' + employee_manager_last_name + ', ' + employee_manager_first_name
Let's use the status of the employee. If the employee is terminated let's make their name red. If they are on leave, let's make them gray. If they are active, let's leave it black.
To do this we need to do an expression for the foreground color of the name computed field. Select that computed field then in the properties find the foreground color. In case you are having problems I will provide help (see Figure 6).
The expression for that will be a lot more complex. We will need to use another function called RGB.
The RGB function takes three arguments, each of which are integers from 0-255. They are, in order, Red, Green, and Blue.
Here will be the expression. I know it looks complicated but don't worry, we'll take it apart.
if( employee_status = 'A', 0, if( employee_status = 'L', RGB(127,127,127), RGB(255,0,0)))
This says, if the employee status is A (active) then the color will be 0. That would be black. The FALSE part of the IF function is another IF function. This one says that if the employee status is L, the color needs to be 127,127,127. That means each of the colors is only half bright. This gives us gray. Otherwise, if the employee status is anything other than A or L, it should be bright red.
That's all there is to it. This will serve us very well.
There's usually more than one way.
We could make this easier to code and easier to maintain. Expressions can use global functions so we could write a function like the following:
Long f_status_color(string as_status)
choose case UPPER(as_status)
return RGB(127, 127, 127)
return RGB(255, 0, 0)
Then replace that complex if function with the following:
f_status_color( employee_status )
That is so much easier. The only down-side is that if you make a habit of this, you wind up with a lot of functions. Of course you could put them all in their own PBL and they would be out of the way.
Are we done yet?
Well, not really. We haven't done anything with the department. We have sorted by the department so let's create a control break on the department.
Control Break is what we called a Group back in the days when I went to college. Select Rows and Create Group from the menu, then drag the Department Name over to the Columns as in shown in Figure 7.
Now all we have to do is throw the DataWindow into a window, add two lines, one to set the transaction object and the other to set retrieve the DataWindow and we are done (seem Figure 8). Most of the functionality is inside the DataWindow, right where it should be.
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo – to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – is now accepting Hackathon proposals. Hackathon sponsorship benefits include general brand exposure and increasing engagement with the developer ecosystem. At Cloud Expo 2014 Silicon Valley, IBM held the Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held the DevOps Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of...
May. 25, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,475
Grow your business with enterprise wearable apps using SAP Platforms and Google Glass. SAP and Google just launched the SAP and Google Glass Challenge, an opportunity for you to innovate and develop the best Enterprise Wearable App using SAP Platforms and Google Glass and gain valuable market exposure. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian McPhail, Senior Director of Business Development, ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, outlined the timeline of the SAP Google Glass Challenge and the opportunity for developers, start-ups, and companies of all sizes to engage with SAP today.
May. 25, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,012
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
May. 25, 2015 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 6,779
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
May. 25, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,301
SYS-CON Events announced today that Liaison Technologies, a leading provider of data management and integration cloud services and solutions, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Liaison Technologies is a recognized market leader in providing cloud-enabled data integration and data management solutions to break down complex information barriers, enabling enterprises to make smarter decisions, faster.
May. 25, 2015 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 5,406
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
May. 25, 2015 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,512
Hadoop as a Service (as offered by handful of niche vendors now) is a cloud computing solution that makes medium and large-scale data processing accessible, easy, fast and inexpensive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Kumar Ramamurthy, Vice President and Chief Technologist, EIM & Big Data, at Virtusa, will discuss how this is achieved by eliminating the operational challenges of running Hadoop, so one can focus on business growth. The fragmented Hadoop distribution world and various PaaS solutions that provide a Hadoop flavor either make choices for customers very flexible in the name of opti...
May. 25, 2015 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,972
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
May. 24, 2015 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,101
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
May. 24, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,471
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
May. 24, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,915
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
May. 24, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,280
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
May. 24, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,928
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT.
May. 24, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,564
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
May. 24, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,131
Every day we read jaw-dropping stats on the explosion of data. We allocate significant resources to harness and better understand it. We build businesses around it. But we’ve only just begun. For big payoffs in Big Data, CIOs are turning to cognitive computing. Cognitive computing’s ability to securely extract insights, understand natural language, and get smarter each time it’s used is the next, logical step for Big Data.
May. 24, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,221
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
May. 24, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,036
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
May. 24, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,694
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
May. 24, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,592
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
May. 24, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,632
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
May. 24, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,852