Tuesday, November 20, 2007

When is "none" really something?

GTViewer provides many ways to report on geospatial information as well as view it. One seldom used but powerful method works within the Query subsystem. If you define a query with the key word "none" enclosed in less-than-greater-than brackets for the PromptText parameter, then the user is not presented with the related attribute for the PromptColumn parameter to fill out when doing a query, but the values of that attribute are returned in the query results. What a sentence!?! Let me give an example. Here is a snippet of a query definition that uses (pipe) instead of the pipe symbol and "none" instead of the word none enclosed in less-than-greater-than brackets.

PromptText(pipe)Substation Name
PromptHeading(pipe)Substation Name
PromptHeading(pipe)Feeder Number

This definition produces the following behavior: The user is presented only with the choice of submitting a Substation Name. But when the results come back on the query results form, the Feeder Number is listed along with the Substation Name.

Then the user can select the COPY button on the query results menu and paste the results into Word, Excel, or an email message as a report.

I used this technique recently to produce a report for a client of all the switches normally set to OPEN. I'm sure the resourceful readers of the GTViewer Blog will come up with more useful reports.

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