Field Properties Panel¶
In this document, we will discuss the Field Properties Panel and various options it offers in Astera ReportMiner. But first, let us briefly discuss the concept of data fields.
What is a Data Field?¶
A data field is the area within a data region containing the useful information. It captures data points and writes them in the columns of a table.
Data fields, together with data regions, make up the template for extracting information from unstructured source files.
Field Properties Panel¶
Once a data field is added within a data region, a Field Properties panel will appear right above the designer, providing options for basic configuration settings.
Field Properties Options¶
The Field Properties panel allows users to customize the captured data fields with the help of the following options in the toolbar:
Move field marker left one character: This option moves field marker towards left by one character.
Move field marker right one character: This option moves field marker towards right by one character.
Decrease field length by one character: This option allows user to decrease the field length by one character.
Increase field length by one character: This option allows user to increase the field length by one character.
Auto determine field length: This option allows user to determine the length of selected data field automatically.
Delete field: This option deletes the selected data field.
Name: Allows user to assign a name to a data field. You can type in any name depending on the content of the extracted data points. The assigned field name must be unique and without spaces in between.
Data Type: Provides the option to specify the data type of the field, such as string, real, date, etc.
Note: The data type of every data field appears next to the field name in the Model Layout tab.
Format: Allows user to change the format of a date field.
Composite Type: Resolves a composite field such as full address or full name into parsed components.
Composite data contains details about a record that can be further split into smaller elements. For example, a record about a customer transaction might contain a date field. Date fields are processed by a built-in parser that splits the date into hour, day, month, year etc.
Value If Null: Performs action in cases where the extracted field value is null.
- None: This is the default setting. If None is selected, no action is taken to replace the value in an empty cell. For example, if the field has some null records, the cells within the field are displayed as empty in the preview.
- Apply Specified Default: A specific string value can be assigned in case the extracted data point is null. When the program finds a null value, the specified value will appear in the output instead of an empty cell.
- Use from Previous Record: Returns the value of the previous record in the same data field.
You can find some additional options in this section to clean the extracted data.
Let’s discuss the available options.
Size and Position Options¶
In this section, you can specify the size and position of a data field.
The Start Position option allows users to define the start position of a data field.
Fixed: Set a fixed start position of a data field from where you select the data field while capturing it.
Follows String in the Current Line: Set the position of a data field to start after the specified string in the same line.
Follows String in the Previous Line: Set the position of a data field to start after the specified string in its preceding line.
Case Sensitive: Allows users to search the specified string on a case sensitive basis.
Regular Expression: Allows users to use a regular expression to search the string followed by the data field.
The user can define multiple strings separated by commas to define the Start Position.
Note: These two options are only enabled when the selected Start Position is either Follows String in the Current Line or Follows String in the Previous Line. Both options are applicable on the string specified in the text box.
Line/Column: There is an invisible grid with coordinates that overlay every report model. These coordinates can be used to specify the start position of a data field in a report model by referencing a certain line and column.
The values for Selection Length, Line, and Column can be found at the bottom-right corner of the report model when a point/area on the source file, opened in the designer, is selected.
Length: This menu allows users to set the length of a data field. You can select from the following options:
- Characters: Allows users to set the length of a data field up to a certain number of characters. For example, if the value for this option is set to 5 for a data field, James123 will be extracted as James.
- Ends At Two Consecutive Blanks: Ends a data field once it reaches two consecutive blank characters.
- Till the End Of Line: Ends a data field on the last character in the line.
- Till Specified String: Ends a data field once it reaches a specified string.
Height: This menu allows users to set the height of a data field. You can select from the following options:
- Line Count: Set the height of the data field to a certain number of lines.
- Till Blank Row: Ends the data field once a blank row is reached.
- Ends At Row With Blank First Character: Ends the data field once it reaches a row starting with a blank character (a space).
- Ends at Row with Blank Last Character: Ends the data field once it reaches a row ending with a blank character (a space).
- Till Region Ends: The data field continues till the end of its data region. This option determines the height of a data field based on the height of the data region.
Note: The default height of data fields is set to Line Count.
This is how you can use the options available in the Field Properties panel to configure the settings that help you capture the data points in a field.