QUERY() Popup Interactive query by example condition

  <cQuery> => macro expandable logical condition


  A point and shoot condition builder. Complex
  conditions are allowed with multiple .and./.or. Called without
  parameters, all fields in the current dbf are presented for condition

  [aFields,aDesc,aTypes] give field array, field
  description and field types.These, if passed will be used in
  place of the default of all dbf fields. (pass all or none)

  [cQuitTo] is a 'quit to' phrase. Default exit option
  is 'Quit'. 'Quit to' phrase will be tacked to the end of this .
  i.e. "Quit"+quit_to  [ Quit to Report Writer ]

  [lUseBuildex] determines whether BUILDEX() expression
  builder will be available from QUERY(). Default is not.


   aFields := {"fname", "lname",  "mi" }
   aFdesc  := {"First", "Last",  "Middle" }
   aTypes  := {"C","C","C"}
   cFilt   := QUERY(aFields,aFdesc,aTypes,nil,.t.)

   count for &cFilt  to nCount

   // or (preferably)
   count for eval( sls_bquery() ) to nCount

  Query always stores the current query with the
  function SLS_QUERY(). Calling SLS_QUERY() will return the
  currently stored query string. SLS_BQUERY() returns the query as
  a codeblock. Remember to clear sls_query()/sls_bquery() when
  changing DBFs.


See also : SLS_BQUERY(), SLS_QUERY()





  PURGEM() Deletes records



  Deletes records of the currently opened DBF.

   if lClean_em_up
       select 0
       use QUERIES

  This is intended for those small system files created
  by QUERY(), FORMLETR(), LISTER() etc.

  No PACKING is done.



Database Terms

Alias :

The name of a work area; an alternate name given to a database file. Aliases are often used to give database files descriptive names and are assigned when the database file is opened. If no alias is specified when the database file is USEd, the name of the database file becomes the alias.

An alias can be used to reference both fields and expressions (including user-defined functions). In order to alias an expression, the expression must be enclosed in parentheses.

See also : Work Area

Attribute :

As a formal DBMS term, refers to a column or field in a table or database file.

See Also: Column, Field

Beginning of File :

The top of the database file. In Clipper language there is no beginning of file area or record. Instead, it is indicated by BOF() returning true (.T.) if an attempt is made to move the record pointer above the first record in the database file or the database file is empty.

Cell :

In a table, a cell is the intersection of a Row and a Column.

Column :

A database term used to describe a field in a table or database file.

See Also: Field

Concurrency :

The degree to which data can be accessed by more than one user at the same time.

Condition :

A logical expression that determines whether an operation will take place. With database commands, a logical expression that determines what records are included in an operation. Conditions are specified as arguments of the FOR or WHILE clause.

See Also: Scope

Controlling/Master Index :

The index currently being used to refer to records by key value or sequential record movement commands.

See Also: Index, Natural Order

Database :

An aggregation of related operational data used by an application system. A database can contain one or more data files or tables.

See Also: Field, Record, Tuple, View


An acronym for the term database management system. A DBMS is a software system that mediates access to a database through a data manipulation language.

Delimited File :

A text file that contains variable-length database records with each record separated by a carriage return/linefeed pair (CHR(13) + CHR(10)) and terminated with an end of file mark (CHR(26)). Each field within a delimited file is variable length, not padded with either leading or trailing spaces, and separated by a comma. Character strings are optionally delimited to allow for embedded commas.

End of File :

The bottom of a database file. In Clipper language, this is LASTREC() + 1 and is indicated by EOF() returning true (.T.).

Field :

The basic column unit of a database file. A field has four attributes: name, type, length, and decimals if the type is numeric.

See Also: Database, Record, Tuple, Vector, View

Field Variable :

A variable that refers to data in a database field, as opposed to data in memory.

See Also: Local Variable, Memory Variable, Variable

Index :

An ordered set of key values that provides a logical ordering of the records in an associated database file. Each key in an index is associated with a particular record in the database file. The records can be processed sequentially in key order, and any record can be located by performing a SEEK operation with the associated key value.

See Also: Controlling/Master Index, Key Value, Natural Order

Join :

An operation that takes two tables as operands and produces one table as a result. It is, in fact, a combination of other operations including selection and projection.

See Also: Projection, Selection

Key Expression :

An expression, typically based on one or more database fields, that when evaluated, yields a key value for a database record. Key expressions are most often used to create indexes or for summarization operations.

See Also: Index, Key Value

Key Value :

The value produced by evaluating a key expression. When placed in an index, a key value identifies the logical position of the associated record in its database file.

See Also: Index, Key Expression

Master Index :

The index currently being used to refer to records by key value or sequential record movement commands.

See Also : Controlling/Master Index

Memo Type :

A special database field type consisting of one or more characters in the extended character set. The maximum size of a memo field In Clipper language is 65,534 bytes. A memo field differs only from a character string by the fact it is stored in a separate memo (.DBT file) and the field length is variable-length.

See Also: Character String

Natural Order :

For a database file, the order determined by the sequence in which records were originally entered into the file. Also called unindexed order.

See Also: Index

Normalization :

The process of elimination and consolidation of redundant data elements in a database system.

Projection :

A DBMS term specifying a subset of fields. In Clipper, the analogy is the FIELDS clause.

See Also: Join Selection

Query :

A request for information to be retrieved from a database. Alternately, a data structure in which such a request is encoded.

Record :

The basic row unit of a database file consisting of one or more field elements.

See Also: Database, Field, Table, Tuple

Relation :

A link between database files that allows the record pointer to move in more than one database file based on the value of a common field or expression. This allows information to be accessed from more than one database file at a time.

Relational Database System :

A system that stores data in rows and columns, without system dependencies within the data. In other words, relationships between different databases are not stored in the actual database itself, as is the case in a system that uses record pointers.

Row :

A group of related column or field values that are treated as a single entity. It is the same as a Clipper language record.

See Also: Column, Field, Record

Search Condition :

See : Condition, Scope

Scope :

In a database command, a clause that specifies a range of database records to be addressed by the command. The scope clause uses the qualifiers ALL, NEXT, RECORD, and REST to define the record scope.

See Also: Condition

SDF File :

A text file that contains fixed-length database records with each record separated by a carriage return/linefeed pair (CHR(13) + CHR(10)) and terminated with an end of file mark (CHR(26)). Each field within an SDF file is fixed-length with character strings padded with trailing spaces and numeric values padded with leading spaces. There are no field separators.

See Also: Database, Delimited File, Text File

Selection :

A DBMS term that specifies a subset of records meeting a condition. The selection itself is obtained with a selection operator. In Clipper language, the analogy is the FOR clause.

Separator :

The character or set of characters that differentiate fields or records from one another. In Clipper language, the DELIMITED and SDF file types have separators. The DELIMITED file uses a comma as the field separator and a carriage return/linefeed pair as the record separator. The SDF file type has no field separator, but also uses a carriage return/linefeed pair as the record separator.

See Also: Delimiter

Sort Order :

Describes the various ways database files and arrays are ordered.

. Ascending

Causes the order of data in a sort to be from lowest value to highest value.

. Descending

Causes the order of data in a sort to be from highest value to lowest value.

. Chronological

Causes data in a sort to be ordered based on a date value, from earliest to most recent.


Causes data in a sort to be ordered according to the ASCII Code values of the data to be sorted.

. Dictionary

The data in a sort is ordered in the way it would appear if the items sorted were entries in a dictionary of the English language.

. Collating Sequence

Data in a sort will be placed in sequence following the order of characters in the Extended Character Set.

. Natural

The order in which data was entered into the database.

Table :

A DBMS term defining a collection of column definitions and row values. In Clipper, it is represented and referred to as a database file.

Tuple :

A formal DBMS term that refers to a row in a table or a record in a database file. In DIF files, tuple also refers to the equivalent of a table record.

See Also: Database, Field, Record

Update :

The process of changing the value of fields in one or more records. Database fields are updated by various commands and the assignment operator.

Vector :

In a DIF file, vector refers to the equivalent of a table field.

See Also: Database, Field, Record, Tuple

View :

A DBMS term that defines a virtual table. A virtual table does not actually exist but is derived from existing tables and maintained as a definition. The definition in turn is maintained in a separate file or as an entry in a system dictionary file. In Clipper, views are supported only by DBU.EXE and are maintained in (.vew) files.

See Also: Database, Field, Record

Work Area :

The basic containment area of a database file and its associated indexes. Work areas can be referred to by alias name, number, or a letter designator.

See Also: Alias

General Terms


An acronym for the American Standard Code for Information Interchange, the agreed upon standard for representing characters (alphabetic, symbolic, etc.) in the memory of the computer.

Binary :

The numerical base upon which computer programs are modeled. Also referred to as base 2, it is a mathematical way of representing the electrical circuitry upon which computers operate. A 0 represents an off state, and a 1 indicates an on state. A combination of eight ons and offs are used to express bytes of program or data in memory.

See Also: Byte

Buffer :

A temporary data storage location in memory. As an example, a disk input-output buffer is an area of memory that stores data read from the disk to temporary locations while processing it.

Byte :

Eight bits of data, the smallest unit of information stored in the computer’s memory. As an example, one byte is required to represent one ASCII character.

Character :

A letter, digit, punctuation mark, or special symbol stored and processed by the computer.

See Also: ASCII String

Delimiter :

A character or other symbol that marks a boundary.

Destination :

The work area, file, or device to which data is sent.

Device :

Either an actual physical component of the computer system such as printer or a DOS handle that refers to it (e.g., PRN:), or a logical device that behaves and is addressed the same way as a physical device (e.g., a print spooler).

Disk :

A magnetic storage medium designed for long-term storage. Disks come in two varieties: hard disks (fast but fixed) or floppy disks (slow but removable). A disk can be partitioned into multiple volumes, each containing a tree-structured directory system that holds files accessible by programs.

See Also: Directory, File, Volume

Dynamic :

Used generically to refer to data or algorithms that change with time. Often used specifically to describe algorithms that automatically adjust to prevailing conditions.

Formfeed :

A special character (CHR(12)) that by convention causes most printers to move the printhead to the top of the next page.

See Also: Hard Carriage Return Linefeed

Hard Carriage Return :

An explicit carriage return character at the end of a line in a text file, as opposed to a soft carriage return that might be inserted into text by a program designed to handle word wrapping. A hard carriage return character is generated by the expression (CHR(13)) where a soft carriage return character is generated with the expression (CHR(141)).

Hexadecimal :

A representation of a value in base 16 rather than decimal which is base 10. Hexadecimal values are easily converted to and from binary (base 2) which is the form of data the computer actually uses. Hexadecimal values are represented by digits zero through nine and A through F for values between 10 and 15.

Extended Character Set :

The character set built into the ROM of the PC. This character set is a superset of ASCII, containing additional special characters (such as a line drawing character set) that may be used to enhance your program screens.

Linefeed :

A special character (CHR(10)) that by convention causes the cursor or printhead to move to the next line or to terminate a line in a text file. It is usually used in combination with a hard carriage return.

See Also: Formfeed, Hard Carriage Return

Port :

A designation for the hardware that allows the processor to communicate with peripheral devices.

Query :

A query is also a general term used when you want to interrogate a setting or an exported instance variable for its current value.

Queue :

A data structure of variable length where elements are added to one end and retrieved from the other. A queue is often described as first in, first out.

See Also: Print Spooler, Stack

Soft Carriage Return :

A carriage return that is introduced into text usually in order to implement some sort of wrap operation, as opposed to a Hard Carriage Return that was specifically entered into the text when it was created.

Stack :

A data structure of variable length whose elements are added and retrieved from the same end. A stack is often described as first in, last out.

See Also: Queue