Friday, March 27, 2015

GoldMine : Discovering the xBase Expression Tester

Ah, secrets! Is there nothing more mysterious? For instance, did you know that you can use CTRL-ESC to mimic a windows key? Try it. Right now. Isn't that awesome?

There is a correspondingly cool secret in GoldMine; the xBase Expression Tester. (I still can't bring myself to call it dBase - xBase just sounds so much more cool)

In GoldMine (requires MASTER rights), hit;

CTRL-SHIFT-D

to invoke the Expression Tester.

The idea is to enter an expression in the top half and evaluate it against the Current Contact Record. So, the expression;

CONTACT1->CONTACT

should return the Primary Conract of the Current Contact Record. Caps are mine, lowercase is fine.

So now we can start using all those neat dBase functions like MID, LEFT, TRIM. For instance,

LEFT(CONTACT1->CONTACT, 5) returns the first five characters of Contact.

AT(" ", CONTACT1->CONTACT) returns the numerical character position of the first occurrence of " " within Contact.

So, to get fancy, we could do this;

LEFT(CONTACT1->CONTACT,  AT(" ", CONTACT1->CONTACT)) to return only the First Name of the Contact.

Once you're happy with an Expression, they can be used in;

- Merge Documents
- Filters
- Global Replace
...just to name a few.

Even if you don't have a serious need for this, you can't deny it's pretty awesome. 

More dBase documentation than you could imagine can be found here;
http://support.frontrange.com/kbcontent/Goldmine/pdf/6.5/UsingdBaseExpressions.pdf

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