Sorting records

You can sort records by one or more key fields in the active table and output the results to a new ACL table.

If you append the results to an existing ACL table, the resulting combined table is considered unsorted because the sorted records are appended to the end of the target table, without consideration of any existing sort order in the target table.

To sort records:

  1. Select Data > Sort Records.
  2. On the Main tab, do one of the following:
    • Select the field(s) to sort from the Sort On list.

    • Click Sort On to select the field(s), or to create an expression.

    If you select more than one field, the order in which you select the fields dictates the nested sorting priority. The records are sorted by the first field you select, and if there are multiple occurrences of a value in the first field, the records within the group are then sorted by the second field you select, and so on. If you do not select additional fields, records within a group retain their original sort order relative to one another.

    Regardless of the order in which you select fields, the column order in the resulting table is the same as the column order in the active table.

    For information about sorting using expressions and computed fields, see Sorting and indexing using computed fields.

  3. If you clicked Sort On, you can optionally specify a descending sort order in the output results for one or more selected fields by clicking the sort arrow (the default is ascending).
  4. If there are records in the current view that you want to exclude from processing, enter a condition in the If text box, or click If to create an IF statement using the Expression Builder.

    The IF statement considers all records in the view and filters out those that do not meet the specified condition.

  5. If you are connected to a server table, do one of the following:
    • Select Local to save the output table to the same location as the project, or to specify a path or navigate to a different local folder.

    • Leave Local deselected to save the output table to the Prefix folder on the ACL Server.

      Note

      For output results produced from analysis or processing of ACL Analytics Exchange server tables, select Local. You cannot use the Local setting to import results tables to ACL Analytics Exchange Server.

  6. Do one of the following:
    • In the To text box, specify the name of the ACL table that will contain the output results.

    • Click To and specify the ACL table name, or select an existing table in the Save or Save File As dialog box to overwrite or append to the table.

    If ACL prefills a table name, you can accept the prefilled name, or change it.

    You can also specify an absolute or relative file path, or navigate to a different folder, to save or append the table in a location other than the project location. For example: C:\Results\Output.fil or Results\Output.fil. Regardless of where you save or append the table, it is added to the open project if it is not already in the project.

  7. Select or deselect Use Output Table depending on whether or not you want the ACL table containing the output results to open automatically upon completion of the operation.
  8. Click the More tab.
  9. Select the appropriate option in the Scope panel.
    • All – This option is selected by default. Leave it selected to specify that all records in the view will be processed.

    • First – Select this option and enter a number in the text box to start processing at the first record in the view and include only the specified number of records.

    • Next – Select this option and enter a number in the text box to start processing at the currently selected record in the view and include only the specified number of records. The actual record number in the leftmost column must be selected, not data in the row.

    • While – Select this option to use a WHILE statement to limit the processing of records in the view based on a particular criterion or set of criteria. You can enter a condition in the While text box, or click While to create a WHILE statement using the Expression Builder.

      A WHILE statement allows records in the view to be processed only while the specified condition evaluates to true. As soon as the condition evaluates to false, the processing terminates, and no further records are considered. You can use the While option in conjunction with the All, First, or Next options.

    Note

    The number of records specified in the First or Next options references either the physical or the indexed order of records in a table, and disregards any filtering or quick sorting applied to the view. However, results of analytical operations respect any filtering.

    If a view is quick sorted, Next behaves like First.

  10. If you want to append the output results to the end of an existing ACL table, do one of the following:
    • Select Append To Existing File if you are certain the output results and the existing table are identical in structure.

    • Leave Append To Existing File deselected if you want ACL to compare the record lengths of the output results and the existing table. If the record lengths are not identical, the data structure is not identical.

    Note

    Leaving Append To Existing File deselected is recommended if you are uncertain about the data structure. For more information about appending and data structure, see Appending results to ACL tables and text files.

  11. Click OK.
  12. If the overwrite prompt appears, select the appropriate option.

    If you are expecting the Append option to appear and it does not, click No to cancel the operation and see Appending results to ACL tables and text files.

Related concepts
Saving results and specifying results output folders
About sorting


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