Creating expressions using the Expression Builder

The Expression Builder provides a standard interface for creating and modifying expressions. The Expression Builder dialog box is displayed as needed when you work in ACL. The dialog box is available in the following locations:

In some cases, the location where the Expression Builder is opened from determines the type of expression you can build. In the locations listed in the first three bullet points above you must create logical expressions.

To create an expression:

  1. In the Expression Builder dialog box, complete one or more of the following steps to build an expression.

    The expression you are building is displayed in the Expression text box. When you double-click a button or list item in the dialog box, the corresponding text is inserted where the cursor is located in the Expression text box. For example, if you want add a multiplication sign between two fields, insert the cursor between the two fields in the text box before clicking the multiply button.

    • Double-click a field name in the Available Fields list. If you are working with a table that has related tables, you can select the table to add fields from in the From Table drop-down list.

    • Click a logical or mathematical operator button to insert the operator.

    • Click the Date & Time button and use the Date & Time Selector dialog box to insert a valid date, datetime, or time.

    • Double-click a filter name in the Filters list, or a variable name in the Variables list.

    • Double-click a function name in the Functions list.

      You can use the Functions drop-down list to filter the functions displayed to a particular type. If the Paste Parameters checkbox is selected the complete function syntax is copied, but you need to replace the parameter placeholders with the fields or values to use. You also need to remove the angle brackets (< >) around any optional parameters you are including, or remove the optional parameters if you are not using them. For information on each of the functions listed see the Functions section in the ACL Language Reference.

    • Enter all or part of the expression manually in the Expression text box.

  2. Click Verify to validate the expression you entered. The expression is checked to ensure that the syntax is correct and that the expression returns the correct value type, if a particular type is required.
  3. Complete one of the following steps to create the expression:
    1. If you want to save the expression permanently, enter a name in the Save As text box and click OK. The name of the expression is copied into the text box for the field you accessed the Expression Builder from. If you are creating a variable you must provide a name.
    2. Click OK to create the expression without saving it permanently. The expression is copied into the text box for the field you accessed the Expression Builder from.

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