About data filters

When defining data sources that contain more than one record type, such as Print Image (Report) files and Multiple Record Type files, you need to be able to identify which type of record you are using at any time. In ACL you use data filters to identify the distinct record types in a file and, when necessary, to exclude unwanted records.

Data filters are used to identify portions of a data file that can be defined as records and fields for an ACL table. Data filters are defined using conditions that indicate which parts of a data file should be included in a record or excluded from the record.

When you start to create a new data filter in the Add a New Data Filter tab, an Exclude All condition is created by default which excludes all character data in the source data file and highlights all characters in black.

To define your record, you must specify at least one filter condition by selecting a character or set of characters that can be used to uniquely identify each instance of the record you want to include. When you click a data element to select it, ACL identifies it as a filter condition and adds its description to the filter conditions text box. When you create a filter condition to include a record, the black highlighting is removed from all of the lines that match the filter criteria. If there are portions of the selected record that you do not want to include in the record, you can specify another filter condition to exclude a portion of the record.

You can define more than one data filter in the same data file. A common style of report lists a header record, which could include information about a product class, followed by a number of detail records that are associated with that product class.

In this example, the header record contains additional information associated with the detail records, such as the product class number, and the product class name. To combine this information with the detail records, you need to define the fields in the header record as static fields by selecting the Static checkbox for each field in the Edit Fields/Expressions tab. When you create a new data filter, you are prompted to indicate whether the information in the record type relates to subsequent records. If you answer Yes, the fields you define in the record will have the Static checkbox selected by default. You can also select the Static checkbox for each field manually.

Related concepts
Using filters
About global filters (view filters)
About local filters (command filters)
About quick filters
Related tasks
Creating data filters
Activating data filters

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