VA FileMan V. 22.0 Programmer Manual Banner


Main Chapter Getting Started Manual Advanced User Manual

Global File Structure

Attribute Dictionary: Field Definition 0-Node

Each entry in the attribute dictionary is a descriptor of one of the data fields in the file. VA FileMan always assigns the internal number .01 to the NAME field and lets you assign numbers to the other fields. The attribute dictionary stores the definition of each field descendent from the node ^DD(filenumber,fieldnumber). Crucial information about the field is stored in:


Every field has this 0-node defined in the attribute dictionary.

In our example, the EMPLOYEE file has four fields in addition to the NAME field: SEX, BIRTHDATE, DEPARTMENT, and SKILL. SKILL is multiple-valued. Let us suppose that the attribute dictionary for this file is stored in:


Piece 1 The field's label is always found as the first ^-piece in subscript zero. Thus, for our example, you would have:


Piece 2 A string containing any of the following letters and symbols:

character meaning
a The field has been marked for auditing all the time.
e The auditing is only on edit or delete.
A For multiples, a user entering a new subentry is not Asked for verification.
BC The data is Boolean Computed (true or false).
C The data is Computed.
Cm The data is multiline Computed.
D The data is Date-valued.
DC The data is Date-valued, Computed.
F The data is Free text.
I The data is uneditable.
Jn To specify a print length of n characters.
Jn,d To specify printing n characters with decimals.
K The data is M code.
M For Multiples, after selecting or adding a subentry, the user is asked for another subentry.
N The data is Numeric-valued.
O The field has an OUTPUT transform.
Pn The data is a Pointer reference to file "n".
Pn' LAYGO to the Pointed-to file is not allowed.
R Entry of data is Required.
S The data is from a discrete Set of codes.
V The data is a Variable pointer.
W The data is Word processing.
WL The Word processing data is normally printed in Line mode (i.e., without word wrap).
X Editing is not allowed under the Modify File Attributes option because the INPUT transform has been modified by the Input Transform option on the Utility Functions submenu.
* If there is a screen associated with a pointer or set of codes data type.

NOTE: The second ^-piece begins with the subfile number if the field is a multiple.

Piece 3 Only contains data for Pointer and Set of Codes data types. In those cases, the data is:

Pointer The global root of the pointed-to file.
Set of Codes The set of codes of allowed responses and their meanings.

Piece 4 One of the following, based on the kind of data storage:

Piece 5 M code to check an input in the variable X. If the input is invalid, the variable X is killed by the code. This is the field's INPUT transform. In the case of a computed field, the code creating the variable X is stored here. (Pieces following the fifth piece are part of this M code.)


Reviewed/Updated: March 10, 2007