|★ APPLICATIONS ★ BUREAUTIQUE ★ CAMBASE SERIES II|8000Plus) ★|
|Cambase Serie 2||Applications Bureautique|
Conditionals are where you can set a field to only appear depending on the answer from another field; loops let you repeat the same field or series of fields over and over (say in a three tine address field) and validation is where you you specify what characters you can enter in a field.
However, throughout the early part of the manual, it hints darkly at powerful features that are only limited by your own powers of imagination. These include enticingly named features such as variables, processes and narratives.
Unfortunately the manual also only hints at how to use them. There are technical explanations but not the step by step instructions or the worked examples needed to understand these complex features.
A process is like a macro that allows you to work on records in a database - to produce data or to alter fields in the database. Say you have all your stock prices listed in a database and afterwards decide to increase all prices by 15%. With a process you could add the 15% to each value and use a variable to add up the total value of the stock. Processes also allow you to manipulate the information in a record producing the exact layout of fields you want.
But when you come to create a process you are faced with bewildering screens of blank variables, input items, derived items and output items. There are no prompts to lead you through and it does take a lot of logical deduction and trial and error to get them working.
Again it is in this section that you would use narratives -chunks of text that you can add to your output. There is, however, less than a page in the manual on the subject and no real explanation of how to use them. It is achieved by defining a narrative in the Update Narrative section, typing in the number (for example N1) in the Output Items section of the Update Processes section and following the prompts. It's not as easy as its sounds.
There are some changes to the operation of the new updated version, most notably the Copy Filespec faciiity. Cambase works by allowing you to set up a Filespec - a blueprint for your database - and then testing it thoroughly before actually committing any data to disc.
Then you 'initialise' the data disc, a process that involves deciding on the maximum number of entries your database will eventually hold. Then that part of the disc is formatted to take the correct number of entries - so that you won t run out of space unexpectedly.
This is great until you want more than the maximum number of entries in your database. And this is where Copy Filespec comes into use. You can set up a new database with potentially more entries, using the information from the original database. Or you could change the fields to suit another setup. Again this is not the easiest facility in the world to use but it does get round one potential difficulty in Cambase.
Overall a good, powerful package - though you'll need to spend a bit of time to get to know the more sophisticated features which never quite work out as easily as they sound in the manual.