Techniques For Using BRIAN

Lookup Fields

The idea behind lookup fields is to allow users to save keystrokes and take advantage of the relational nature of the database. Often times, when entering data in a field, you are really selecting data already entered into the database. For instance, the song field on the Performances tab of the Sessions window will only accept songs titles already data entered in the Songs/Personnel/Labels window. When a user types a song title in that field, BRIAN will use what is typed in the field to "lookup" the song already entered on the database and get that information.

Lookup Fields are identified in windows as the ones that have their identifying label underlined. There are some fields in windows that are lookup fields only when the window is in read mode and some that are lookup fields only when the window is in edit mode. Look for the underline in the label to know when a field is behaving as a lookup field.

Entering data with a lookup field

The following example demonstrates the use of the label name lookup field on the Sessions window. For the sake of space, we are only showing the top portion of the Sessions window.

The first illustration shows an in progress edit of the session with the label field blank and ready for typing.

Lookup demo


The next illustration shows the user has typed in 2 characters, "ca". This causes a drop down list to appear containing any label that begins with the first 2 letters of "ca". Of course, there are many that begin with "ca", but the list only shows the first 5.

Lookup demo


If the user needs to use the Capitol label, then he enters more characters to narrow the list. The next illustration show what happens when one additional character, "p", is entered. At this point, the user can select Capitol from the list.

Lookup demo


Below shows what the window will look like after Capitol is selected. Remember, entries cannot be fully typed into a lookup field, they can only be selected from a list. In this case, if the needed label was not found in the lookup list, the user would then need to go to the Labels tab of the Songs/Personnel/Labels window and enter a new label into the database.

Lookup demo


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Edit Modes

Windows are used for viewing data (read mode) or for adding and changing data (edit mode.) There are two edit modes and each window uses one or the other.

3 Step Edit Mode

The 3 steps for this mode are:

Activate the edit mode.
This is done by pressing the NEW or EDIT button on the window.
Enter the data.
Fill in the fields and/or select from popups as appropriate.
Save or cancel the changes.
This is done by pressing the SAVE or CANCEL button on the window.

2 Step Edit Mode

The 2 steps for this mode are:

Enter and/or change the data.
Fill in the fields and/or select from popups as appropriate. In most cases, the entry will be done over existing data in the fields.
Save the changes.
This is done by pressing the appropriate button on the window to save, change or remove the data showing in the window.