UTILITY module is used to perform a
variety of database management tasks. These include creating new
databases, loading data into new or existing databases, modifying the
titles or passwords of existing databases and listing the contents of
existing databases. In this context an "existing" database is one
present on the list of those available for use (or active) during the
current MTDATA session. This list can be examined
from within the UTILITY module.
When databases are
first created they are empty. They may either be permanent, in which
case they should be added to the database configuration list for use in
future MTDATA sessions, or temporary in which case updating the
configuration list is probably not necessary. The database
configuration list can be updated from within the UTILITY
Data must be loaded in
to a new database from a source file, called an MTDATA
data loading file. (This may have been prepared in advance either by
means of a text editor or by obtaining a full database contents listing
from within the UTILITY module.) The same sort of
data loading file and loading procedure is used to update a database
either by adding new data items or modifying those already present. If
data for the same species or interaction are found in the data loading
file as in the target database the user will be asked to decide between
three courses of action. These are to ignore the new data, to append it
to the database under a new phase or isomer label, or to overwrite the
existing database entry. The decision may be made interactively as each
duplicate data item is encountered or globally at the start of the
loading procedure. It is strongly recommended that data loading files
are maintained independently of individual databases. The format of the database loading file is described here.
Databases may also be
given passwords and/or titles. This may be done either on creation or
during a subsequent UTILITY session. To list the
numerical data from a password protected database the appropriate
password must be supplied. This is also the case if the user wishes to
change the password or title of a protected database or load data into
a protected database.
Two forms of database
listing are available, either a full data listing or just the species
and interaction names. These can either be directed to the screen or to
a chosen output file. Each type of listing is followed by a summary of
the overall number of unaries, binary interactions and ternary
module also allows the user to obtain information about MTDATA's
"limits" (that is to say the maximum numbers of components, species and
phases for which the current version is configured) and to plot
diagrams from pre prepared MTDATA metafiles. These
files contain simple graphics instructions and are usually obtained, at
least initially, by capturing a diagram plotted from within another MTDATA
module such as MULTIPHASE or TERNARY.
The metafile can then be edited using a text editor to change labels,
line styles, axis annotation and diagram size as required.
Graphical output is
sent both to the terminal or computer screen and to a file so that the
contents can be copied to a local plotter, either from within the
program or by using operating system commands.
Brief summary of commands
allows the user to create a new (empty) database which may be added to
the list in the MTDATA database configuration file and so made
available for use (or active) in future MTDATA sessions. The database
may be assigned a password and/or given a title. Files of a specific
size may be reserved for the database by providing, on creation, a
estimate of the maximum number of datasets to be held.
LIST_DATABASE lists out the contents of a specified currently
active database either to the screen or a chosen output file. A full
data listing or just a summary of species and interaction names may be
requested. The correct password must be given in order to obtain a full
data listing from a password protected database.
LOAD_DATABASE is used to load data into a currently active
database from an MTDATA data loading file (source file). The format of the database loading file is described here. The user can
specify one of three courses of action to be taken if data already
exist in the database for a particular species or interaction found in
the loading file. The new data can be ignored, appended to the database
under a new phase or isomer name or used to overwrite the old data.
Data cannot be loaded into a password protected database unless the
correct password is given.
MODIFY_DATABASE allows the user to change the password and/or
title of a currently active database. The correct old password must be
given for a password protected database.
STATISTICS is used to obtain, on the screen, a list of the
databases active during the current MTDATA session along with a short
status report on each. This status report includes the title of each
database and information on the level of protection to which it is
LIMITS allows the user to obtain, on the screen, a list
of the maximum numbers of components, phases and species for which the
current version of MTDATA has been configured. The maximum number of
abscissa points in MULTIPHASE plots is also shown.
PLOT allows the user to plot out a diagram from a
previously created MTDATA metafile.
RETURN takes the user out of ACCESS
back to the module level.
runs a macro taken from a file. The name of the file should be
entered in quotes. Commands can also be passed through to the
operating system by prefixing them with a $ (dollar sign). The
dollar sign and operating system command should be entered within
introduction gentle introduction to using
the options available in UTILITY contains annotated
examples, each directed towards achieving a particular outcome,
showing typical combination of commands which would be necessary
to achieve that end.
summary of the commands
available can also be used as an index to obtain more detailed
help about each command.
The format of the database loading file.