DataPower Features

Easy to Use

DataPower is a user friendly DTP style multimedia database. It has been extensively tested in both the classroom and in regular office use. DataPower has been carefully designed to be easy to use whilst still incorporating all the powerful features you would expect from a top database. This ensures that as an experienced or inexperienced user, you can be quickly up and running with full control over your data.
To create a database, you simply open a new window, click once to place your fields on the page, then type in the field name. When you are finished, you simply save it and it is ready for you to enter your data. At anytime, you can go back, add or delete any fields, or change the appearance, however you like.

Powerful Form Designer

DataPower has a built-in 'form designer' with DTP style borders and frames that lets you lay out the pages of your databases, just as if you were using a wordprocessor or DTP package. This means it is an ideal way to design questionnaires, certificates, invitations, student record forms, record of achievement forms, attainment target forms or even your local club membership form, the only limit is your imagination. You can use a range of styles, size and colours and even incorporate your school or department logo.

Easy Data Entry

Entering data into your database couldn't be easier. This can be done by either typing in the data or dragging files containing text or graphics straight on to the fields of the database. When you are setting up a database, you can specify which type of data is going to go into each field, from a choice of text (with true multi-line text fields that word wrap like a word processor) integers, decimals, Boolean (tick boxes), time and dates, time intervals, pictures/graphics, file and formula (calculated) fields. You can set a default value (or formula) for any field, you can have a pop up value list for multiple choice answers, and you can even make fields compulsory to ensure that they are completed. All your fields can also have validation formulae specified individually, to ensure correct validity of the data being entered.

Flexible Importing and Export

Data can be entered directly or imported from a whole range of standard data files such as CSV (Comma Separated Values) files, TAB Separated files, Junior Database files, Desktop Database Files and more than 10 others, including a number of BBC formats. DataPower also exports in all the standard formats, for easy data transfer.

Multimedia

It's not just text you can put in your DataPower databases, they can be used to store pictures, animations, films, sounds, and all sorts of files. It's a truly multimedia database! All your graphics are automatically compressed when you drag them in and decompressed 'on the fly' when you drag them out, saving you valuable disc space. Imagine a database of all your Clip Art pictures with text fields so that you can include a title and description for each picture; you can then search your entire collection at the press of a button. What a great way to catalogue a CD collection, or keep a record card of all your pupils including a picture of them.

Drag and Drop

DataPower features an intelligent 'Drag and Drop' system, allowing any selection of data to be dragged from one DataPower window directly into another or beyond into another application such as a wordprocessor. Pictures can also be dragged directly into graphic applications and so on. Text can be dragged and saved straight into a text editor or wordprocessor.

Fast Powerful Searching

DataPower uses a 'state of the art' file structure to ensure that searching your data is very fast . All you need to do to search your file is to type in what you are looking for on the blank card in the search window and the database will quickly and easily form a subset of the ones that match. You can type a full expression into any or all fields and even use wildcard for more complex searches. Once a subset has been found you can search the set until you have the group that you want. This can be printed out, saved or graphed.

Active sorting

When DataPower sorts any set of record it also sets the sort order so that any new records entered or edited are automatically sorted into the right position. This guarantees that your records are correctly sorted whenever you look at them.

Mailmerging and WYSIWYG Labels

Mailmerging is possible with a whole range of word processors. With DataPower's multiple views you can view and edit your labels on screen in columns in just the same format as they will appear when they are printed. So What You See Is What You Get!

Professional Report Facilities

Once you have entered your data it can be viewed in many different ways; in columns; in multiple record format; in card format; as a report with headers and footers and so on. It can also be sorted by as many fields as you require. The headers and footers can contain pictures, text, the time and date of printing, the page number, the total number of pages and it will even calculate field summaries for you. These can show the average, maximum and minimum, sum or count of any field in your database.

Multiple Views

You can create as many different layouts as you like for a set of data so that you can view the data in a variety of different ways. DataPower lets you create pages with the required amount of rows and columns so that producing labels, spreadsheet views, invitations, ID Cards is straightforward.

Impressive Graphing

DataPower has built-in graphing that lets you produce a whole range of graphs, from pie charts to bar charts. These can be normal, stacked or clustered, frequency graphs, histograms, scatter diagrams with or without best fit regression lines, line graphs and more. Graphs can be displayed in 2D, 2D outline or 3D with shading. A grid and a key can be added and any text on the graph can be moved or have its style changed. Graphs can be printed directly from DataPower or saved as a Draw File, providing an ideal way to analyse and present your data.

Relational capabilities

DataPower has been designed to be as easy to use as possible, and it's deliberately set up so that if you don't need the relational features they won't get in the way. However, if you're going to invest time and effort in setting up a database, it's important to know that the system you choose has the power to deal with whatever new features you might need to add in the future. That's why, underneath the friendly user interface, DataPower has a powerful database engine that's capable of meeting your needs well into the future.
Multiple tables per file

Store information about related things in the same file, eg. pupils, classes and teachers, with the layouts based on the tables.

Drag & drop relational links

Simply drag and drop fields from one layout to another to create a join between the underlying tables.

Subviews

Where a single record relates to multiple records in another table, you can use a scrolling subview to display all the records that this one refers to. For example, if you have a table with a record for each class in a school, you could have a subview showing the pupils in each class.

Relationships

A graphical table view allows you to define the linking fields that relate the various tables in your database.

Integrity constraints

You can set up integrity constraints to ensure that the linking fields always refer to a valid record in the related table. Cascade update and delete options extend this by automatically updating or deleting related records when a record's linking field is altered, or the record is deleted.

Smart value lists

A value list is a list of field values displayed in a menu, that allows you to enter data into a field without actually typing it in - simply click on the item you want, and the value will be entered for you.

DataPower's unique "smart" value lists take this much further, by using its knowledge of the database structure to decide which values to put in the menu, and what to do when you click on an item. Depending on the nature of the join being shown, this may involve entering a value in the field, moving to a different record in the table, or even entering data into a field in a different table!

For example, in the subview example above, only pupils whose 'class' field matches the name of the class in the current master record are shown in the subview. A value list on the 'pupil name' field inside the subview would show a list of all pupils in the school, and if you choose a pupil name from the list, DataPower will actually alter the class field for that pupil to make the pupil record appear in the subview.

Queries

A query can be a combination of sort, search, join, summaries etc. and you can store any number of them in the database for future use.

You can also attach each layout to any of your stored queries, so for example you could have a layout that showed overdue library books sorted by author.

Queries can perform actions as well as simply searching the database - you can define 'update' queries that search for a given set of records and update the values in them, or a 'delete' query can be defined that searches for a given set of records and deletes them.

For queries that take a long time to execute, you can also specify that you want to keep the results, so that next time the query is used the results will be available instantly.

When searching, DataPower can often make use of pre-existing sort indexes, which allow it to find records instantly rather than having to search through the whole table.

SQL

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is the industry standard database query language that is used by most of the relational database systems in the world.

You can define your queries using DataPower's graphical tools and then switch to the SQL editor - changes you make in one are automatically translated by DataPower and reflected in the other.

SQL queries can be used in just the same way as any other queries you create.

Script language

You can create 'buttons' on your layouts and then program them to execute script commands when the user clicks on them.

The object-oriented script commands available range from simply switching to another layout to defining and executing user-defined procedures and functions, creating and deleting queries, and directly manipulating the contents of the database.

Your user-defined functions can also be used by formula fields.

Formula editor window

By popular demand, DataPower now gives you a full editor window for entering formulae and scripts. The window supports full cut/paste and drag/drop, and also allows you to choose commands from a pair of scrolling lists above the window, which saves you having to remember them all!

Throwback window

Say goodbye to those annoying multiple error boxes - the throwback window will collect up all errors that creep into your database into a single window, and you can double-click on an error to edit the formula or script that caused it.

Errors that are fixed are automatically removed from the window, even if the fix involved changing a fieldname somewhere else rather than editing the formula which had the error.

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