Hey Dummy

There's yet another type of field which is available for display on screens and in reports, but which isn't defined when you set up your file. This is the so-called "dummy" field, which is defined on the processing tables you can create for your data base. I don't have space this month to describe the processing tables, but here's a simple example to whet your appetite.

My field 2 is a last-name field (length 15) and field 3 is a first-name (length 12). There is no "push left" field for screen formats, but I can achieve the same result by using the automatic processing table, as follows. Dummy fields are assigned names consisting of one or two letters. Since what I want to appear in this field is first name/space/last name, I write the following "formula" on the first "action line" of the table: NM =32.1 allow 28 spaces on the screen, since that is the maximum possible combined length of the dummy field. Whenever the record is accessed by Profile, the name appears on the screen where indicated by "!NM". As you'll see in future articles, the processing tables are very talented.

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