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Definition and Use of Units of Measure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000049838D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-09
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Dawkins, J: AUTHOR

Abstract

When considering data for distribution or manufacturing application programs, many quantities have no meaning unless the units in which they are expressed are also known. For example, although it may be obvious from the context whether a value refers to weight or volume, whether the units for weight are in tons or tonnes might not be known.

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Definition and Use of Units of Measure

When considering data for distribution or manufacturing application programs, many quantities have no meaning unless the units in which they are expressed are also known. For example, although it may be obvious from the context whether a value refers to weight or volume, whether the units for weight are in tons or tonnes might not be known.

This article describes a coding scheme to units of measure, and how this is used within a program package for distribution (DMIS).

Definition of coding

Two characters are used to describe a unit of measure. The first character defines the unit of measure type. Typical units of measure types are weight, volume, money value, distance, time and packaging unit.

The second character defines the actual units used within the type; this is called the unit of measure detail. For example, within the weight unit of measure type, details will be pound, kilograms, tons and tonnes. Details within the packaging unit type include marketing units, cases and pallets.

Within the data bases, a one- or two-character field must be associated with each quantity field. If the unit of measure type is implied by the quantity's definition, then only the unit of measure detail character is needed.

When converting between quantities expressed in between different units of measure, it should be noted that some conversion factors will vary from product to product, while others will be constant between products. An exam...