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Word-Processing Technique for MERGING Lists of DATA Into a DOCUMENT

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000062291D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 14K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Koeller, PD: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

When merging lists of names, addresses, and other information into a document to produce a document with report-type information embedded in the document, QUERY/36 provides the capability to retrieve merge data from any file stored on the S/36, and DW/36 merges the data from the files into the document and formats the merged data for printing. By using QUERY/36 the user can specify a query that defines which fields in the file they are interested in and which records should be merged. This provides the user with an easy means to subset the records that are used during the merge. When the user requests to print the document, the following steps occur: 1. DW/36 begins printing the document until a line is found with an instruction that indicates that one or more data fields will merge into this line to produce a list of data.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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Word-Processing Technique for MERGING Lists of DATA Into a DOCUMENT

When merging lists of names, addresses, and other information into a document to produce a document with report-type information embedded in the document, QUERY/36 provides the capability to retrieve merge data from any file stored on the S/36, and DW/36 merges the data from the files into the document and formats the merged data for printing. By using QUERY/36 the user can specify a query that defines which fields in the file they are interested in and which records should be merged. This provides the user with an easy means to subset the records that are used during the merge. When the user requests to print the document, the following steps occur: 1. DW/36 begins printing the document until a line is found with an instruction that indicates that one or more data fields will merge into this line to produce a list of data. 2. DW/36 processes the line and builds a table of entries for each data field on the line. Each entry consists of the name of the field, the offset where the field will print (from the start of the line), the length of the field, and optional editing information that the user can use to define how the data should be edited when it is printed in the document. For each entry DW/36 fills in only the field name and the editing information if the user specified it. 3. During this pass DW/36 verifies that all data fields on this line are being merged from the same query or file. Any fields that are from a query or file, other than the first field on the line, are ignored and will not be merged into the document. 4. DW/36 calls QUERY/36 and passes the table of entries and the name of the query or file to be used. 5. QUERY/36 checks each entry in the table against the query or file that is specified. If the field is valid, QUERY/36 fills in the length of the field, and editing information for the field (from the data dictionary) if DW/36 had not already filled in the editing information in the table. For any field that is not valid, QUERY/36 sets the length field to an invalid length. This indicates to DW/36 that the field is not valid. 6. After processing the entire table, QUERY/36 returns the updated table to DW/36.
7. DW/36 is now ready to create a "mask line" for the merge operation. DW/36 begins to create a line of printed output as it normally would. That is, text and formatting information on the line are copied into an output buffer. As data merge fields are found, the appropriate number of blanks are placed in the output line to replace the data merge instruction. Note that fields with invalid lengths are ignored and thus do not appear on the "mask line". Each time blanks are added to the "mask line", the table entry for that field is updated to insert the offset from the start of the output line. 8....