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Direct Manipulation Techniques for Row Conditions in Structured Query Language Query Objects

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000101742D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-16
Document File: 3 page(s) / 103K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Banning, KR: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed are direct manipulation techniques to be used in a graphical user interface model to create and edit the row conditions in a SQL query. The parts of the condition are depicted as objects and allow direct manipulation to support the creation and edit tasks.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Direct Manipulation Techniques for Row Conditions in Structured Query Language Query Objects

       Disclosed are direct manipulation techniques to be used
in a graphical user interface model to create and edit the row
conditions in a SQL query.  The parts of the condition are depicted
as objects and allow direct manipulation to support the creation and
edit tasks.

      SQL is a language for extracting information from a database.
The language has been developed to perform efficient retrieval of the
information into forms that are meaningful to the applications that
requested the information.  SQL was not developed to be easy to use.
User difficulty occurred most frequently in understanding the logic
expressed by Row Conditions (WHERE Clause) in SQL. The syntax format
of the Row Condition (WHERE clause) is a "flat" text string.  When
the condition is complex, it is more difficult for the user to
understand the logical relationships between predicates and to
conceptually formulate the final condition.  One solution is to use a
tree structure representation for the concept formation of the Row
Condition (WHERE clause) to overcome the difficulty in understanding
the SQL logic.  This article suggests the direct manipulation
techniques that the users can apply to manage the construction of the
tree structure representation.

      The logical expression in a Row Condition (SQL WHERE clause)
can be expressed by a tree structure representation. Predicates and
logical operators (e.g., AND, OR) are nodes of the tree.  The direct
manipulation techniques for building and/or modifying the structure
of the tree representation are as follows:
   Change logical operator node from "AND" to "OR" or vice versa:
   Select the operator node by single clicking on it, then choose the
new operator definition.
      Delete objects:
           Single click on the object, then choose the DELETE action.
      Change definitions of predicates:
           Double click on the predicate node, a dialog box appears
which allows the user to modify the definition of the predicate.

      Construct new logical expression (or sub-expression): Use
extended selection (e.g., Shift+Single Click) to select the nodes,
then specify the logical operation to connect them together.  The
sub-expression may be constructed by predicates and other
sub-expressions.  The selected nodes may be predicate nodes or
operator nodes.  The result is a sub-tree with all selected nodes as
child nodes and the root node representing the logical operator.
Synt...