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Improved Query Understanding Through the Use of a Group by Window

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000101746D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 73K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Banning, KR: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is the method to directly specify the columns in a SQL Group By statement with direct manipulation techniques. The user interface design itself will enforce the restrictions as to what columns may or may not be included. In addition, any changes to the validity of previously selected columns is automatically used to alter the Group By column selections. Finally, the Group By object serves as a basis for specifying a Having Clause in the identical manner as a Where Clause.

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Improved Query Understanding Through the Use of a Group by Window

       Disclosed is the method to directly specify the columns
in a SQL Group By statement with direct manipulation techniques. The
user interface design itself will enforce the restrictions as to what
columns may or may not be included. In addition, any changes to the
validity of previously selected columns is automatically used to
alter the Group By column selections.  Finally, the Group By object
serves as a basis for specifying a Having Clause in the identical
manner as a Where Clause.

      A user involved in defining a database query may be required to
use a Group By clause.  This allows the output to be collected into
groups representing all the values of the Group By column.  Existing
user interfaces treat the Group By clause as a special function that
is directly entered by text or in a special dialog.  This reduces the
useability of the product by requiring that the user conceptualize
the clause as somehow not part of the main query.  In fact, the
Select clause directly determines what can be included in the Group
By clause.  This results in unique dialogs when using Group By at a
cost to the developer and user of those differences.

      A Group By clause conceptually rearranges the table resulting
from the From and Where clauses into the minimum number of unique
records for the values of the Group By columns.  Any column in the
joined tables may be used in the Group By.  However, any column used
in the Group By clause must appear in the Select.  Thus, at any time
the system can display the list of columns available for Group By.
The method is to have a dynamically created object at the same level
as the tables to contain the Group By clause visually. This object is
created by the first user request to define a Group By clause.  The
object contains columns and the l...