Browse Prior Art Database

Methodology for Command Line Interface Report Specification

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000104602D
Original Publication Date: 1993-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 4 page(s) / 126K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Curry, SM: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is an uncomplicated way for users to specify formatting features for reports gen 'erated by a command line interface. This methodology enhances reports returned by command line processors, such as the Database Manager Command Line Interface. Their default reports may consist of a formatting style without much sophistication or allowable customization by the user.

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Methodology for Command Line Interface Report Specification

      Disclosed is an uncomplicated way for users to specify
formatting features for reports gen 'erated by a command line
interface.  This methodology enhances reports returned by command
line processors, such as the Database Manager Command Line Interface.
Their default reports may consist of a formatting style without much
sophistication or allowable customization by the user.

      Command line programs allow users to easily and conveniently
invoke actions from their command prompt.  In the case of a command
line interface to a database program, this interface parses a given
command and calls the appropriate database api to retrieve
information.  This information, in turn, is formatted and returned to
the user's screen (or stdout).  In the case of SQL SELECT reports,
the returned row information is formatted into the appropriate
columns with the default width provided by the database table (via
the SQLDA structure for Database Manager*).  If the user wanted to
change the column names or shorten the column widths, the user would
have to direct this report to a file and modify it with an editor.
This process is both tedious and time consuming.

      An example default report is as follows:

DEPTNUMB  DEPTNAME        MANAGER  DIVISION    LOCATION
--------  --------------  -------  ----------  ------------
      10  Head Office         160  Corporate   New York
      38  South Atlantic       30  Eastern     Atlanta
      84  Mountain            290  Western     Denver

      3 record(s) selected.

      Rather than create a sophisticated report template that would
decrease the useability of the command line interface, if the user
had an uncomplicated way to specify the size and format of a report,
it would save the user time and energy.  For a database command line
interface, the user must be able to customize the following report
features:

* Column Names
* Column Lengths
* Range of Rows Retrieved

      Each of these features can be modified by adding options to the
command line along with associated parameters.  Each feature would
have a unique option letter that would not conflict with existing
options.  (The ones provided in this disclosure are for illustration
purposes only.)

      Column Names - To specify column names, users can user the -n
option followed by a string of words delimited by parentheses.  For
example, the following command would rename the first three columns
in the returned report: 'First', 'Second', and 'Third':
dbm -n(First Second Third) select * from tbl1

      If the report contained more columns than provided names, those
columns without new names would retain their original (default)
names.  If there were more new names than columns in the report, the
extra new names would not be included in the report.  For example, if
table tbl1 contain...