VA FileMan V. 22 Key and Index Tutorial
[Environment Setup -->]


This tutorial provides pop-up windows for additional information relevant to each lesson. Simply click on the hyperlinks and the windows will pop-up on your screen. Here is an example of what a typical hyperlink to a pop-up looks like: pop-up window.

All test data used in this tutorial (e.g., names, Social Security Numbers [SSN], dates of birth [DOB], etc.) is fictitious and is used solely for the purpose of illustrating lesson topics.

Formatting Conventions

Several formatting methods are used to highlight different aspects of this tutorial:

"Snapshots" of computer online displays (i.e., roll-and-scroll screen captures/dialogues) and computer source code are shown in a non-proportional font.
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- User's responses to online prompts will be in boldface type.
- Boldface type is also used to highlight a descriptive word or sentence.
- The Enter (or Return) key is illustrated by the symbol <Enter> when displayed in computer dialogue and is included in examples only when it may be unclear to the reader that such a keystroke must be entered.
All uppercase is reserved for the representation of M code, and field and file names (e.g., the SSN field).
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Presentation Structure

Environment Setup

The exercises in this tutorial make use of a simple test file referred to as ZZINDIVIDUAL that contains some sample data. The A6AKIT set of routines can be used to install this test file on an M (MUMPS) system. Environment Setup contains information on how to obtain the A6AKIT routines. Lesson 1, Exercise 1.1. Create Your Test File shows you how to run the A6AKIT routine to install the test file.


The tutorial introduction contains an overview of some of the basic key and index concepts.

Tutorial Lessons

Each section of this tutorial (Parts 1 through 3, shown below) contain topics and subsequent lessons. The information is presented in the following topic categories:

1. Part 1 - Regular Indexes includes the following five lessons. A brief description is given for each.
Lesson 1 - You will create a New-style compound index based on the date of birth (DOB) and Social Security Number (SSN) fields in your ZZINDIVIDUAL test file.
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Lesson 2 - You will print the definition of your New-style compound index to view the data.
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Lesson 3 - You will see how your lookup index affects the behavior of the lookup utility IX^DIC. You will also change the collation and lookup prompt for the DOB field in your "C" index.
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Lesson 4 - You will use the transform properties located in ScreenMan to perform transforms on subscripts.
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Lesson 5 - You will create a whole-file index based on the fields in the EMAIL multiple of the ZZINDIVIDUAL test file. You will also illustrate a use for computed cross-reference values.
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2. Part 2 - MUMPS Indexes includes the following three lessons. A brief description is given for each.
Lesson 6 - You will learn about New-style MUMPS cross-references. It covers two topics: (1) the X, X1, and X2 arrays and (2) the set and kill logic and conditions of cross-references. You will create a New-style MUMPS cross-reference. Afterwards, you will check the behavior of your MUMPS cross-reference.
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Lesson 7 - You will learn when VA FileMan executes the set and kill logic of New-style cross-references. You will also create a MUMPS cross-reference that makes use of the VA FileMan X, X1, and X2 arrays and test your new MUMPS cross-reference.
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Lesson 8 - You will use the ACTIVITY property to suppress cross-reference execution.
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3. Part 3 - Keys includes the following three lessons. A brief description is given for each.
Lesson 9 - This lesson covers (1) Key Integrity, (2) the Uniqueness Index, and (3) Primary and Secondary Keys. You will create a key on the ZZINDIVIDUAL file.
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Lesson 10 - You will print the definition of the key you created in Lesson 9 on the ZZINDIVIDUAL file with key fields NAME field (#.01) and SSN field (#.02). You will look at the Uniqueness Index automatically created and explore different methods for defining the fields in the key.
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Lesson 11 - You will see examples of how VA FileMan enforces the integrity of the key you created in Lesson 9, and worked with in Lesson 10.
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Tutorial Quizzes

Each lesson in this tutorial is followed by a quiz. Each quiz is based on the lesson preceding it. They have been designed not only for you to use as a tool to test yourself on what you learned, but to offer a summary of the lesson. The quiz scores are not being recorded anywhere. They are for your benefit only.

Standard Data Dictionary Listing of the Test File

This section contains a standard data dictionary listing of the test file. In this listing, the name of the test file is ZZINDIVIDUAL, with file number 662nnn, stored in global root ^DIZ(662nnn).

Entries in the Tutorial Test File

This section contains a captioned printout, including record numbers, of the data in the ZZINDIVIDUAL test file installed by routine A6AKIT.

Click to go to lessons: [Intro] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]


Reviewed/Updated: March 20, 2007