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Building Searches

51 bytes added, 10:52, 8 July 2013
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==Building Simple Searches==__NOEDITSECTION__
Building searches in IMSMA<sup>NG</sup> is a simple three-step process in which information managers determine:
When a search is designed, it can be given a name and description and then saved for later use. Saving a search saves the criteria of the search rather than the search results. This means that searches are automatically updated when additional data is added to the system, ensuring that searches return the most up-to-date data. For example, an information manager can build a search called “Open Lands” that finds 25 lands with a status of “Open.” If 10 additional lands are entered into the system with a status of “Open,” the search would find 35 records when it is run again. In this way, searches are dynamically updated as data is added to the system, allowing information managers to assess data trends over time using consistent search criteria. Information managers can also use an existing search as a template to create other searches by using the “Save as” functionality.
==Using Search Parameters==__NOEDITSECTION__
Search parameters allow users to change one or more search criteria when running a search. For example, if a user wants to find all progress reports submitted by “XYZ” organisation, they can build a search for “XYZ progress reports.” If another user wants to search for progress reports submitted by “ABC” organisation, they can build another search for “ABC Progress Reports.” Alternatively, an information manager can build one search with a parameter for “Organisation” that allows users to provide different values for the organisation when running the search. This makes one search, for example, “Progress Reports by Organisation,” available for multiple purposes. The ability to build dynamic searches allows information managers to customise search capabilities to meet the needs of various stakeholders within their programmes.
{{note|Searches can include geospatial data as a parameter which allows users to define a geospatial extent to search within. For the purposes of searching, records without geospatial data are defined as “outside” the geospatial extent}}
==Building Complex Searches==__NOEDITSECTION__
While the IMSMA<sup>NG</sup> search functionality is extremely robust—allowing searches on CDFs, customised option list values and links among items— there are some cases where users may want to run more complex searches that cannot be built using the standard search interface. For these cases, IMSMA<sup>NG</sup> includes a special Structured Query Language (SQL) search functionality that allows information managers to provide SQL syntax for executing searches. Creating searches using SQL criteria requires a detailed understanding of relational databases, SQL and the IMSMA<sup>NG</sup> data model and should only be undertaken by advanced users.
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