EMu's Ditto utility enables users to extract information from an existing record and copy it into one being added or edited. Using Ditto it is possible to copy data from:
- One field in a record into the same field in another record.
- A tab in a record into the same tab in another record.
- All fields in a record into another record.
While this facility is useful for adding similar records, it does have some shortcomings:
- Only a single record can be added at a time.
- Only single fields, tabs or the entire record can be extracted.
- Incrementing numbers, such as Accession or Registration numbers, must be entered for each record.
- A series of records with consecutive numbers is difficult to create.
EMu also provides a Default Values facility that allows one or more fields to be initialized with values when adding a new record. Users can define a number of Default Values templates and select one to be used when the next insertion is initiated. While Default Values can be defined for any field, it is not possible to extract data from existing records.
- A number of records can be created in a batch and added to a set of one or more currently listed records.
- An optional starting IRN can be specified, allowing consecutive IRNs to be allocated.
- Data can be extracted from the current (source) record and added to new records. Data may be mapped from one field in the source record to another field in the created record.
- A starting number and incrementation can be specified, allowing a range of consecutive values to be allocated.
- A wizard is provided to walk through the process.
- A report is generated listing the IRN and incrementing numbers allocated for each record created.
- An XML based template description is used to specify what data is placed in created records.
Some useful applications of the Record Template utility include:
- Creation of Part records for an existing object record.
- Insertion of preparation records for a specimen record (e.g. tissue samples).
- Reserving a block of IRNs or Registration numbers.
First we look at how to use the Record Templates facility, and then how to set up your own templates.