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FOCUS: File Definition describes the components of a Master File Description.

This course is for the data processing and business professional who uses FOCUS.  

4 - 9 hours

Product Code: FOC301
After completing this course, the student should be able to:
define FOCUS files
identify the parts of a Master File Description (MFD)
use the MFD to specify information about the structure of the file
explain the rules for formatting the file, segment and field declarations
discuss how the MFD and data files are named and stored based on the operating system
discuss the TITLE, DESCRIPTION and ACCEPT attributes
create temporary fields in an MFD
discuss a sample application of an MFD
describe the CHECK command
Describing the File
Explains the Master File Description and its purpose. Introduces the databases used for examples throughout the course. Describes the attributes used in the file declaration.
The Master File Description
The Master File Description and its purpose.  Three types of declarations that make up a MED.  Rules for coding MFDs and FOCUS commands.
Course Databases
Description of the databases used in this course.
File Declaration
How to identify the file with the FILENAME attribute. How to identify the type of file with the SUFFIX attribute.

Describing Segments
Covers the attributes used in the segment declaration.
Segment Declaration
How to identify a group of related data fields with the SEGNAME attribute. How to code the appropriate PARENT attribute for the desired data structure.  
SEGTYPE Attribute
How to sequence instances of data in the segment with the SEGTYPE attribute.

Describing Fields
Covers the attributes used in the field declaration. Explains the edit options available for numeric fields and the formatting and use of date fields.
Field Declaration
How to identify the fields in a file with the FIELDNAME attribute. How to provide an alternate name for a field with the ALIAS attribute.
FORMAT Attribute
How to characterize a field's data with the FORMAT attribute.
Types of FORMAT Values
How to specify a field's type, length and edit options with the FORMAT attribute.
Edit Options for Numeric Fields
How to assign edit options for numeric fields using the FORMAT attribute.
Date Fields
Edit options that affect the display of dates. How FOCUS stores data in date fields.

Describing Fields: Additional Features
Covers other attributes used in the field declaration. Covers creating and using temporary fields.
How to override the default column title with the TITLE attribute. How to document the meaning of a field with the DESCRIPTION attribute.
ACCEPT and Other Attributes
How to use the ACCEPT attribute to validate incoming data values. The MISSING, FIELDTYPE and HELPMESSAGE attributes.
Temporary Fields
How to create temporary fields with the DEFINE attribute. Using temporary fields.

Creating an MFD
Ties together concepts covered in the course with a sample application of a Master File Description. Describes the CHECK command.
A Sample Application
Coding a simple MFD based on hypothetical data.
The CHECK Command
How to use the CHECK command to verify MFD coding.
To take this course, you need the following materials:

Student, Administrator and Installation Guides
Presentation Systems Available
DPEC MainFrame
DPEC Micro

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