Formula Fill question


#1

I rarely used any of the Fill commands in Pan 6, but I have a need for it as I adapt Pan 6 databases to Pan X. But I’m a little lost as to whether it will do the task I need it to. I miss the access to this in a Pan X menu, it looks like I’ll have to write a procedure. Please correct me if I missed something.

I have a database that has a date field that is, unfortunately, merely a text field with a date in MM/DD/YY format. I want to be able to sort my data by date, but this format isn’t going to do it. I have added a field of type Date to hold a date( conversion to a real date value so I can sort on it. Can I set up a FormulaFill (or maybe there’s a better command) that will set each new date field to the date( value of the text date in the same record for all records in one go? Or do I have to write a loop that deals with one record at a time, not needing to use a Fill at all? The documentation for FormulaFill seems to leave this question unanswered.


#2

If you want to do this without a program, you can use the Field>Morph>Morph Field dialog. This is the same as the Panorama 6 Manipulate Data in Field dialog.

In this case, perhaps a simpler solution would be to use the Field>Duplicate Field command, then change the data type of the duplicated field to Date.


#3

Oh my, that was easy! It even converted text date values that had a alpha appended to it. thank you!


#4

Regarding dates, I have frequently used a text field for dates, in the format YYYYMMDD. That allows us to put in zeros for the day if all we know is the month and year, and zeros for month and day if all we know is the year. They can then be sorted in chronological order even though some re only paritial dates, and you can easily extract actual dates if you need them


#5

That’s a good point, Tom. The format I used for my text dates is all wrong for this purpose, but if I had used your format I probably could have left it that way. In fact, I do have some transitory records that have no date until a later event, and using zeros in the right place ( in a way a Date type won’t allow) can let me maintain sequencing. I will try that, thanks.