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BioTrack uses Oracle Apex 4, which a powerful web-based interface with many very useful built-in features: to create your own report, download your own data in many formats, sort and break data, filter your data, add computations, create your own charts and graphs and create complex data calculations. All your customisations can be saved and re-used.
Its worth spending a little bit of time to look at the interface:
The Basic BioTrack Interface
(1) The “Opening Report”: Maintain Data: Adding, Updating and Deleting data
In normal use, BioTrack works in a similar way throughout, whatever you are doing. When you select a menu option, you will always be presented with a display showing your current data. This “Opening report” will display your data the way it is at present. If you want to add, update or delete data, there are 2 simple one-click ways to work with your data:
The opening page always looks something like this:
(2) Inserting New data:
To add a completely new record, you use the “Create ……” button at the top of the page and you will be presented with a new page where you can enter a new record (see how below).
(3) Updating or deleting a record:
If you need to change a record or delete it, first locate the record in the “Opening report” page, then click on the “Edit” icon on the left hand side of the record. This will bring you to a page where you may change or delete the record (see how below).
(4) Actions – Presenting your “Opening report” data
All of the “Opening report” pages in BioTrack offer a standard facility for you to alter the presentation of your data according to your own needs. In this way, you can create and save reports which provide you with data presented and summarised in a way which best suits your business. This is useful, not only as a report but also as a way of seeing only the subset of data that you may want to update. For example, perhaps you want to change the price of only one type of product, you can change your opening report to temporarily only show products of this type. This saves time and makes the data more comfortable to work with.
You can select which columns to display, which data to display, how many rows to display on a page, how the data should be sorted, report breaks, calculations, and totals etc. You can also save your own report definitions for later use if you wish. Finally, if you need to dowload your report data, you can select from a range of industry standard formats (.csv, .pdf, word, html or send the data as an email).
(5) Inserting New Data
When you click the “Create ……” button at the top of the opening Report page, you will be presented with a new page where you can enter a new record. These pages look differently depending on the data you are entering, of course, but they all have the same basic functionality and layout.
Enter your data and then click Create to save it. Your data will be validated before saving and any errors will be shown immediately. If you decide to abandon the new data, click Cancel and you will be returned to the opening Report page again.
Here is an example:
(6) Updating / Deleting Data
When you have located the data you wish to change or delete on the “Opening Report” page and clicked on the “Edit” icon on the left hand side of the record, you will arrive at a page where you can make your update or delete. Obviously, these pages have a different content depending on the data you are working with. But they all have the same basic functionality. Here is a simple example:
When you have updated your data, simple click “Apply Changes”. The data is validated and saved immediately and you return to the “Opening Report” page again.
If you wish to delete the record entirely, then click “Delete” and your action is validated and the data deleted. You are then returned to the “Opening Report” page again.
(7) Validation Errors
Two types of validaton: There are 2 basic types of validation in BioTrack: Field Level Validation and Relational Validation.
Field Level validation: This includes checking that a field has been entered if it is mandatory, that it has the right format (numeric for example) and that values lie within certain pre-defined ranges. This validation stops you inadvertantly entering bad data.
Relational Validation: BioTrack is built using a “relational database” which means that every database action (INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE) that you carry out will cause the database to check that you aren’t breaking any of the rules defined for the data and its relationship with other data. This is very useful because it means that you cannot accidentally delete data that is referenced somewhere else. For example, if you create an invoice with several invoice lines, you cannot delete the invoice “header” if any lines exist. First you must delete the lines. This is because it illogical to have invoice lines that don’t refer to a customer invoice.
In a similar way, when you create a product and then refer to that product on a number of invoices, for example, you cannot simply delete that product, because it has already been used in your production log, your invoices etc.
(8) Error messages
Normally validation happens at 2 levels, once when you are entering and attempting to save the data, and the second “line of defence” is at the database. If you have made an error, you will normally recieve a short error message on the screen. This is normal.
However, in exceptional circumstances, you may receive a database error, which sends a full-screen message. In this case, simply “Return to the Application” and correct the error in your data. Normally, these full-screen database errors should be reported using the Feedback form.
Every screen encorporates a Feedback link, where you can instantly ask questions, report faults, suggest improvements. Click on the link at any timr to send your feedback directly to us. Please give as much information as you can. Follow up by email if necessary with screen shots.
There is field level help attached to every screen field, click on the field label to read the help. We are constantly upgrading help messages to give me information and assistance.
At the bottom left of every screen, there is also a Help link. Click on this link to get general help about the page you are on.