Ben Langhinrichs

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September, 2003
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Wed 17 Sep 2003, 11:20 PM
I thought I'd focus on a few of the things we are trying out with our new @Midas Formulas, which is beta.  If you would like to sign up for the beta test, we are planning on sending out a new beta release shortly.  If you are already signed up, even if you haven't received a beta yet, you will be contacted automatically.

@DbColumn/@DbLookup on rich text tables
One of the really interesting features is the ability to treat rich text tables as data, a mantra some of you who have seen me speak at Lotusphere may have heard before.  Why shouldn't you be able to retrieve data from tables in rich text fields?  Why shouldn't you use commands most Notes developers are very familiar with for retrieving that data?

Well, with @Midas Formulas, you can do this.  For example, if a table such as this one from the Partnerworld site were in a rich text field called Body on the current document:
IBM Value Package for DevelopersAnnual fee
North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa $595 
Latin America $750 
Asia Pacific region$350


you could specify a command such as:

prices := @DbColumn("Midas"; @DbName; @DocumentUniqueID; "Body"; 2; "Format='Currency' SkipTitle='Yes' ");

and prices would be three numeric values in a multi-value list.
You could also specify a formula such as:

price := @DbLookup("Midas"; ""; @DocumentUniqueID; "Body"; "Latin America"; 2);

and price would be a string "$750"

Pretty cool, eh?  You can do this to avoid using separate documents for rows of data.  What is particularly cool is that exactly the same lookups would work with exactly the same results if your table looked like this:
IBM Value Package for DevelopersAnnual fee
North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa $595 
Latin America $750 
Asia Pacific region$350


Even the use of background colors, text attributes and graphics, which help make the data more presentable when the rich text field is displayed, do not prevent use of @DbColumn and @DbLookup.  So, does that make you think maybe you would like to take a look at @Midas Formulas?

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