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Usage Tips Volume 1 (page 4 of 4)

Topics Covered:

Local Element Coordinates
Using the Mouse Wheel
Hoops Context Menu
Hoops Manipulations
LIST Operations
ODBC Reports

The LIST Facility

The LIST Facility is a very powerful editing feature built into the piping input module. This List Facility allows for the global manipulation of a group of elements. This group can be as small as two elements, or as large as the entire model. These group operations (referred to as Block Operations in CAESAR II) include:

  • Rotate - allows for the rotation of all elements in the group by a specified amount.
  • Duplicate - allows for the duplication of the current group of elements
  • Delete - allows for the deletion of the current group of elements
  • Nodes - allows renumbering of the current group of elements
  • Status - reports details about the elements currently selected

The Duplicate operation provides three different behaviors, which define the nature of the duplication. These behaviors are shown in the figure to the right. Notice that the current group (block) of elements consists of elements 60-70 through and including 120-130. Notice also that the copied block can be placed in three locations: after the current block (element 120-130), at the end of the input, or after the current element (which is 120-130). (The end of the input, not shown in the figure, is element 7160-8000.)

Placing the copied block after the current block, or at the end of the input is somewhat obvious. What about the third option, after the current element?

The current element is 120-130, the last element in the selected block. Suppose we need to place the copied block after element 160-170. Somehow we need to make 160-170 the current element. Clicking on 160-170 cancels our block (elements 60-70 through 120-130) and highlights 160-170.

The proper way to change the current element is to use the [UpArrow] or [DownArrow] keys on the keypad. As either of these keys are used, notice that the current element is shown by depressing the element number in the far left column of the display. The figure at the right shows the display after the current element has been changed to 160-170. Activating the duplication operation at this point will place the copied block after element 160-170.

Another useful feature of the LIST facility is the Context Menu, obtained by clicking the right mouse key. This context menu provides a number of capabilities. One of the most useful of these is the [Choose List] menu.

The [Choose List] menu (shown in the figure at the right) is a quick way to change which List is being displayed. Without using this context menu, the only way to change the List being displayed is through the spinner control at the very lower left of the display. This spinner control will scroll the names of the various lists along the bottom of the screen. The context menu provides a quicker way to reach the desired list.

The [Block Operations] menu is also available from the Context Menu. This is shown in the figure at the right. Note that the [Auxiliary Screen] control can be activated from this menu, as well as the switch to show or hide duplicated data.

ODBC Compliant Data Base Output

CAESAR II can save output data to ODBC compliant data bases. On the Windows platform, this typically means Microsoft Access.

The intent of the ODBC output feature is to allow users access to the data to:

  • Combine data for a project from multiple jobs.
  • Maintain an analysis history over various runs of the same job.
  • Extract very specific data without generating an entire report (i.e. restraint loads at only one or two node points).
  • Allow the creation and subsequent generation of custom reports.

The ODBC data base creation is controlled via the [Data Bases] tab of the Configuration Module - from the Main Menu pull down the Tools menu, the Configuration Module is the first option in the list. A portion of the [Data Bases] tab is shown in the figure to the right. Checking the [Enable data export to ODBC compliant data base] checkbox turns on the ODBC option, and enables the [Append] checkbox and the [Browse] button to select or specify the data base file.

For in-stream processing with the analysis, if the [Append] checkbox is checked, then all subsequent analysis in this data directory will be written to the specified data base. If the same job is rerun, the data base will contain the results from each run. If (for in-stream processing the [Append] checkbox is not checked, then subsequent reruns of a job already in the data base will overwrite the previous results. In either case, all jobs run from this data directory will be written to the specified data base.

CAESAR II also provides a Data Export Wizard, which can create the database file after an analysis has completed. This method allows the selection of exactly what data is to be exported to the database. The in-stream processing method sends all output data to the database.

Users familiar with data base creation (specifically MS Access ) can customize the data base by modifying the template file found in the \caesar\system directory. This file is caesarii.mdb for MS Access. Custom queries and reports can also be added to these template files so that future data bases will inherit these abilities. Users should note that future COADE releases will not include these customizations. Users who modify the ODBC data base templates should make plans to save their templates and update future COADE releases in similar fashion.

Before attempting to use the ODBC feature, users must setup the Data Source Name on the computer where ODBC will be activated. Failure to setup this Data Source Name will result in the error shown below when CAESAR II attempts to write to the data base. Data Source Name setup and configuration is discussed as a separate topic, which can be viewed by clicking here.

Once the necessary analysis have been completed, the data base can be opened and various queries and reports can be run. If there is a query or report necessary, that is not provided in the COADE supplied template, you can use the "Design" mode of the data base to create the necessary function. The figures below show the current tables defined for the static output, the provided reports, and a sample Displacement Summary report.

Data Base Tables

The figure above shows the static table structure of the data base.

Data Base Reports

The figure above shows the static reports available from the data base.

Data Base Displacement Summary Report

The figure to the left shows a sample report available from the data base.

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