Maintaining Variables and Features
Use Variable Maintenance to create, view, edit, or delete variables.
Enter a variable ID that uniquely identifies a variable in the current master group.
Note: Enter a variable ID and press Enter or Tab first before you can edit other fields in the screen.
Note: You cannot use spaces in variable IDs. Use hyphens or underline characters instead, such as pane-color or environment_of_use.
Note: You cannot use Progress keywords as variable IDs.
Copy From Variable
To create a variable, you can also copy from existing variables. Enter the variable ID first, click the Copy From Variable button, and select a variable whose details you want to copy.
Select a variable data type from the drop-down list. The default data type is numeric. Data type determines the content under the Data Format tab and whether the Variable Options tab appears in the lower pane of the screen.
Note: Once you have selected a data type, you cannot change it even if you have not saved the variable yet.
Specify the number of times or instances the variable can be used in a questionnaire.
For example, you want to collect requirements regarding the colors of body, interior, and seats of a car in the questionnaire, there are two ways you can define variables:
• Create three variables: body-color, interior-color, and seat-color.
• Or, create one variable color with an extent of 3, and then use it three times in questionnaire and different them by assigning an extent number to each instance:
color = body
color = interior
color = seats
However, these relationships are not so obvious when the variable instances display as questions in the questionnaire. Use extent numbers correctly when creating rules that involve variables with multiple extents.
Use the settings under Variable Details to specify how to generate the variable-related questions. You can further modify these settings at the feature level.
Assign the variable to a functional group. Functional groups are used to categorize variables and features and are maintained in Functional Group Maintenance.
Specify the question type for the variable. Question types are defined in Question Type Maintenance.
Enter a brief question to display in the questionnaire to prompt for answers relating to this variable.
Enter a longer question to display in the questionnaire. You can customize the questionnaire to display either short or long questions.
Note: You can specify short and long questions in any of the QAD-supported languages. The short question can be up to 64 characters long. You can also maintain the question in multiple languages. Click the String Translation button next to the question field, and enter the translation on the String Translation screen.
String Translation for Option Questions
To display the short and long question of each variable in each language, you can use Variable Language Browse.
Variable Language Browse
Enter the unit of measure for the variable. This field sets the default for the same field in Variable Options Maintenance.
This field is only enabled when data type is numeric, numeric list, or text.
Specify whether to display an additional text field for the question related to this variable in the questionnaire. In this way, the question respondent can type in a free-format answer or select an answer from an associated browse, if any.
This field is only enabled for text, date, and numeric list variables. For temporary questions, this field is always dimmed.
This field is only available when variable data type is text and you have selected Allow Fill-In.
You can associate the variable with an existing browse, so that the question respondent can select a value from the browse instead of manually typing in an answer in the questionnaire.
You can specify as many as five parameters for the browse in the questionnaire; the parameter can be a variable, a feature, or even a constant. The shortcut keys to bring up the browse in the questionnaire are Alt+B.
Browses are created and maintained in Browse Maintenance. For information about creating browses, see QAD Enterprise Applications user guides.
Note: This setting does not apply for the integration of the Configurator questionnaire with QAD CSS (an add-on product for QAD EA). QAD CSS does not support .NET UI browses.
Question or Temporary
If you select this option, users answer the variable-related question on the questionnaire.
If you select this option, the system stores the information that does not need answers from users. By default, the temporary information does not show on the questionnaire. If you want to see the information, select Show temporary questions on the questionnaire customization screen.
Example: Area is the product of length and width. You can define a variable called area as temporary, which is calculated from answers to the variables length and width. Then you can use the value of the area variable as a factor in other rules.
When variable data type is numeric, or date (current or fixed), the Pricing Part Information pane is available under Variable Details.
Enter an existing item number in QAD EA to associate it with the answer to this question for pricing calculation.
Note: There is no validation for the value that you enter in this field. You can specify an item for the variable here in QAD Configurator first and then create it in QAD EA.
If the type of the variable is numeric, you can select this check box. When you have selected Qty Based, the pricing engine uses feature quantity entered in the questionnaire. See Pricing
for more pricing information.
Enter the unit of measure of the item that is specified in the Pricing Part field. The pricing engine uses it in price calculation.
Variable Data Format
Different variable data types have different data formats.
Note: The Data Format pane is disabled for the text and logical data types.
Numeric Data Format
Numeric data format applies to numeric and numeric list data types. The default values for these numeric settings are defined for the group in Master Group Maintenance, but you can change them for individual variables.
Specify the maximum number of digits for numeric variables and features. The value defaults from Master Group Maintenance.
Specify the number of fractional digits for numeric variables and features.
Specify the rounding method for numeric variables and features.
Standard: Rounds a decimal value to a specified number of fractional digits using the standard midpoint rounding method. A value is rounded up when it is equal or greater than the midpoint value and is rounded down when it is less than the midpoint value. For example, 3.1415 is rounded up to 3.142 when it is rounded to three decimal digits but is rounded down to 3.14 when it is rounded to two decimal digits.
Up: Always round up a decimal value to a specified number of fractional digits. For example, both 3.141 and 3.148 are rounded up to 3.15 when they are rounded to two decimal digits.
Down: Always round down a decimal value to a specified number of fractional digits. For example, both 3.141 and 3.148 are rounded down to 3.14 when they are rounded to two decimal digits.
Allow Negative Values
Specify whether negative values are allowed for numeric variables and features. Select this option to permit variable and feature values to be smaller than zero; otherwise, clear this option.
Specify the minimum value allowed. Leaving it blank means that there is no lower boundary.
Specify the maximum value allowed. Leaving it blank means there is no upper boundary.
Specify a fixed incremental value.
Specify the default value for the variable.
The date format settings display when the variable data type is date.
The value of the variable defaults to the date on which the questionnaire is answered.
The variable value is a fixed date. Specify a default value using the date selection calender to the right.
When you select this option, the Variable Option tab is enabled to allow you to specify date options for the variable.
Element format settings apply to element type variables. Use the settings to link the variable to a database entity field.
Element Data Format
Specify whether you want to associate the variable with an internal or external entity field.
Internal: The Entity option list displays all the tables in the QAD Configurator database.
External: The Entity option list displays all the external entities defined in External Entity Maintenance.
Select an entity to associate the variable with.
Select a field to link the variable to.
This value is 1 when the selected field is of the array data type in the database. In this case, specify the index number of the field in the array you want to link the variable to. Do not modify the Extent field when its value defaults to 0.
Note: The lower boundary of the array index range is 1.
The Variable Options tab displays when the variable data type is text, numeric list, logical, or date with the List date format. Use this tab to maintain options, or selectable values of the variable.
Variable Options List
The toolbar at the top of the variable options gives you access to all the variable option maintenance functions. You can create, modify, delete options, as well as setting the default option and arranging the order of options.
Maintaining Variable Options
To create a variable option, click the Create button on the toolbar. To modify an existing variable option, select the option in the list and click the Modify button on the toolbar or double-click the option in the list.
Enter variable option information in the Variable Option Maintenance dialogue box.
Variable Options Maintenance
Enter a selectable value as a variable option. What you can enter in this field is determined by the variable data type and data format. For example, if the variable data type is numeric list and the numeric data format is defined as a positive 1-digit number with no decimals, you can only enter a number between 0 and 9.
Optionally enter a short answer that represents the option in the questionnaire.
Optionally enter a long answer that represents the option in the questionnaire. You can choose whether to display option value, short answer, or long answer when you customize the questionnaire.
Note: If the variable is of type Text, Logical, Numeric List, or Date (Data Format = List), you can enter the option answers in any of the QAD-supported languages. The short answer can be up to 64 characters long. You can also maintain the answers in multiple languages. Click the String Translation button next to the answer field, and enter the translation on the String Translation screen.
String Translation for Option Answers
To display the answer for each variable option in each language, you can use Variable Option Language Browse.
Variable Option Language Browse
Enter an existing item number in QAD EA to associate it with the answer to this question for pricing calculation.
Note: There is no validation of the value you enter in this field. You can specify an item for the variable here in QAD Configurator first and then create it in QAD EA.
Select this option to use the answer to this question as the item quantity in pricing calculation.
Enter the unit of measure of the item specified in the Pricing Part field. The pricing engine uses it in price calculation.
Setting the Default Option
The first option you create automatically becomes the default option. As you create more options, you can change the default option by selecting another option and click the Set Default button on the toolbar. Text or numeric list type Variable/Feature can be defined with no default value.
Changing the Order of Variable Options
To change the order in which to display variable options, use the Move to Top, Move Up, Move Down, and Move to Bottom buttons on the toolbar to arrange the position of the options in the list. To move multiple options around, press and hold down Ctrl to select nonconsecutive options or press and hold down Shift to select a range of consecutive options and use the Move buttons on the toolbar.
However, the order here is not necessarily the final one in the questionnaire. You can make further changes in Feature Maintenance to include or exclude some options, add new feature options, and rearrange their order.