This topic provides an introduction to designing a simple one-column query in ParishSOFT IQ. To help you understand the process, we start—in the same way you would—with a question. Then, we show you how to set up the query and run it to find the answer to the question. We will then view and analyze the results. After you complete this tutorial, you should be able to create a simple query to answer just about any question using your own database.
What Is a Simple Query?
Understanding the Process of Building a Query
Lesson 1: Designing a Simple One-Column Query
A query is a formal way of retrieving information from your database. You create queries to answer questions you have about the information stored in tables in your database. When you build a query, you tell ParishSOFT IQ exactly where to search your database for the information you need and, if necessary, you define the conditions (criteria) to find the exact data you want.
Queries built in ParishSOFT IQ can be very powerful because they can pull information from multiple tables in your ParishSOFT database and give you answers to questions you cannot find by examining the data from one table alone. Most of the queries you want to design will probably require ParishSOFT IQ to pull information from more than one table, allowing you to answer more complex questions. This tutorial topic gets you started by showing you how to create a simple query. A simple query searches a single entity only and retrieves data from one or more of the columns in that entity.
After you understand the basics of designing simple queries, you can move on to more advanced query design that enables you to ask more complex questions and design queries that provide answers to those questions.
The process of building any query consists of these main steps.
Decide exactly what you want to know.
A well-designed query starts with having a good idea about what you want to find out and where to find it. Start by formulating a question or drawing a picture. Ask yourself what information you need to obtain from your database. Building a query is more complicated than asking a question, but knowing the question you want to answer is the best way to start. You can also make a statement or list specifically what you want to know. Alternatively, you can draw a diagram to pinpoint the exact information you need to know.
Identify the information you need.
In this step, analyze your question to determine what information you need and where that information resides in your database. Use these questions to help you identify the information you need:
Which groups or database entities contain the data you are looking for?
Which specific columns hold the data you need?
What level of detail do you need? Do you need to limit the results of the query—based on specific values? based on a period of time? based on a specific group or organization? In other words, what conditions, if any, must you apply to the data to obtain the results that you need?
Set up and run the query.
After you determine where the data is located, which columns to select, and whether or not specific conditions must be met, set up the query in ParishSOFT IQ and run it. ParishSOFT IQ's graphical user interface enables you to easily build a query by selecting the desired columns and applying the necessary conditions. With the click of a button, you can run your query and view the results.
View the results and modify the query, if necessary.
Results are displayed in a table in the Query Results panel. The top of the panel shows the number of records returned by the query.
You should always analyze your results in detail. If the query displays unexpected values or results you do not understand, review your column selections to make sure you picked the right ones. And, for more complex queries, check the conditions you applied. Make changes, if necessary, to the setup and then rerun the query.
Save the query.
If desired, save your query. Saved queries can be re-used, modified, and shared (made global) with other members of your organization.
In Lesson 1, you will learn how to design a basic, one-column query to answer a simple question. The construction of the query follows the query building process outlined in the previous section.
After you complete this lesson, you will be able to:
● Understand the process of building a query.
● Design a one-column query.
● Run a query and view results.
● Modify the display of the results
● Save a query.
Step 1. Decide Exactly What You Want to Know
Step 2. Identify the Information You Need
Step 3. Set Up and Run the Query
Step 4. View Results and Modify the Display, If Necessary
Step 5. Save the Query
When you are ready to start Lesson 1, click the Start button below.
After you complete a step in this lesson, click the Next - - -> link to advance to the next step. If you need to return to a previous step in the lesson, click < - - - Previous.
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