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Using the Processes Branch

Data Processing Actions Object

The DATA PROCESSING ACTIONS are the equivalent of those on the Event Processing branch. They can be used to:

  • Set explicit scalars to control logic of other Processes branch objects
  • Conditionally extract information from a file
  • Generate timestamps during the submission process.

Database Objects

One type of application that can be accessed from the Processes branch are databases external to EASA. Databases are accessed by using the DATABASE ACTION object, which is a sibling object to PROCESS objects in the Processes branch. The Database Action object is a parent object to DATABASE objects, which in turn are parents to WRITE objects. The main function of a Database Action object will likely be to write data to databases.

Excel Objects

As introduced in Interacting With Excel Spreadsheets, an EASAP can interact with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets within the USER INTERFACE branch via both cell references in data entry objects and actions within EVENT PROCESSING objects. In the Processes branch, only the action object approach is available and here the interaction happens on the EASA Server during a batch EASAP submission as opposed to on the user’s client computer during an interactive user interface session.

Note: Changes made to a specified Excel spreadsheet using interactions located in the User Interface branch will not be available to the actions located in the Processes branch at the time of submission. The actions in the Processes branch are always applied to the original uploaded version of the spreadsheet file. Therefore, the two approaches are NOT currently designed to be used in combination.

The process of making EASAPs interact with Excel spreadsheets in the Processes branch involves two main steps:

  1. Defining connections to the spreadsheets from the workbook files on down to the various worksheets, and
  2. Performing Excel specific actions using Excel Action objects found on the Processes branch of the EASAP.

Process Branch Objects

CLEAR EXCEL RANGEUsed to clear values in cells or named ranges.
CUSTOM PROCESS ACTIONDesigned to execute custom written Java code.
DATA PROCESSINGThe main parent object under which all the available data processing tools reside.
DATA PROCESSING ACTIONSUsed as parent object for other action objects.
DATABASEDefines the database on which to perform the action.
EMAILUsed to send e-mail messages to users.
FILE MANAGEMENTUsed to minimize disk usage in EASA.
IMAGE EXCEL ACTIONExtracts a screen capture of cell range or chart in an Excel spreadsheet for display by an Image object in a Diagram.
PROCESSUsed to issue the commands used to run the underlying software applications.
READ EXCEL ACTIONReads values from specified cell ranges in Excel spreadsheets into specified list objects.
RUN MACRO ACTIONExecutes a macro in an Excel spreadsheet.
STOPUsed to define a complete mechanism for stopping the EASAP.
WRITE EXCEL ACTIONWrites values from specified list objects into specified cell ranges in Excel spreadsheets.

Order of Operation within Processes Branch

In the PROCESSES branch, the sibling PROCESS, FILE MANAGEMENT, DATABASE ACTION and EMAIL objects are run in a sequential manner as they appear on the tree from top to bottom. None of these objects will run until the one before it has finished.

Note: Input data for the software applications being run in one Process object can be extracted from the output files of software applications run in a previous Process object using an Extract object.

Process View

At the bottom left of EASAP Builder are icons that allow you to toggle between Tree view and Process view.

The Process view provides a flow diagram of the objects within the processes branch and you can right click on images in the diagram to insert new objects. Parameter values of objects can be set in the lower left part of the window.

The diagram can be adjusted by dragging and clicking boxes. Please note however that their location is not saved when EASAP builder is closed. The diagram can also be manipulated through its toolbar, which contains operations including zooming and a variety of automatic layouts.

The toolbar also allows the diagram to be annotated with any “do if” expressions The overview panel allows you to select a subset of the diagram for viewing by dragging around the shaded rectangle.

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