A very important concept used in the creation of an EASAP is the use of ‘Delimited Object References’ or DORs. The basic idea is to utilize special syntax to facilitate the substitution of object values into other object’s parameter values and into files read by underlying software applications. The name, Delimited Object Reference, is derived from the ‘Reference’ to an ‘Object’ name that has a value associated with it using a ‘Delimiter’ both before and after the object name.
A delimiter is a special character that identifies the object name reference, so that it can be replaced with its value as opposed to being evaluated literally. DORs can be used in many locations within an EASAP and a list of examples is provided below:
Tip: You can view values of all objects available for use in DORs in the DOR Tables found on the Testing page under the Authoring Menu.
You can specify the units to be used when replacing a real box or integer box object with its value directly within the syntax of a DOR. This is accomplished using inline units as introduced in Inline Units in Expressions.
Note: By default, if no units are specified within the DOR, the object value will be in base units.
Inline units are characterized by putting the desired unit name in brackets immediately after the object name. An example specifying units within a DOR is as follows: %object1 [ft]% The inline units syntax in the DOR above will cause the object ‘object1’ to be evaluated in ‘feet’, instead of the base unit of ‘meters’.
Note: The unit name used in the inline units specification must be an existing unit name defined either in Default or User Units for the dimensional group associated with the object being referenced in the DOR.
In addition to units, the number format of an object value can be specified directly within the DOR syntax. There are four different formats available for use within a DOR: 1) Integer, 2) Real, 3) Exponential and 4) Mixed. Use of number formats may prove to be very important for batch files that need to contain specific number formats or else the file will not be read properly by its software application.
Note: Number formats can be used with or without units specifications. If units are specified, then the number formatting comes after the units syntax.
where a = total number of digits.
where a = total number of characters including digits, decimal point and + or - signs, and b = the number of digits after decimal point.
where a = total number of characters including digits, decimal point, E character and + or - signs, and b = the number of digits after decimal point.
where a = total number of characters including digits, decimal point, E character and + or - signs, and b = the number of digits after decimal point. This format defaults to Real format, but will switch to Exponential format if the number is too small or too large for the Real format to be valid.
Examples of number formatting within a DOR are as follows:
%object1 [ft] 9.3f%
Notice the use of inline units in the first example.