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Defining Data Types

  1. In order to define a data type for an experiment, you must first login to the system as a Privileged User.

  2. Navigate to the Experiment Main Menu for the experiment you wish to add a data type.

  3. In the Privileged Users Only section at the bottom of the screen, select the Data Type Management link.

  4. The Data Type Definitions page should appear. Click on the Create New Data Type link found either at the top or the bottom of the page.

  5. The Create New Data Type page should appear. Enter a descriptive ID for the new data type.

  6. Enter up to 15 data type attributes.



    - Attribute Name is required.
    - Select the Unique checkbox if this field must be unique for all instances of this data type. Users will be forbidden to create new items that have the same value for this attribute as an existing item in the database.
    - Select the Type of the attribute. The following table describes what kind of data are stored with each type (the mySQL equivalent is only listed for those interested in the mySQL representation):

    Type Description mySQL equivalent Additional Comments
    Limited length string A series of characters ,including letters, numbers, symbols, and whitespace, that is restricted to be under a certain length char(x) If this type is selected, you must also specify the maximum length of the string under the Max Length field
    Unlimited length string As series of characters, including letters, numbers, symbols, and whitespace. No length restriction text  
    Integer An integer int  
    Decimal A decimal float  
    Date A date date Users will be provided month/day/year input fields for entering dates
    Option List A list of options. The value of this attribute can only be one of a list of given values. enum('a','b','c') If this type is selected, you must also specify the list options in the List Options field. List one option per line.
    File A system defined data type for storing image files int (specifying the oid of a file object) Users will be provided a file field with which they can browse their local filesystem for images to upload into the database.
    User A system defined data type for users of the system int (specifying the oid of a user) Users are automatically created when a new user is registered. An administrator must register new users.
    Any other types All other types listed are data types currently defined for the current Experiment. int (specifying the oid of an item) Customized data types are listed so that types can be linked to others related to the experiment.

  7. Click Submit when finished.
  8. When returning to the Experiment Main Menu, you should notice that the page has been updated to include the new data type.



    - A query will have been automatically saved under Saved Data Views. This default query allows users to view all object instances in the database for this data type. To enter to new items, see Adding Data Items.

    - A row will have been automatically created under Data Entry and Retrieval for the new data type. Use the links under Actions to query for items, create a comparison view, or create a new instance of this type.

  9. To view or modify the schema for this data type, follow the Data Type Management link in the Privileged User Only section of the Experiment Home page.