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Modifying a Data Type

After an experiment data type has been defined, it can still be modified. Precaution must be taken when modifying the data type, however, since in some cases, the attribute values for existing data will get deleted.

  1. In order to modify 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 modify 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. Scroll down the page until you find the profile for the data type you want to modify.

  5. Select the appropriate link for the modification you would like to make. See below for modification options:

Change the Data Type Label Attribute

Instances of a data type must be identified by a particular attribute (usually an ID number or name). The currently selected attribute is displayed after Data Type Label: The following is an example of what might be displayed for a data type named Individual.

When a data type is created, the default label attribute is the oid, a unique identifier that is automatically generated for every item in the database when it is created. The oid, however, often has no significance to the item, and is not very descriptive. It is often more helpful to identify items by another attribute, such as an ID number or name.

To modify the attribute used for the label:

  1. Select the Change Data Type Label link.

  2. The Edit Label Attribute page should appear. A dropdown list will be displayed where you can select from all the attributes defined for this data type. Select the attribute to use as the data type label.



  3. Click the Change button.

Rename the Data Type

  1. Select the Rename This Data Type Link.

  2. The Renaming Data Type page should appear. Enter in a new name.

  3. Click the Rename button.

Delete the Data Type

  1. Select the Delete This Data Type Link.

  2. The Delete Data Type page should appear. A prompt will be given to make sure you really want to delete the data type. If deleted, the data type will be removed from the system (the Experiment Home page will be updated and all previously created items of this data type will be deleted). Please make sure you do not want to keep any items of this type before deleting.

  3. Click the Yes, Delete It button to delete. Or click the No, Don't Delete button to cancel.

Rename a Data Type Attribute

  1. Find the attribute you want to rename in the attributes table.

  2. Under Actions, select the Rename link.

  3. The Renaming Attribute page should appear. Enter a new name.

  4. Click the Rename button.

Delete the Attribute

  1. Find the attribute you want to delete in the attributes table.

  2. Under Actions, select the Delete link.

  3. The Delete Attribute page should appear. A prompt will be given to make sure you really want to remove the attribute from the data type. If deleted, all data items previously created with this type will lose the value stored by this attribute. Please make sure you no longer need this data before deleting the attribute.

  4. Click the Yes, Delete It button to delete. Or click the No, Don't Delete button to cancel.

Change the Type of an Attribute

  1. Find the attribute you want to change the type for in the attributes table.

  2. Under Actions, select the Change Type link.

  3. The Change Attribute Type page should appear. Select a new Type from the dropdown list. If selecting either Limited Length String or Option List, also enter a value into the Length or Options field, respectively. See Defining Data Types for more details about the different types.

  4. Click the Update Type button.


Setting an Attribute to (not) be Unique

An attribute can be set to be unique if all instances of the data type must have a unique value for that attribute. This is often the case for ID numbers. Setting the Unique flag forbids users to add new items to the database that have an attribute value that an existing item already has. The Unique flag for any attribute can be toggled from the Data Type Management page.

  1. Find the attribute you want to toggle the Unique flag for in the attributes table. Note the current value of the Unique flag (yes or no).

  2. Under Actions, select the Toggle Unique link.

  3. The page should update. Verify that the value of the Unique flag has switched.

 

Add New Attribute

  1. Under the Attributes table, select the Add New Attribute link.

  2. The Add New Attribute page should appear. Enter a name for the attribute and select a type. If selecting either Limited Length String or Option List, also enter a value into the Length or Options field, respectively. See Defining Data Types for more details about the different types.

  3. Click the Add button.

 

Reorder the Attributes

The ordering of the attributes affects the order in which they are displayed when displaying items in the database. It also affects the order in which attribute values are prompted for when users add new or edit existing items. The order defaults to the oid to be first with the remaining attributes in the order in which they were defined. You may find a different ordering to be more intuitive for entering or viewing items.

  1. Under the Attributes table, select the Reorder Attributes link.

  2. The Edit Attribute Order page should appear. The current attribute order is displayed. Modify the numbers next to each attribute to set a new ordering.

  3. Click the Reorder button.