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Access ELF Field Selection Window


Use the right mouse button on any selected table to pop up the individual Field Selection dialog during the Custom Analysis process. This gives you the option of making certain fields transparent to ELF, or having ELF take the field into account but not save its data in the English lexicon.

The Ack check box determines whether Access ELF will see (Acknowledge) a field at all. If this is switched off, Access ELF will not understand references to either the field's data or the field name when questions are put to it using the interface being built. It will never list these fields as part of an answer, either. In other words, this excludes given fields entirely from the View.

This setting cannot be overriden later from the Synchronization functions of the Word Source dialog. These fields will not appear in Access ELF's Synchronize Field drop-down lists.

The Mem check box decides whether the information from the database contained in this particular field will be added to the Lexicon during the Analysis. This is really necessary only in cases where the questioner will be implying a given field by referring to its data. For instance, if we ask What is Smith's department we certainly want Access ELF to remember that Smith is a value of the LASTNAME field of the Employee database, so that it can make this association. Otherwise we'll be forced to use unnatural syntax like What is the department for lastname = Smith?

But although ELF enters pretty nearly everything into the lexicon by default, very often this is unnecessary and only serves to bloat your interface. Worse, this can cause confusion because of conflicts between words in the database, some of which have only a marginal relationship to the field and table in which they appear. Prime candidates for this type of exclusion are any Memo or other Text field which contains free-form text, such as sentence-length descriptions. For instance, you could easily exclude the data from the Employees Notes field of Northwind, so that ELF doesn't have to struggle to understand which of all the nouns, verbs, adjectives and articles contained in this field have special relevance to Employees. This doesn't mean you'd lose the ability to query about this field. You could still ask Which employees have "chemistry" in the Notes field? In fact, you could also use the Phrase substitution mechanism to define more natural phrases, such as
When I Type: among their interests
I Really Mean: in the Notes field

As you can see, in this case the additional requirements on the questioner are that they use quotes ("Chemistry") to set off the data and that the field (or some word defined to refer to the field) be used in the question.

In other cases, you just will never use the data in questions at all, although you may frequently be requesting information about the data in this field. For example, it's unlikely that you'll ever need to type a question like Who's phone number is 212 316-9078? although you might want to ask Show the phone number for ELF Software Co. In that case, you lose nothing by checking the Mem box off for this field (Phone Number), but you do speed up the Analysis and reduce disk space requirements.


Last Updated: August, 2009