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Archive | Structure & Environment

Structure – Modules and Tasks

CANDAT has a unique structure for Users and for Food files. The actual work performed by CANDAT is organized in a structure of Modules and Tasks.

Modules identify broad areas of functionality. There are modules for food files, nutrient tables, category (food group) definitions and RNI tables, subject files, recipe files, food frequency (history) questionnaires, and file maintenance utilities.

Tasks are found within modules and provide the detailed interaction with the User. It is within tasks that subject data is entered, recipes and food files are created, nutrient data is calculated, reports are produced, etc. The titles of the modules are self explanatory as are the titles of the tasks. Follow the prompts within the tasks and you should be able to accomplish your work with ease.

Structure – Users

CANDAT is licensed on a per computer basis. CANDAT may be installed on only those computers and networks for which it is licensed. It is possible for multiple users to use CANDAT simultaneously when installed in a network. You are only allowed the number of simultaneous users negotiated in your purchase agreement.

Any one licence (on one computer) can and is allowed to support any number of users. Users are created within CANDAT using a NEWUSER2 creation process. This process creates a folder for the user, specific to the disk (memory stick or other USB device) drive specified at creation. Note that CANDAT records the drive on which the user is created. Users must function on the drive specified at creation in order for CANDAT to be able to function properly. This is particularly important in a laboratory structure where users may connect their memory sticks to a USB port and create their own environment. CANDAT creates an icon with the particulars of the user drive. A user can change the drive in the properties of this icon to correspond to the drive of their memory stick, if used on another computer. For instance, a user could create an environment on their memory stick under the  “F” drive in the laboratory environment and then need to use it on the “G” drive of another computer.

User folders store food files, category files, subject files, questionnaire files, save files, and recipe files.  For a user to use another user’s files, those files must be copied to the relevant user folder. There is no user identification on the files themselves. This structure also allows the same (project) name to be used for each of the food, category, subject, etc. files.

Data Entry

CANDAT prompts you for information in the form of a list of choices or tables. Lists are referred to as menus, not to be confused with menus used in restaurants. CANDAT will also prompt you for single field entries as in food codes, date of recalls, etc. An entry of a blank code or a 0 for date will terminate that process.

  1. There are two kinds of menu presented in CANDAT.
    1. The usual menu expects you to make a single choice. That is done by moving the selection bar (cursor) to the choice and pressing the enter key. Another way of accomplishing the same thing is to simply enter the first letter of the choice. Pressing the Esc (escape) key has the effect of choosing the last choice in the menu or of exiting menu selection without making a choice.
    2. The other menu gives you a series of Yes/No choices which you toggle by pressing the Y or N keys. You can also make all the choices Y or all N by pressing the Alt key with your selection of Y or N.
  2. There are two kinds of table entry in CANDAT.
    1. The usual table entry allows you to enter information within each cell of a table. Some cells will only allow numbers, others, both numbers and characters. Whichever is allowed will be obvious from the context. If you try to enter a character and it does not appear in the cell, the cell is probably expecting a number. Blank cells are considered filled with characters and you will not be allowed to move out of the cell until you insert a number. A 0 is usually sufficient. If this entry resulted in an extra line being added to the table, it can usually be removed using Alt F4 (see below). Some of these tables grow automatically as you try to enter another row. Pressing the Enter key in the last cell of the last row of a table activates this feature. You cannot simply move to a row that does not exist by using cursor controls. Other rows can be inserted and deleted in these “growing” tables by using Alt F3 to add lines and Alt F4 to delete lines. To exit after having entered your information, press the Esc key. You can move from cell to cell by pressing Tab (or back Tab) and by using the cursor control keys. You can also use Ctrl Home and Ctrl End to go to the first and last cells respectively.
    2. The other type of table entry allows editing of a full line at a time. This is usually a more “free form” type of entry and you sometimes need to be more careful of the layout of the information in this type of entry. To exit after having entered this information you must press Ctrl E or Ctrl Q. Ctrl E will save your entries, Ctrl Q will quit without saving your entries.

CANDAT Environment (GRASP)

CANDAT has been developed in a consistent environment called GRASP. GRASP (General Reporting and Application Support Package) is an environment which contains standard mechanisms for communicating between the user and the computer. This allows for a consistent appearance of applications.

GRASP assumes a well defined user area on the disk (usually created at installation) and a structure of modules and tasks. The following are available in GRASP environments:

  1. Task startup menu
    Once a task has been chosen and it has been read in by the computer, the following menu is displayed:

    1. START the task
    2. CHOOSE another task
    3. ACTIVATE system utilities
    4. SET paper size
    5. CALL for help information
    6. EXIT to the Dos environment, saving this session
    7. SELECT printer
    8. QUIT and return to the operating system

    At the end of a task, the same menu appears again. You can choose at this point to restart the task by choosing the first option again.

    There are two ways to exit from CANDAT. One is temporary and leaves CANDAT in memory, ready to be reactivated. This is the EXIT to DOS choice. To return to CANDAT after choosing this alternative, simply type EXIT from within DOS and you will be returned to CANDAT. Do not try to start a new session of CANDAT if you exited this way. You will quickly use up all of your memory and may not be able to start a second session if you do so. If you choose QUIT and return to the operating system, CANDAT is released from memory and you must follow the regular mechanism for getting back in.

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