Curating the Query Exports/Filters Tool

The Query Exports/Filters tool organizes delivered Exports/Filters by Query Base (Prospects, Applications, Lookup, Organization Contacts, Organizations, etc.). This tool also houses all custom Exports/Filters that may need to be created to fit a specific business practice. This article educates and guides a user through the tool so that one understands its functionality and how it can aid in maintaining an efficient and accurate Slate instance.

Navigating the Query Exports/Filters Tool
  1. Click Database in the top navigation bar and select Query Exports/Filters.
    The page displays a list of the exports and filters added locally to your database. Many exports and filters are available out of the box as a Slate database is provisioned.
  2. Click Insert.
  3. Enter the following configurations in the popup window (*indicates a required field):
Configuration Description
Export Prefill

Add additional fields to existing Export Blocks that have already been added from the STL.

Further instructions about this configuration can be found in the next section.

*Status Make an Export/Filter Active or Inactive.
*Base Choose the Population to which the Export/Filter should apply. The base should match the scope of the field.
*Inherit 

This Export block will inherit all other Exports within the same base

This setting will always default to "Yes".  There are very few scenarios where this should be changed to "No".

*Name

Give the Export/Filter a unique, intuitive name that will be familiar to all users. For Exports, this name will be viewed in the Query Builder as a heading for each block.

*Memo

This is a brief description of what the Export/Filter will provide.

*Clauses: Select, Join, Preserve Where, Where, Prep & Suggest Prompt

These Custom SQL fields drive configurations that should only be utilized by Technolutions staff. The need for Custom SQL will be determined through Service Desk Requests and will be built to optimize performance in a Slate database.

*Operand Label, Operators, Where Prompts (#1-#5)

Custom Exports/Filters that are created may utilize these functions which are specific to particular data types. Typically these are also created by Technolutions staff when needed.

*Show in Reader

Configure a particular Export/Filter to be viewed in the Reader Tool by users who do not have Slate Template Library permissions. For example, faculty readers may need to have access to these Exports/Filters, but not all Exports/Filters. Here, an Administrator can determine who can see what in the Reader tool.

*Custom Permission

Specify which users should be able to access this Export/Filter by assigning a permission group or role.

Export Prefill Option (when adding custom Exports and Filters)

Exports are grouped into Export Blocks. 

For example, the following fields are found on a "Details" tab on a Person record:

  1. Student Type
  2. Application Number
  3. Application Term

All of these fields would be grouped into the same Export Block. If this "Details" block is added from the Slate Template Library, then these three fields would be added in the same block and become available for use.

A fourth field may be added to the "Details" tab (i.e. Academic Interest). Now, there are two data blocks available. In order to access the updated "Details" block, one would typically add it from the Slate Template Library (STL); however, this can cause confusion when using the exports in other tools because it will appear that the values have duplicated.  

Two export blocks are now available for use: 

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One export block, named "Details," contains the Student Type, Application Number, and Application Term exports. The other export block, also named "Details," is newer and has one export (Academic Interest) in addition to the original three.

Therefore, rather than re-adding the entire "Details" block from the STL and creating duplicates, use the Prefill option to add new fields to existing Export Blocks.

The Slate Template Library

The Slate Template Library (STL) provides one-click access to the best resources built for Slate partner institutions. It is the hub of Slate, where Exports, Filters, and many other objects are accessible.

Each time a new field is created, the STL files it away into the appropriate category (i.e. Query Custom Exports, Query Custom Filters). This is also where Standard Exports and Filters that are delivered with every Slate instance are found. This library is comprehensive but there are ways to easily navigate it to obtain the proper resources.

A user should start out slow and add resources from the Slate Template Library only as needed. All Exports and Filters (standard and custom) are available in various tools without having to be added locally.

Remember, adding Exports and Filters locally simply makes them available to users who do not have STL access. 

  Tips

The STL should be refreshed on-demand after a Field, Prompt, Export or Filter has been added in order for the Export/Filter to sync with the Query tool.

Adding Local Exports and Filters from the Slate Template Library

  Best Practices

The STL version of an Export or Filter should be used wherever possible rather than using ones that have been added locally to a Slate instance.

Why? STL Exports and Filters can be...

  • used by the Briefcase Tool.
  • are always up-to-date with Slate Instance configurations.
  • are unaltered (whereas Local Exports can be changed by users).

Important!

Homepage widgets can use STL Filters, but can only utilize Local Exports.

  1. Click Database in the top navigation bar and select Slate Template Library.
  2. Click on the header of the type of object (Exports or Filters) to expand the list of objects.
  3. The objects are listed alphabetically by Category (or Population/Query Base) and then alphabetically by Name.
  4. Click Add to add the object locally to the Slate instance.
  5. A pop-up window will appear, circling back to the Query Export/Filter tool. All of the required fields have been pre-populated. Click Save.

The STL should be refreshed on-demand after an Export or Filter has been added.

  Where's the Filter?

Slate auto-generates a Filter and its functionality based on the configurations that were set when the field was created. The following data types will be created in this manner:

  • Fields set to Store Value (bit/language/state/country/user prompts/text fields)
  • Numeric fields
  • Date fields

For Numeric and Date fields, operands (such as <,<=,=,=>,>) will automatically be available when choosing these Filters. 

Inactivating outdated Local Exports and Filters

At times, Local Exports and Filters (those that have been added from the STL) will no longer be needed or have been replaced by newly created ones. The inactivation of such Exports and Filters will make them unavailable to users, but keep the functionality active in the case that any rules, queries or mailings are dependent on them.  This will also ensure that staff members choose the most accurate Export/Filter.

  Best Practices

Create an audit process that reviews the usage of the Exports and Filters.

  Tips

We strongly recommend that Local Exports/Filters are not deleted, but rather inactivated. Since there are numerous tools (e.g. queries, mailings, rules, teasers, Student Record Dashboard, etc.) that potentially rely on any given Export/Filter, summarily deleting them can be detrimental.

Exports/Filters Reference Tool

Once the outdated Local Exports and Filters are identified:

  1. Click Database in the top navigation bar and select Exports/Filters Reference.
  2. Displayed are Local Exports and Filters that are being used by other tools within Slate. The following details are provided:
  • Base - The Population with which the Export/Filter is associated.
  • Name - The name of the Export Block or the name of the Filter.
  • Type - "Select" represents an Export; "Where" represents a Filter.
  • References - The Slate tool that utilizes the Export/Filter (e.g. Query, Application Logic, Rule, Mailing, Report)

Any Exports/Filters that are not being used can be inactivated.

To inactivate:

  1. Click on the Name of the Export/Filter
  2. Change the status to Inactive.
  3. Click Save.
Case Study

Slate University has a Filter named "Interest" and it is used more often than the newly named Filter "Interest #2".

Slate University should update the queries that are using the "Interest #2" Filter and replace it with "Interest".

Then, they can follow the steps above and deactivate the "Interest #2" Filter.

  Tips - Keep it simple. Keep it clean.

  • The base of a Query Export/Filter should always match the scope of the field it matches.
  • As a Slate database begins to grow, utilize the Prefill Option to build upon an Export block rather than re-adding the block locally from the STL.
  • If end-users are only provided what they need to complete their daily tasks, then a Slate instance will remain simple enough maintain.
  • Never hesitate to submit a Service Desk Request if a custom Export/Filter is needed.
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