2018-05-18: official release Axiell Collections 1.0

Today we release our first official version of Axiell Collections: 1.0. On a flexible but regular basis we'll release minor updates (numbered 1.1, 1.2 etc.) containing both new functionality as well as bug fixes, to strike a good balance between reliability, performance and the availability of the latest functionality.

2018-05-18: relevant bug fixes since 2018-03-07

Short problem description

An error Multiple possible links in '<database>' for record <n>... appeared when selecting a term from the Find data for the field window if the linked field had a merged-in linked field for which the link reference index had not been set to unique.

Thesaurus terms with the status 'obsolete' were still visible in validation lists.

Forced terms or images weren't linked to the record from which they were created.

Access point searching on logical fields (checkboxes) generated an error and yielded no results.

When a saved search had been created from selected sets, it didn't always contain the original search statement but referred to the obsolete sets instead.

Scrolling down a large result set, using either your mouse wheel or by dragging the scroll box a few centimetres down, could make Collections unresponsive.

After executing the Change locations task, the location history would have been emptied.

Certain fields no longer appeared in the output XML when exporting or printing.

Automatic numbering did not add a number to the last used number.

A conditional field only became active after saving the record, not during edit mode.

When all conditional fields in a box were hidden, the box would still be visible.

In linked fields, a search and replace with an empty Replace box would always fail.

The result set edit mode didn't work for all field types, like checkboxes and numeric fields.

Adding an occurrence [+] would add numerous extra occurrences while [-] had no effect.

The default access rights setting at application level didn't work properly.

An error was generated when trying to save a new or an edited record.

The (open or closed) status of screens was only remembered during the current session but not saved to the application settings.

When a search yielded no results, the result set would become inactive.

Bulk creating location records in the location hierarchy browser would give double hierarchies.

Grouping the result set on enumerative fields (drop-down lists) didn't work.

Inherited fields were not displayed in the result set any more.

An application field could not be added to the result set.

The result set could not be sorted on numerical fields.

Adding data in another language than the current data language, through the Edit multilingual texts dialog, caused an internal server error.

A linked field displayed as an enumerative list was not repeatable on screen even if it was configured that way.

In the Find data for the field window opened from within the Change locations task, the Context column for locations was empty.

Changes made in result set edit mode weren't saved when leaving the record.

The Sets list on the Advanced search tab didn't have a maximum height and offered no vertical scroll bar.

Some screen tabs couldn't be opened in the record details view.

All dates consisting of just a year, were resolved as 1904 in an export to Excel.

For every hierarchical (narrower/broader) field "included" (aka overwritten) in a dataset, Collections would add an occurrence when trying to add a single occurrence for one of these fields, so e.g. three occurrences would be added while you requested only one.

On the Standard search tab, in the Hebrew interface language, labels of each access point were hidden partially by the entry field next to it.

In the Hebrew interface language, the X icon to close a window was in the wrong position and its button frame was placed below it.

In a detail screen table grid, application fields weren't displayed.

The Filter functionality in the Find data for the field window changed the labels of unrelated checkboxes in that window to True and/or False.

Settings of the hierarchy browser were no longer accessible after refreshing the hierarchy browser via the internet browser F5 function.

After saving a new record, certain fields that should have remained hidden due to record type access rights, became visible again.

The Select button in the Geographical map tab of the Find data for the field window didn't become active for existing place records.

The Geographical map only showed the first selected record instead of all and did not update when highlighting another record.

The Geographical map tab in the Find data for the field window didn't seem to be validating places in any way.

Fields filled in by an after-field adapl weren't saved when the edited record was an existing one.

When putting a record in edit mode, or saving, previously opened tabs took forever to open again and if you opened them manually, filled-in linked fields appeared empty.

2018-03-27: expand option for standard search

2019-02-01: note that this functionality has changed in 1.4. Please see the Expand operator topic for a current description of this functionality.

In the bottom right corner of the Standard tab in the Search <data source> dialog you'll now find the Expand option. Mark it to apply the Expand operator to all the singular parts of your search query (a filled-in row represents a singular part of a search query), before the Boolean And or Or will be applied. The option is only relevant to hierarchical databases and it requires an index on the link reference tag for the broader term field to function (otherwise you'll get an error). You can apply it to a search on one or more access points, to find records of which any of the parents (or grandparents etc.) or the record itself contains one of the search keys. If multiple access points are combined with the Boolean And option (as will be your typical choice), then the final search result will be the intersection of the results of the separate expanded searches, the records the partial result sets share, while if you combine multiple access points with Or then the final search result will be the collection of all partial result sets together.


Searching with Expand, here in the Standard search, is particularly useful for finding child records with some inherited field data since the inherited data in children is only stored in some parent record (where it is inherited from) of the relevant hierarchy: you can't search on inherited data in any other way. If the searched key, a title of an archive record for instance, is found in a parent or grandparent then it doesn't matter which title is visible/stored in lower level archive records themselves: the title field in any lower level record may be empty, may have a different stored title or may just display an inherited title from some higher parent record.
Example: let's say we have a hierarchical film database to register details about films on four possible levels: work, variant, manifestation and item. Some work record has the title Men from Mars. To prevent redundant duplication of data in child records, the title field has been made an inherited field, so all variants, their manifestations and their items will show the same title once you open their records, while the title isn't actually stored in all those child records. However, for one of the variants we changed the title to Creatures from Mars. Let's also assume this hierarchy consists of ten records, hierarchically linked as follows:


(inh. means that the title is inherited and is not actually stored in the record.)

Suppose we have two relevant access points on the Standard search tab, one for the level and one for the title. Make sure the And option has been marked. To find records:

1 through 10, search expanded (with the Expand option marked) on title (Equals) Men from Mars (because they all have a parent or grandparent with that title, or contain the title themselves);
2, 4, 5, 6 and 10, search expanded on title Creatures from Mars (because they all have a parent or grandparent with that title, or contain the title themselves);
10, search expanded on level item And title Creatures from Mars (because it's the only item with a grandparent with that title);
8, 9 and 10, search expanded on level item And title Men from Mars (because they all have a grand-grandparent with that title);

Note that with the marked And and Expand options, the search results would be exactly the same if the title field was not an inherited field and left empty in records 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, because the search would only look at fields in which a value has been stored, so for a search a field with inherited data is the same as an empty field. Only records 1 and 2 contain a stored title.

To find records:

4, 5, 6 and 7, first search (without Expand) on level manifestation , then open the Standard search again via the Search icon in the top toolbar and combine the previous search result with a new, expanded search on title Men from Mars via the Narrower button;
2 and 3, first search (without Expand) on level variant , then open the Standard search again via the Search icon in the top toolbar and combine the previous search result with a new, expanded search on title Men from Mars via the Narrower button;

Instead of combining expanded search queries with non-expanded search queries via the Narrower button in the Standard search, you could also put together a single, combined search statement using the Expand operator on the Advanced search tab.

Also note that using Or (plus Expand) to combine access points is usually pointless because it will result in too many found records. For example, an expanded search on level manifestation OR title Creatures from Mars will yield records 2, 4, 5, 10 and all other manifestation and item records in the database...

2018-03-20: changing a hierarchy by dragging records


You can change the hierarchy by simply dragging a record from one place to another: just click the desired record, keep the mouse button pressed down, drag it to another node in the hierarchy (the tooltip shows an = or + symbol, which are no different in implementation) and release the mouse button: if you drag the record to another record on the same level with the same parent, you'll be offered the choice of making the dragged record a narrower record (sub node) of the target record or if you'd just like to change the order of these two occurrences in the parent record. If you drag the record to any other record, you can only make it a narrower record of the target record: the Create narrower record and Move record options will be greyed out. In any case you'll always have to confirm your change.


Changing the hierarchy this way will automatically change the parent (Part of or Broader term) and child (Parts or Narrower term) references in the involved records accordingly.

2018-03-20: using filter search functionality to find a record to link to

In most linked fields you just start typing the term that you have in mind and the normal validation mechanism will allow you to quickly find the term you are looking for. And if you still can't find it you can always create a new term record for it.
For some linked fields however, that validation mechanism is not adequate to find any records you'd like to link to, like the Part of or Parts fields on the Numbers | Relations tab of an object record for example, where a link to other object records can only be created by entering the desired object number (which might not be as readily available to you as a term or name would be). To solve that problem, the Find data for the field window now has a Filter (and Clear) button which offers you the possibility to open the Search <data source> dialog to search for the desired record to link to, using the Standard search, the Advanced search or the Saved searches. It might seem a bit complicated but it's actually rather simple to use:

1.Click the Validate icon of an empty linked field, the Parts field for example, to open the Find data for the field window.
2.Click the Filter button to open the Search <data source> dialog.
3.Perform a any search you like, to find the record you want to link to. For example, search on a creator in combination with a word from the title or open a saved search containing your recent acquisitions.
4.The search result will then be displayed on the View table and View hierarchy tab of the Find data for the field window. (If you didn't find the record you were looking for, just click the Filter button again to perform a new search.)
5.Simply select the one record you'd like to link to and click the Select button, to create the link. (You can't select multiple records at once.)

Important to remember is that after you have performed a search via the Filter button, that this "filter" will determine the maximum range of records that'll be listed on the View table or View hierarchy tab until you click the Clear button or close the Find data for the field window. The state of the Clear button will tell you if a filter is active: if the Clear button is active, the filter is active, if the Clear button has been greyed out, no filter is active. As long as you don't type anything in the Enter search key entry field after a filter search, you'll see the entire search result, but as soon as you type something into this field without clearing the filter first, the search key will only narrow down that current search result! If you'd like to validate an entered key to the entire index, just make sure no filter is active.

2018-03-07: relevant bug fixes since 2018-01-15


Short problem description


Uploading a large TIFF image file generated a "Root element is missing" error.


Uploading an image file wasn't identified as a record modification, causing the Save button to remain greyed out.


If there was more than one location with the same name, it was not possible to search on exactly one of them.


The Media Viewer sometimes displayed images partly outside of the available space in the view.


Export to CSV didn't add an extension to the created file when using Microsoft Edge.


Indexed merged-in fields did not appear in the field list in Advanced search.


The Confirm replacement option in the Search & replace dialog caused an internal server error.


Hierarchical searching generated an error.


Of enumerated fields, the Find data for the field window would display the neutral value instead of the user-friendly translation.


After-field adapls were not triggered when leaving the relevant fields.


Searching with narrower and broader operators yielded no results.


When no records had been marked, exporting to Excel would export all records from the result set.


Searched sub levels of a location on the View hierarchy tab in the Find data for the field window couldn't be expanded.


During hierarchical searching, if you only wanted to find a record on a certain sub level (not it narrowers) you had to search on the entire hierarchy up to and including the relevant sub level followed by a forward slash.


The Operators list in the Advanced search didn't contain the "hierarchical" operator yet.


The context field underneath the Current location name field wasn't emptied after removing the value in the Current location name field and saving the record.


After using Copy record, and saving the record using the Edit mode icon, you actually saved the original record: no duplicate had been created.


The sort instruction in an advanced search statement always required an English field name, regardless of the current interface language.


With the Export to Excel function, repeated field groups weren't always exported correctly.


The Change location procedure sometimes generated an error 8.


When roles defined in the application pbk file did not match AD-groups, Collections would default to the $REST role.


Bulk-created records were not stored.


Merged-in fields were incorrectly visible in the field list in the Search & replace dialog.


After an unsuccessful advanced search, no message about no matching record would appear, the Result set view would be closed and an empty Record details view would be shown.


Repeating a linked field could crash all applications in the application pool.


When selecting a parent record (bt) an error would be generated.


The Hierarchy browser view couldn't be closed.


Linked fields were missing from several field lists.


Downloading an image file returned a "404 File or directory not found" error.


In the Hierarchy browser view, the bulk-create records function could only be used once.


It was sometimes impossible to log out from Axiell Collections.


Read-only access rights on a data source didn't prevent zoom screens opened from within that data source from being editable.

2018-03-06: moving field occurrences up or down

Some fields or field groups can be repeated. Sometimes the occurrences of such repeated fields or field groups are automatically sorted, but often they won't be while you would still like to apply some manual sorting. This can now be done with the Move field up and Move field down icons in the Record details view context toolbar, which become active as soon as you place the cursor in a repeated field.


If the selected field is part of a field group, like the Dimensions field group for example, moving a field up or down means moving the entire field group occurrence up or down (in the screenshot below that would be the entire middle line, but a field group can also have a vertical orientation).


2018-02-19: reusing search statements via sets

Every search statement you execute will now be added as a set to the new Set(s) list at the bottom of the Advanced tab in the Search <data source> window. Collections will remember these (per user name) until you end your session by logging out or by closing the browser. In a search statement you can refer to a set as if you were including the original search statement that the set represents, while keeping the new search statement more compact (during entry at least). You may even combine singular search statements and sets into plural search statements, using a Boolean operator. For example: set 3 and creator = Peterson*
You can also reload the search result of a selected set into the Result set view by clicking the Select set button, or click the Copy set button to copy the search statement represented by a selected set to the Search statement box where you can easily change the statement without having to enter it all over again. Use the Remove set button to delete a selected set from the Set(s) list: this will not delete any records, it will just remove the selected set from the list if you no longer need it there. See the In-depth topics: combined searches chapter, for more information about sets and combining search statements.

Note that the numbering of the sets does not necessarily start with 1 and is not necessarily sequential. This is because the sets of all users are temporarily stored in one and the same database table (the same table where the saved searches are stored permanently) and because each set must have a unique identifying number. So a user x might register set 1 while a user y might register set 2. It's no problem: when combining sets, just use the actual set numbers as shown in the Set(s) list.

2018-01-22: hierarchical searching and validating

A typical search question might be: which search should I execute to find all objects on a particular current location if the current location doesn't have a unique name? In e.g. the Current location field in object records only the name of the lowest level of the location hierarchy is stored, so shelf 2 or box 3 for example, which are most likely no unique names. Although the read-only context field below the Current location field displays the entire location hierarchy, you can't search on this field because it is put together dynamically.


However, new hierarchical searching functionality now allows you to search on particular hierarchies, so you can find exactly the object records you are looking for. For this purpose, the Standard and Advanced search now support the hierarchical operator for appropriate linked fields (like Current location name for example).
You'll have to put together a complete hierarchy (or as complete as possible) as the search key, like Building A/Floor 1/Vertical 2/Shelf 1 for example, to get the search result you require, but you can use truncation and other tricks to tailor your search. However, it's likely you won't know the entire hierarchy by heart and even if you do there's no need to enter the complete string manually: you can use the Find data for the field window to interactively select the proper hierarchy for your actual search. This can also help you during data entry, when you are trying to enter the proper location in a location field in the record in edit mode. Please see the Hierarchical searching topic for more information about this functionality.

2018-01-18: new copy record functionality

Any record displayed in the Record details view can now be copied (as long as the record is not in edit mode and you are allowed to create new records), using the Copy record icon in the Record details context toolbar.


The new record with the copied data will be opened in edit mode, so you can still make some changes before saving the record: you should change at least all uniquely indexed fields, like Object number: Collections warns you when you try to save the record without having changed all such uniquely indexed fields. And maybe you would also like to empty the modification fields on the Management details tab and/or change reciprocal links (between objects and loans, for example).

The Copy record feature will:

1.create a copy of the current record (and will reset the record number and the creation and modification date record properties);
2.run any copy record procedure, if defined in the data dictionary (.inf);
3.clear the content of copy-protected fields (fields that are not marked as Exchangeable in the data dictionary);
4.show the record in edit mode in the Record details view.

2018-01-16: access point auto-complete list behaviour changed

Previously, the auto-complete drop-down list for access points on linked fields showed all possible terms starting with the characters you had already typed, even if those terms appeared nowhere in the field you were searching. So you could search on a term from the drop-down and still not find any records. That has now been fixed: the terms or names in access point drop-down list will always actually appear in this field in records in the current data source, so you'll no longer be searching for non-used terms.


2018-01-15: Manage saved searches icon changed

The Manage saved searches icon has been changed from




2018-01-15: Export to Excel function returned

Back by popular demand is the Export to Excel function. Click the Export to Excel icon (active as soon as you've marked one or more records) in the Result set context toolbar if you'd like to export selected data from records to an .xlsx (MS Excel) file. The fields which are currently being shown as columns in the Result set view, will be the exported fields. All occurrences of a repeated field will be exported and will end up in a single cell, separated by hard returns. A second dialog will offer you the choice of opening the resulting file in Excel or to save the file in your personal Downloads folder on your computer.


2018-01-15: optional screen table grid views

If set up by your application manager, some detail screens tabs may now show a new type of data presentation. It's a table view for just a few fields (one of which is a linked field) listing all linked records. This table view is integrated in the screen and replaces a box containing the same fields. In edit mode you can edit the same fields as before, but it works similar to the editing records in the Result set view. Such screen table views have the advantage that they load (aka resolve) a long list of linked records while the record is already in display or edit mode, while with normal screen box presentation the entire list needs to be loaded before the record can be displayed and/or edited in the Record details view. So for field groups that often contain many linked records, like the Parts field group on the Context (ISAD) screen tab of archive catalogue records for example, a screen table view can be a huge performance improvement.

The Child level units of description box below is an example of a standard box with a repeated field group.


After the required application changes, the box will be displayed as a screen table view which is editable with the rest of the record.



2018-01-15: bug fixes in past month


Short problem description


Opening thesaurus records from a search result generated an Object reference not set to an instance of an object error.


Bulk linking objects to a newly created activity using the Links functionality generated an internal server error.


Values in enumerative fields (fields with a drop-down list) weren't displayed.


Single character values could always be forced into the linked database as new records, even if forcing had been disabled.


Second and higher occurrences of a linked field with a flexible domain would be validated against the domain set to the first occurrence, instead of against the domain set for their own occurrence.


If no zoom/edit screen had been set up for a linked field, it was still possible to open the normal zoom screen for a linked value and put it in edit mode.


For single-sided linked fields, clicking the reverse relations header did show the correct number of related records and did open the data source containing the linked field, but the result set was wrong and records could not be opened in the Record details view.


Find & replace generated an internal server error when replacing data with an empty value (blank field) in repeatable fields.

2017-12-18: new Gallery view

New Gallery view added: an alternate view of a (search) result set. The view only displays the images linked to the records in the result set, accompanied by their record number or some other record data. You can display the view next to the Result set view or by itself without the Result set view. You can switch this view on or off with the Gallery view icon in the top toolbar. See the full topic for more information.