Multi-Value Fields


Multi-Value Fields

WebDataPro Discontinued in iSchool Courses
WebDataPro has been discontinued as a software tool in iSchool courses, effective June 2022. The tutorials are being maintained here for benefit of INFO 289 e-Portfolio students who may wish to use materials created using WebDataPro as evidence.

WebData Pro will allow you to enter multiple values within a field by utilizing the comma as a delimiter. When using a textbox field or a comment field, separate each value using a comma. In certain cases (see below), you may also need to enclose each value within quotation marks. Several examples are provided below.


When creating a field that will hold multiple values, YOU MUST make sure that the maximum character length for the field is large enough to accommodate ALL of your values. If the maximum character length for your field is not large enough to accommodate your longest record, then truncation will occur when you input your records, which will result in problems.

So when defining a field that will contain multiple values, consider the total length of the longest possible record, and make sure your field is long enough to accommodate that record. In order to do this, you’ll need to plan your records and your field values in advance, or alternatively choose a relatively large maximum character length when defining the field in order to accommodate possible uncertainty.

For example, if you have a record with seven comma-separated values and the total length is 70, then your field must at least accommodate a maximum character length of 70 characters. Otherwise truncation will occur when you input that record.

EXAMPLE #1: Multi-Value Color Field

STEP 1: Create a textbox field named “color” and add the following three records:

  • Record #1: Green,Blue,Red
  • Record #2: Purple,Gray,Red
  • Record #3: Purple,Pink,Red

STEP 2: Create a search layout which includes the color field, and then use the search layout to run the following searches:

  • Query: Green OR Purple
    Results: All records
  • Query: Red
    Results: All records
  • Query: Green AND Blue
    Results: Record #1
  • Query: Purple OR Pink
    Results: Records #2 and #3
  • Query: Purple AND !Pink
    Results: Record #2
    Note: The exclamation mark (!) is the equivalent of the NOT operator. To invoke the NOT operator, add an exclamation mark to the front of the term. For example, to exclude any records that contain Green, you would use “!Green”. You can also use the exclamation mark in conjunction with other operators. To find all records that contain Purple but not Pink, you could use “Purple AND !Pink”.

EXAMPLE #2: Multi-Value Author Field

When adding multiple authors to a single field, you may use a comma between the values, but also be sure to enclose each author’s name in double-quotes. This will allow you to use commas and apostrophes within each author’s name, as well as other special characters. Your data is being stored in Unicode and so hopefully you should be able to use a wide range of special characters in the author’s name. If you run into any problems with particular special characters, then please report the problem using the WebData Pro Tech Support form.

Here is an example of a multi-value author field.

STEP 1: Create a textbox field named “author” and add the following four records:

  • Record #1: “O’Brien,Robert C.”,”Adams,Richard”,”Sharp,Margery”
  • Record #2: “L’Engle,Madeleine”,”Snyder,Zilpha Keatley”
  • Record #3: “Travers,P.L.”,”Walsh,Bill”,”DaGradi,Don”
  • Record #4: “O’Riordan,Dolores”,”Corr,Sharron”,”Ní Bhraonáin,Eithne”

STEP 2: Create a search layout which includes the author field, and then use the search layout to run the following searches:

  • Query: O’Brien,Robert C. AND Sharp,Margery
    Results: Record #1
  • Query: L’Engle AND !Adams
    Results: Record #2
  • Query: Travers OR Snyder
    Results: Records #2 and #3
  • Query: *Madel*
    Results: Record #2
    Note: The asterisk is a wildcard. In this case, you would need an asterisk before and after the term.
  • Query: O’Riordan AND Bhraonáin
    Results: Record #4