Adding Virtual Columns (DEFINE) in a Synonym
You may create a DEFINE field as a custom field in the
Synonym Editor. A custom field can be used in a request as though
it is a real data source field. Virtual columns (DEFINE fields)
are available when the data source is used for reporting.
A virtual column can contain an expression, a constant, or a
- If the virtual
column is a complex expression, you can create the expression with
the Virtual Column Calculator or just type it into the Expression
- If the virtual
column is a simple expression, such as a constant value, you can
type the value in the Expression field.
Virtual columns are designated by the following icon:
After creating a virtual column, you can test it by right-clicking
the synonym and selecting Sample Data. Sample
data appears in a separate dialog box.
Procedure: How to Create a Virtual Column in a Synonym
create a virtual column in a synonym:
the Projects or Data Servers area,
open a synonym by double-clicking a Master File from the Master
The Synonym Editor opens.
a segment (or column), select Insert, and
The Define Calculator opens, as shown in the following
the Define Calculator, type a name for the column in the Name input
field, or use the default define name.
You may enter a descriptive title for
the virtual column (DEFINE) in the Title input field.
the Synonym Editor, click the browse (...)
button at the right of the TITLE and DESCRIPTION value fields to
specify multiple language titles.
the Expression tab and the calculator buttons to build the expression
for the virtual column (DEFINE).
Use the Relational Expression tab to build the
From the Relational Expression tab, click the Add
and use the drop-down menus to select the filter Field, Relation,
Note: Parameters are not supported.
Click the browse (...) button at the
right of the Value input field.
Value Selection dialog box opens, as shown in the following image.
Select from the available values and use the arrows to add
or remove values.
Click OK to close the Value Selection dialog
box and return to the Relational Expression tab.
The selection is added to the value field.
To add another expression double-click a column or variable from
the Columns/Variables tab on the right side of the calculator.
The row is added to the Relational Expression tab, where you
can create the expression.
To delete an expression, select the number or field column
of the expression and click the Delete button,
or right-click it and select Delete selected row(s).
The expression is removed from the Relational Expression tab.
may click the Check expression and Sample Data buttons, located on
the top right of the calculator, to verify that the expression is
valid and to view sample data for the filter.
Click OK to
close the calculator and return to the Synonym Editor.
Note: You can edit the Define, Title, or Expression
directly from the Properties section of the Synonym Editor or you
can click the browse (...) button located
at the right of the EXPRESSION value field to relaunch the calculator.
columns from the synonym are used in the expression or have been
defined, you can use the WITH option to identify the logical home
of the defined calculation. You can also use the WITH option to
move the logical home for the virtual column to a lower segment
than it would otherwise be assigned (for example, to count instances
in a lower segment).
Tip: You can click and drag the DEFINE field and
move it to a different segment in the Field View tab, which also
changes the segment association.
the Missing Data options for columns that allow null data. You can allow
all missing data.
Click Save from
the File menu to save the synonym.
the Synonym Editor, select Close from the
File menu or click the control button in the upper-right corner.
more information about expressions and virtual column (DEFINE) attributes,
see Defining Attributes and Creating Expressions for Custom Fields.