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How to do an advanced query with the option that a field "is not blank"

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Duane Zehr
How to do an advanced query with the option that a field "is not blank"
on Mar 24, 2015 at 5:57:50 pm

When performing an advanced query the following options are available to modify a field to be searched:
includes
includes all of
contains substring
exactly equals
is blank
matches regex

For us, and I suspect for other uses, a useful option would be "is not blank," as it would hit on anything that has an entry of any kind, in a field that can also be blank. Is there a way to get an "is not blank" option?

Duane Zehr
Office of University Marketing and Publications
Bradley University


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John Vaudin
Re: How to do an advanced query with the option that a field "is not blank"
on Mar 24, 2015 at 7:44:58 pm

If you look to the left of each term you'll see two checkboxes. One for OR and one for NOT. Tick the NOT checkbox and select "is blank" as the operator.


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Duane Zehr
Re: How to do an advanced query with the option that a field "is not blank"
on Mar 24, 2015 at 7:58:41 pm

That sounds like it should work, and as a query unto itself, with no other fields with search data entered, it returned 32,000+ hits in my test. But if there's even one other field with search data entered, it returns no results. Thanks -- maybe I'm still missing something.

Duane Zehr
Office of University Marketing and Publications
Bradley University


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John Vaudin
Re: How to do an advanced query with the option that a field "is not blank"
on Mar 24, 2015 at 8:13:38 pm

Just to clarify. If you supply more than one search term then the default is to only return clips where ALL the terms are true. If you want to find clips where either one thing or the other is true then you need to tick the OR checkbox for all optional terms.


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Duane Zehr
Re: How to do an advanced query with the option that a field "is not blank"
on Mar 24, 2015 at 8:28:13 pm

An update to this: When I select certain other search elements, using the NOT method worked! It just doesn't work if you have certain other elements in the search.

In my case using our user-defined options, this is what worked:
A search in a particular "Department" with NOT "Diversity" is blank.
A search in a particular "Department" and in a particular "Historical Decade" with NOT "Diversity" is blank.
A search in a particular "Center/Institution" and in a particular "Historical Decade" with NOT "Diversity" is blank.
(And other similar searches also worked)

Here's what didn't work:
A search in a particular "College" with NOT "Diversity is blank.

So for some reason, when "College" is selected, adding the NOT search doesn't work. Not sure why that would be, but at least I know the workaround for now. Thanks for the help!

Duane Zehr
Office of University Marketing and Publications
Bradley University


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bryson jones
Re: How to do an advanced query with the option that a field "is not blank"
on Mar 24, 2015 at 9:56:00 pm

Without knowing the field layout, it's hard to tell what a query would return, but it sounds like you're getting it sorted.

Remember that as John says, you are gathering results with an "AND" typically "is blank" just means a field has nothing in it.

If I'm reading this correctly, in order for this to work, "Diversity" would need to be a field that has some sort of value entered, such as:

Field=College, value=Liberal Arts
Field=Diversity, Value=yes

If a record had the above situation, and you searched for:

College=Liberal Arts
Diversity= NOT blank

it should work as "Diversity" is in fact, NOT blank AND you have a record with the College set as Liberal Arts. The selection of another field should not affect it UNLESS the value that you are searching for in "College" is not returning results.

Maybe try that search alone first and confirm that your "College" search returns results.

bryson

bryson "at" northshoreautomation.com

northshoreautomation.com


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Duane Zehr
Re: How to do an advanced query with the option that a field "is not blank"
on Mar 25, 2015 at 1:35:05 pm

Thanks again. I've run tests searching just for each college with no other modifier, and they all return thousands or tens of thousands of hits. Then adding other modifiers one by one narrows the searches accordingly.

The only time it returns no results is when a college is selected AND the "NOT Diversity is blank" parameter is added. Then, taking out the selected college, but leaving in searches by department, scene keywords, campus locations, etc, along with the "NOT Diversity is blank" parameter, still returns the appropriate hits. I can then look at individual files found, and see that the appropriate college is tagged in them.

Duane Zehr
Office of University Marketing and Publications
Bradley University


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