The ClassWeb user search screen allows you to locate any account
through more than a dozen access points, including keyword searching.
Once an account has been found, its data can be displayed and edited.
In addition, you can perform subscription related services like renewal,
cancelling, disabling, enabling and sending account information via email.
The search screen is the hub of any action you will perform on an existing
account/subscription. It is reached by clicking on the Search
for an Active or Expired Account link on the Account
The search screen supports two ways to search for use accounts: with
queries and through index browsing. A query allows you to search
for one or more criteria using boolean logic (AND, OR and NOT), mathematical
operators (greater than, less than, etc.) and wild card characters (to
match multiple characters). The result is a set of records that meet
the search criteria, returned in no particular order. To run a query,
input your criteria into one or more of the input fields on the search
screen and then press the Search button.
Index browsing, on the other hand, allows you to choose an existing
database index (like user name, e-mail address, keyword, etc.), input a
starting value and jump to that place in the index. The results are
returned in "index order" (usually this is alphabetical order) so that
you can navigate forwards and backwards in the index to locate the exact
term you are looking for. Index browsing does not support boolean
or mathematical operators, or wild card characters.
Index browsing is almost always faster and easier to do than running
queries, so it is recommended that you start by browsing and move onto
queries as necessary. You browse an index by inputting your search
term into the appropriate field on the search screen (like user name or
customer number) and pressing the Browse button to the immediate
right of the field. There is a Browse button corresponding
to each input field on the search screen. Make sure that you click
on the "Browse" button to the right of the input field for the index you
want to view.
Whenever this help document refers to a "search" as in "search screen",
"running a search" or "search results", it includes both index browsing
actual queries. If any part of this document refers to only index
browsing or only queries, that will be explicitly stated.
Index browsing will always produce an almost immediate response back
to your computer. This is because the server has to do very little
work in returning the contents of an index. Running a query, however,
make take noticeably longer. The length of time it takes for query
to run depends on the number of records that match each one of your criteria.
Even if the final result is only a handful of records, if any one of your
search terms would have resulted in tens of thousands of matches on its
own, you may experience some delay.
If you are using Netscape Navigator as your Web browser, the server
will return a status screen every ten seconds (if the query takes that
long) to show you what its progress is. Unfortunately, Microsoft
Internet Explorer does not support the protocol that makes this possible.
Instead, the server will return a space character every ten seconds.
This is to stop the browser from thinking that the connection to the server
has gone down (your screen will remain blank, however).
It is important when you are running a query that you don't press the
ESCAPE key, click on your Web browser's Stop button or use any other
button (backwards, forwards, etc.) that would cause the browser to replace
the contents of the query screen. If you do, you will cancel the
query in progress because all of these actions will cause your Web browser
to drop the connection to the server. Whenever the connection between
your Web browser and the server is interrupted, the server will stop whatever
it is in the middle of, reset itself and wait for your next request.
This doesn't mean you can't do anything else with your computer.
In fact, you can do anything but submit another request to the server from
some other browser window. So, you can continue word processing,
Web surfing and game playing, as long as it is in a different window and
this server is not involved.
The queries that run the fastest are those where your search terms are
as specific as possible. The fewer records that match each search
criteria the faster the query runs. This means you should take particular
care in your use of wild card characters, particularly when placed near
the front of a search term. In fact, the use of leading truncation
(placing a * or ? at the front of a search term) will generally result
in significantly slower queries.
Whether you are index browsing or running a query, this server treats
almost all punctuation (comma, period, hyphen, dollar sign, parentheses,
slash, etc.) as a space and multiple spaces as a single space. In
addition, any leading and trailing spaces (or punctuation) are ignored.
Any punctuation that is not treated as a space is ignored (like the apostrophe
and caret: ' and ^). This makes it possible to find what you are
looking without knowing how the original record was punctuated or formatted.
Each of the input fields on the search form correspond to a different
database index. The indexes are:
User Login Name Index
This index includes the name a user logs into the system with.
Since most users know this information, it is the most common acces point
into the account records.
This index includes the full name of primary contact person for each
account, first name first.
This index includes the institution name associated with each account.
This index includes each address line from each account record.
This index includes the country names for any non-U.S. accounts.
This field is normally left blank for U.S. accounts.
Primary Contact Phone
This index includes the phone number of the primary contact for each
This index includes each email address (primary contact and additional
contacts) from each account record.
Customer Number Index
This index includes the customer number from each account record.
This is the account number assigned to each customer by the CDS billing
Purchase Order Number
This index includes the purchase order number from each account record.
This is the purchase order number used by the customer for their most recent
IP Address Index
This index includes the IP addresses from each account record.
These are only filled in on accounts that want to use the automatic
login feature. This index is sorted numerically whereas all of
the other indexes are sorted alphabetically.
User ID Index
This index includes the unique internal Minaret user ID that is assigned
to each account record.
Most of the fields in each user record contributes entries to the keyword
index. The index contains most of the words that appear in a record.
In general, this is the index of last resort as you will almost always
get back more records than you would like. If you have ever used
an Internet search site like Yahoo or Excite, you have an idea of the limitations
of keyword searching.
No stop lists are used when the keyword index is updated so no words
are dropped in the process. For example, the keyword indexes of many
library systems drop certain words that are found in a record. The
list of words that are not indexes are called stop lists. As a result,
words like "and", "or", "a", "an" and "the" are often ignored. Because
this can created problems in extreme situations (like the Dutch magazine
"The") this software does not bar any words from the keyword index.
Any queries that you run that involve the keyword index are handled
differently than any of the other indexes. Because the keyword index
only contains individual words, if you input more than one word in the
keyword field and run a query, the software will search for those words
separately in the same record. There is no phrase searching support
in the keyword index.
The keyword index the only index that you don't have to use boolean
mode to search for multiple values at the same time. If you input
more than one word (words are anything separated by a space), the program
treats each word as a separate criteria. Whether or not a record
matches this criteria depends not only on the presence of these words but
also on whether you have selected the AND or the OR search option.
If you have selected the AND search option, every word in the keyword list
must be present in the record for the record to be a match. Alternately,
if you select an OR search, any of the words in the list can be present
in a record for it to match.
The search screen is made up of five to seven sections depending on
whether there are any data records on the screen. When you are browsing
an index or looking at the results of a query, the data is displayed at
the top of the page and the rest of the search screen follows. The
sections are, from top to bottom:
The navigation buttons that display other pages of search results (first,
next, previous and last page commands) are only displayed after you run
a search that returns some records. When you first reach the search
screen, these navigation buttons will not be shown. The possible
navigation and command buttons are:
||Returns the first page of search results.
||Returns the previous page of search results.
||Returns the next page of search results.
||Returns the last page of search results.
||Runs a query using the values input on the screen.
||Clears any values from the input fields on the search screen and resets
all display and search options to their default values.
||Logs you out of ClassWeb.
||Closes the current window. In cases where the software has opened
a new window for you (like when you click on the Search button), you can
close the window by clicking on this button. If the software is not
able to close the window because it was opened by hand, the main classification
menu is displayed instead.
||Displays the user account menu.
||Displays on-line help in a separate window.
The first line after the command buttons gives the name of the search
screen you are using (Basic or Advanced) and information about the index
or query you are using, along with the number of entries in that index
or query. Here is what might be displayed when browsing the "User
Login Name" index:
User Search: Minaret users by account
A query might produce the following:
User Search: query1 (5 items)
The number in parentheses indicates how many account records matched
the search criteria.
Following this information line are the search results. This will
include a list of index terms and under each value, a brief display and
series of links for each user account that contains that index term.
The user login name for each account will be displayed first and it too
will be a link. By clicking on this link, a separate windows will
be opened that will display this record in full.
In square brackets after the user name are a list of actions you can perform
on this account. These links are also available as buttons on the
display form. Remember, that any time you want to know what a
particular link in classification does, move your mouse over the link and
look at your Web browser's status (help) line.
You can select whether or not you even want to display the account summaries
after each index term with the following display option at the bottom of
Start with a summary list
of index values (do not display user records).
When you select this option, each index term will be a link that will
allow you to display the record summaries when you need them. If
you prefer this display option, you can set the following Subject Heading
Option on your own account preferences page:
Start with a summary list
of index headings.
User Account Links
In addition to the link on the user name that displays
the account record, the user name is following by a set of links in square
brackets. These links allow you to perform the following actions
on a given account:
||Allows you to edit this account record in a
||Allows you to renew a subscription for this
account in a separate window.
||Allows you to activate a 30 day free trial
subscription for this account.
||Cancels the subscription for this account.
||Disables an account.
||Enables an account.
||Resends the account information to all contacts
for this account via email.
Search Input Fields
The input fields are used to enter your searching criteria. If
you are only using one field and you don't need wild cards, boolean logic
or mathematical operators, click on the "Browse" button to the right of
the field to start an index browse. Otherwise, fill in your
various criteria and click on the "Search" button.
Each of the input fields correspond to a different database indexes,
which are described above. Documentation on
wild cards, boolean logic and mathematical operators can be found below.
The two display options affect how many user records are displayed
on each search screen and whether to start with a list of index terms without
any summary information.
The search options only affect queries and not index browsing.
The options are:
AND vs. OR Search
This option only affects your searches if you have filled in more than
one field with criteria and if you are searching the keyword index.
In these cases, you can ask for those records that meet every criteria
you entered (this is an AND query) or you can ask for those records that
meet any of the criteria you input (an OR query).
This is an example of an AND query:
Find all records that start
with "new york" in the address line AND start with "jane" as a primary
To run this query, you would make sure the AND option is selected (it
is by default) and fill in the input fields as follows:
|Primary contact name
Please note that by default, all queries in Minaret run as truncation searches.
This means that the field can end in any value as long as it starts with
the value you input. In this case "jane" will match "Jane Doe" and
This is an example of an OR query:
Find all records with an
institution name starting with "washington" or a phone number starting
To run this query, you would make sure the OR option has been selected
and fill in the input fields as follows:
Simple vs. Boolean Search
|Primary contact phone
So far, this document has only described how to to input a simple query.
This is the default setting for the search screen. However, your
searches can become much more powerful if you turn on the boolean option.
In boolean mode, you can have more than one search term per input field
, and you can use wild card characters and mathematical operators.
The most important difference between inputting a boolean query
and a simple query is that you have to put quotation marks around each
of your search terms when using boolean mode.
Here is an example of running a keyword query for multiple terms (the
Boolean option must be selected for this to work):
||"*library" or "*university"
||"washington" or "new york"
The outcome of this query will also depend on whether you have chosen the
AND or OR search option described in the previous section. The AND
and OR option controls the relationship between these fields. If
AND is selected, a record would have to have either of these two captions
AND either of these two keywords. If OR is selected, a record could
either have one of these captions OR one of these keywords in order to
be a match.
The asterisks in the instituion name values are "wild card characters".
They mean "match anything before this point". Wild card characters
are described in more detail below.
Here is an example using boolean logic and mathematical operations:
||(>= "100" and < "200") or ( >= "300.56" and <
This query would locate any records with either of these two ranges of
values. It illustrates how parentheses can be used to insure the
proper grouping of search terms and the use of mathematical operators.
Note that if mathematical operators are used, they must be placed immediately
before the search term. If you don't use a mathematical operator,
EQUALS (=) is assumed.
Each query operator has a precedence which determines how the software
interprets your query. This is no different than the use of precedence
in algebraic formulas. For example:
4 + 5 x 6
The multiplication operator has a higher presence than the plus operator.
As a result, you multiple five and six before adding the four. In
the preceding example, it turns out the parentheses are not needed.
This is because AND has a higher precedence than OR. Parentheses
don't hurt, however, and they often make a query more readable.
Here is the list of query operators and their relative precedence values:
||Less than or equal to
||Greater than or equal to
||Not equal to
||Not equal to
||Not equal to
The compare operator (CMP) is only included for completeness. It
is used by the software to turn the information on the Basic Search screen
into a query that this server can use. You may have noticed that
in all of the query examples, you never had to input a field name -- it
was done for you at some stage. When your query is submitted to this
server, the appropriate field name is inserted along with the CMP operator
and your search value.
Case Sensitive Search
Case sensitivity refers to how a computer handles upper and lower case
letters when searching for data. With this server, it also includes
the issue of diacritical marks like accents and umlauts that are used in
non-English languages. By default, this server uses a relaxed approach
with search criteria when dealing with upper/lower case issues and diacritical
marks. As a result, you don't have to worry about how the data
is capitalized and accented when you input your search terms. Please
note that any time you use a Browse button to browse an index, the lookup
is always relaxed. You cannot perform a case sensitive index browse
-- you must run a query instead.
If you are looking for a specific capitalization and accenting, there
are two procedures to follow depending on whether you are in Boolean mode
or not. If you are not in Boolean mode (i.e. the "Simple" search
option is selected), you can check the "Case sensitive search" button before
pressing the "Search" button. If you are in Boolean mode, you must
use back-quote characters around your search terms instead of double-quotes.
The back-quote character is on the same key as the tilde (~). Here
is an example:
|Primary contact name
||`Robert Johnson` or "sally smith"
||`Washington` or "new york"
As you can see from this example, each search term can have a different
case sensitivity requirement when using Boolean mode.
By default, every search term you input in a query is treated as if
it was just the prefix or beginning of the word or phrase you want.
This is sometimes called a truncation search. So if you are searching
for "statistic", the system will also match on "statistics", "statistical",
"statistician", etc. This makes it easier to find all variations
of a word without having to enter all of them in.
If you are looking for a specific version of a word or phrase, you can
select the "Exact match" option at the bottom of the search screen.
Wild Card Characters
The truncation search that is described in the previous section is
an example of the use of wild card characters. this server supports
two such characters: the asterisk (*) and the question mark (?).
An asterisk matches zero or more characters and a question mark matches
exactly one character. You can accomplish the same thing as a truncation
search by selecting the "Exact match" option and adding asterisks to the
end of each of your search terms.
You can use wild card characters in both the simple and boolean modes.
Here is an example with a simple search:
Unless you have turned of the truncation search option, the asterisk after
"illinois" is unneeded. A truncation search acts just like you had
put an asterisk after each of your search terms.
Here is the same example in boolean mode:
||"*illinois" or "*IL"
Both of these queries match any caption that has "Illinois" or "IL" anywhere
in an address line. This is assuming that you have selected the truncation
search option. If not, the address fields would have to end in these
Things to remember:
Unless you have checked the "Exact match" option, all of your qualifiers
will have an asterisk appended to them automatically.
Any place you use the relational operators (>, >=, <= and <), wild
card characters will be treated as regular characters.
If you need to locate a question mark or asterisk, you must put a backslash
(\) in front of the character to turn off its special meaning. For
example: "\*is this a note\?" would match the string "*is this a
The additional command buttons at the bottom of the basic search screen
||Redisplays the current screen. Use this button after you have
changed any of your display options to redisplay the current page using
the new options.
||This is a repeat of the Search button at the top of the screen and
runs a real query.
Return to the top of this page.
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