How to Search for an Active or Expired Account
and a description of the links after each user account.


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 Management Menu.

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 and 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. 

Primary Contact Name Index
This index includes the full name of primary contact person for each account, first name first.

Institution Index
This index includes the institution name associated with each account.

This index includes each address line from each account record.

Country Index
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 Index
This index includes the phone number of the primary contact for each account.

Email Index
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 department.

Purchase Order Number Index
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 subscription purchase.

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.

Keyword Index
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:

Navigation and Command Buttons
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:
Button Action
|< 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.
Search Runs a query using the values input on the screen.
Reset Clears any values from the input fields on the search screen and resets all display and search options to their default values.
Logout Logs you out of ClassWeb.
Close 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.
Menu Displays the user account menu.
Help Displays on-line help in a separate window.

Search Results
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 name

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 record 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 this form:

        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:

Link Action
Edit Allows you to edit this account record in a separate window.
Renew Allows you to renew a subscription for this account in a separate window.
Trial Allows you to activate a 30 day free trial subscription for this account.
Cancel Cancels the subscription for this account.
Disable Disables an account.
Enable Enables an account.
Resend 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.

Display Options
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.

Search Options
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 contact name.

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:

Input Field Input Value
Primary contact name jane
Address new york
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 "Jane Davis".

This is an example of an OR query:

        Find all records with an institution name starting with "washington" or a phone number starting with "202".

To run this query, you would make sure the OR option has been selected and fill in the input fields as follows:

Input Field Input Value
Institution washington
Primary contact phone 202
Simple vs. Boolean Search
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):

Input Field Input Value
Institution "*library" or "*university"
Address "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:

Input Field Input Value
IP Address (>= "100" and < "200") or ( >= "300.56" and < "300.90")
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.

Boolean Operators
Here is the list of query operators and their relative precedence values:

Operator Precedence Meaning
() 7 Parentheses
not 6 Logical NOT
cmp 5 Compare operator
< 4 Less than
> 4 Greater than
<= 4 Less than or equal to
>= 4 Greater than or equal to
= 3 Equal to
!= 3 Not equal to
<> 3 Not equal to
>< 3 Not equal to
and 2 Logical AND
or 1 Logical OR
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:

Input Field Input Value
Primary contact name `Robert Johnson` or "sally smith"
Address `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.

Truncation Search
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:

Input Field Input Value
Address *illinois*
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:

Input Field Input Value
Address "*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 values.

Things to remember:

Additional Command Buttons
The additional command buttons at the bottom of the basic search screen include:
Redisplay 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.
Search This is a repeat of the Search button at the top of the screen and runs a real query.

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