Overview of using SHRS Database
The primary interface for querying the database involves several fields for inputting search criteria. On the left (1), the user selects the table from which to search.
Once a table has been selected, the dropdown list (2) in the center of the page will be updated with possible search fields. The default selection will be the column that
that the results will be sorted by. In the primary search field (3), enter the text you wish to search against the data within the category selected. The user may choose
to leave the substring blank, in which case every sample will be a match. Essentially, this will dump the entire table (it may take a while depending on the size of the table).
Below the three "mandatory" search criteria are the optional query parameters (4). These input boxes allow the user to perform searches utilizing AND/OR/NOT
modifiers. These options perform exactly as they "sound," and allow flexibility when the search string's format is not definite. For instance, if you know
your samples contain 'Tree' and '51', but you're not sure if they are separate or together, an AND search would be appropriate. The OR and NOT features
work in a similar fashion, and should be used accordingly.
SORTING RESULT TABLES
After submitting a search query, the results will be presented in table format. The table is initially sorted by a unique value (sample #, etc.) chosen when the data table
was created. However, the user may sort the results table in a number of ways. The simplest sort is accomplished by clicking on the column header (1), which will
re-sort the results by that column in ascending order. It should be noted that sorting actually queries the database, so large data sets may take a while
to sort. If a user wishes to reverse the order to descending (or vice versa), simply click on the small arrow adjacent to the column header. Another
powerful feature is the implementation of multiple-column sorting. This allows the user to view various criteria sorted simultaneously and in a defined
order. To add a column to your sort criteria, simply click the arrow (2) next to the column header. After sorting the results, the column header should
now have a superscript number (3) on the arrow. This number indicates the sort "order" for that column with respect to the overall sort. Whenever you add
a column to the sort "order," it will by default move to the end of the list. This allows you to reassign sort priorities without having to start over.
If you do wish to start over, simply click a column header and the results will revert to a unary sorted state.
LAUNCHING "REVERSE" SEARCHES
While navigating through a results table, you may be interested in querying the source data table for a particular field. For instance, if you were browsing
and came across a sample that was collected in Ecuador, it is very easy to look up all the samples collected from Ecuador. You simply double click in your
field of interest and the database will be queried (note: your original search will not be preserved, thus the term "reverse" search). If you wanted to
add 'Ecuador' as a search criteria to the original query, you would return to the main page and use the AND operator.
HYPERLINKS WITHIN RESULTS TABLE
Some fields within your results table will contain clickable links. This means the sample has an associated sample in another table (ie, DNA extraction).
Clicking that link will actually launch another query based on the original sample (a "forward" query).
DOWNLOADING RESULTS TABLES
After a query is executed, the results table will contain a link at the top allowing the user to download the table as a TAB delimited file. This file
can then be easily imported into MS Excel or other programs.