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Reference: Tools-Fragment Fields

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RidgeStar search functions normally2 contain what is called a Criteria Area, where the Visitor can specify values that will restrict the resulting records to a desired subset. The Criteria Area may be made up of a series of pulldowns, checkboxes, radio buttons, and/or open text boxes (where you simply type a desired value).

Many of the "text boxes" are what we call text Fragment fields. They're called Fragment fields because you are permitted to enter only a portion of the text value being searched to locate a record. For instance, the name "Smith" can be located using the Fragment of "SM", "ith", "i" or any portion (fragment) of the character string.

To see how this works, click to the demonstration Simple ListGoing and:

Move your mouse to the input box above the column labelled "Name" and pause
If your Browser is suitably equipped, you should see a small reminder popup saying "Fragment?". These popups will occur all over the Criteria Areas to help you know what is acceptable in the Text Box. The presence of the word "Fragment" tells you that RidgeStar Fragment support is active on the input text box.
Put the letters "ad" into the box and click "Show"
You should see two results, the Names of "Administrator" and "Grader" because these both contain the letters "ad"
Add a percent sign (%) after the letters "ad" and click "Show"
This represents specific instructions to the search mechanism to display ONLY LastNames that start with the letters "ad". After clicking Show, you should now only see the "Administrator" because "Grader" doesn't start with the letters "ad". Similarly, you could enter "%d" to find names that end in "d" We're not sure why you'd want to do that, but you could if you wanted to. smile

Masking Characters

The percent sign is what we identify as a "Masking Character" that permits you to control the Fragment search. Available Masking Characters are:

%Percent Match any number of characters and it does not matter what the characters are
_Underscore Match a single character and it does not matter what the character is

If you omit both Masking characters in the characters typed into a Fragment field, the system will insert a percent sign at the front AND the back of whatever you enter.


To help you understand how this works, consider the following table:

o MatchMatch Match
ad% Match
%r MatchMatch
gr Match MatchMatch
gr__n MatchMatch
%d%r% MatchMatchMatch

Special Search Keywords

There are also several special use keywords that can be entered to perform specialized database searches based upon the contents of the Fragment field. The special search keywords are identified by the use of a special symbol defined by the Webmaster (usually an equal sign) via Setting=CriteriaGoing. The special search keywords are case insensitive and ignore embedded blanks. Available keywords are:

Is {Not} Blank
Tests the target data element to determine if it does {or does Not} have a length of 0. Values that are Blank have a length of 0.
Is {Not} Empty
Tests the target data element to determine if it does {or does Not} have a length of 0 or if it does (or does NOT) have a null content. This keyword is a combination of both IsBlank and IsNull.
Is {Not} Null
Tests the target data element to determine if it has {or does Not have} a null content. Values that are Null have no data length.

The flexibility and power of Fragment searches is quite useful, but .... it is important that you understand how to use it effectively. Happy Searching!!

Regular Expressions

The RidgeStar Fragment fields ALSO provide support for "Regular Expressions" (see WikiPediaGoing for a general description of what a Regular Expression is). You can also feel free to perform an Internet Search for "regular expression" and you'll find a large variety of resources describing what they are and how to specify them.

It's important to understand that you do NOT have to have a working knowledge of Regular Expressions to make use of the sites. But, if you are the type that considers yourself a "power user" you may find the use of a Regular Expression in the Fragment criteria fields quite useful.


To help you understand how simple case insensitive Regular Expressions can work, consider the following table of examples:


If you would like to experiment more completely with Regular Expressions, we would recommend visiting regex101.com-> as an excellent resource for experimentation.

2Some Webmasters have opted to implement a different mechanism within their Site's Fragment fields. If your site does not operate as described here, please contact your Webmaster.