Knowledge Base Article

Using Dataset Notification

vCalc has a very useful Notification feature for datasets.  A notification is an evaluation criteria that is exercised for every record entered into your dataset.  When the evaluation is true, an e-mail is automatically sent to you. This is very powerful, and you can have as many notifications as you wish.

To create a notification, go to the Dataset's Entry menu. v1.0Table.png In the menu, above the data enter fields, there will be a Notification button.  When you press the button, the Dataset Notification Editor will be displayed (see below).

The left column of the editor lists the existing notifications on the dataset.  There are three options:

  1. The Plus (+) lets your create a new notification.
  2. The Duplicate button lets you duplicate an existing notification, and
  3. the Delete (X) lets you delete an existing notification.

When you create a new notification, a default name (New Rule) is given.  We recommend that you give the notification an appropriate name since it will be given in the automatic e-mails you will receive with the criteria (rules) in the notification met. The typical actions for creating a notification are:

  1. Give your notification a meaningful name,
  2. Provide a more detailed description of conditions or rationale for your notification, and
  3. Enter the rules that will define your notification.

By pressing the plus sign button below the Description field, you can enter one or more rules.  A rule lets you compare the values of the cells in your columns against a criteria.  To create a criteria:

  1. Choose a Column.  The names of your columns will be in the pull-down list, then
  2. Choose a Test criteria.  These are logical operations including equals(=), less than (<), less than or equals (=<), greater than (>), greater than or equals (>=), and then
  3. Enter a Value.  These are numeric values you enter, or values from the list you created in your table.  vCalc is smart, and will only allow the appropriate Test criteria, and
  4. If you wish, you can Join multiple Test criteria with a logical AND or OR.

Note: An important step is to check the Active box.  This lets you toggle notification rules on and off without having to create or delete them.

When you are finished, press the SAVE button at the bottom.

TableNotification.png

The effect of a notification rule is when data is entered that matches your notification criteria, you will automatically be sent an e-mail (see below) from vCalc with information about the data that was entered into your dataset that met your criteria. In this way, you can get an automatic e-mail if "student = Jenny, AND grade is <= 60", or sent an e-mail if "ph >3.2, AND temp < 67.4, AND source=City Water".  

This uses of this capability are broad and powerful.

TableNotificationEmail.png