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failure In SQL*Forms, one possible result of the execution of a trigger or a trigger step. Contrast with success.

failure label In SQL*Forms, a label specified as part of one step in a trigger that identifies the next step to execute if this step fails. See also label and success label.

fast find This facility enables you to type in part of a table or column name. If what you enter is enough to uniquely identify the table or column, the name is filled in. Otherwise you see the appropriate List window containing tables or columns that match the criteria you entered.

FDDI(Fiber Distributed Data Interface) A 100-Mb per second fiber optic network.

fetch (1) A phase of query execution, where rows of data that meet all search criteria are retrieved from the database. (2) In SQL*Forms, to copy selected rows from a table into the workspace during a query. Also called retrieve.

fetch enqueue A request for a lock on a database resource. Each process requiring a lock on a database object must obtain an enqueue for the lock. The maximum number of lock requests per object is determined by the INIT.ORA parameter ENQUEUES.

fiber optic cable A transmission medium that uses light to transmit data through glass fibers surrounded by a reflectorized coating.

field (1) Synonym for column. (2) A set of graphic objects (e. g., bars, lines, symbols) that define how the data for a specific query column is represented in a chart. (3) In a table, the data stored at the intersection of a row and a column. (4) An interface element in which you enter, edit, or delete data that either defines an object or makes a processing choice. Fields appear in property sheets, spread tables, dialog boxes, and lists of values. (5) A layout object that acts as a placeholder for columns, used to display values fetched from the database as well as summaries and computations.

field-directed searching Ability to limit a search to a specified field (or fields); for example, author, title, date. See also limited search by field.

field label See label.

field length In SQL*Forms, the number of characters that can be entered in a field.

field template A collection of attributes and properties that determines how dependent data (values) are represented as chart fields, such as bars or lines.

file A collection of data treated as a unit, such as a list, document, index, note, set of procedures, etc. Generally used to refer to data stored on magnetic tapes or disks. See also filename, extension, and file type.

file column Columns whose values are filenames. Each file column will display either the filename or the actual contents of the file (e.g., ASCII, CGM, and EPS files) based on the "link" setting.

file management locks A type of internal lock that exists on various database files (control files, redo log files, and database files) to make sure the files are read and updated properly.

File menu A menu that lists a set of operations to perform on the selected module.

file server A transparent extension of a microcomputer's local file system that supports resource-sharing (such as the sharing of files and printers). Implemented by adding a shared, perhaps dedicated, machine on the PC LAN.

file server For an nCUBE 2 supercomputer, the host computer acts as a file server and administrative front end.

file specification Unique identification of a file. Depending on the operating system, a file specification may describe the physical location of the file, as well as filename and extension or type identifiers that describe the file and its contents.

file-based gateway A transparent gateway that uses an access method similar to that used by a file system to access a data source. File-based gateways are read-only, and use GDDL and a gateway data dictionary. See also SQL-based gateway.

filename The name component of a file specification. A filename is assigned by either the user or the system when the file itself is created. See also extension and file type.

file type On some operating systems, the part of the filename that usually denotes the use or purpose of the file. See extension.

fill area (1) The area within an object to which a fill (color or pattern) should be applied. (2) Area within the borders of a SQL*ReportWriter object in a painter.

fill-in item In a SQL*Forms block, a field that allows the entry of data values.

filter A PL/SQL function or anonymous function that restricts the data displayed by a group.

fixed field In a SQL*Forms block, a field that prohibits the entry of data values, as the values are fixed. Contrast with input allowed.

fixed length A field or column characteristic, meaning that every value for this field or column must have the same length as every other value in the column.

flat naming model An Oracle Names infrastructure in which all names are unique within a single domain.

FNA (File Name/Attribute Augmentation Facility) An ORACLE for MVS facility that provides user-controlled manipulation of filenames.

focus The state of an entity that is able to respond to input from the user or the client. If an entity has the keyboard focus, it can receive events when the user presses a key. If a drawn view has the drawing focus, it can respond to client routines that affect drawing.

font rectangle The smallest rectangle that could enclose all the character images in a font superimposed on top of one another.

foreground element The black part of a pattern. You apply color to the foreground element using the Foreground Color palette.

foreign domains The set of domains not managed within a given administrative region.

foreign key One or more columns in one data source whose values refer to the primary key values in another data source. See also key and primary key.

form Normally used to mean a rectangular area of the screen, which has the appearance of a paper form, through which you can view details in the Dictionary (or any business application). It has fields to fill in, with prompts and descriptive help information. Validation may be applied at field level or across several components of the form. A form may often be used to query, insert, update or delete information. In CASE*Designer , forms are used to add textual details, change preferences, dialogue boxes, and so on, in a complementary manner to the graphics.

form area The portion of the screen on which a form is displayed. The form area usually includes the entire screen except for the message line and status line.

form layout Default layout in which labels appear to the left of fields, and each record prints on a separate logical page.

form letter layout Default layout that mixes boilerplate and fields, wrapping onto multiple lines at "word" breaks.

form module A definition file of blocks, items, triggers, and built-ins that allows operators to query, edit, modify, and save data that is stored in tables. A form module can contain only one form.

format (1) Columns contain information in one of four types; users can specify how they want a query to format information it retrieves from character, number, date, or long columns. For example, they can choose to have information of type date appear as 14/08/90, or Tuesday Fourteenth August 1990, or any other valid date format. (2) The way a value is displayed in the results window. For example, character values may appear as uppercase, lowercase, or mixed case; numbers can be integers or have decimal places. (3) The way data is stored by a computer application. For example, Lotus 1-2-3 stores data in a format called .WKS. Oracle Data Browser stores data in the operating system in a format called .brw. (4) The type of data that an attribute or column may represent; for example character, date, or number.

format mask A template that you use to define the way column data appears in the results window. For example, the $99,999.99 is used as a format mask to display currency values for dollars and cents, and the mask $99,999 is used to display dollar values without cents. See also format model.

format model A clause used as a template to define the appearance characteristics (such as width or punctuation) of values in an output column. Also called format masks.

format text manager Used to translate text stored in word processor format into ASCII for the purpose of indexing, retrieval or dumping.

format trigger A PL/SQL function or anonymous function executed before its SQL*ReportWriter object is printed, allowing you to dynamically change the formatting attributes of the object or those it encloses.

form feed A control character that, when executed, causes the printer to skip to the top of a new sheet of paper (top of form).

formula column Manually-created column that gets its data from a PL/SQL procedure, function, or expression, user exit, SQL statement, or any combination of these.

fragmented database A database in which free space (unused blocks) is in many small pieces rather than fewer large pieces. This is a common result of much database activity. Fragmentation can cause less efficient space usage, but is easily fixed by exporting and importing data.

frame (1) A rectangle that has a three-dimensional "appearance" on platforms that support a three-dimensional look and feel. (2) A layout object used to enclose other layout objects, allowing you to control the formatting and positioning of several objects simultaneously. (3) In SQL*Net, a unit of data delimited by flags. A frame usually contains a header, used by the communication protocol to exchange packets as well as error and control information. (4) In Oracle Graphics, the part of a chart template that defines the basic structure of a chart, but does not determine the way the data is plotted.

free extents Database blocks that are not currently allocated to any table or index segment. Also called free space.

free space See free extents.

free text Text presented to the application in an unstructured format.

free text scanning A full text retrieval search methodology that "reads" the entire text database for each query submitted. Typically utilizes a Text Array Processor (TAP) to facilitate the text scanning process.

FRM A binary file that represents a form. It is created by SQL*Forms (Generate) and is read by SQL*Forms (Run Form).

FROM Required clause of the SELECT statement that identifies the tables or views from which data is selected.

full backup An operating system backup of all data files, online redo log files, and the control file that constitutes an ORACLE database. Full backups are performed when the database is closed and unavailable for use.

full text Unabridged documents; that is, not bibliographies or abstracts.

full-text retrieval A software and/or hardware process that provides the functionality to retrieve textual documents based on the words, phrases, or concepts contained in the documents. Also known as text information management systems and text retrieval systems.

function A PL/SQL subprogram that executes an operation and returns a value at the completion of the operation. A function can be either built-in or user-named. Contrast with procedure. See also argument and business function.

function code In SQL*Forms, a command that represents a macro function. Example: NXTFLD for the [Next Field] function.

function decomposition Any business function may be decomposed into lower levels of detail that are business functions themselves, until reaching the business functions that are atomic. This function decomposition gives rise to functions arranged in groups/hierarchies know as a business function hierarchy.

function dependency diagram A visual means of recording interdependencies between business functions, and showing events that cause functions to be triggered.

function hierarchy A simple grouping of functions in a strict hierarchy, representing all the functions in an area of a business. This forms part of the business model produced in the strategy stage of the business system life cycle. See also business function and function hierarchy diagrammer.

function hierarchy diagrammer A software facility, available within CASE*Designer , that enables you to create and change complete (or subset) function hierarchies interactively in the CASE*Dictionary repository, within the context of a version of an application system. The layout of the diagram is dynamically produced in one of several layout styles.

function key A key that is associated with a certain task, such as using the PF2 key to create a new record in SQL*Forms.

function label A unique reference, within an application system, for a business function.

function logic The detailed definition of precisely what a function does, including the way it manipulates information, business policies and algorithms (e.g. an algorithm to work out staged payments for a building contract).

function logic language A pseudo-code for defining in detail the actions that make up an elementary business function. The actions may be structured within a syntactic or diagrammatic framework that represents sequence, choice or iteration. Sometimes the term `action diagram' is used.

function subquery A subquery whose value depends on the result of a calculation or operation performed by one of the Oracle Data Browser functions. See also correlated query and subquery.

fuzzy model An important modelling concept that conveys understanding without being rigorous or definitive. Especially useful as a communication aid.

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