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User Defined Attributes (UDA)

User Defined Attributes (UDAs) enable the PDMS system administrator to add new attributes to any element in
the databases of a project. These UDAs are created as elements in the LEXICON database inside the PDMS
project. Because LEXICON databases are project-specific, it is possible to define attributes to suit individual
project requirements or company standards.
Once defined, UDAs may be accessed in much the same way as normal attributes, including setting values,
querying and reporting upon these values. Utilities such as the Data Output and Project Reconfiguration functions
treat UDAs as they would any other attribute. UDAs can also be used in expressions.

Create New UDAs


The first step is to create a LEXICON database hierarchy. Commands used to create, delete and navigate around
the LEXICON database elements are exactly the same as those used for any other database type.
A UDA must be created below a UDA Group (UGRO) element. To create a UDA, select Create > UDA: User
defined attribute from the main menu bar. A UDA element is created and is displayed in the Dictionary Explorer.

After the creation of a new UDA, the following attributes in the Current Element Editor must be populated.
Dependent on the attribute chosen, other related attributes are enabled or disabled accordingly.

Name
Enter a valid name for the UDA in the text box. Special characters are not allowed.
Lock
From the drop-down menu, select True to lock the UDAs attributes.
Description
Enter a brief description of the UDA to be created.
Abbreviation Length
Specifies the minimum number of characters that the attribute name can be shortened to when used in
commands and attribute entry fields. The abbreviation must be less than or equal to the number of characters in
User Defined Name (UDNA). The shortened name must still define a unique name for the attribute.
UDA type
From the drop-down menu, select a UDA type. Dependant on the type chosen, other related fields will be disabled
accordingly. The type options are:
integer
real
text
logical
reference
word
position
orientation
direction

UDA Length
For attributes with a UDA Type of Text or Word, this specifies the maximum number of characters that are
permitted in the attribute. For attributes with a UDA Type of Position, Direction or Orientation, this must have a
value of 1, For other attribute types this specifies the number of values in an array.
Element types
The list of element types that the attribute is available on. Up to 100 element types can be set. Enter a value
directly in the Element types field or click the icon to display the Select element types window which can be used
to make a list of Element types.
UDA Default
Specifies the default value for the UDA to be used if the attribute hasnt been set. All UDA definitions must provide
a default value to avoid errors being displayed in the event that the attribute is used in expressions before being
set by the user.
Pseudo attribute
Indicates whether the attribute is a stored value or whether its value is to be derived by software. If set to true
software must be written to calculate the value of the attribute. For information on how to write software for
Pseudo attributes, refer to NET Customisation User Guide
Indexed UDA
If set to true this creates an index of the UDA values to enable the efficient retrieval of elements. The index must
be set to help performance if an attribute is used extensively for attribute filters in searches, database views or
collections. The index must not be set on all attribute since it will increase database size and management
overheads.
User Defined Name
Enter a name for the UDA that will be displayed in the modules. Special characters are not allowed. To know
more about Names and UDA Names, please refer to the LEXICON Command Reference Manual.
Reporter Text
Specifies the name used for the attribute when presented to the user. The name must be set so that the user is
presented with a meaningful attribute names instead of the colon prefixed attribute name (UDNA).
UDA Category
Enter a value to allow the UDA to be grouped together on the attributes form within other modules.
Hidden
Holds a logical value, setting this to true will indicate that the UDA will be hidden from the Q ATT command and
from the attribute form within other Modules. Querying of the individual UDA will not be effected by this setting.
Hyperlink
Holds a logical value, setting this to true will allow the text value of a UDA to contain a path to the external file.
Connection
Holds a logical value, setting the value to true will signal that the UDA is a connection in the reference list.
Protected
Holds a logical value, setting to True will not allow the attribute in a protected database to be viewed.

Units
Specifies the Dimension for the attribute, if the attribute has a UDA Type of Real. If the units are set then the
attribute becomes unit qualified with appropriate units for the selected dimension.
Length
An integer value from 1 to 120 can be set in this field to denote UDA Length. The length option is applicable only
for UDA types REAL, INTEGER, TEXT, WORD and REFERENCE.
Valid values
Depending on the type of element selected enter a valid numeric value, value range or text strings.
For numeric ranges separate minimum from maximum value with a single dash (-).
Multi-word strings must be enclosed in either single quotes () or apostrophes (`) or vertical bars (|).
Single-word strings do not have to be enclosed.
All items must be separated by commas or white space.
For example: if the UDA Type is set to real or integer then enter a numeric range such as 5-9.
To simplify editing valid values click the icon to open the Select Element Types window.
Limits or Valid values
This attribute holds an optional flag, setting the attribute to true indicates that the attribute can have a value
outside the valid values or range.

Creating UDAs using Command Window


A typical LEXICON session could be as follows:
Example:
NEW UWRL /UWRL1
NEW UGRO /CENTRE_GRAVITY
DESC Centre of gravity at
tributes
Create UDA World, UDA Group
NEW UDA /LENGTH UTYP REAL
Create and name UDA, type REAL
UDNA LENGTH
Assign user database attribute name,
ABLEN 6
Minimum abbreviation LEN

UUNI DIST
Set UDA units as system DISTANCE units
DFLT 0.00
Set default UDA value
Here, the default value of the UDA has been set to zero, but in a case such as temperature it might be set to be a
value of (say) 20.0 to represent an ambient temperature. RPTX Length
Set column heading to be used in reports
ELE ADD STRU SUBS
Define element types that are to use the UDA
COMPILE
Implement the UDA definition
The COMPILE command reports any definition errors and makes the UDA definition changes immediately
available within LEXICON to other windows such as the Database Views Editor or the Schematic Model Manager
Attribute Mapping dialogue. Without using the COMPILE command (Validate from the LEXICON Edit menu) the
UDAs may not be visible in the windows or dialogues presented. Performing a savework will make the definitions
available to other modules once a GetWork is performed by them.