Having explored the new Records Manager 8 interface features that impact End Users in the article ‘The New World of RM8”, this article moves on to take a look under the search bonnet and prepares you to experience a paradigm shift in your search methodology!
As you start using RM8 to conduct searches your first question will be “what happened to the Search Methods I used in HP TRIM when managing records?”
For instance, traditionally you’d search for all Records with overdue Actions assigned by opening the Search form and selecting the Search Method ‘Record Actions Overdue’. In TRIM 7 ‘Record Actions Overdue’ sits under the Business Process Search Method category with a range of Action related Search Methods, as per Figure 1.
Figure 1: TRIM 7
In RM8 (Figure 2) you will quickly find there is no Record Actions Overdue Search Method.
Figure 2: RM8
Closer inspection of each of the Business Process Search Methods and exploration of other Search Methods may lead you to conclude that there is no way to find Records with Overdue Actions and many of your other familiar methods. Don’t worry, there is!
A New Approach
RM8 takes a new approach to searching, which for many people will provide greater accessibility, but at the same time the TRIM community will have to stop and think about what they are really aiming to achieve through a search in order to start at the best starting point.
The first change is terminology. Whereas TRIM referred to the ‘things’ that you could configure (record types, classifications, etc.) as Objects, the RM8 term is Items. The full list of Items is displayed in Figure 3.
Figure 3: List of Record Manager Items
Searches on many of the Items could previously be made through the Search Form, or accessed via the Tools Menu and right-clicking to run a Search from within the Item lists. Whilst the latter option still exists, but with easier access via the Search Pane, it is in conducting many of the Search Form searches that you will discover the Search Methods you’ve traditionally used which are no longer accessible through the Search Form.
The Search Pane in RM8 is now the access point for a broader range of searching. The Search Pane now has an additional field; the Search For field. Essentially you will select here the Item you are going to search for. Thus each search is initially based on an Item. End Users will primarily use the first two Items listed; Records and Locations. Administrators will be more likely to be the explorers of the full listing.
The Search By field then provides a selection of context specific Search Methods to choose from (that is, you will only see Search Methods relevant to the Item you’ve selected). At this point the methods missing from the Search Methods traditionally available through the TRIM Search Form will be discovered.
Same, but Different
However you will find some practice is needed to create the results you’re used to seeing when searching. The following screen shots demonstrate an example.
In Figure 4 we’ve conducted a Wildcard search from the Search Pane that returns the Records in a Classification that have ‘fin’ in the title.
Figure 4: TRIM 7
In Figure 5 we’ve intuitively based our search on the Classification Item, and searched by the Classification Title. This however has returned only Classifications that have ‘fin’ in the title, with no Records returned. The equivalent search in RM8 looks like Figure 6. However because RM8 matches the Wildcard entry with a unique identifiers (e.g. 112+ is the ID for Financial Management) the search is not quite the same in reality because it will only return Records in the Financial Management classification, not in other classifications with ‘fin’ in the title.
Figure 5: RM8 Search 1
Figure 6: RM8 Search 2
The key take-away message is you need to allow yourself time to learn how to construct some of your old familiar searches, and those of your End Users, in a new approach.
How to Find an Overdue Record Action
In the case of our traditional Record Action Overdue search you’ll use the Search For drop down list in the Search Pane to select Record Actions.
Figure 7: The RM8 Search Pane
Take note here that you will need to scroll down the list past Actions to find Record Actions (you may have noticed that both appear in the earlier list of Record Manager Items). You’re going to need to become familiar with the meaning of each of these terms and the context in which they are useful. At this point it is worthwhile differentiating between a Record Action and an Action.
- An Action is one of the generic Actions that can be attached to a Record
- A Record Action is one instance of an Action that has been attached to a Record.
For example, you may have one Action in your dataset called “Endorse” but then have hundreds of instances of that Action attached to many different records (those are the Record Actions).
The next step is to click on the Search By KwikSelect (which is now a small blue folder in RM8) and expand Business Process to find the Overdue Search Method (Figure 7). Running the search will return all the overdue Record Actions in your system. At this point you may be surprised to find your search results look like Figure 8.
Figure 8: Record Actions – Overdue – Results
Our search has returned the list of Record Actions that are currently attached to Records and which are overdue. The key to understanding why the Overdue Search Method is available for Record Actions and not for Records is realising that being overdue is a property of a Record Action and not of a Record.
Generally you will have a more specific search of overdue actions in mind. It’s at this point you will refine this search. When you do, RM8 will open a new form: the Search for Record Actions form. Now you can add more terms to your search using either the Boolean or String search editors (easily interchangeable using the new drop down menu found at the bottom of RM8 search forms).
You need to be aware however that the results returned are Record Actions only. You’ll quickly realise when you right-click and see that your only options are Tag, Copy and Search that you are not accessing the Records themselves. Another clue is that double clicking results in an error.
This whole process probably seems pretty confusing, especially if you’re accustomed to the Search Methods available in TRIM (and if you don’t have access to RM8 at present to play along with this description). To successfully use the Record Manager Items searches will require some trial and error. Start with the Search For field in the Search Pane, conduct a single parameter search and build on it by refining the search.
Enjoy your new playground, and take the opportunity to share your own discoveries with the TRIM/RM8 community. At Linked Training we will continue to unravel RM8 and share our knowledge with you. There’s a fair bit more to say on searching yet! Stay posted.