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Function return

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  • Function return

    Have fun, find my dumb mistake!

    I was playing with creating a function to perform the "four prices for one item, find the lowest" situation described in another post. I have a function that works in the interactive tab and works in the expression builder - if you hit the evaluate button. It returns the lowest number parameter in the format like 1.000000.

    However, if I try to use it in a field rule or calculated field for a form, Alpha thinks the return value is character instead of numeric.

    The function is posted below. If no one can spot a simple error or explain the problem, I'll zip up a amall sample displaying the problem.

    Simple table:

    idnum,c,4,0
    name,c,10,0
    aprice,n,10,2
    bprice,n,10,2
    cprice,n,10,2
    dprice,n,10,2
    lowest,n,10,2

    lowest field rule, calculated type, expression ==

    least(aprice,bprice,cprice,dprice)
    When I try to save the table after creating this field rule, I get an error "Command: least(.....) variable type mismatch.

    function:

    function least as N(inputa as N,inputb as N,inputc as N,inputd as N)

    least = case(inputa
    There can be only one.

  • #2
    RE: Function return

    Stan, maybe the field rule is interpreting the field references as variable names?

    Try making explicit references like this:

    least(tablename->aprice,tablename->bprice,tablename->cprice,tablename->dprice)

    Comment


    • #3
      RE: Function return

      That didn't work either, thanks.

      Here's the sample.
      There can be only one.

      Comment


      • #4
        RE: Function return

        Didn't have all the files in one folder. Maybe better now.
        There can be only one.

        Comment


        • #5
          RE: Function return

          Stan,

          The problem is with the least function. The way you have it defined, it assumes that the smallest value is less than all other values, but in many cases, it is the same as 1 or more of the other values, in which case there is no expression in the case function that evaluates true. It then returns no value, which causes your use of it to fail.

          E.g. try in the interactive editor

          ?least(2,1,1,3)

          Regards,

          Ira J. Perlow
          Computer Systems Design & Associates
          csda@mediaone.net
          Regards,

          Ira J. Perlow
          Computer Systems Design


          CSDA A5 Products
          New - Free CSDA DiagInfo - v1.39, 30 Apr 2013
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          CSDA Code Utility
          CSDA Screen Capture


          Comment


          • #6
            RE: Function return

            I knew it would be obvious to someone else.

            Thanks,

            Stan
            There can be only one.

            Comment


            • #7
              RE: Function return

              I agree with Ira about having a problem with matching prices, but a quick solution to mismatch would:

              val(least(inputa,inputb,inputc,inputd))

              will return numeric value every time

              Oran

              Comment


              • #8
                RE: Function return

                Oran,

                That returns no value. In fact it returns an error. To find the least value, one could use an expression like

                least=min(inputa,min(inputb,min(inputc,inputd)))

                A more complex expression would be to return which of the 4 inputs was the least.

                Regards,

                Ira J. Perlow
                Computer Systems Design & Associates
                csda@mediaone.net
                Regards,

                Ira J. Perlow
                Computer Systems Design


                CSDA A5 Products
                New - Free CSDA DiagInfo - v1.39, 30 Apr 2013
                CSDA Barcode Functions

                CSDA Code Utility
                CSDA Screen Capture


                Comment

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