Locating Information in Databases
Finding what you want can be a problem. You've probably had the experience of remembering seeing some piece of data (consider it the needle), but not knowing where it appears in the haystack of data. Depending on the size of the database, you could potentially spend days looking for just that piece of data and it's not assured that you'll even find it. Looking for data can be frustrating, even using a computer. Everyone needs to find data and they usually need to find it quickly, so it shouldn't surprise you that one of the tasks you'll want to automate regularly is locating information.
There's no answer that satisfies every search need, but this chapter explores some of the ways in which you can use automation to make looking for data considerably easier. In some cases, it's simply a matter of knowing where to look and in others, it's a matter of knowing how to look. For example, choosing the right field to search can make a big difference. Rather than look for some obscure number, you might choose to look for easily remembered character data instead. Using wildcards (special symbols that can represent any character or phrase) can also make searches significantly easier when you use them effectively.
Performing Searches Efficiently
No matter where you search for data, you have to consider the best way to find what you want. Searching for data with IDEA isn't quite the same as searching with other products, such as a word processor, ...