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Chapter 3 - StarView

3.1.1 What is StarView?

StarView is an astronomical database browser and research analysis tool. Developed in Java, it provides a user interface that runs on any Java enabled platform as a standalone application.

3.1.2 System Requirements

StarView is available for Window, Mac OSX, and most Unix or Unix-like platforms, including Solaris and Linux. StarView can run on any platform that supports at least JAVA version 1.2.2. For optimal performance, we recommend running it on at least systems that are:

Figure 1: System Requirements

Unix Sun Ultra 1 or equivalent with at least 128 Megs of memory
Windows 300 MHz processor running any form of windows (95, 98, NT, 2000, ME?) with at least 64 Megs of memory
Mac Mac OS X 10.0 or later
Other Platforms Must have Java 1.2.2 or later installed

3.1.3 Installing StarView

Figure 2: Installation Instructions


After downloading, double-click SVInstall.exe

Mac OS X

After downloading, double-click SVInstall

Solaris, Linux, generic UNIX

After downloading open a shell and, cd to the directory where you downloaded the installer.

At the prompt type: sh ./SVInstall.bin

Other Platforms

(UNIX or Unix like platforms)

For Java 2, after downloading, type

     java -jar SVInstall.jar

For Java 1.1, after downloading, type

     jre -cp SVInstall.jar install

If that does not work, try

     java -classpath [path to] install

If that does not work either, on sh-like shells, try

     cd [to directory where SVInstall.jar is located]
     export CLASSPATH
     java install

Or for csh-like shells, try

     cd [to directory where SVInstall.jar is located]
     setenv CLASSPATH SVInstall.jar
     java install

StarView has the ability to update itself when new versions are released. When a new version is available, the user will be asked if they wish to upgrade. For site installations, the user will be informed of potential upgrades. If the program will not run, it will exit after the warning. Please contact your administrator to have the upgrade run.

3.1.4 Site Installation

StarView can also be installed globally. The Update feature is disabled for users on a site installation. They will be asked to contact the site administrator.

To do a site installation, download the installer and run as instructed.The StarView.jar files should be not world writeable. Create a file called site_env.dat in the same directory as the StarView.jar file. The administrator can set several default preferences so the user does not need to. These are the mail server used by StarView and the path to a browser startup script (if a wrapper script is used to launch the browser) and the path to the browser binary.

A sample site_env.dat file might contain: unix.browser.wrapper=/opt/X11R5/bin/netscape unix.browser.bin=/opt/X11R5/lib/X11/netscape/v47/netscape

Subscribing to, a low traffic email list, will keep you informed of upcoming StarView upgrades.  Send mail to majordomo[at] and please put the line "subscribe starview-update" in the body of your email message. We will only send out messages prior to upcoming releases to warn you of the upcoming update.

3.1.5 Preferences

When you start StarView for the first time, you will be prompted to enter your SMTP server and email address in the Preferences. This screen is also an item in the Edit menu.

Figure 3: StarView Preferences Screen

StarView Preferences Screen

Using the preferences tab you can set your:

Preference Tab Table

E-mail Address

StarView needs your e-mail address to send mail to the archive when you want to retrieve data. StarView also allows you to send comments to developers and helpdesk personnel.

Mail Server

To send mail, StarView also needs to know the mail server (or SMTP hostname) you are using.  

DSS Viewers JIPA is a simple FITS image viewer. It can display one image and one aperture overlay at a time. If other viewers become available, they will be added here.

Display Results

StarView's query results can be displayed as a search form or the form and a single table.
Button Format As a potential space saver, StarView can display its toolbar buttons as Text Only icons, Image only icons, or images with text.
Errors to SVConsole StarView can capture all error messages. Some of these are warning messages, so by default StarView ignores these messages. If you are having problems, by enabling the SV Console, all error messages are captured and can be saved to disk or emailed directly to the developers. Please use this feature only if you are having functionality problems with StarView.
RA Format The choices available for Ra formatting are hms (sexagesimal hours, minutes, seconds), decimal degrees of time, and decimal hours of time.  The default is hms.  
DEC Format The DEC options are dms (sexagesimal degrees, minutes, and seconds) and decimal degrees.  The default is dms.
Angle Format Angle format options are dms (sexagesimal degrees, minutes, seconds) and decimal degrees. The default is dms.

Float Precision

The float precision determines the floating-point precision options are 2, 3, 4, and 5.  The default is 3.
h/dms Separator

The accepted h/dms separators are a space or a colon. The default is a space

Default Results Filter This allows you to limit searches to the science data only. The default is for all data to be searched.

Record Prefetch Count The record prefetch count is the number of records fetched at a time from the database. When a search returns it will return up to 100 matches, with the remaining matches staying on the server until the program requests them (by scanning forward through the data). There is a maximum of 5000 records imposed by the server. The default prefetch count is 100 records.

The Archives tab allows you choose which archives StarView can use at startup. You may deselect archives that you do not need to reduce load time. Note changes do not go into effect until the program is restarted. If you re-enable an archive, you will have to restart for it to be available.

3.2 Using StarView

The StarView workspace has two main sections, the search area and the results area, and is similar to a web browser in layout.

Figure 4: StarView

StarView screen

The horizontal bar that separates the qualification workspace from the results workspace is movable if you need more room in either area. Simply click and hold down the button while dragging the bar to resize these two spaces.  There are quick-click triangles on the left side of the bar that give you one-touch up and down action to hide the top or bottom areas.

3.2.1 Pull down Menus

Figure 5: Pull Down Menu

Pull Down Menu

Across the top is the menu bar. The basic functions of the menus are as follows:

Note that there are keyboard shortcuts available for most of the actions listed in these menus.  For example, to exit StarView from anywhere in the program simply type Control-Q.

3.2.2 Search Area

Once a search form is loaded, the top half of StarView's workspace will look something like this:

Figure 6: StarView Qualifications workspace

You can type in the qualifiers into the fields at the right or populate them from another source using the buttons on the left. The tool bar at the top provides the tools for navigating through the search results.

Figure 7: StarView Search Tools

quick button


Loads a Quick Search form

Search button


Executes the search

Scan button


Scroll through the list of results either to the first or last result; gets results beyond the initial 100 records. Use single arrows to step one at a time.

mark,unmark button

Mark, Unmark

Marks and unmarks selected datasets for retrieval. Use double-checkmarks to apply to all datasets in results.

contact sensitive help button


Context-sensitive help. Clicking on this and then an object (button, form) will bring up the help browser with the relevant Help entry.


Left hand buttons


Coordinates button


Allows you to use SIMBAD or NED resolver to get target coordinates

VizieR button


Find coordinates for objects in the Vizier Catalogs. Search by catalog, mission, type, wavelength range, sky position, and/or keywords.

load qualifiers button

Load Qualifiers

Load qualifiers from a file (must be in a specific format) see Section 3.5.1

save qualifiers button

Save Qualifiers

Saves qualifiers from current search into a specially formatted file see Section 3.5.1.

Clear qualifiers button

Clear Qualifiers

Clears all qualifiers from search fields


Science Only

Searches only the science tables


OR Logic

Joins all qualified fields with OR

3.2.3 Searches available

The Searches menu is located in the upper-left portion of your StarView workspace. Note the two dividers in the main pull-down.

The first item is the Search option.  Use this menu choice just as you'd use the Search button in the button toolbar to start searching. The second section contains forms for HST and FUSE. You can load these forms, modify them, and save them locally.  Selecting a blank form will create a new search form from scratch and start the Custom Query Generator, which is discussed in Section 3.7. The third section lists local forms, forms you have created or edited and saved to local disk.

Figure 8: StarView Search Forms StarView Search Form

These tables briefly describe each search form available as of this writing.

Figure 9: HST Search Forms

Quick Search

This is a basic search similar to one on the web. You can also push highlighted results from that search into the Proposals Abstract search, an instrument appropriate Instrument information search or an instrument appropriate Calibration search using the buttons on the screen.

General Search

Similar to the quick search, it also contains data quality fields.

Data Files

Especially useful for determining what extensions are available, this search returns dates, file extensions. Often useful in searching and retrieving engineering or reference files by name.


Duplications Check

Use to look up planned and executed observations

Duplications Abstract

Use to look up abstract for planned and executed proposals.


Exposure Search

Basic proposal information on an exposure level

Planned Exposure

Use to search for planned observations.


For each of these instruments we have assembled a searchable data table that allows users to look for sky regions (or pointings) which have been observed N times or more, observed with 2 or more filters, or have been observed more than twice with a time separation of more than (or less than) N days. An exposure is defined to be the file created after the shutter closes. The total number of exposures for each of the defined bands within a defined pointing was tallied.

Search for sky regions (pointings) which have been observed N times or more, observed with 2 or more filters, or have been observed more than twice with a time separation of more than (or less than) N days.

Pointings Exposures (ACS, NICMOS, STIS, WFPC2, FOC)

Search for the individual exposure making up a pointing



Use to search for proposal titles, cycles, types, PIs, etc.


Fixed Target

Use to search for target related information in the HST catalog.

Solar System Target

Use to search target related information on solar system targets


Association (ACS, STIS, NICMOS)

Use to search for information on the members that make up an association.


Use to search for information on files used to calibrate data.

FGS Astrometry and Instrument (ACS, STIS, NICMOS, WFPC2, FOC, FOS, GHRS, HSP, WFPC)

For instrument-specific exposure information, like special configurations, operating modes, etc.


Use to view files and switches used in OTFR. Please note that these are not always up to date


Use to view files used in calibration.

Figure 10: FUSE Search


This is a basic search for FUSE data

3.2.4 Results Workspace

The result forms are displayed in the bottom half of your StarView. Multiple forms can be shown in this area. To bring a form to focus, click on its title bar within the results workspace or select it from the Window menu.

Figure 11: Search Results workspace with several forms loaded

Search Results workspace

At the bottom of every form is a text area where the search status is reported, four toggle buttons and a record count status.

Figure 12: Search Status bar

Search Status Bar

Clicking on the Static/Edit button will allow the form to be edited, fields added and moved around (see Section 3.7.2). When it is in edit mode, the button will read Edit. The Snap is not in use. The Table button displays the current records in a table popup containing all of the fields listed on the form.

Figure 13: Results in Table Format

Results in table format

The NoUpdate/Update button determines whether the results are updated with each record when scanning quickly through records.

The record count status displays the number of the record you currently have selected. If there is not a final count displayed ("95 of ...") that means there are more records to be retrieved. The default is to return the first 100 records at a time. To get the rest, simply scan until all records are retrieved.

You can sort the results by any available field by right-clicking the label and selecting Sort Data from the menu. You can also get more information on the database field by selecting the Help option. You can also retrieve this information by clicking the Info button info button in the Get Field column in the Qualifiers section of the interface.

Figure 14: Field Information window

Field Information Window

3.2.5 StarView Results tools

On the left side of the workspace is a toolbar that contains StarView tools that you can use to work with the records returned in a search.

Figure 15: Search Results Toolbar

Search Results Toolbar

Figure 16: Search Results Tools

Cross Qualification Button Cross Qualification This button is used to take the results of one search and use them as the qualifications for another. These results can be either from an active screen or from search results saved to disk. A detailed explanation can be found in Section 3.5
export button Export This button will save the results of the current query to disk. A detailed description can be found in Section 3.5.
preview button

preview spectrum button

Preview This button allows you to load preview images or spectra into a viewer. The default image viewer is JIPA .The viewer for spectra is SpecView. ( )

Overplot plots the preview spectrum of the current selected dataset over previously previewed spectra.

dss and overlay

DSS and Overlay This allows the user to view the Digital Sky Survey image surrounding the coordinate of the currently selected record. By default, JIPA will be used to display DSS images. Overlay adds the apertures of the instruments as they were during the observation to the DSS image.

ref button

Refs. This button will direct a web browser to a page linking to all known references in the literature to data from the project that includes this dataset.

3.2.6 Qualifiers

You can refine your search by entering qualifications into the Qualification column of the table above the search form. If you wish to get more information about a particular field, simply click on its Info button at the far right.

Figure 17: Qualifiers section


Qualifying Operators

There are several valid operators available in StarView.

  • The mathematical operators are  < and  >
  • The range operator is two periods:  0..360
  • The and operator can be expressed by joining items with  & or ;
  • The or operator can be expressed by separating items with  | or ,
  • The not operator is !
  • You can wildcard your qualifiers to search for pieces by using *  .  Please note that fields of logical type wild-text are automatically wildcarded. Filter field especially should be wildcarded, as should the targetname and target description fields, especially when searching for solar system objects.

Qualifier Data Types

All qualifiers can be entered using free-form text except for radius, RA, Dec, and datetime.  Here are the most popular database fields from the Hubble Data Archive at STScI and their expected formats.

Figure 18: Data Types

Logical Type Data Type Example
datasetname varchar U4WOEM02R
radius float 0:10
ra float +10:45:04
decl float -59:41:04
instrument char STIS
pepid int 4255
datetime datetime 1995-01-01 02:14:50.0
lastname varchar DOXSEY
targetname varchar NGC3532-209
wild-text varchar 512X1024

Valid Datetime Formats

In StarView there are many acceptable formats to use when qualifying on dates.  The default format is YYYY-MM-DD

In all cases, a year can be represented as two or four digits: 00 or 2000

The year, month and day are sufficient in any format to encompass the entire 24-hour period: 2001-08-17 or Aug 17 2001

If you'd like a range of days, use the range operator with your favorite format: 2001-03-23..2001-03-25.

Greater than and less than are also acceptable in each format:   >1999-02-13 or  >Feb 13, 1999


1999-01-23 12:00:00.000 AM

01/23/1999 12:00:00.00 AM

Jan-23-1999 12:00:00.000 AM

Jan 23, 1999 12:00:00.000 AM - also acceptable without comma

23 Jan, 1999 12:00:00.000 AM - also acceptable without comma

23-Jan-1999 12:00:00.000 AM

NOT Valid:


Valid Coordinate Formats

Figure 19: Valid Coordinate formats

R.A. Dec.
05:34:56.31 -05:21:37.29
05 34 56.31 -05 21 37.29
05h34m56.31s -05d21m37.29s
05h34m56s.31 -05h21m37s.29
If the coordinate format in Preferences (3.1.5) has been set to decimal degrees:
83.734625 -5.360358333333333

3.3 Retrievals

Once you have found the data you are looking for, you can mark the data you wish to retrieve using the mark button Mark button for individual datasets, or the mark all button Mark All to retrieve all the records returned by the search.

To mark multiple datasets, click on them while holding down the Control key, and then use the Mark button.

Right-clicking the dataset name and selecting "Fetch Entry" from the menu will also select the dataset for retrieval.

Figure 20: Right-click menu on dataset name

right-click on menu

Selecting data for retrieval brings up a retrieval window that acts as a shopping cart. in the list are will be added as "marked."

3.3.1 Retrieval List Window

Retrieval List Window

If the data is proprietary, you will be alerted that the data is proprietary when you mark it, and you will need authorization to retrieve it if you haven't done so already. To be authorized, contact with the program id and your archive account id. Proprietary data is highlighted in yellow in the Retrieval List.

When you submit a request, the datasets will be unmarked in the retrieval window, but not removed.

You can get to the retrieval window by selecting a dataset for retrieval or by selecting Retrieval from the View menu.

Add Datasets

You can also load datasets by name or from an external file of dataset names.

Selecting the Add Datasets option (at the bottom of the Retrieval List screen) will bring up a dialog window prompting you to enter datasets either by hand or from a file.

If you select By Hand, you get a text field entry box. Once you have entered the dataset and pressed OK, the dataset will be added to the retrieval screen.

If you select From A File, you will be presented with a standard file selector tool. Select the file that contains the list of datasets you wish to load.  The format of this file should be a single dataset listed on each line of the file. Once selected, the contents of this file are parsed and the datasets are verified and added to the table.

Figure 22: Add Datasets from a File

add dataset

Save Datasets

You can also take the datasets in your retrieval list and save them to an external file. You can save all of them, or just the ones that are marked. These can be uploaded at another time using Add Datasets.

Purge Unmarked and Clear

Purge Unmarked will delete all unmarked datasets from the list. Clear will remove everything from the list.

Submitting a Request

Once you have finalized your list, press Submit.

3.3.2 Retrieval Options Account information

In the Retrieval Configuration Options window, you enter your archive user name and password, destination information and file selection.

If you are retrieving public data, you can use the anonymous retrieval method. This uses anonymous as the user id and your email as the password.

You can also change your password, or request a new account. Please be aware that if you are retrieving proprietary data, you must have an account, and it must be authorized to retrieve the proprietary data. Please contact with those requests.

You can have StarView remember your password by selecting the Remember Password checkbox. It will be encrypted and saved to your preferences. Destination

You can chose to have your data delivered via ftp, sftp, placed on the staging area or, in the case of HST only, written to CD or DVD. FUSE data cannot be retrieved to hard media. You can also choose to have the data gzipped.

If you chose ftp or sftp, you will be prompted to provide the user name, user password, host name, and directory to which you want data. This information is encrypted in the submission and the password is not stored in the user preferences.

Figure 24: Sftp or ftp destination information


If you chose archive staging (Archive ftp staging), a directory on will be created and the data deposited there. To retrieve your data, ftp to using your username and password. The data will be in the directory /stage/[userid]/[requestid]

For large requests, please contact for alternate delivery options. Selecting File Types


The following options are available for retrieving HST science data:

Figure 25: HST Retrieval File Options

On the Fly Reprocessing (OTFR) is available for ACS, STIS, WFPC2 and NICMOS


Archived version of calibrated science data for non-OTFR instruments and OTFR data for OTFR instruments


Raw science data. For OTFR, the "raw" FITS files are generated from telemetry.

Data Quality

Reports describing science data quality.

Jitter Info

Jitter and pointing data files.

Best Reference Files

For data retrieved through OTFR Best and Used are identical.

Used Reference Files

For non-OTFR data, these are the files that were used to generate the existing Calibrated dataset in the archive.

Figure 26: Files Delivered for each File Option Checkbox

Instrument Modes Caption Uncalibrated Data Quality Jitter Logs
  modes actual files        
WFPC2 possible files ASN, C0F, C1F, C2F. C3F, C3T, SHF, TRL ,X0F ASN, D0F, Q0F, Q1F, SHF, TRL, X0F PDQ JIF, JIT
  modes actual files        
  modes actual files        
  modes actual files        
GHRS possible files C0F, C1F, C2F, C3F, C4F, C5F, CQF, TRL D0F, D1F, Q0F, Q1F, SHF, TRL, ULF, X0F, XQF PDQ JIF, JIT
  modes actual files        
FOS possible files C0F, C1F, C2F, C3F, C4F, C5F, C6F, C7F, C8F, CQF, SHF, TRL D0F, D1F, POA, Q0F, Q1F, SHF, TRL, ULF, X0F, XQF PDQ JIF, JIT
  modes actual files        
FOC possible files C0F, C1F, Q0F, SHF, TRL, ULF D0F, Q0F, SHF, TRL, ULF PDQ JIF, JIT
  modes actual files        
WFPC possible files C0F, C1F, C2F, C3F, SHF, TRL, X0F D0F, Q0F, Q1F, SHF, TRL, X0F PDQ JIF, JIT
  modes actual files        
FGS possible files A1F, A2F, A3F, DMF, TRL   PDQ JIF, JIT


The following options are available for retrieving FUSE science data:

Figure 27: FUSE Retrieval File Options

Minimum Recommended

Default selection of calibrated observation files plus pipeline processing logs. (This retrieves just 12 calibrated files (rootname "*fcal") per exposure - 8 for each detector/side, and 4 trailer files (trailer files are the logs of the pipeline processing history of the observation), irrespective of the TTAG or HIST observing mode. The files in this package are only those unique to a given observation. Quick-look gif files are not included in this package.

It is important to note that for most (TTAG) observations files are returned for all three spectral entrance apertures, even though only one is normally used. For HIST observations only the target aperture admits light and therefore only one set of aperture files is generated (see the FUSE Instrument and Data Handbook, Section 3.2: Spectral Image (HIST) Mode)

Calibrated Calibrated exposure files.
Observed Calibrated observation files.
Raw Exposure Raw exposure files.
Previews A set of gif files used in the FUSE previews

Show Override Options (Expert)

Figure 28: Show Override Retrieval Configuration page

override retrieval config page

This allows you to enter the specific file extension. For HST, this is a 3-character extension (You can look up available extensions for a dataset using the Data Files search form). If you wish to retrieve just the extensions, be sure to check "Fetch only listed extensions" or you will also be retrieving anything you may have checked in the Data Types section.

For FUSE, information on the FUSE file naming conventions and contents see the table in Data Handbook, Section 4.1: Data Filenames ( The project defines "rootname" with 11 characters through the exposure number (3 characters). As defined, this name not includes the detector number & side (1a, 1b, 2a, 2b), observing mode, and data product type.

When you press Done, StarView verifies the information you have provided. If any of the information provided is incomplete or cannot be verified at the time of submission, you will be alerted to make the necessary changes.

3.3.3 Reference File Retrieval

Reference files can be retrieved through a couple different methods. When you are retrieving science data, the "Used" or "Best" reference file checkboxes on the retrieval options page will provide the relevant data.

You can also retrieve reference files independent of the science data with which they are associated. On the Calibration and OTFR forms, the reference files are displayed. If you right-click the file name, you will be presented with a menu where one of the options is "Fetch Entry". This will place that reference file in the Retrieval list.

Figure 29: Retrieving a reference file from results

retreiving reference file

If you already know the name of the dataset, you can simply use the "Add Datasets" option on the Retrieval list. If you need to verify the data exists, and perhaps look up what its extension is, use the Data Files search form to look up that information and then mark it for retrieval.

Once you've reached the Retrieval Configurations screen, you will need to select the Show Override option and enter the dataset's extension. If the dataset was listed as IPPPSSOOT_XXX.FITS, the extension is the XXX portion of the name.

3.4 A Simple Search using Quick Search

Suppose you want to find what observations were made by ACS or WFPC2 of M82, in the F814W filter and retrieve some to the archive staging area.

First, load a quick search.

To get the coordinates, select Coords coords button and enter M82.
Press Resolve.

This loads the coordinates into the search fields for RA and Dec.

Figure 30: Quick Search, fields entered


Next, designate the instruments as WFPC2, ACS and the filter as F814W. Since you are searching for ACS data as well, it is important to wildcard the filter fields.

Hit Search search button

To retrieve all records, use the scan buttons scan button

Figure 31: Quick Search Results


You can also display the results in a table:

Figure 32 Quick Search Results Table


The Proposal Abstract, Instrument Info and Calibration Info buttons will launch searches using just the datasets selected in the Search Result form or table. Use them to quickly get more information than is available on the Quick Search form.

Figure 33: Search Results with Abstract Search shown

abstract result

For this search, all potential previews are images, so the preview image button button reflects this. If spectra were available, it would look like preview spectrum

Figure 34: Preview Image


If there are papers that have been linked to the data, clicking on the References references button button will open a listing in a browser.

The DSS button will open up an image from the Digitized Sky Survey in the preferred image browser.

Figure 35: DSS Image


Select data you would like to retrieve using either the mark buttons at the top, or by right clicking on the dataset name and selecting Fetch Entry or Mark Datasets. You can also use control-M on a highlighted dataset.

Figure 36: Marking data for retrieval

retrieval list

In the Retrieval list, marked data is indicated by the check in the left column. Hit Submit.

On the retrieval options page, type in your archive username and password. If you don't have an account, you can click the New Account button to get one. You must have an authorized account to retrieve proprietary data; however, public data can be retrieved using anonymous as the user id and your email address as the password.

Select Archive FTP Staging as the destination and Not Compressed for the Compression option.

For the type of data requested, the default is the OTFR /Calibrated option. To retrieve the raw data as well, select Uncalibrated in addition to the Calibrated/OTFR option.

Figure 37: Retrieval Options

retrieval options

When all options are set, hit Done to complete. StarView will verify the supplied parameters and respond with a request id.

When your request is complete, an email will be sent detailing the location of the data and how to retrieve it.

3.5 - Saving and Refining a Search

3.5.1 - Saving and Uploading

You can also save the search parameters to a file that can later be uploaded into another search form.

After entering qualifiers, use the Save Qualifiers savequal button button to save the search parameters to a file. It writes the qualifiers to a file in a format that can be uploaded directly to a StarView search using the Load Qualifiers button loadqual button

Figure 38: Saved Qualifications

saved quals

To upload saved search parameters, use the Load Qualifiers loadqual_button button. This will allow you to load qualifiers from a local file to the form currently in focus. StarView will place the parameters in the proper fields, when available. If a field isn't available, StarView will let you know.

3.5.2 Exporting Results

If you want to save the results of your search to a file, you can use the Export button export_button The default format is a tab-delineated file with one record per row.

Figure 39: Export Results to File


You can also save the file in other formats by selecting Format, above the Save and Cancel options.

Figure 40: Format Options

format options

On the Format screen, check the "Use Custom ASCII Table Format Options" checkbox to change the delimiters between records and fields. You can also have text fields surrounded by the same delimiters.

Table 2: Delimiters

carriage return
" (double quote)
' (single quote)

The default is for records to be separated by a carriage return, fields by a tab, and nothing surrounding the text fields.

If you click on the "Include Fields" checkbox, you can arrange to save only selected fields. The default is all fields displayed on the form. The "View Fields As" checkbox allows you to display either the database fieldname or the form label in the Available fields column.

Double click on a fieldname listed in the Available Fields column or select it and use the right arrow to move it into the Selected Fields column. You can use the left arrow to remove a field and the up and down arrows to arrange the order.

3.5.3 - Cross Qualification

You can also take the results of one search and insert them as qualifiers in another using Cross Qualification . The values can be from the results of a search you just performed or the contents of a file saved.

Figure 41 Cross Qualification Screen

Cross Qualification Screen

The column on the left corresponds to the source of the qualifiers, whether a search form or a file of saved results. The column on the right corresponds to the destination of the cross qualification, the form to which the qualifiers will be imported. You can change the source and destination forms from the drop down menus. You need to do this before selecting any fields.

If you select the source "From a file", a file selection menu will appear. The file needs to be a tab separated listing of results, with each new row a list of results from a given field. Loading the file will display the field data in the "Available Fields" column.

Figure 42: File of results to be imported into Cross Qualification

Cross qualification results

Once you have selected the source and destination, you can select the fields in each for cross qualification. To select a field, click on the field in the "Available Fields" column and then on the arrow pointing to the right. Double clicking the field will also add it to the "Selected Fields column."

You can change the order of the fields using the up and down arrows. The order of the source's fields needs to match the order of the destination's.

Once you've selected all the fields, click the X-Qualify button X-Qualify button This will port the results from the source into the destination search form, and bring it into focus. Click Search.

Figure 43: XQual Results

XQual results

3.5.4 Saving the SQL Query

If you wish to save the text of the query used in a search, select Save SQL from the file menu.

3.6 More Complex Example

Suppose you wanted to export the results of a simple query and then later look up OTFR information on those results. First, load the Quick Search and get the coordinates for M82 using the Target Resolver. Designate the instrument qualifier as ACS and the Filter as"*F814W*" and search.

Figure 44: Search Results

Search results

To save the results, you will need to export them. Select the export button.

If you don't want to export every field listed on the screen, choose Format in the file chooser before proceeding.

On the format screen, select the fields you wish to save. If you wish to re-use these results in StarView at a later date (as in this example,) leave the "Use Custom ASCII Table Format Option" unchecked. Check the "Include Fields" box and select the fields you wish to export, by either double-clicking them or selecting them on the left and using the arrow to push them into the box on the right. In this example, the chosen fields are Dataset Name, Target Name, Proposal ID, Instrument and Release Date.

Figure 45: Choosing fields to be exported to a file

choosing fields

When complete, press Done and you will be returned to the file chooser.

Give the file a name and save it. Here we will call it export_results.txt. Please note that if you intend to import the results later using cross qualification, you will need to edit the file to 50 lines or less.

To view OTFR information about the results, you will need to use Cross Qualification. First, bring up the ACS OTFR Search. This will give you information on the ACS datasets saved earlier. If you still have the Quick Search with the results available, you could Cross Qualify from that form to the ACS OTFR form. In this example, we'll use the results exported to export_results.txt.

Push theX-Qual button X-Qual button Cross Qualify in the Tools menu.

Under "Query Results from:" choose "A File" and select the exported results file from earlier, export_results.txt.

Under "Mapped to Query", select the ACS OTFR search.

Figure 46: Cross Qualify from a file

X-Qual example 2

The first line in Available Fields in the "From" section is the dataset name. Double click on that line to push it to the list of selected fields. Under "Mapped to" find "Dataset Name" in the list of available fields and double click on it.

Press the X-Qualify arrow. The names of the datasets have been pushed into the dataset name qualifying field on the ACS OTFR form.

Figure 47: Cross Qualification

Cross Qualification

Now select search to view results. If you have more than 50 qualifiers, there will be an error. You will need to edit your file or the list in the qualifying screen to have less than 50.

Figure 48: ACS OTFR Search results

Search Results

You can also save the sql used in the query to a text file. This might be useful if you needed to know all the database names of the fields to construct custom searches.

3.7 Building a New Search or Modifying an Existing Search

3.7.1 Custom Query Generator Tool

The Custom Query Generation Tool is a database browser that is used to create and modify search forms. It allows you to add fields from the available MAST databases.

To create a completely new search from scratch, select a blank form from the Searches menu. This will start up the database browser.

To edit an existing form, load the form and click on the button reading Static. It will change to Edit. You can then start the tool by selecting Custom Query Generator from the View menu.

Figure 49: Custom Query Generator

custom query generator

The Custom Query Generator Tool has three main sections.

3.7.2 Adding fields to an existing form

To add fields, the form must first be in Edit mode. This is done by toggling the Static button at the bottom of the form to Edit. Clicking on a fieldname, either from the database tree or the results of the string search will add it to the search form.

There are tables for which joins don't exist. This usually results in an SQL error. If you need help constructing a form, please contact <

You can save new or modified forms using the options under the File menu. You will be prompted before closing a modified form to save it.

3.7.3 Manipulating fields

To format or delete a field in a form, right click on the field label

Figure 56: Field Edit Menu

right click

Properties allows you to change the field label, the size of the label and the size of the display box.

Figure 57: Properties


Delete Component will remove the field from the form.

Sort and Help work as they do in Static mode.

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