# Equation / Criteria building in IDEA - Tips and Hints Part 1

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Brian Element
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Joined: 07/11/2012 - 19:57
Equation / Criteria building in IDEA - Tips and Hints Part 1

Hello Group Members,

Criteria / Equation building in IDEA may appear to be IDEA syntax challenging to some. But if you keep simple tips and hints in mind while building the Criteria the experience can be fun and rewarding.

At the outset let us recollect that Criteria can be applied in IDEA primarily to -

1. Compute

2. Extract

While building a simple non @Function equation always look for the 3 integral parts to any Equation -

A. Field

B. Arithmetical Operator

C. Field/Value (Constant)/String (Character or Date)

So as an example when we apply a criteria -

Travel Claim Payment Date > Employee Departure Date - IDEA will extract all records from the database where the Travel Claim Date is paid after an employee left the Company

In the Criteria above 'Travel Claim Payment Date' and 'Employee Departure Date' are Fields.

> is the arithmetical operator

So while building the same equation if you apply accidentally Travel Claim Payment Date > Travel Claim Payment Amount you will receive an error 'Mismatch Field Type', since Travel Claim Payment Date is 'Date' format and 'Travel Claim Payment Amount' is 'Numeric' format. You cannot place the two within the same condition - hence 'Mismatch Field Type'.

Alternatively if you write Travel Claim Payment Date > and do not complete the condition with Travel Claim Payment Amount to follow you will receive an error 'Invalid Paramater (s)' as you equation is incomplete and missing the third part.

Now if you mistakenly write Travel Claim Date > Departure Date and if both these fields are not found in your underlying IDEA file, they will both appear in the Equation Editor in red indicating 'Syntax Error'.

So if you follow the simple rules above condition building need not be a daunting challenge.

Tomorrow we will look at building non @Functions for Date, Character and Time fields.

Thank You