About Criterion Types

Criterion types identify the form that query expressions will take and enable you to narrow the results of a query by reducing the number of results that are returned. For example, you can compare a criterion type to a constant value using the simple value criterion type and return only query results that match the value, such as all processors that equal i486.

The criterion type you specify in the Criterion Properties dialog box identifies the form that the query expression will take. For each criterion type, you are prompted to enter an attribute and a relational operator (such as is equal to or is not), in addition to providing the specific information for the criterion type. You can choose from the following five criterion types:

Criterion type Description
Simple value Compares the query attribute to a constant value. You supply a matching value.
Prompted value Compares the query attribute to a constant value that the user is prompted to specify when the query is run.
Attribute reference Compares the query attribute to another attribute. You enter the attribute.
Subselected values Compares the query attribute to the results returned by another query. You browse for the query name.
List of values Compares the query attribute to a list of constant values. SMS prompts you for a list of values.

When you create a query expression using a Criterion type, you compare an attribute you specify with a value you select. Constant values must have a data type that is correct for the attribute to which it is being compared. For more information on working with values and criterion types, see About Query Criterion Values.

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