Software Technologies, Inc. (f/k/a Helix Technologies) Training Courses: November 2-12, 1998


Helix Express Training Overview

The Helix Express training classes will be held at the Holiday Inn North, 16510 Interstate 45 North in Houston, Texas. Hotel accommodations are available at the same location. The hotel is on the northbound side of Interstate 45 between FM 1960 and Richey Road.

To book your hotel room at the Holiday Inn, call Sara Martinez at (281) 821-2570, ext. 501. Tell Sara you are attending the Helix Express training to receive the discounted hotel rate of $73.00 plus taxes. Space is limited so make your reservations as early as possible.

You will be flying into Bush Intercontinental Airport. The hotel will provide a shuttle to and from the airport. When you arrive at baggage claim at the airport, there will be courtesy phones available to contact the hotel shuttle service.

Please arrange to bring your laptop if you have one. If you require a computer, please notify us and we will provide a PC for $75.00 covering your entire stay.

Classes will begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 5:00 pm. Please plan to arrive the evening before. A morning and afternoon snack will be provided each day as well as refreshments. You will be responsible for your own meals (the hotel has a great buffet!). Dress is very casual so please dress comfortably.

Please call 1 800-36-HELIX (1 800 364-3549) if you have any questions.

Our trainer is Chuck Hinkle of Houston, Texas. Chuck has been writing and using PC databases since 1977 and using minicomputer and mainframe databases since 1979. He has been studying, promoting, and influencing prototyping and Rapid Application Development techniques since 1984. Chuck has worked with Helix products since 1986 and has provided Helix consultation since 1989. As part of the Houston Macintosh Users Group, he wrote the Database-ics column for the Apple Barrel from 1990-94 and is the Database SIG chairman. He has also been a member of Toastmasters since 1982 and has been a featured seminar presenter at many levels throughout that organization.

Feedback from one of Chuck's classes:

"Chuck's Helix class was wonderful. His energetic style made it interesting and fun, and I left the class confident and able to create Helix applications. I'm amazed at how much he was able to teach me in just two days."
Dr. Peter Gingiss

Introductory Class: $595, November 2-4, 1998

Our Introductory Training Course covers the following topics:
Introduction to Databases and Helix Express
This section covers basic database and Helix Express terminology and provides the necessary footing for the rest of the course. Students will receive a "roadmap" that will set the pace for the duration of training.

Creating the Database Structure
We demonstrate the mechanics of using Helix Express tools and introduce you to the Helix environment.

Designing Forms: The Template
The Template icon has many components and many uses; this section concentrates on giving you a solid understanding of the Template and of how different kinds of forms are created. These forms include: Quick Entry, Quick List, Custom Entry Forms, Custom Lists, and many other reports specific to your organization's needs.

The Abacus
The abacus provides all the tools for doing calculations with information in Helix Express. This section introduces the Abacus and shows how to use it to display calculated values and to automate data entry. The student will understand when to place the Abacus inside the template vs. when to use the Abacus as a query. Other uses of the Abacus will also be explored.

Validation: Data Quality Control
Correct data entry is important in any database. In Helix Express, two techniques will be highlighted to insure accurate entry of data. These include variable and constant validation.

Sorting and Searching with Indexes
Once built, an Index can be used to sort records on forms and to speed up searches for records. This section details how Indexes are implemented and created. Students will get a rich understanding of when and when not to Index columns (fields) of information. Mastery of this section will have implications for optimization, reports, and Multi-User performance.

Working with Subsets: Queries
Queries are used to find individual records or subsets of records among the many records in a table (Relation). In this section we cover the Quick Query, Form Query, Power Query and Abacus Query. We will discuss finding text within a Keyword field and explore when to use Queries, learn the strengths and weaknesses of each Query, and use several Queries for some specific searches.

Database Design
Learning the theory behind a relational database is an essential step to use Helix Express or any other DBMS. Discussing basic principles and working with a variety of examples, we will help you develop a good method for designing your database.

Time, Summary, and Sub-Summary Tiles
In this section, we explore tiles that look across Relations to perform various kinds of statistical calculations.

Documents in a Database
We explore the concept of storing entire documents as part of a record inside a Relation.

Fancy Field Formats
In this section, we review the five basic data types available in Helix Express, including radio buttons, checkboxes, and pop-up menus, which can make your forms much more user-friendly and easy to use.

Intermediate Class: $495, November 5-6, 1998

Our Intermediate Training Course covers the following topics:
Introduction to Databases and to Helix Express
A review of Helix terminology will be the focal point of this session to insure that all students feel comfortable with various conceptual topics concerning Helix Express.

Lookup and Sub-tile Review
In this section we review the family of Lookup tiles (Lookup, Sub-Total, etc), starting with the mechanics of using them and ending with some of their more technical points.

Subforms and Inert Fields
Subforms are powerful reporting tools that allow you to combine lists of data in one View. An inert field can be used to trigger Subforms.

Concatenated Links
Concatenated links are an important technique for targeting subsets of information. Building on the Inert Field technique in the last section, we'll build an example of how to use concatenated links with Subforms and calculations.

User Interface: Custom Menus
Whether your database is for single or multi-user use, building custom menus can make it much easier to use. We will cover both the basics of the User Icon and its more advanced features.

Database Design
Learning the theory behind a relational database is an essential step in understanding how to use Helix Express or any DBMS. Discussing both the basic principles and some more advanced topics, and working with a variety of examples, we will help you develop good method for designing a complex database.

Lookup Tricks
When you want to perform a calculation on a subset of records for a range of values, or for any criterion other than X=Y, then a direct link does not work. These more complicated links, which often require the Use From tile, are the subject of this section.

Introduction to Posting
This section is designed to bring you up to speed on Posting, one of Helix Express' most powerful tools. You will learn how to use the Post Icon, using several examples that we will cover as a group. At the same time you will be constructing your first Post.

Posting: Auto-Open Forms and Inert Field Techniques
The topic of this section is how to have a Post fill in all the data on a record it is creating. We cover two techniques which you will use to solve a number of different problems.

Modifying Records with Posting
Posting is used to create, modify, and delete records in the same Relation, other Relations, or both. This section concentrates on how to modify records automatically with Posting.

Option 0 Posting and Post All
Option 0 posting is used for keeping audit trails and for stamping records with information like dates. In this section, we'll explore Option 0 posting for marking records and demonstrate how marking works together with batch posting.

Adding, Subtracting & Summary Tables
Summary tables are a database design element that can really speed up the display of calculations for a subset. The key to using them is an understanding of the Post's increment/decrement operators.

Advanced Design Class: $595, November 9-10, 1998

Our Advanced Design Training Course covers the following topics:
Introduction and Terminology
To get warmed up, we start this section with a question/answer section concentrating on Helix Express terms. We then have a quick Posting and database design review, making sure you're ready for the rest of the course.

Subforms, Ranges and the "Use From" Tile
There are different ways to link information in Helix Express, and sometimes the link may not be direct. This section presents a technique for listing a range of information in a Subform, which often requires the use of a Use From tile.

Calculations for a Subset
Just as in Section 2, a direct link when working with subsets is not always possible - your search criteria may concern a range or something that is not a value = value match. Here we concentrate on using the Use From tile to build complex sub-summary calculations such as those needed in account aging.

Posting and Circular References
In Helix Express, you cannot declare that the value of a Field is going to be dependent upon itself. However, there are times when you may wish to update the stored value using its current value. This section presents a technique for accomplishing that situation.

Global Variables
Global variables are a temporary storage place for data, and they provide the solution to problems such as printing many reports from the same dates or passing information from form to form. This section shows you how to create and use them.

Query Optimization
The optimization sections in this course are often the main reasons for attending the Advanced Course; these sections also tend to generate the most calls from elated students after they return to their own applications. In this section, we present the basic concepts behind optimization, the rules for optimizing queries, and how to use your knowledge of these rules to make your database faster.

Statistics Optimization
In addition to queries, several statistic tiles require a search for a subset, and most of them have some optimization built into them. This section explains the statistical rules and how to use your knowledge of these rules to get the most out of Helix Express.

Conditional Posting
This section explains how you can effectively turn a Post off and on by using a conditional link in the Source Hole. This technique will prove very useful when information becomes more complex.

Sharing Data with Others
Dump/Load, Copy & Paste and Publish & Subscribe are just a few of the ways to share data from Helix with other applications. We will discuss all three techniques and practice sharing data with other applications.

Advanced Techniques Class: $595, November 11-12, 1998

An all new course, our Advanced Techniques Training Course covers the following topics:
Powerful Forms I
Methods of Print Suppression
Multi-Relation Queries and Dumps
Cut and Paste Objects
Random Samplings
Intro to Data Warehousing
Modeling Recursive Relations
Powerful Forms II
Shortcuts to Popup Lists
Avoiding Problems with Undefineds
Complex, Multi-Pass Reports
Conditional Sequences
Methods of Debugging

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Last modified: September 21, 1998

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Software Technologies, Inc. (f/k/a Helix Technologies)
610 South Frazier
Conroe, TX 77301

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