Merging jobs in Version 4

Applies to: Version 4.1

Version 4.1 allows the user to merge two or more SQL jobs. (Merging of tnj files into an SQL job was already supported in Version 4.0 and is discussed elsewhere.

The primary function of merge is to merge the following

  1. Data
  2. Images and poses
  3. Order information

While other areas of the software such as print queues and composite pages may merge successfully, these are not inherently supported and may not merge under some circumstances.

The importance of the subject key

A thorough understanding of keys is essential to the understanding of merge in Version 4. Before reading this article it is therefore strongly recommended the reader first consult the following article: The Subject Key

To recap:

  1. Every subject is the Version 4 SQL database is unique and is identified by an 8 character key.
  2. A 'subject' can therefore never be in more than one SQL job and have the same key.
  3. For example 'subject' John Smith with a unique field value (ID) of 666 may be in two or more SQL jobs but he will have a different subject key in each job.

Merging SQL Jobs

Consider two SQL jobs - JobA and JobB.

JobA is open and the user wishes to merge Job B into it. The following principles apply.

  • 'Matching' of the subjects in the two jobs occurs on their unique field (ID)
  • If JobB has new subjects, not in JobA, they will be added to JobA and assigned new keys
  • Subjects in Job B remain unchanged

The following screen grabs show JobA and JobB prior to merging followed by the result of merging JobB into JobA.

  • Sally Jones who is Job B but not JobA has been added to JobA with a new Key.
  • John Smith on the other hand is in both jobs. His data and images have been merged from JobB into jobA and his key in JobA is preserved

Figure 1: Job A prior to merging

Figure 2: Job B prior to merging

Figure 3: Job A after merging Job B into it

Options for merging data, images and orders

When merging, the user has options with respect to the handling of data(details), images and orders.

These options are set in the Merge setup window accessible by clicking the Setup button in the Merge window (prior to selecting the job to merge.

A full discussion of the merge options can be found in the article Merge Options

Using merge to duplicate a job

The merge function can be used to effectively duplicate a job by starting a new job then merging into it the job to be duplicated. This can be considered the equivalent of performing a File>Save as... action with tnj files. It needs to be stressed however that the subjects in the duplicate job will have different keys to those in the original job.

To duplicate a job:

  1. Start a new job setting name, season and other parameters as normal
  2. Select File>Merge
  3. From the Merge window click the Setup button and set merge options
  4. Select the job to be duplicated and click OK

End of article