Fortran API concepts

This is a list of basic concepts used by the Fortran API.

See General concepts for general concepts.

Connections, sessions and handles

DB-All.e stores meteorological values in a database. This database can be optionally shared or accessed using the network.

You contact DB-All.e by creating a connection, and you work in DB-All.e using one or more sessions. A connection is an established link between your program and DB-All.e, and you usually open it at the beginning of your work and close it at the end.

Within a connection you can create many working sessions. This is used to do different things at the same time, like reading a set of values while writing computed results.

You can also set some safety features on sessions: for example, when you create a session for reading values you can set it to disable all writes, which helps you catch some programming mistakes.

You refer to the connection and the sessions using handles. A handle is an integer value that you use when you need to refer to something that is not otherwise representable in any Fortran data type.

When you create a connection or a session, DB-All.e will give you the integer handle that you will later use to refer to it.

Sessions run with their own database transaction, which means that the changes they perform on data are handled in an all-or-nothing fashion. If you close a session with idba_commit(), then all the changes made will be preserved. If you do not call idba_commit(), such as if your program unexpectedly terminates, then all the changes made will be undone.

Station values

The interface to work with station values is the same as the interface to work with normal values, except that date, time, level, and timerange information are not set when inserting or querying data, and idba_set_station_context() is called instead, to signal the intention of working with station values.

See Querying the database for examples on how to work with values.

Input, output, actions

Work with DB-All.e happens using action routines. An action routine typically reads some input, performs an action and produces some output. Example of action routines are idba_query_data() to query data from a database and idba_insert_data() to write data into the database.

The input and the output of action routines are collections of parameters which have a name and a value. A list of parameters can be found in Input/output/query parameters.

You can set the input parameters using the idba_set* functions:

  • idba_seti(handle, “param”, intvalue): Set the input parameter to the integer value intvalue.

  • idba_setc(handle, “param”, charvalue): Set the input parameter to the character value charvalue

  • idba_setr(handle, “param”, realvalue): Set the input parameter to the real value realvalue

  • idba_setd(handle, “param”, doublevalue): Set the input parameter to the real*8 value doublevalue

  • idba_set_station_context(handle): Sets the date, time, level and time range in the input record to some magic values, to signal that we are going to work with station attributes instead of normal values.

You can read the output parameters using the idba_enq* functions:

  • idba_enqi(handle, “param”, intvalue): Read the output parameter into the integer value intvalue

  • idba_enqc(handle, “param”, charvalue): Read the output parameter into the character value charvalue

  • idba_enqr(handle, “param”, realvalue): Read the output parameter into the real value realvalue

  • idba_enqd(handle, “param”, doublevalue): Read the output parameter into the real*8 value doublevalue

Note that all idba_set* functions set input parameters, while all idb_enq* functions read output parameters. You cannot read input parameters or set output parameters: that is the job of action routines.

In other words, input and output parameters are different things. In this code:

! A possible misunderstanding
ierr = idba_seti(handle, "height", 1)
ierr = idba_enqi(handle, "height", val)

the value of val after the idba_enqi() will not probably be 1, and it could be either a value indicating missing value (in case no height parameter is set in the output parameters) or a height value previously retrieved by an action routine.

To reset one input parameter you can use idba_unset():

! We do not want to limit results by latitude this time
ierr = idba_unset(handle, "latmin")
ierr = idba_unset(handle, "latmax")
ierr = idba_query_data(handle, count)

Alternatively, you can reset an input parameter by setting it to one of the special missing value values listed below.

To reset all input parameters you can use idba_unsetall():

! Restart the query from scratch
ierr = idba_unsetall(handle)
ierr = idba_setd(handle, "latmin", 10.D0)

To reset only Bxxyyy variables you can use idba_unsetb():

! Insert a new variable with the old station, level and so on
ierr = idba_unsetb(handle)
ierr = idba_setd(handle, "B12101", 21.5)

There is no way to reset output parameters: it is not needed since all action routines will get rid of old output values before producing new ones.

In case one of the idba_enq* functions is called on a parameter which does not exist, it will return a special value that indicates “missing value”. This is a list of such special values:

Data Type

Missing value indicator