Introduction to Subset Actions

The Subset is run using a series of pre-defined, automated Actions. These Actions are informed by the Basic Control Spreadsheet.

This subsection of the Knowledge Base provides an overview of the methods used to run the Subset Actions. The next subsections provide instructions on configuring the Basic Control Spreadsheet and running the individual actions.

The Subset actions can be run via the VIP Server Controller. This is the preferred method. You can easily save a VIP Server Controller config file to make it easy to re-use and re-run previously defined subsets.

The Subset actions can be Actions can also be run by editing Command Scripts and executing via the Command Line. This subsection also provides an overview of this approach. The articles on each individual Subset action provide an appendix on running via the Command Line.

The recommended approach for running a Subset is as follows:

  1. Configure the Basic Control Spreadsheet.

  2. Load the default Executor.cfg file and parameterize GETMETADATA in the VIP Server Controller.

  3. Parameterize GETMETADATA in the VIP Server Controller.

  4. Save the paramaterized action as a Config File.

  5. Re-use the Config File to run the remaining Basic Subset Actions. You can re-use the Config File for each, only changing one mandatory parameter each time (the Action).

  6. Iteratively edit the Advanced Control Spreadsheet and run the relevant Actions to iterate a spreadsheet. For this you can also re-use a Config File, updating the Action and any optional parameters each time.

In this approach, you can execute the Actions rapidly using the re-usable Config File. The mandatory parameters will typically remain consistent for a given Subset, with only the Action being executed changing as you move from action to action.

The next article provides an overview of the parameters that must be specified for an article. The following articles provide instructions on using the VIP Server Controller and via the Command Line.


Mandatory Parameters

Each Subset Action draws upon a set of optional and mandatory parameters. These are specified either in the VIP Server Controller or a .cmd script.

If using the VIP Server Controller, you can save a parameterized Action as a VIP Server Config File. This allows you to easily re-run a parameterized Action in future, editing the configuration spreadsheet as required. The default "Executor.cfg" config file additionally provides a set of default parameters that you can edit and re-use quickly.

This article provides an overview of the mandatory and optional parameters that can be set when running a Subsetting Action. It then provides instructions on how to specify these parameters and run them using the VIP Server Controller or via .cmd files and the command line.

Mandatory Parameters

For each Subset Action, there are a set of mandatory parameters that must be specified, either in the VIP Server Controller or in a .cmd file.

A set of default parameters are specified, but it is advisable to specify the mandatory parameters yourself. Saving a VIP Server Config File or a re-usable .cmd script makes it easy to then repeat Actions using the same parameters.

For each Subset Action, you must specify the following mandatory parameters:

  1. The database type

  2. The location of the Subset.enc.vip flow that will execute the Subsetting

  3. If using the VIP Server Controller, you must enter the location of the parSQLActionsPath.enc.vip

  4. The location of the Basic Control Spreadsheet

  5. The Actions that will be executed

  6. The location where the Log file will be saved

  7. The location where the Subset Report will be saved

Static Parameters

Many parameters remain the same for multiple Actions involved in a Data Subset. Some furthermore remain static across jobs unless the unedited files used during Subsetting are moved. This is indicated in the Full Parameter List.

When using the VIP Server Controller, you can therefore re-use a Configuration file to load in these static, default parameters, parameterising new actions quickly.

The "Executor.cfg" config file additionally provides a set of default parameters that you can edit and re-use quickly for each supported data source type.

If executing Actions from the Command script, you can often re-use the default Command Scripts to set these same static parameters.

In both instances, the parameters will point to files saved in the default installation location (a folder within C:\VIPTDM).


Log Files

The .cmd script can be run from Command Prompt, or can be executed simply by double clicking it. Each time a script is run, two outputs will be created:

  1. A Log File

  2. A Subset Report.

Logs are useful for checking that an Action has been performed successfully. They provide an overview of the steps performed as part of each Action, and the parameters from the Control Spreadsheet that informed these actions. If you subsequently edit your Control Spreadsheet, log files in your "output_archive" folder therefore provide a history of past Subset Actions.

The below example shows a Log File after the TABLES and GETKEYS action have been run:

Actions produce different logs. Information is therefore provided for each Log in the Knowledge Base articles relevant to each Action.

Actions produce different logs. Information is therefore provided for each Log in the Knowledge Base articles relevant to each Action.

If you execute the Action using the VIP Server Controller, the location of the Log file is specified in the "Log Directory" field of the "Run Flow" tab. The file is called log.log by default. The Log and Subset Report will be overwritten each time in the . The most recent Log will be appended to the log.log file indefinitely. You can copy Logs and Subset Reports to a new directory to prevent them being overwritten. Once a Subset job is exposed to the self-service web portal, Logs will be kept for each executed job.

If running Actions from the Command Line, the Log file will be created in an "Output" folder. The "Output" folder is created automatically by the automated Subset Action. Its location is specified as the "outputdirectory".

The "Output" folder stores only the latest log file. If you run multiple scripts using the same directory, the automation will automatically create an "output_archive" folder:


The Subset Report

Running a Subset Action will also produce a Subset Report.

If you execute the Action using the VIP Server Controller, the file name and location of the Subset Report file is specified using the "parReportFile" argument.

If running Actions from the Command Line, the Subset Report file will be created as "SubsetReport.txt" in the "Output" folder. The "Output" folder is created automatically by the automated Subset Action. Its location is specified as the "outputdirectory".

The Subset Report provides a summary of the Actions that have been performed, including the time in which the automation performed them. This information is highlighted in the example below:

TEST DATA AUTOMATION DATA SUBSETTING SUBSET ACTIONS