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    Alternatives to BLOB queries in Voyager Prepackaged Access Reports

    • Product: Voyager
    • Relevant for Installation Type: Multi-Tenant Direct, Dedicated-Direct, Local, TotalCare



    Are there alternatives to using the BLOB functions in Voyager Prepackaged Access Reports?


    The BLOB functions in Voyager allow you to retrieve any field or subfield from a MARC record. They are very powerful and very useful. But, depending on the size of your database, a query using the BLOB functions may run for hours1, and this may not be ideal.

    The following are some alternatives to BLOB queries.  If you can use them, you will get faster results from your queries, even if you have a small database.

    1. Check the BIB_TEXT table for the field that you want to use.  It contains many nicely formatted, often used bib fields. To do this, see the Data Dictionary, and the Additional Information section below.
    2. To get fixed field data from bibliographic records, consider using the MARC*_VW tables. There's a different table for each of the MARC bib formats (for example: use MARCBOOK_VW for monographs with types a, h, and t).
    3. To get URLs in 856, 505, etc. MARC fields for MFHDs, bibliographic records, and electronic reserve items use the ELINK_INDEX table.
    4. If you are trying to find records with a specific MARC field use Global Data Change and Scan Rules to scan the database for a specific field.
    5. If the data you want can be searched using a left-anchored index, consider using the BIB_INDEX table. This is the table that Voyager uses for left anchored searches and limits.  To use BIB_INDEX you need to know what value of INDEX_CODE to use (e.g., 008D, 100H, 2451, etc.).  You can look the codes up in the SEARCHPARM table.

    Additional Information

    MARC Fields from the BIB_TEXT table (note that for any repeatable field listed, the BIB_TEXT table contains only the first instance of that field):

    RECORD_STATUS Leader bytes 5 CODEN 030 a
    BIB_FORMAT Leader bytes 6-7 NETWORK_NUMBER 035 a
    ENCODING_LEVEL Leader bytes 17 STOCK_NUMBER 037 a
    DESCRIP_FORM Leader bytes 18 GPONUM 074 a
    FIELD_008 008 AUTHOR 100 abcdkq
    110 abcdgkn
    111 acdegkn (but not 130)
    DATE_TYPE_STATUS 008 byte 6    
    BEGIN_PUB_DATE 008 bytes 7-10 TITLE 245 abcfghknps
    END_PUB_DATE 008 bytes 11-14 TITLE_BRIEF 245 ab
    PUB_DATES_COMBINED 008 bytes 7-10 “-“ 008 bytes 11-14 UNIFORM_TITLE 130 adfgklmnoprs
    240 adfgklmnoprs
    243 adfgklmnoprs
    PLACE_CODE 008 bytes 15-17    
    MAP_PROJECTION 008 bytes 22-23 EDITION 250 all subfields
    LANGUAGE 008 bytes 35-37 SERIES 440 anpv
    490 av
    LCCN 010 abz8 IMPRINT 260 abc
    264 abc
    ISBN 020 a    
    ISSN 022 a PUB_PLACE 260 a
    264 a
    264 b
    264 c
    PUBLISHER_NUMBER 028 all subfields MAP_MATH_DATA 255 abc


    1BLOB queries are a specific type of query that accesses special MS Access MARC functions provided by Ex Libris.  The Blob is the full raw MARC record in one long string.  These queries can be VERY SLOW.  When you do a blob query, your PC sends the query to the Voyager database server. The server does *some* of the processing, but also sends entire MARC records back to your PC to be parsed on your PC by the local MS Access VB blob functions. Each nested function will have to run for every record. 

    For non-BLOB queries, your PC sends the query to the Voyager database server, the server processes the query and sends the results back to your PC. For the most part, all the processing is done on the server and the only data transferred across the network are the query and the results.  Any slowness is typically attributable to network-related (LAN versus WAN) issues.

    Constructing custom SQL queries by request and troubleshooting unexpected results from customer-created SQL queries falls outside the scope of Support. The above has been posted for informational purposes.  Voyager-L and Developer Network are useful resources for finding helpful custom SQL or obtaining assistance from peers in troubleshooting custom queries.

    • Article last edited: 28-May-2020
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