A prototype (sometimes called a survey) represents an activity comprising a group of one or more similar sample projects.
Prototypes are very similar to sample projects. This article describes only the features unique to prototypes. Refer to the articles on sample projects for explanations of the remaining features.
A prototype provides the template for the sample projects created within it. Common sample project details are entered once at prototype level. Sample projects are created from a prototype and inherit their initial data from it.
All of the sample project details can be set in a prototype so a prototype looks the same as a sample project except that:
- the Project Date cannot be set in the prototype
- you can define Metadata to be set in the sample project only
- a prototype cannot be submitted to the Job Queue
Sample projects are always listed in Sample Manager under the prototype from which they were created. The prototype appears like a ‘folder’ for organizing sample projects, but sample projects may not be moved or copied between folders.
Getting the right details set in the default prototype and prototype saves time and improves the consistency of key data among sample projects.
It is important to keep track when you are editing prototypes and sample projects because the screen views are so similar.
For this reason you will see the reminder watermarks ‘PROTOTYPE’, ‘DEFAULT PROTOTYPE’ and ‘SAMPLE’ on the relevant views.
The default prototype
Some prototype information can in turn be derived from a single Default Prototype for the panel database. This can be viewed and edited by clicking the database name in the navigation pane. Each database has one default prototype.
Create a new prototype
To create a new prototype start in the Sample Manager, Filtered view as before. Click New in the toolbar and the following screen appears:
The tabs of a prototype are the same as a sample project but notice the word ‘PROTOTYPE’ as a diagonal watermark.
Prototypes must have unique names. Q_Panel will prevent you from using the same name twice.
Edit a prototype
Click Filtered, select the prototype from the details list by checking the box next to its name and click the Properties button to see or edit the settings. (If you click on the prototype name it will show you the samples list – if there are any for that prototype).
When you edit a prototype the settings at the prototype level are applied to any new subsequent sample projects that you create from it. Existing sample projects created from the prototype are not updated.
Copy a prototype
Select the prototype as above and click Copy in the toolbar. This copies the prototype template to a new prototype with the new title you are asked to give it. It copies the prototype template only; it does not copy the sample projects within it.