Getting Started with Reference Tables

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Getting Started with Reference Tables

Establish or Change List of Reference Values

Reference Value Questions with Links to Additional Documentation


Reference tables are tables that contain lists of reference values and their associated information. Reference values, also known as lookup lists or valid values, are the labels that are assigned to data to make it meaningful. Analytes, matrices, and units are all examples of reference values. Reference values are often used in pull-down or drop-down lists to allow selection of an appropriate label. Some common reference tables are RT_ANALYTE, RT_MATRIX, RT_UNIT, and RT_SAMPLE_TYPE. The help article Reference Tables goes into more detail.




Reference tables are an important part of the functionality of EarthSoft products. Reference tables are not initially populated with values in a new database. This feature is designed so the database owner may populate reference tables with values that make sense for a particular organization’s projects.

1.Reference tables keep lookup lists organized and allow for values to be managed easily.

2.Reference tables describe the particulars about a project and help maintain consistency in areas such as spelling and terminology. This ultimately helps with the consistency and accuracy of project data and results.


Establish or Change List of Reference Values


One of the first steps in implementing EQuIS is establishing reference values. Users with sufficient database permission can edit existing reference values or add new ones. There are several ways of doing this, depending upon the number of changes to make and the products in use:


1.The Springfield Training Database can provide example reference values. Log into the Springfield Database, and then export a copy of the reference values to Excel. These can then be reviewed, edited, and imported into a new database. Use caution when doing this, since the Springfield Database was created as a training tool, and errors were intentionally implemented. For more information, see Exporting and Importing RTs.


Note: An Excel document containing the key Reference Tables for the EQEDD format with notes and examples (from the Springfield Training Database) is available in this file, RefValues with Notes.xlsx.


2.Import reference values into the database using the format and an *.rvf file. This method is preferred, and users often obtain *.rvf files from regulatory agencies.

3.Manually add individual reference values within Professional by following instructions in the help articles Adding New Reference Values using EDP Right-Click Feature and Edit Tables.


Reference Value Questions with Links to Additional Documentation


Q: When importing EDDs to the database, how do I approve and import new reference values?

A: EDP - Approving Reference Values explains how to accomplish these tasks.


Q: You may create and distribute reference files. It is useful to share *.rvf files when third-parties are creating EDDs for you.

A: To create an *.rvf file, refer to the help document, Creating a Reference Value File.


Q: How can I export a set of reference values into an *.xls that someone can later import using

A: See Reference Values - Exporting and Importing RTs for steps on how to do this.


Q: How do I import a set of reference values using EDP?

A: Reference Values - Importing will guide you through this process.


Q: I would like to create a Reference Value File (*.rvf) in Professional EDP or Enterprise EDP. Where do I begin?

A: Refer to the help document, Creating a Reference Value File.


Q: How do I use EQuIS Professional EDP’s Right-Click Feature?

A: The help document Adding New Reference Values Using Professional EDP's Right-Click Feature explains how to use this feature.