Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Extracting metadata from a database in Athento

There are times when you might be interested in connecting to a database in order to obtain data. For example, with clinical documents, Athento could extract the number of a clinical history in the way in which it’s always done (looking in the document content), but obtain more metadata – the patient’s name, date  of birth, gender, date of last consultation, etc. – by using the connection with a database.

Now it’s possible to do these kinds of operations and configure them from the interface. The way in which it has been implemented is:

  • Defining metadata types “ID SQL” and “SQL Field”. 

What Athento basically does is to conduct a consultation with a database starting from a piece of metadata extracted from a document. The metadata extracted from the document corresponds to the primary key (PK) of a table in a database. For example, in the case of the screen grab below, you can see how we’ve defined the “ID SQL”, which is called “SocialSecurity” and which corresponds to Social Security number, which is the PK in the “Employees” table:

 What we’re basically telling Athento is: You’re going to look in the Employees table for the data in which the row corresponds to a determined value of the column called “SocialSecurityNumber”.

If Athento finds the 344-08-7456 Social Security number in a document, it’s going to go to the database, then it will look for the table being used and position the row in which the “SocialSecurityNumber” column contains a value of 344-08-7456.

SQL Field
What Athento does now is bring the values from other cells in the row that it has found using the ID SQL field. Each SQL field is a piece of metadata that we want to bring from the database (such as First Name, Family Name). In other words, if we define an SQL Field by calling it First Name, Athento will bring the name of the employee whose Social Security Number is 344-08-7456.

This new possibility in Athento offers better speed and precision in extracting metadata when you’re counting on the data stored in a database.


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