Data Collection Engine Rules

How Data Collection engine determines WHAT to collect and from WHERE?

We have already mentioned about collection sources - they are either specified directly in the map or in the "Data collection" dialog window or in the Data collection Template.

As regarding WHAT - there is so called Data Collection Macro Language to program what to collect.

Then, there is a  Configuration Map with about 40 predefined keywords with data collection criteria. Each keyword stores Macro Language commands in its notes. You may not know exactly how they work, just keep in mind they are required. Do not modify them if you do not know exactly what you're doing!

After you have clicked Collect data, the engine starts scanning selected topic and all of its subtopics (in the case of collection data by criteria from selected topic/branch).

Or scans all template topics, starting with Central Topic (in the case of collection data by selected from the Data Collection Template Library template).

This happens by the following scheme:

Operators are the macro language commands.

Note: in the case of a keyword detection in the first line of topic notes, data collection engine no longer pays attention to the notes (and also ignores the topic text, even if it's a keyword). This is the easiest way to "free" the collection topic from the keyword. What for? Well, for example, for greater clarity:

In this example "This week" keyword is used in the topic notes, not in the topic text. And this topic will collect all the tasks for this week.

If you want to flexibly configure a topic to collect very certain data (complex filter), you should use data collection macro-language operators (commands) in topic notes insteed.

In this way you can not only create templates with keywords from the configuration map, but also flexibly tune some topics in that templates, adding data collection macro language keywords in these Notes, receiving a modified behavior of them without altering the configuration map.

One more important thing: you can forbid Data Collection engine to collect data by a specific keyword-topic and all topics of its branch. To do that, add "No Entry" icon - to this topic.