JAMS 7.x Help
Specifying Dates Using Natural Language

As a scheduling application JAMS uses date specifications for many of its features and functions. Sometimes using exact date specification is sufficient for scheduling a Job. However, most of the time a generic date (e.g., using Workdays or First Friday of the Month) can provide additional flexibility. JAMS has been designed to support natural language and generic date entries throughout the client interface.

There are three key scenarios for JAMS to accept generic date specifications:

Note: When a user selects a Job, they are presented with a form to set values for the Job's parameters. Parameters with a data type of DATE are presented using the standard MM/DD/YY date field, but JAMS uses the generic date specification to determine the default date.

Note: When JAMS automatically submits Jobs, prompting for the parameter values is not possible. Instead, the generic date specification is evaluated to obtain the value for the parameter.

Simple Date Specifications

Simple date specifications specify a date relative to the current date. The format and description for a simple date specification is as follows:

The days of the week can be preceded by a modifier such as LAST, THIS, or NEXT. Inserting a THIS modifier has no effect and is used only for readability.

When using a modifier, such as LAST, JAMS interprets this to mean " the weekday from last week."  

  1. JAMS looks at the WORK_ddd configuration setting, where ddd indicates the day of the week (e.g. Wed). This sets up the initial true or false indication that the day is indeed a workday.
  2. For the date in question, JAMS also searches for special dates. To access, select the Date shortcut and double-click the desired date.

Valid Simple Date Specifications

Included below are some examples of valid, simple-date specifications:

Complex Date Specifications

Complex date specifications are used to stipulate a date relative to an arbitrary period of time (e.g., describing a month or fiscal period).

 A complex date specification may be thought of as two components: the day specification and the period specification. For example, in the text "1st WORKDAY of NEXT MONTH," the day specification is 1st WORKDAY and the period specification is NEXT MONTH.

The general format of a complex date specification is as follows: [day-of-period OF] period [+/- number of days] The syntax for the day-of-period specification can take one of two forms. Both forms are comparable. The two forms for the day-of-period specification are:

Form 1

FIRST

LAST

1[st]

2[nd]

3[rd]

integer [st, nd, th]

Or . . .

Form 2

Day-of-week

WORKDAY

WEEKDAY

WEEK

DAY

MONTH

OF

Note: If you do not specify the day of period, the default becomes the current day.

The syntax for the period specification is:

THIS

NEXT

LAST

Note: While this syntax specification may seem overly complex it actually a mimics how people commonly specify dates.

User Defined Period

When specifying a period with user defined Date Types, you may need to supply both specific and generic Date Types. For example, if you defined the Date Type FISCAL with specific Date Types of PERIOD_01 through PERIOD_12, you can specify the second period as: FISCAL PERIOD_02 or PERIOD_02.

If you defined two Date Types that both use the specific Date Type PERIOD_02, then you must specify FISCAL PERIOD_02.

Specifying Weeks

When used in the context of a time period, a week is defined as starting on the first day of the period and continuing for seven days.

Valid Complex-Date Specifications The following examples of valid complex-date specifications are based on the current date being January 1st, 2014.

Specification Date
FIRST MONDAY OF NEXT MONTH 03-FEB-2014
2ND MONDAY OF THIS MONTH 13-JAN-2014
FIRST MONDAY OF LAST JANUARY 07-JAN-2013
6TH WEEKDAY OF NEXT MONTH 10-FEB-2014
6TH WEEKDAY OF MONTH 08-JAN-2014
LAST DAY OF LAST MONTH 31-DEC-2013
2nd DAY OF THIS WEEK 31-DEC-2013
3RD DAY OF WEEK 3RD DAY OF EACH WEEK

See Also

 

 


Copyright Help/Systems LLC and its group of companies.
All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Topic updated: 7/23/2018

Send comments on this topic.