acumaticaAcumatica BQL Reference

BQL Parse and Verify

Any Acumatica application developer spends a great deal of their time writing BQL code. At the same time, not everybody knows the underlying details of how BQL types work under the hood.

At the heart of BQL lay two key methods: Parse() and Verify(), declared by the IBqlCreator interface. Most of the commonly used BQL types, such as Where<>, And<>, Or<> etc., derive from this interface.

It should be admitted that the names these methods historically stuck with are not very descriptive. Arguably better alternative names for them would be PrepareCommandText and Evaluate.

Parse

public void Parse(
    PXGraph graph, 
    List<IBqlParameter> pars, 
    List<Type> tables, 
    List<Type> fields, 
    List<IBqlSortColumn> sortColumns, 
    StringBuilder text, 
    BqlCommand.Selection selection)

The only purpose of Parse() is to translate BQL into an SQL command to be sent into DBMS. Therefore, this method accepts a StringBuilder parameter representing the SQL command currently being constructed, to which the BQL creator appends the SQL text representation of itself.

For example, the And<> predicate's Parse() method will append " AND " to the command text, and recursively request translation of all nested BQL creators.

In particular, And<ARRegister.docType, Equal<ARDocType.invoice>> will translate into something like "AND "ARRegister.DocType = 'AR'".

Verify

public void Verify(
    PXCache cache, 
    object item, 
    List<object> pars, 
    ref bool? result, 
    ref object value)

In contrast to Parse(), Verify() operates purely at the application level.

Given a record (e.g. an ARRegister object), it can be used to calculate expressions on it, including calculating formulas and evaluating conditions.

The result parameter is used to store the boolean condition evaluation result. It is mostly used by predicate BQL creators such as Where<>.

The value parameter is used to store the expression calculation result. For example, the value of a BQL Constant<string> is the string representation of that constant.

Most of the time, BQL creators will either affect the result or the value, but rarely both of them.

One notable usage of the Verify() method is in the static BqlCommand.Meet() method, used by PXCache to determine if a given item satisfies the BQL command:

public bool Meet(PXCache cache, object item, params object[] parameters)
{
    List<object> pars = new List<object>(parameters);
    bool? result = null;
    object value = null;
    try {
        Verify(cache, item, pars, ref result, ref value);
    }
    catch (SystemException ex) {
        throw new PXException(String.Format("BQL verification failed! {0}", this.ToString()), ex);
    }
    return result == null || result == true;
}

Conclusion

The real power and beauty of BQL creators lies in that most of them can be used at both the database and application level, enabling Acumatica's cache merging mechanism and providing a great opportunity for code reusability.

For instance, when you select records from the database, the Where<> clause of the BQL command:

  • Will provide Parse() to translate itself into SQL text during command preparation.
  • Will provide Verify() during cache merging to determine which items already residing in the cache Meet() the Where<> clause conditions so as to include such cached items into the result set.