Getting Started with Reference Tables

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Getting Started with Reference Tables

Establish List of Reference Values

Reference Value Questions with Links to Additional Documentation


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.




Reference tables are tables which 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 which allow selection of an appropriate label. Some common reference tables are RT_ANALYTE, RT_MATRIX, RT_UNIT, and RT_SAMPLE_TYPE. The help article of the same name, Reference Tables, goes into more detail about these tables.




1.Reference tables keep the 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.


In EQuIS Professional, reference values are found in individual reference tables within the database. In EDP Standalone and EDGE, reference values are accessed via a (*.rvf) reference value file.


Change or Add Values to Reference Tables


It is possible to edit existing reference values or add new ones. There are several ways of doing this, depending upon how many changes you want to make, and which products you are using. See individual sections below for more information.


Establish List of Reference Values


One of the first steps in implementing EQuIS is establishing the desired lists of reference values. There are three main ways of doing this.


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. More information is available in the help article 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 Editing Data and Reference 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.