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Formal Shape Grammar

This is the formal grammar for creating any shape command:

  • Required grammatical terms are text strings delimited by angle brackets ("<>").

  • Optional terms are delimited by square brackets ("[ ]").

  • Alternatives are indicated by a virgule ("|").

  • Repeating alternatives are indicated by an ellipsis ("...").

  • Alpha indicates a string of alphabetical letters.

  • Digit indicates a string of numbers.

  • Unicode-digit indicates a string of unicode digits.

All other terms are literals.




SHAPE [<table-exp> [[AS] <alias>]][<shape-action>]


{<provider-command-text>} |

(<shape-command>) |

TABLE <quoted-name> |



APPEND <aliased-field-list> |

COMPUTE <aliased-field-list> [BY <field-list>]


<aliased-field> [, <aliased-field...>]


<field-exp> [[AS] <alias>]


(<relation-exp>) |

<calculated-exp> |

<aggregate-exp> |



<table-exp> [[AS] <alias>]

RELATE <relation-cond-list>


<relation-cond> [, <relation-cond>...]


<field-name> TO <child-ref>


<field-name> |

PARAMETER <param-ref>




<field-name> [, <field-name>]


SUM(<qualified-field-name>) |

AVG(<qualified-field-name>) |

MIN(<qualified-field-name>) |

MAX(<qualified-field-name>) |

COUNT(<qualified-alias> | <qualified-name>) |

STDEV(<qualified-field-name>) |









<quoted-name> [[AS] <alias>]


"<string>" |

'<string>' |

[<string>] |





alpha [ alpha | digit | _ | # | : | ...]


digit [digit...]


NEW <field-type> [(<number> [, <number>])]


An OLE DB or ADO data type.


unicode-char [unicode-char...]


A Visual Basic for Applications expression whose operands are other non-CALC columns in the same row.

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