Module: Editor

Version: 2.2.1 +

User: Developer

Object Type: Can be used in conjunction with all types of objects



A Reference is an object which can be used to make a link (i.e. reference) to another object which is located elsewhere in the document (or in a subdocument of the document). This can be a Calculation oject, but also an Output object, Action object etc. Making use of References enables you for example to use the result of other objects such as a Formula in other calculations without the need to copy the whole Formula itself. You can therefore model the Formula only once and use the result wherever it is needed. Likewise in a Webpage you can make a Reference to an Action in another WebPage and hereby avoid creating the same Action once again.


DebugLogMode (from version 4.1)

Indicates the level of detail of debug information that is logged when running a Futurama application (website, webservice, console application) to the trace, a logfile, a database etc. The possible values are:

  • None: no debug information is logged
  • Simple: only basic information is given
  • Extended: in addition to the information in the Simple mode the values of all the properties of the object are shown


Possible values are True or False. If the value is False, then the object can only be used within the document where it is created. If the value is True, then also from other Futurama documents can be referred to this object. This means that changes in the object also affect the document in which is referred to this object. If the value is True and you attempt to move or delete the object, a warning will be given. To limit these warnings to a minimum it is recommended to set IsPublic to True only when necessary.

ReturnsTable (until version 5.0)

This is an automatic property indicating the value of the ReturnsTable property of the object to which the Reference refers. From version 5.1.0 the ReturnsTable property is replaced by the Rank property (see property below).

Rank (from version 5.1)

The Rank property is an automatic property indicating the rank of the Calculation Object. Rank=0 implies a scalar. Rank=1 a vector and Rank=2 a matrix. Depending on object to which the Reference refers the value of Rank is determined.


The name of the object as it is shown in the source of the website. By default the XmlName is equal to the name given in the property (Name) with spaces replaced by underscores, but you are free to change it.


The name of the object.


Here a comment can be entered. For example a short description of the object.


The unique identification number of the object. This number is automatically generated by Futurama on the moment of creation. This number can be used when searching for a certain object in the Find Window.


Here the object can be selected to which the Reference needs to refer. The Reference can be made absolute or relative. See below for more information.


This is an automatic property indicating the value of the Type property of the object to which the Reference refers. For example, if the Reference refers to a Fixed containing a Date, the Type of the Reference will be Date as well. Note that when using a Reference in creating a Formula it is only possible to select objects of the same Type as the Formula that is being created.

Absolute reference versus relative references

A Reference can be relative or absolute. If a Reference is absolute then the whole path to the referred object starting from the root of the Document will be shown. If a Reference is relative only the path from the location of the Reference in the Editor to the location of the referred object is shown. Using absolute or relative References is relevant when copying objects. A Reference can be made absolute or relative in the window where the Reference is made (property Text) by making use of the buttons in the upperright of the window. We speak of an absolute path if the name of the root Document is part of the path. If the path starts with ../ we speak of a relative path.

There are no strict rules for when to apply absolute or relative paths. A rule of thumb is that if the other object is in the same Node or in a Node higher or deeper it is recommended to make the path relative. It is then easier to see where the object is located to which the Reference refers. Furthermore when copying the Node including the object and the Reference, the copies will refer to each other in the same manner as the original. 

References and SubDocuments

In a Document References can be made to objects which are located in SubDocuments of the Document. This is only possible if the object that has to be referred to is public i.e. it's property IsPublic has to be True. If this is not the case a message will popup asking if you want to make the object public. Only when you confirm this, the Reference can be made succesfully.

Related Topics

Relevant Tutorials

- Creating formulas with futurama: Select part 3 of this tutorial to see how a Reference is used in creating a Formula.


Updated: 2012-07-20