Route Generation

Route generation consists of three basic concepts. They are...

  1. There are rules that control the generation of Routes. Manually generated Routes (where the Route Stops are added one at a time from the Route Stops view) do not have (or need) any rules.
  2. Automatic Route generation creates Routes that cover various combinations of Region, Zone, Type, Frequency, and Service Type as you select. Each Route then has the rules used for its creation saved with the Route.
  3. A Route can be regenerated. The rules used in it's initial generation are simply reapplied. In this way any new Services meeting the criteria of the generation rules are added to the Route.

Note: This tutorial describes automatic Route generation. Routes can also be created when data is imported, (Data Import) or by simply opening the Route view , adding a new Route, open the Route Stop view by pushing the Edit Stops button and then adding Route Stops as required.

Generation Rules:
The rules describe how Services are selected to be a member of a Route. The actual rules are an SQL expression selecting Services based on their association with one or more of Regions, Zones, Types, Frequencies, and/or Service Types.
These rules are created by Auto Route Generation and they can be created or edited by using the Edit Route Generation Rules dialog.

Automatic Route Generation:
Automatic Route generation can be accessed from the menu: Tools : Advanced Fundtions : Auto Route Generate or from the context menu in the Route data view. During this process the dialog box tells you what is being generated. For example if you select to generate by Region and by Frequency. You will generate a Route for each possible combination of Regions and Frequencies. If you have two Regions called north and south and three Frequencies called weekly, biweekly, and monthly, then the following Routes would be attempted to be generated. It says attempted above, why? If no Services meet the selected criteria, then no Route will be generated. You can choose whether to be warned about Routes not being generated.

Automatic generation is designed to be used infrequently. It can build your basic Routes. You can then fine tune the rules by editing the generation rules. To assist you in keeping track of what you have done, there is a data column in the Route view that shows the time that a Route was generated. By sorting on this column you can see which Routes were just generated.

Routes can be created manually from the add button on the Route view toolbar. In this case, any generation rules must be manually created by using the generate button in the Route add/edit dialog. Or Routes can be generated complete with rules using automatic Route generation.

But sooner or later, these Routes will become out of date as your Customers, Sites, or Services change. At this time, you can select one or more Routes in the Route view and do a Route regeneration.

The regeration will reapply the existing rules to your current database. For example, if you added a new Service with a Region of north and a Frequency or weekly it would get added to the Route. During the regeneration, you will be asked if it is ok to delete old Route Stops before regenerating. Normally the desired answer is yes. Otherwise you will end up with duplicate copies of old entries.