Spring cleanup for your Inmagic textbases

by Kathy Bryce Wednesday, March 19, 2014 11:39 AM

What might happen if you win the lottery?  Will your successor be able to understand how to use your Inmagic DB/TextWorks textbases?  In this series of posts we’ll help you rationalize your files, textbases and forms plus provide suggestions for regular maintenance of your textbases.

In this Part 1 of the series we discuss how to cleanup folders and directories which may have become cluttered with multiple copies and backups of textbases and related files.  Here therefore are some tips to help you figure out what is safe to delete.

What are all those files and what do they do?

Each DB/TextWorks database consists of a number of files; how many depends on whether you have the version for a non-SQL or SQL platform.  The SQL version, (file extensions shown in parentheses below), uses Microsoft SQL Server as the data store for the actual records. 

Do NOT delete any of the following:

.acf  (.cac) Access Control File – controls simultaneous access to the textbase
.btx Term and Word indexes
.dbo Directory to the records in the .dbr file
.dbr    Contains the records
.dbs  (.cbs)    Textbase structure file with field definitions
.ixl    Indexed list file with any validation and substitution lists
.log  (.log)    Log file of any changes to records or the textbase structure
.occ    Lists of records indexed in the .btx file
.sdo    Directory to any records with deferred updates
.tba  (.cba)    Primary textbase definition file plus elements such as forms and query screens.
.tbm    Menu screen files

On a network install, you may also have .slt files which show who has a textbase open.  If you have a thesauri there will be .tml files, which prevent more than one person at a time modifying thesaurus records.   You may also have an .ini file for some applications.

What can I get rid of?

Generally the following are temporary working files created as you perform various functions:

.chk Report created after running Check Textbase
.dmp Exported records
.x01 etc. Exception files from imports
.tbb (.cbb) Exported textbase structure definition
.xpf or .xpq Exported forms and query screens

These can usually be safely deleted unless there is a need to keep backups of the records or forms at some point in time.  If so, we suggest moving these files to a specific backup folder named appropriately to indicate the date and purpose.

How can I tell if it’s an old or defunct textbase?

We suggest doing a search across your network files for all *.tba or *.cba (SQL version) files.  You can use the Search or Find tool in Windows Explorer for this. This can have surprising results if you’ve had DB/TextWorks for many years!  It’s easy to create a new textbase or make a copy of an existing one to test out a new idea, but all too often these tests are never deleted.  Usually once you open these textbases you can search and see if there are only a few records. If there is no automatic date created field, we suggest looking at the log file to determine how long ago data was last added or modified to help determine current usage. For clients with multiple users and multiple textbases, we have a sample database inventory textbase to help you document this cleanup process. Contact us if you are interested in obtaining a copy - it’s free for existing clients.

What about all these .tbu, .tbs and .idi files?

These are all User Files and are specific to each person who is using each textbase in DB/TextWorks.  The .tbu contains “private” textbase elements such as forms and saved sets.   The .tbs file stores scripting information and the .idi file stores your last used settings, such as the window size and position, and your most recent batch modification or import settings.
Ideally these should be stored in a personal User Files folder on the network for each user so that there are no conflicts and to ensure that they are backed up.  You can also store them on your PC workstation if it’s backed up. However if you want to keep these settings you’ll need to remember to copy those files over if you get a new PC.

You can easily move these personal user files to a more appropriate location under Tools > Options. We highly recommend checking where they are now located for each active user and rationalizing these settings.   You can then safely delete any remaining .tbu, .tbs and .idi files if they are currently cluttering up your textbases folders.

For more information on any of these files, check out the Help built into DB/TextWorks or the printable PDFfor version 13. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this cleanup yourself, contact us and we can help you on a consulting basis.

Spring Cleanup Part 2:  Rationalizing textbase elements

Elgin County Archives Launches New Archival Search Interface

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, March 12, 2014 11:31 AM

The Elgin County Archives, in St. Thomas, Ontario, has been using Inmagic DB/TextWorks for many years to manage its collections.

Recently the DB/TextWorks databases and interface were upgraded with the Andornot Archives Starter Kit, to provide a RAD-compliant structure and easy-to-use search screens and forms.

This month the web interface was also upgraded. The new interface uses a similar layout and design as the main Elgin County website, for a seamless transition for users. Both sites use a responsive framework, so they are as accessible on mobile devices as in desktop browsers.

View the new interface at http://inmagic.elgin-county.on.ca/ask/

The searchable database contains over 120,000 records, with high resolution photos available for almost half the records.

Popular topics include:

(The above are canned queries created with the Andornot Search Cannery Wizard; click the links to view results).

Contact us to upgrade your archival collections to a modern interface.

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