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

Galt Museum and Archives Artifacts Collection Now Searchable Online

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, January 22, 2014 8:13 AM

The Galt Museum & Archives in Lethbridge, Alberta, uses Inmagic DB/TextWorks, WebPublisher PRO and the Andornot Starter Kit to manage its archival, museum and library collections. The archival and library collections have been searchable through the Galt website for sometime, and recently, the museum artifacts collection was added as well.

The latest addition, the artifacts collection, contains records for over 12,000 items collected over the past 50 years, reflecting the culture and history of Lethbridge and southwestern Alberta. Photographs are available online for about 10% of the collection right now, but more are being added all the time.

Collections Technician Kevin MacLean and his small team of assistants, interns and volunteers take care to go beyond the physical acquisition of an artifact: they also collect the stories of the people it belonged to and its significance to them. Now, these artifacts and related stories are accessible beyond the walls of the museum, a goal the Galt staff have finally realized with this project.

The three search sites share a common look and feel, with colour-coding to match sections of the website.

Canned queries guide users to popular topics, while quick and advanced search screens, with browsable indexes, allow them to find relevant results.

Search results are displayed in a functional, easy to view layout with simple navigation through records and back to search pages.

A selection list allows users to save records as they browse, then email, save or print the list, as well as request more information on the items from Galt staff.

On the server, each time an image is requested for display in search results, the Andornot Image Handler dynamically generates a thumbnail or enlargement, on-the-fly, from the master image. This saves time over manually creating each needed size.

Contact us for help making your artifact collection searchable using the Andornot Starter Kit for Inmagic software, or other search systems.

Inmagic DB/Text for SQL and Inmagic WebPublisher PRO version 14 released

by Kathy Bryce Wednesday, July 03, 2013 8:32 AM

All clients with a current Inmagic maintenance subscription for either DB/Text for SQL or WebPublisher PRO should soon be receiving an email from Inmagic with the download information for version 14.  Version 14 of the non SQL version of DB/TextWorks was released last year.

If you have a current maintenance subscription but have not received a notification email in the next week, please email advantage@inmagic.com with your serial number and email address so it can be resent.  Please also remember to let us know if your contact information has changed so we can update our records and pass this on to Inmagic.

New and enhanced features in WebPublisher PRO include:

  • Support for renaming query logs and starting new ones on a scheduled basis.
  • Ability to edit validation lists.
  • Ability to expose the Find button and disable find-as-you-type in InmagicBrowse.
  • InmagicBrowse can now update records after a validation term is changed to another term already in the list.
  • Improved support for Internet Explorer v10.

Please contact us if you would like assistance upgrading or would like to renew an expired maintenance subscription. We can also help you update your current interface to include the latest features available in the software itself, or with our add-on products.

How to Use the DB/TextWorks Runtime Version for Read-Only Searching

by Kathy Bryce Monday, June 10, 2013 6:19 PM

The DB/TextWorks runtime version is a free, search-only version of the non-SQL DB/TextWorks.  It’s a useful tool for providing access to a textbase just for searching.   Originally it was a popular way of distributing a textbase on a CD, but now it's often used in these scenarios:

  • Archives or library reading rooms with no internet or network access.
  • Very small law firm libraries without an intranet for staff searching.
  • Prisons or correctional institutes where the inmates have no internet or network access or there is concern about tampering with the data.
  • One time anniversary projects to distribute searchable copies of a textbase.

Although there are multiple ways of publishing DB/TextWorks textbases on the web or intranet, we still regularly get requests for assistance with setting up runtime instances, so we’ve written up the following guidelines and best practices.

The first step in any runtime implementation is to read the DB/TextWorks online Help.  Search for “runtime” and read the licensing section, how to install the software and what to give end users or transfer to the PC where it is to be installed.  You will need to have downloaded the runtime installation kit from the Inmagic extranet.  Depending on the version this was included in the DB/TextWorks download zip file and appears as a  \runtime folder, or more recently it is available as a separate download.  Login using the credentials from your most recent emailed download notification from Inmagic to download the install kit.  

Important considerations:

  • Only one user can access the runtime version at a time.
  • Exclusive access to a textbase is required, so you cannot install the runtime on a network server and set it to search your live textbases.
  • The textbases are read-only once installed on the target PC.  This means you will not be able to adjust any query screens or reports on the target PC.
  • If you have links to images or documents in your textbases, the runtime version requires linked files to be in the same folder as the textbase.

Over the years our preferred procedure for creating and updating runtime versions has evolved to the following:

  • Create a folder called DB/Text_Runtime and unzip the install kit files.
  • Create a copy of the textbase that you wish to make available through the runtime version in this folder. (Name it to distinguish from the original such as CatalogRuntime.) (Menu screen > Manage Textbases > Copy Textbase).
  • If desired, open this new textbase and search for and Batch Delete any records that should not be included. (Records > Batch Delete)
  • Open this new textbase and set defaults for  query screens and forms appropriate for runtime users (Maintain > Change Textbase Defaults)
  • Optionally, remove extraneous forms to avoid confusion – most runtime users will only need a couple of reports (Maintain > Manage Textbase Elements)
  • Edit these chosen query screens and forms to add more search tips or information suitable for new or infrequent users. (Search > Design Query Screen or Display > Design Form)
  • Copy any linked image or document files that you want to make accessible into this same folder.BatchModify
  • Batch modify the fields for image or document links to remove pathing information.  (Records> Batch Modify. Choose Substitute Text and Affects Matching e.g. if a typical entry is N:\Archives\Images\2012-01-67.jpg  enter the path to the last \ in the Old Entry box (N:\Archives\Images\) and leave the New Entry box blank. This will leave just 2012-01-67.jpg  in the field.)  You may need to run several separate batch modifications if you have linked files in many different folders.
  • Create an introductory menu screen in the same folder setting the preferred query screen and forms. (Menu Screens > Design > Create > Box Properties > Initial Elements).  You may wish this to contain contact and additional explanatory information.

To install the runtime version:

  • Copy over the entire DB/Text_Runtime folder as created above (make sure to close the runtime textbase first).
  • Run setup.exe and follow the install instructions.
  • When DB/TextWorks first opens, Select the appropriate menu screen ( Menu Screens > Select).
  • Customize the toolbars to remove extraneous or confusing icons, i.e. the Sort Report and Select Form icons if you have specified only one report of each type. (Tools > Customize Toolbar).
  • Any adjustments to query screens or report forms or the data itself will need to be made on the original version and the files copied over again.  Always be sure the textbase is not open when copying the files.

To update the runtime databases:

  • Export and Import records from your working textbase rather than using Copy Textbase again unless you are OK with repeating all the steps above each time. 
  • Use Copy Textbase to create a new copy of the Runtime version of the textbase instead.import
  • In your working textbase, search for all new or modified records (or just the subset you wish to make available through the runtime version).
  • Export in Inmagic Tagged Format (File > Export. Inmagic Tagged | Current Record Set | All fields)
  • Switch to your Runtime textbase and Import.  (File > Import.  Inmagic Tagged | Add/Replace = Check for Matching Records & Replace Fields matching on your textbase unique record identifier field.  (You should always have an Automatic Number type field such as Record ID.) Accept New Record if Match Not Found)  The screenshot is from version 14 which added the ability to set up Import Profiles so you can retain these settings for the next update.
  • If you have image or document links you will need to batch modify these for any new or updated records and ensure that you copy over these files into the runtime folder too. 
  • Delete the original runtime textbase and rename the new version to the original name (Manage Textbases > Delete and then Rename). This ensures your menu screen still links correctly.

Setting up and maintaining the runtime version can be quite time consuming!  If you do have an intranet or web site, please contact us to discuss the various options for publishing your textbases.  We can also host authenticated sites if you do not have your own intranet or webserver. 

Capital Health in Halifax updates look and adds features

by Denise Bonin Friday, November 30, 2012 10:18 AM

It started with a simple request… “Could you help us add permalinks to our web Catalogue textbase records?”, but it ended with 3 new textbase interfaces, an ordering cart, a mobile interface, the ability to add records to RefWorks and, of course, permalinks.

At the beginning of this project with the Capital Health Library, it was quickly determined that, given the age of the current web-interface, adding permalinks to the records could only be accomplished using canned searches with rather long URLs.  That was rejected and a discussion ensued that resulted in the addition of many new features to the site.

Out with the old and in with the new. We started with the backend by revising the textbase data structures and ditching a bunch of unused fields and forms for the Catalogue and Pamphlets textbases.  The Catalogue had a separate interface for journal check-in and item ordering, which was also revamped.  Using the Andornot Starter Kit for Inmagic’s DB/TextWorks, we were able to provide nice clean desktop screens with a minimal number of forms, including a couple of links to saved sets from the menu screen, e.g. new catalogue items added in the past 30 days.  Given that the Capital Health library staff were already familiar with the Inmagic DB/TextWorks program, it was not a big jump to start using these new desktop interfaces and they adapted quite quickly. 

Screen shot of Pamphlets textbase search resultsMore clean up and integration. The web-interface overhaul followed using the Andornot Starter Kit for Inmagic’s WebPublisher PRO.  This included new search screens, brief report forms, and full display forms with “see also” links and Permalinks for the Catalogue, Journals and Pamphlets interfaces.  All of which was nicely integrated into the Capital Health Library website template.  Google book covers and links to Google Books were made available on both report and full display forms in the Catalogue.  Users of both the Catalogue and the Pamphlet textbases now have the ability to add items to a cart, for ordering, and/or Email, Save and Print.  In addition, within the interfaces, users can also link to selected websites, e-books, e-journals or to in-house PDF files.  Quick links to the other textbases and back to the Library website are readily available on every page.

Go-small-and-go-home. Why not let the users have access to the systems wherever they are located, even if it is on the bus, in the hospital, or at home?  Using the mobile version of the Andornot Starter Kit, we added a couple of mobile interfaces.  These included the Catalogue textbase as a whole, with all its links to e-books, e-journals, Google Books, websites, etc. as well as a separate journal subset.

Screen Shot of Catalogue textbase of RefWorks LinkResearch counts. A slight delay in the launch occurred when it was discovered that RefWorks was a big part of the Capital Health library world, but that it took about 10 steps to implement this in order to get catalogue records into RefWorks.  Some coding later and we were able to add the RefWorks feature to the Email, Save and Print portion of the cart allowing a much smoother path from catalogue to bibliography.

“We got much more than we expected when we asked about Permalinks! We now have an ordering system for our patient pamphlets, a direct-to-RefWorks button and mobile-ready search pages for our catalogue and our journals. All of this is based on the Inmagic software that our staff know so well. Andornot worked with our Information Technology department to get us to a new level of service. The look and feel is close to what our users know, so there is limited change for them, but behind the scenes, we now have more searchable fields, simpler systems, and, of course those Permalinks! All in all, an excellent experience!”
Penny Logan, Capital Health Manager Library Services

Future ready. With all these new features now in place the library is well positioned to move into the future, providing the Capital Health staff with an abundance of new information access options. 

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