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. 

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