Tuesday, August 10, 2010 10:58 AM
Have you been using DB/TextWorks for years and years? When we visit clients we often come across databases that were originally designed in early versions of the software or were even ported over from DOS. Amazingly, these continue to work just fine, but as with any system, they could benefit from a checkup every so often. Here are a few of the quick and easy updates we like to suggest:
Forms and query screens housecleaning.
It is so easy to design new forms in DB/TextWorks that sometimes we find databases with a multitude of reports. They may have names like report5 or test2 and no one knows what they are for, or if anyone still needs them. If you don’t have the time to do a proper audit and check each of them with your staff, here is a quick option to jump start the cleanup process. Under Tools > Manage Textbase Elements you can Rename those that you suspect are not used with an x or z in front. This drops them to the bottom of the list when using Select Form so that you can quickly see your most used forms first. If no one misses these forms after a month or so it is probably safe to Delete them. Or you can select them and Export to a file as a backup before deleting, just in case. When saving or renaming a form it is always a good idea to use a standard naming convention that indicates the function of the form, and to add a Description as this will display when the form is highlighted under Select Form or Manage Textbase Elements.
If you also use WebPublisher PRO,the Manage Textbase Elements list will include any that have been saved as web only. These of course should not be renamed without also editing the web interface search screen or canned query that references them.
Choosing useful fields for your log information.
The Log file tracks information as records are added or modified. By default it is set up to use the first field in the database. However it is easy to change the log file to be more informative through Maintain > Edit Textbase Structure > Log file. We recommend setting the first field to be your unique auto generated ID field (you do have one of these don’t you?) plus add a more meaningful field such as Title. Then if you have a problem, you can choose Maintain>View Log file and scroll to the bottom to see which records may have been affected. The log file also records information on password, textbase structure or validation lists edits. Many times no one can remember changing anything and the log file has come to the rescue in deciphering what caused a problem. Just recently a client’s web interface suddenly prompted for a password. The log file showed that one of the support staff had added a password for a temporary employee not realizing that they needed to also add a silent password for continued use by WebPublisher PRO.
Moving your user file to a network drive.
In older versions the personal user files for each database (*.tbu) which store your preferences such as window layout, private forms and sets etc. were stored in the install directory or C:\Program Files\Inmagic. These files can therefore easily be overlooked when migrating to a new computer, and on some networks, C drives are not backed up. Moving these files to a network drive is now easy. Choose Tools > Options and under the General Tab > User Options > User File directory, use the Browse button to choose a new directory.
Of course we are always available to help you with these checkups and to make recommendations for improving your databases. Watch for more hints in upcoming blog posts!