View Full Version : Network question - A4 in win98?


Kerry Jannsen
05-05-2000, 10:31 PM
I've been using A4 for many years now on a single pc at work. I know very little about networking and would like set up another work station in the same office that would allow two people to use A4 6.2 at the same time. I don't expect a detailed response but would appreciate some basic information on what equipment I'll need and some do's and don'ts as well as whether I'll need to upgrade to a multi-user version or if my single user version will suffice. If this is too much to ask, maybe someone has a link to a site where I could get this information. Thanks in advance.

Kerry Jannsen

russ Boehle
05-07-2000, 04:49 PM
The manual gives pretty detailed information on how to do this. It really is pretty simple. As far as the hardware, it depends on how many users you foresee. For just 2 probably win98 peer to peer is the simplest. Just put a share on the directory with the files you need. You will need 2 copies of A4 or the runtime in order to stay legal. If you have an app and don't want users fiddling with the files the runtime is great, All the users see is what you want them to see.
You will also need a hub or preferably a switch, 2 ethernet cards and some cables. If buying cards get 10/100, you can get them for about $20 each and they are much faster than 10 meg cards which is important with A4. (I guess with win98 you could also use a direct cable connection for one additional user, see the win98 manual, but I think the network speed would be pretty slow this way). If you just have 2 computers you can also get by with 2 ethernet cards and a crossover cable. See the 3 com site on how to make a crossover cable. This eliminates the hub or switch but can only be used between 2 computers.

Hope this helps.


Mike Konoff
05-08-2000, 04:32 AM
Russ gives pretty complete information on how to do this. I've connected 4 users here at work using 1 win95 machine and 3 win98 machines. Works pretty good. For us, there are normally 2 users at same time with little problem. However, sometimes we see "unable to lock" warning when two users are access db's over the network at the same time.

You'll need to map the network drive and point alpha four on the external machine to the network drive that the data resides on. There might be more than one way to do this, but I do it by placing a shortcut and outlining the program settings in there.

As you go along keep posting the questions that come up along the way here and we'll do what we can to steer you in the right direction.

I was in your shoes not too long ago and just about pulled all my hair out trying to get the network setup to use. I'm not very knowledgable with PC's. However, once you get it hooked up, get all the setting right, you'll be happy you did it. Don't get too frustrated as I did if things don't work as expected. There's usually something little that needs to be tweaked and then you'll be fine.


Kerry Jannsen
05-15-2000, 05:04 PM
Thank you very much for your help. I apologize for taking so long to respond. I was having some problems with my personal pc and was unable to go online for a short time. With yours and Mikes advice, I think I can get it done. I'll let you know how it goes.


Gerry Barton
06-07-2000, 09:59 PM
Hello Mike,

I too am having the same problem with the "unable to lock" message when running Alpha over a win98 network. I have tried many different configurations, changing the newtork properties. I have read the info that is posted on the Alpha tech site, and while somewhat helpful, they manage to skirt the real issues with respect to networking.

Here is what I have found works well. Set the CLIENT to "microsoft networks" the "PROTOCOL" to "netbeui" and be sure to set this to the default protocol. I have played with the memory setting in the desktop icon PIF editor too.

While I have had some success with this, I am still getting the dreaded "unable to lock" error. With this in mind, I have spent many hours with some network consultants trying to solve this problem. It has not worked out as I had hoped.

I have read many messages on this message board, and it is clear to me that many folks are having the same problem. I have an idea. What do you think about starting a new TOPIC about networking A4 in win98, and get other knowledgeable folks involved to help solve the problems? I know I have clients using our application that are challenged by these networking problems, and I need to find a solution.

I await your thoughts


Robin Hurshman
06-14-2000, 11:11 AM
I am also having networking problems with my A4V6 users. I have 5 license's and I can't get the two of them to work in the same database without the other getting locked out. One is only doing an updated index and the other is entering data. One has to get out while the other is doing his work. This is not very productive. Any suggestions before I'm pulling out all my hair.:)


Richard Sherman
06-23-2000, 07:17 AM

There are several activities that require exclusive use of a database
in A4. When one of these activies is going on you will get the
"unable to lock" message. This is to safeguard your database and to
prevent corruption of data if two or more users are trying to access
the same record at the same time...This is not an error message so
much as an information item to let you know why you cannot continue
data entry at the time someone else has exclusive use of the database.

Usually the message will disappear within a short time(depending on
the size of the file) when the exclusive use has been completed. Updating
an index is one of those activities. Editing an existing record can also
cause this message to appear when another person is also using the same
database for various purposes.

Hope this helps you understand a bit more why that message comes up
when two or more are using the same database.

PS We are running A4V6 on an NT server with MS Small Office Network.
We have 12 licenses and beyond the occasional "unable to lock" messages
we have had nearly no problems at all. We have several databases with
15,000 or more records and often have four or five users in the same
database at a time.