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SQL Connection by Environment

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  • SQL Connection by Environment

    I have been tasked by my employer to take an existing Access Application connected to a SQL Back end and update it to a Web Based application.

    We have 3 environments. Development, Quality Analysis and Production.

    It appears to me that each Grid/Form I use connects to the SQL database. As I move on to the next environment, is there an easy way to adapt the linkage?

    e.g. A form having a named connection to the DEV environment must now connect to the SQL database in the QUAL environment.

    The finished application will have almost 100 forms, so I do not want to change each manually.

    Newbie, learning the value of having no hair to pull out

  • #2
    Re: SQL Connection by Environment


    I'm reading that you have three instances of the SQL database, one for each environment. So, why not have three Alpha databases with each one using the same name for the connection string, but in that database, have each one point to a different instance.

    So then, the development database (which you want separate anyway) has a component named "employees" that uses a named connection string of "Mydata" that points to the development version of SQL, and the production database has a component named "employees" that also uses a named connection string of "Mydata" but points to the production version of SQL.

    Alpha has a very nice feature to make this easier. If you right click on a component, you can select "Copy to" which lets you copy that component to another database. That makes it easy to move from environment to environment.

    Pat Bremkamp
    MindKicks Consulting


    • #3
      Re: SQL Connection by Environment

      Hello Graham,

      The way I do it is to use profiles. I use one connection name in all of my components and .a5w pages. Then I setup different Profiles for different purposes to publish to the location of the development, quality assurance or production servers. They could even be the same server but a different directory structure. Then edit the "connection string" in the profile but leave the connection name the same. With profiles you can setup numerous environments using live or test data with whatever version of your application you want.

      If you understood the first paragraph you can skip the rest.

      So for my Development environment I have a connection name of "survey_data" in the "local webroot" profile. The Connection string for "survey_data" points to a mysql server with the database name of "Survey_dev"

      When I'm ready to go to the next step, I publish to a profile that I call "Beta". The Beta Profile is configured to FTP the Project to a Server in a datacenter. It could be a seperate A5 Web Appliation server or it could be nested in a directory on your production server. My connection name is always "survey_data". Now in the "Beta" profile, edit the "Named AlphaDAO connection strings" and edit the connection string to point to the "Beta" database. This allows you and any testers to test with a backup copy of the data but using the most recent version of your program.

      Then when we are ready to have it go to production. I have a profile called "Production". The production Profile is configured to FTP the project to the production A5Web Application server and put in in the main directory structure. Now it still uses the same connection name "survey_data", but edit the connection string in the profile to point to the "Production" database.

      This way when I'm comfortable that everything is working in one, all I have to do is select the profile I want and publish to it without making any other changes.

      You don't even have to have different database names if you don't want to. If you have 3 different servers you can have the the profile and "connection string" (not the connection name) point to the development, quality analysis, or production server but the database name in the connection string points to the same database name. The profiles were confusing at first but once you experiment with them you will start to see the power.

      This is just one way to do it. The downside, I have been in a hurry to see the results and published to the "production" profile when I didn't want to. Yes I did have a backup!

      This works for us. When I go to publish to the production system I backup the project and document it as to what version and date it is so in case I did have to go back to an older version I can. I even have the live production version in a sterile alpha directory just in case I need to revert back or see how something was.

      Again, this is just one way to control it but play with the profiles and then do what you are comfortable with.



      • #4
        Re: SQL Connection by Environment

        Thanks very much for the responses. I think I have the hang of it now, only time will tell. :)

        Newbie, learning the value of having no hair to pull out