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Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

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  • Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

    My son's business has both a retail and a wholesale component. My A5 application migration from V1 to V11 is almost complete. I now have to deal with a nice feature that V1 provided, "Application Cards".

    When my son started his wholesale operation I copied all the A5 files to a new directory, and emptied out all the tables. All filenames remained the same. I created an application card for the new directory (in V11 I've learned that we use forms for menus instead of application cards).

    So ... on his V1 application card I put a button that says basically, go to the wholesale directory and bring up its menu. This enabled a seamless crossover to the other directory and both menus worked concurrently. He could create an invoice for a retail customer side by side with a wholesale customer's invoice. Alpha 5 kept track of which directory was involved and there never was a problem.

    I don't know V11's nuances but I do know that it's a major pain in the butt to have to close down the first workspace to do something in the second workspace and then come back again. That's a great example of the opposite of "seamless".

    Alphaholics, is there hope for my son? Do you have a trick up your sleeves?

    For those of you who managed to escape V1, this implementation was via an "app_run" capability.

    Thanks for listening. Please have a solution. --- Sam

  • #2
    Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

    I have just an inkling of what you mean.

    You can have two workspaces open simultaneously. One option.

    You can have one workspace which has a menu that opens either of two other workspaces. Second option.

    You can have a button on the menu for of both workspaces which opens the other. Third option.
    There can be only one.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

      Originally posted by Stan Mathews View Post
      I have just an inkling of what you mean.

      You can have two workspaces open simultaneously. One option.
      Stan, how do I do this? I'd like to see how it feels to have two control panels and if I wanted, 2 menus, one for each workspace.

      You can have one workspace which has a menu that opens either of two other workspaces. Second option.
      This one interests me the most Stan. It "sounds like" (??) it's what I do now. Do all 3 of these options involve actually opening the other workspace? All I can relate to is A5V1 where the primary menu brings up a 2nd menu from the other directory and you just run menu options. You don't have a sense at all that there are different directories involved. Is it like that when you're concurrently accessing two workspaces in V11?

      Here's the Version 1 button code which calls up the app menu in the other directory. In this scenario there are two directories but only a single control panel. However the control panel switches to the other directory while you're executing a form in the other directory. This probably doesn't make sense to you. I'll stop there.

      Code: app_run("C:\A5\GCXWINV\GCXW.APD", "CARD=~GCXW Main Menu~"

      You can have a button on the menu for of both workspaces which opens the other. Third option.
      I can't quite picture this. Sounds like being in two rooms with the ability to see both ways when I'm only going to be in the one room.

      Stan this all sounds terrific!!! I need to see first hand how it works and what it feels like. My son would probably want the solution that's easier.

      Could you just respond to two things at this time?

      1. My earlier question about how to have two workspaces with two control panels open concurrently.

      2. If I didn't open the other workspace (or do I have to?), can I access a menu I put there from a button on the menu in my primary workspace? If so, what would the code be for that button or where can I find it in the documentation.

      Thanks again, Stan. This is very good news. I'm very sorry my response is somewhat confusing.

      --- Sam

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

        Stan, how do I do this? I'd like to see how it feels to have two control panels and if I wanted, 2 menus, one for each workspace.
        Open Alpha Five, open your workspace. Minimize it.
        Repeat with other workspace. They will run independently.

        Open another database (button).
        There can be only one.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

          Originally posted by Stan Mathews View Post
          Open Alpha Five, open your workspace. Minimize it.
          Repeat with other workspace. They will run independently.

          Open another database (button).
          Well that was certainly interesting! I didn't know you could have two instances of A5 running at same time. I accidently brought up a second instance previously and got a licensing warning. Apparently that only happens when you try to bring up the same workspace in both instances. (Must detect that scenario as multi-user?).

          Thanks for pointing this out Stan. It's a minimalist solution and I don't like it, but as a failsafe it certainly works.

          I'd like to move along to the next step on the path to "seamless" integration. I checked the link you posted and don't know why you pointed it out. It talks about "opening another database", that's good, but it says it will close the first one, that's bad. Am I misundertanding something?

          1. Can you help me move toward my next and possibly last step, Stan. The only other database I have at present is my test database. That will change shortly. If I place a menu in that database, what do I need to do to access that menu from my current workspace without closing it.

          2. Secondly, Stan, you didn't answer my earlier question but I can understand because I was terribly confusing. The question was whether all the various implementations of multiple workspace access require having two workspaces fully open concurrently with two control panels.

          Thanks much ... Sam

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

            To emphasis what Stan is saying...

            You would run 2 copies of Alpha - each opening a different workspace.

            I would suggest a separate shortcut on the desktop for each occurrence of the workspace and a different color scheme on the forms to clarify to the user which workspace is open..
            Al Buchholz
            Bookwood Systems, LTD
            Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

            Occam's Razor - KISS
            Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
            Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
            When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.
            "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler."
            Albert Einstein

            http://www.iadn.com/images/media/iadn_member.png

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

              Sam,

              My brain is not functioning well this morning and I don't fully understand the whys and hows of what you want to do.

              Two open instances of Alpha cannot communicate with each other as far as I know. You can open another workspace from within the current workspace (not closing the first) with

              sys_shell('"drive_path_alpha5.exe drive_path_workspacename.adb")

              like

              sys_shell("C:\Program Files\a5V11\alpha5.exe C:\Executive\Bue\Bue.Adb")

              So I think that answers the second question as well, you can't run one workspace from within the other. You can open individual layouts from another workspace, access the tables, etc.

              form.view("[email protected]_path_tablename_form_built_on.ddd")


              You might examine why you have two workspaces at all.
              There can be only one.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

                What I am reading here seems to flow into something like "how do I get my 2012 Ford Explorer started using my Model A engine crank". I must admit that I have no knowledge of Alpha v1 but I am pretty certain that methods and functionality have changed enough that trying to pattern your application in v11 based upon the data functionalities and methods of v1 is and will not flow as wished and expected. The crank just doesn't have a spot anymore and ain't gunna work!

                I echo this completely -
                You might examine why you have two workspaces at all.
                Mike W
                __________________________
                "I rebel in at least small things to express to the world that I have not completely surrendered"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

                  Originally posted by Al Buchholz View Post
                  To emphasis what Stan is saying...

                  You would run 2 copies of Alpha - each opening a different workspace.

                  I would suggest a separate shortcut on the desktop for each occurrence of the workspace and a different color scheme on the forms to clarify to the user which workspace is open..
                  Al thanks for your response. Originally I was set against this approach because I felt that it was a shortcut and that the best way would be to run a single workspace and have the software flip-flop between menus supporting different directories. I was also against having to run 2 instances of Alpha Five because I thought it would be a real performance hit.

                  However, I just got off the phone with an A5 developer who gave me considerable time explaining different options. He and I also concluded that perhaps the simplest way for me was to go the two instances route, as both you and Stan suggested. He told me he wouldn't do it this way if he were developing a new application for a client who had my requirements.

                  The outstanding benefit of the the two instance approach is that all my objects (tables, forms, scripts, reports ...) are identical for my son's Retail and Wholesale businesses. The only thing that would be different would be the contents of the customer and invoice tables. I would, of course, change some colors, menu and form headings etc. in some way so my son would always know which window he was in.

                  Al, do you have any thoughts at all regarding the performance load on the computer in having Alpha Five running twice? Something like "not more than 10% more than running it once" or some such guess-timate?

                  Also, Al, and I realize this is only an opinion, do you think that it's at all common for small companies that have 2 or even 3 business segments to run multiple instances for each of these businesses? I'd be uncomfortable if I were the only one on the planet doing this.

                  Thanks again, Al .... Sam

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

                    Originally posted by Mike Wilson View Post
                    What I am reading here seems to flow into something like "how do I get my 2012 Ford Explorer started using my Model A engine crank". I must admit that I have no knowledge of Alpha v1 but I am pretty certain that methods and functionality have changed enough that trying to pattern your application in v11 based upon the data functionalities and methods of v1 is and will not flow as wished and expected. The crank just doesn't have a spot anymore and ain't gunna work!

                    I echo this completely -
                    Mike I have two workspaces only because Alpha 5 Version 1 made it easy to copy all my files to a second directory and only have 2 of my 3 tables with unique data. It supported a single menu that had a button to bring up a menu for the other business segment. Both menus exist side by side and any function selected on either menu operated against files that were contained in the directory where that menu lived.

                    Naturally I thought it would be great if I could do something similar in Version 11 but I have no idea how and I've been discouraged from doing it.

                    Can you tell me what the requirements and extra effort would be to pull this off within a single workspace?

                    Thanks ... Sam

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

                      Originally posted by Stan Mathews View Post
                      Sam,

                      My brain is not functioning well this morning and I don't fully understand the whys and hows of what you want to do.

                      Two open instances of Alpha cannot communicate with each other as far as I know. You can open another workspace from within the current workspace (not closing the first) with

                      sys_shell('"drive_path_alpha5.exe drive_path_workspacename.adb")
                      like
                      sys_shell("C:\Program Files\a5V11\alpha5.exe C:\Executive\Bue\Bue.Adb")

                      So I think that answers the second question as well, you can't run one workspace from within the other. You can open individual layouts from another workspace, access the tables, etc.

                      form.view("[email protected]_path_tablename_form_built_on.ddd")

                      You might examine why you have two workspaces at all.
                      Gosh, Stan, I feel so dense. I'm encouraged by what you've said in this post but I can't envision how to go about this. The main thing that's making me crazy is trying to picture how I can have a menu in Workspace A which addresses tables, sets, forms, and other objects that are physically stored elsewhere.

                      Could it possibly be as simple as using form_view and accessing a menu (form) that's in Workspace B and then expecting that this form will understand that everything being referenced is located in its own workspace. And, I don't understand how sys_shell works and how it facilitates this. The concept of two workspaces open at the same time is so blurry to me.

                      You did say that a second workspace can be opened without closing the first but I can't see how the user can bounce back and forth.

                      Is there some help somewhere that can explain to me how to do all this. It sounds so tempting!!

                      BTW, the reason I have two workspaces is that I didn't want the development effort of creating duplicate resources with two sets of names for each. Like I said, Stan, I can't envision this.

                      Sorry ... Sam

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

                        I can't see how the user can bounce back and forth.
                        A thing called the windows taskbar. Usually at the bottom of the screen.

                        how I can have a menu in Workspace A which addresses tables, sets, forms, and other objects that are physically stored elsewhere.
                        A workspace need have no tables, one table if you build your menu form on a "summy" table. All of the commands that open layouts accept a full path. If you don't supply a full path Alpha assumes you mean to reference something which is part of the open workspace. If you do supply the full path, it doesn't matter what workspace they are part of or where they are located.

                        I can't envision this.
                        Don't envision, experiment and see.
                        There can be only one.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

                          Originally posted by Stan Mathews View Post
                          A thing called the windows taskbar. Usually at the bottom of the screen.

                          A workspace need have no tables, one table if you build your menu form on a "summy" table. All of the commands that open layouts accept a full path. If you don't supply a full path Alpha assumes you mean to reference something which is part of the open workspace. If you do supply the full path, it doesn't matter what workspace they are part of or where they are located.

                          Don't envision, experiment and see.
                          Apologies, Stan. I read too much into the sys_shell command. I thought it meant that a second workspace would be accessible to me while I was in the first workspace. I tried it and realized that it opened a second instance of Alpha Five.

                          I do need to experiment as you suggest. It appears that all resources anywhere on my computer's hard drive are potentially available to my workspace. I had a hard time getting my head around this.

                          Thank you ... Sam

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

                            Another option. Again IMHO

                            I have an app which runs in situations with mutually exclusive tax calculations and invoices.
                            I have a Logical Field which indicates the type of tax calc, and the forms I use reflect this. The underlying data is the same with only a few (about 2) redundant fileds in one situation and no redundant fields in the other.

                            2 workspaces? Only if you are a glutton for punnishment or have two completely separate applications with one common dataset.

                            BTW. A Navigation Bar (in V10.5) stays open all the time in Alpha so you could - if you really wanted to - have a Nav Bar with the different databased accessed that way.
                            See our Hybrid Option here;
                            https://hybridapps.example-software.com/


                            There are 3 things you can do in any situation;
                            Live with it, Change it or Walk away from it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Concurrent access to multiple workspaces

                              There are multiple ways to handle this.

                              2 workspaces

                              Types of customers - types of sales orders/invoices.

                              It is difficult to make a specific answer without a lot more information.

                              legal requirements
                              reporting needs
                              cross over accounts - wholesalers/retailer combos.
                              business transaction volume

                              All of the options are available and are used by system's designers for large and small installations. Each has a list of pros and cons.

                              No one has utopia...
                              Al Buchholz
                              Bookwood Systems, LTD
                              Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

                              Occam's Razor - KISS
                              Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
                              Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
                              When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.
                              "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler."
                              Albert Einstein

                              http://www.iadn.com/images/media/iadn_member.png

                              Comment

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