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Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

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  • Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

    I've been studying Alpha Five's File Types in as much depth as the documentation permits. I need your advice on an extremely important issue.

    I've got all the production files on my development computer. As I make changes to the application I'll need to overlay all changes onto the production system. Obviously I have to be extremely careful to not overlay any files that contain the data because I'll regress the live data.

    My understanding is that no matter what I change (layouts, field rules, sets, scripts et cetera) I'll be totally safe if I overlay the production system with ALL my development files EXCEPT the table .DBFs and .FPTs. It's my conclusion that EVERYTHING that I could be working on as a developer are in other files except the DBF and FPT files.

    I believe there is one and ONLY ONE exception to this. That would be if I make a change to the table structure (not field rules or anything else but the structure itself). IN THAT CASE, I'll need to make my changes directly to the production DBFs. My understanding is that the ONLY content of the DBF is the raw data and the definition of that data. Expressed a different way, if I need to change a field from logical to character, or character to date, or change the size or number of decimals, or finally the name of the field, THEN AND ONLY THEN must I make the change directly to the production files.

    I'm sure you'll agree that this is possibly the most important single thing a developer needs to understand about Alpha Five.

    AM I CORRECT? HAVE I MISSED ANYTHING?

    Thanks for any answers to this important post. ---- Sam

  • #2
    Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

    You neglected to mention the cdx files which are the indexes.
    There can be only one.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

      If you use A5's built in security you also have to be careful your user administrator has not changed users, groups, user passwords etc. Been too long since I dealt with these issues to give detailed advise but I am sure once reminded of it someone will help out.

      Raymond Lyons

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

        Originally posted by Stan Mathews View Post
        You neglected to mention the cdx files which are the indexes.
        Stan, are you saying that in addition to never replacing DBF and FPT files for the tables I should also NOT replace the .CDX files?

        If so, Stan, can you help me understand why that's important. How could I cause a problem by replacing those? I don't understand indexes all that well but it seems you're implying that my older indexes will cause access problems (to new records) unless the user knew to rebuild them. Is that correct? (I never thought much about indexes. Guess I figured A5 would always take care of them dynamically.)

        Since you didn't mention anything else Stan, are you saying that I actually understand Alpha's file correctly and that I'm doing the right thing?

        Thanks ... Sam

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

          Originally posted by Raymond Lyons View Post
          If you use A5's built in security you also have to be careful your user administrator has not changed users, groups, user passwords etc. Been too long since I dealt with these issues to give detailed advise but I am sure once reminded of it someone will help out.

          Raymond Lyons
          Raymond, thanks for your post. I don't know squat about A5's security. I would think that won't be an issue for me because we have only one user, no passwords, and no administrator.

          ??? Sam

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

            only one user, no passwords, and no administrator.
            Fine until you need to work through a sequence of events in the AUDIT LOG.
            I believe that your app is only going to be used by your son in his shop?
            I'd recommend even the most basic security so that the data cannot be used if the conputer is nicked.
            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


            • #7
              Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

              Originally posted by Ted Giles View Post
              Fine until you need to work through a sequence of events in the AUDIT LOG.
              I believe that your app is only going to be used by your son in his shop?
              I'd recommend even the most basic security so that the data cannot be used if the conputer is nicked.
              Ted, your last sentence above got my attention. Where can I read about the aspect of security you have in mind?

              Thanks ... Sam

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

                If you replace the user indexes your version of the indexes has no entries for any records added since you gave them the database. Their indexes are kept up to date by Alpha as records are added and deleted and as any values indexed are changed. (spelling of a lastname changed, lastname index is updated)

                You should have a means for the user to rebuild indexes. They can become corrupted by a power outage or faulty network connection.
                There can be only one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

                  Originally posted by Stan Mathews View Post
                  If you replace the user indexes your version of the indexes has no entries for any records added since you gave them the database. Their indexes are kept up to date by Alpha as records are added and deleted and as any values indexed are changed. (spelling of a lastname changed, lastname index is updated)

                  You should have a means for the user to rebuild indexes. They can become corrupted by a power outage or faulty network connection.
                  Stan, I had a feeling when I wrote my last post that you didn't want me overlaying more current indices for the reason you just stated. I didn't think about what Alpha would do if index values changed in the records already indexed. That's a nice thing A5 does for us. Thanks for explaining.

                  ... Sam

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

                    Where can I read about the aspect of security you have in mind?
                    It's all in the help text Sam.
                    At a most basic level, you could have a simple screen that displays one button. This has a password connected to it and will not allow any further screens to show until the correct password has been entered. This doesn't require that the Database has a master password.
                    After that, you may want to investigate the security options which require a master password. Not onerous but the encrypition has been known to have issues. Search the Forum on those.

                    From the Help.
                    Encryption

                    Once you have set a Master Password for a database, you can encrypt individual tables in the database. Once a table has been encrypted, you can use it normally within the database, but you will not be able to open the database in other contexts, such as with Microsoft Excel, or use it with other software programs that can read DBF files.

                    To encrypt database tables:

                    With the database open, select Tools > Security > Encrypt/Decrypt Tables. The Encrypt/Decrypt Tables dialog box appears. [Picture]


                    Select the tables to encrypt, and click Apply.
                    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


                    • #11
                      Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

                      Originally posted by Ted Giles View Post
                      It's all in the help text Sam.
                      At a most basic level, you could have a simple screen that displays one button. This has a password connected to it and will not allow any further screens to show until the correct password has been entered. This doesn't require that the Database has a master password.
                      After that, you may want to investigate the security options which require a master password. Not onerous but the encrypition has been known to have issues. Search the Forum on those.

                      From the Help.
                      Encryption

                      Once you have set a Master Password for a database, you can encrypt individual tables in the database. Once a table has been encrypted, you can use it normally within the database, but you will not be able to open the database in other contexts, such as with Microsoft Excel, or use it with other software programs that can read DBF files.

                      To encrypt database tables:

                      With the database open, select Tools > Security > Encrypt/Decrypt Tables. The Encrypt/Decrypt Tables dialog box appears. [Picture]


                      Select the tables to encrypt, and click Apply.
                      Thanks for all the information Ted. I'll be cautious about encryption of the data since a bug could render it in accessible and I don't yet know whether this situation is recoverable.

                      Thanks again ... Sam

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

                        Originally posted by Stan Mathews View Post
                        You should have a means for the user to rebuild indexes. They can become corrupted by a power outage or faulty network connection.
                        Or if the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars.
                        Mike W
                        __________________________
                        "I rebel in at least small things to express to the world that I have not completely surrendered"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

                          Mike,

                          You're showing your age...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

                            Yep. I met him at Woodstock. More hair then!
                            Sorry Sam, couldn't resist. Not trying to flush the thread.
                            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: Coordinating Development Files with Live Production Files

                              More hair then!
                              Are we just punning around?

                              Comment

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