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Question from an alpha user

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  • Question from an alpha user

    To all:
    I received a question from an Alpha5 user in South Africa
    (Dennis Vermeulen) that I couldn't answer.
    He has a problem with directories and paths.
    Charlie Crimmel

    This is Dennis' problem
    We have customers who run our accounting systems with multiple directories(Companies)e.g
    The customer name the directories themselves.

    The question is as follows:
    I understand that the application exe(FORMS, REPORTS ETC) will be in a directory ,say OSO.
    That has a subdirectory which holds the data ,say CO1
    Do I have to create a directory that holds the application exe(FORMS, REPORTS ETC) for CO1,CO2 and CO3 with a sub directory for each

    instead of

    1.How do I update 10 customers who are 1000 miles away from me?
    Keep in mind that I do not know what path and names they used at installation.

    2.What if the user wants to add another suB directory

  • #2
    RE: Question from an alpha user

    Charlie, I would suggest that the breakdown of customers or companies be done within the application and all held in the same directory. By using a simple table with a couple fields in it such as a customer or company and a linking field. This table could then be the parent table in a set to link all additional data to each parent record. It would allow any user to add a new company by starting a new parent record, without creating a new directory. If you start adding actual directories then you have to start adding new tables pointing to those new directories. Things will become very complicated to keep updated in the application design. If all data was kept in a single directory then all separate locations could append their data to a central database. The central database could then periodically send the complete update appends back out to all locations. This is of course if they are not already networked. We use a very similar procedure for updating stock quantities for RV dealerships with more than on physical location that wants to track total stock at all locations. Each store maintains real time stock for that store and then once a day they do a location update via phone line append. Each store append gets appended to its own quantity field in the table so that if your store is out of a part you know which other location does have it in stock. We have experimented with multiple directories in the past but found them to be very difficult to keep track of when updating the app.


    • #3
      RE: Question from an alpha user


      Hope I'm not completely missing the point here, but if you don't already have some kind of multi-company logic built into your current data structures, it sounds like what you are presently doing is taking the entire application and putting it into a directory for a particular company. The entire application consists of:
      1) data and indexes (dbf and cdx)
      2) table and set dictionary files (dd* and se* forms reports etc)
      3) Database dictionary files (a* global scripts etc)

      As Martin suggests this is not the recommended way of doing things. If I was doing it this way however, and I wanted to create a new company I would:

      1) Have a directory ( template ) with the entire application and empty data files
      2) Create a routine that would create a new directory and copy all files from the template directory into the new directory.
      3) Possibly in the template directory keep a table updated with the company names and locations.

      This kind of multi-company architecture presents more problems when fixing or enhancing the application as well as more complexity when optimizing. It does in my opinion allow for tighter security between the companies.



      • #4
        RE: Question from an alpha user

        It's a rather simple process to get the directories of the application when you are in Alpha. Thus you should have Alpha do the update per se.

        This is done by creating a "Dummy" Table (typically containing the Main Menu of the App). A form attached to this "Dummy" table can have a button on it that basically closes all other forms and then runs an update procedure which basically does file_copy() over the old data dictionaries (and maybe some databases and indexes too).

        If Network optimized, you would have to reoptimize as well after this procedure.

        Charlie (et al): On another note, rather than titling the thread "RE: Question from an alpha user", this does not help when looking for threads by name. I'd ask that all persons try to clearly label their thread with a meaningful description of the thread. E.g. this one could have been called, "Updating duplicate apps in multiple directories question" or similar. Put the most meaningful words 1st (as opposed to "Question: Updating duplicate apps in multiple directories")


        Ira J. Perlow
        Computer Systems Design & Associates
        [email protected]

        Ira J. Perlow
        Computer Systems Design

        CSDA A5 Products
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        • #5
          RE: Question from an alpha user

          This isn't really my application.
          I was only trying to answer a question for someone else.
          All of my apps are built for multi companies.
          I really didn't understand why dennis' company would allow the users to choose their own data directories, but I thought I would get some opinions of the board.
          Charlie Crimmel