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Networking question

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    Networking question

    I have been asked to find out whether or not Alpha Five v. 4 is the right program for the school which I attend. The situation is that there are several computers networked together in the Financial Office, School Office, Newspaper Office, etc. My question is as follows:

    When one user enters information into Alpha, is that information automatically available to everyone else in the network?

    Example: A student makes a tuition payment in the Financial Office. If, at that same time, someone in the School Office is viewing that student's record, will the tuition payment automatically show up on the computer in the School Office, or must the database (in the School Office) be re-opened in order to pick up the changes?

    Please help me if you can. The Alpha User Manuals seem to provide *very* little information about this, and I must deliver my descision in a few days.

    Thank you,

    Corey Pennycuff

    RE: Networking question


    I will give you my best understanding of this issue. Watch the board for a day or so to see where I have gone wrong on a detail.

    >>When one user enters information into Alpha, is that information automatically available to everyone else in the network?

    Yes unless you take steps to prevent individual users from seeing something.

    >>A student makes a tuition payment in the Financial Office. If, at that same time, someone in the School Office is viewing that student's record, will the tuition payment automatically show up on the computer in the School Office,....

    Two users can simultaneously view a record but two users cannot edit the same record at the same time. If you are viewing a record and I edit it, you will be able to see what I've done once I've saved the change *and* your form is refreshed which means repainting the screen. If you moved to a new record and then moved back that would refresh it as would pressing {F5} or issuing the refresh command on a timer or elsewhere.

    >>or must the database (in the School Office) be re-opened in order to pick up the changes?


    In other words, your needs, as you have described them, would not pose serious difficulties.

    Bill Hanigsberg


      RE: Networking question


      Bill is correct in the details of his response. To elaborate further, perhaps, I know of no shared information system, including Oracle, that will notify the users of data changes made by another user to an individual record (read "student's record") upon the completion of said change. Such a system would spend so much time determining if changes had been made that the response time would be unacceptable. The best programming methods for what you envision store critical field values at the time a record is displayed, allow data entry, and warn the user if the original values have changed when the current data entry save is committed. This is a tedious and often unnecessary programming construct.

      With due regard to the above, the data entered in Alpha tables is available, realtime, to the next user who accesses the same record, or upon screen refresh, which you can control.

      Hope that wasn't overkill.
      There can be only one.


        RE: Networking question

        Alpha 5 has a Refresh control (In the settings) that will refresh viewed records from any records that have been changed (after they are saved) after a certain number of specified seconds. However, I recommend that it be disabled (set to 0) for most uses except when the network is very underloaded


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

        Ira J. Perlow
        Computer Systems Design

        CSDA A5 Products
        New - Free CSDA DiagInfo - v1.39, 30 Apr 2013
        CSDA Barcode Functions

        CSDA Code Utility
        CSDA Screen Capture


          RE: Networking question

          In addition to the network refresh that Ira mentioned, it is also possible to set an OnTimer event in a form that will cause the form to refresh at specified intervals; using this method, our multi-user appointment scheduler is never more than 10 seconds out of synch for any user.