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Thread: Index Tip?

  1. #1
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    Default Index Tip?

    many times I see incorrect data on one or more tables of a set, I just do a rebuild the index and its working again. How often do we rebuild indexes?

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Keith Hubert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    I think you should find out what is happening to make it necessary to rebuild the Indexes.

    I reckon this should be done once a month, that is, if a lot of records have been deleted.
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    I just close and open alpha, design some forms and close then open.Nothing more, there are no deletes. Sometimes alpha five stops responding, maybe that was the reason?Not sure, maybe someone has an experience on this.

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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    I'm just wondering how the other users or developers handle a hundred users using dbf tables, one bad computer on a network or even one bad nework peripheral like faulty cable or faulty network cards or bad memory of a workstation can corrupt indexes , how is this handled by the user/adminsitrator? I read some threads here on the forum that some users have a hundred users using alpha five with dbf a their database.
    Last edited by doorscomputers; 06-29-2012 at 10:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Keith, what is the connection between re-indexing and deleted records?
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    "Certified" Alphaholic Keith Hubert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Hi Steven,

    Is has been known that records can become out of synch over a period of time, when a number of records have been deleted, in particular when there are a number of users on a network.
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    Keith Hubert
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    If you are jumping into and out of development frequently, you should compact the database frequently, and rebuild the indexes. If you are running something that calls for a query that cannot be resolved (an impossible query) the indexes for some of the related tables may be dropped entirely, or damaged.

    For all clients I have routines in place that completely recreate from scratch all indexes. And it runs daily. Selwyn came up with two functions for creating a text file that contains the definitions for all tables and a function for recreating from that text file.

    For one client, a small chain of hospitals where the app runs 24/7/365, and has 3 shifts of nurses and techs, I auto rebuild the indexes between every shift.

    Complicated queries and scripts that fire in lots of events where there are lots of users (100 for example) can cause trouble. Dr. Wayne once commented (maybe 10 years ago) that on a big network, you should keep things as simple as possible; otherwise you will regret it.

    In general, when a program fails, it will always point back to design.
    Last edited by martinwcole; 06-29-2012 at 09:46 PM.
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    "Certified" Alphaholic Keith Hubert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    In general, when a program fails, it will always point back to design.
    Dont the 10 million customers of Natwest Bank know all about that, when they could not get their money out to pay any bills!!
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Even if the design is not the problem.

    I have an index rebuild routine included in all my applications in case they are needed. It(for me) is a pain to put together, but worth it.

    I don't seem to have the reindex problems I have heard and am hearing about. I never have been able to explain why this is, but my indexes are always simple and easy(eight characters or less and usually 1 field). Mostly less than 8 per indexes per table. If I need something else, I do it programatically. Always clean up after yourself when you do this.

    I have seen some indexes done by others and don't know how they even worked.
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    "Certified" Alphaholic Ray in Capetown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Selwyn came up with two functions for creating a text file that contains the definitions for all tables and a function for recreating from that text file.
    are these available for reference?

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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray in Capetown View Post
    are these available for reference?
    For starters, you can look up GET_INDEX_DEFINITIONS() and Automatic Recovery of Indexes in the Wiki. Or, if you aren't one of those "I like to do it myself just because it's a challenge" type of people (like I am) and it's worth $19 to save you some time, you can get my AIMS_Index_Rebuild addon. Once installed, you just get your application running the way you want it - including all indexes - and go to your Interactive Window and type "cre" then select "create_index_rebld_auto()" from the drop-down and run it. It will create/update a function in your Code tab called (by default) Index_rebuild_auto() and you just put a button on your Utilities menu with the following really complex OnPush event:
    Index_rebuild_auto()

    You can also run it in the autoexec (not really recommended on a networked system) or to update selected tables if desired. I use the ability to update specific tables for updating indexes before certain invoicing routines - just in case.

    If you update your application and add or delete any indexes, just run the "Create..." routine again and it will overwrite the old function with the new index definitions.

    From the Help file:

    Other features: (see the function arguments topic for more details)
    · The user prompt can be turned off.
    · You can update selected indexes or skip selected indexes.
    · You can create a list of specific tables to be rebuilt.
    · You can have the function simply update existing indexes rather than rebuilding them to the original definitions. (Seldom recommended.)
    · You can hide the Please Wait dialog.
    · You can, as mentioned above, compare the existing index definitions to the original definitions. If they don't match, the user has the option of either updating the existing indexes or rebuilding them to their original definitions.

  12. #12
    "Certified" Alphaholic Ray in Capetown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Quote Originally Posted by CALocklin View Post
    For starters, you can look up GET_INDEX_DEFINITIONS() and Automatic Recovery of Indexes in the Wiki. Or, if you aren't one of those "I like to do it myself just because it's a challenge" type of people (like I am) and it's worth $19 to save you some time, you can get my AIMS_Index_Rebuild addon. .
    Thanks Cal for the assistance.
    I like both. I am a control freak in that I want to know how and if I have it taken care of then I will never really understand.
    I find the addition of indexes by Alpha a bit suspect - in that I dont know whether they were created for something I tried and discarded and will be extra baggage forever. Even using the Index rebuild addon
    I am attracted to the use of many of the AIMS utilities.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray in Capetown View Post
    ...I find the addition of indexes by Alpha a bit suspect - in that I dont know whether they were created for something I tried and discarded and will be extra baggage forever. Even using the Index rebuild addon
    I am attracted to the use of many of the AIMS utilities.
    I've been known to remove all indexes (at least from a given table) then open the table(s), open related browses, forms, reports, etc. then see what indexes have been added. These are the ones created by Alpha. There may be other things that will cause Alpha to generate indexes but that usually works well enough for me. (I did that enough that I even automated that process. I believe my "open all layouts once" code is in my Grab Bag.)

    Finding out which of your other indexes are still used in your code/expressions gets a bit trickier and that's where I use my AIMS App Analyzer since that has all the code in one searchable table. Then I do a search on each index name (actually the App Analyzer does the searches) to find out where each index name can be found. The problem with this is that way too often I've used the same index name in two or more tables. That makes it difficult to tell which index reference belonged to which table and the only way to resolve that is to check the code around each "hit" that was found during the search.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    I have a very very very big problem on index and memos being corrupted, they will sue me if I will let a hospital use my app if they are going to bill a patient with the wrong data because of index corrupted.I want to buy your utility, what are the options aside from credit cards,I am not from michigan or US.

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Ted Giles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveM View Post
    I have an index rebuild routine included in all my applications in case they are needed.
    Me too Dave ever since V4.

    Help text =
    Repairing an Index
    Certain events can corrupt your indexes; for example, if you improperly exit Alpha Five, such as turning off your computer while Alpha Five is running, or if a power failure occurs while Alpha Five is updating an index.
    When an index becomes corrupted, you might notice that records do not appear as expected. For example, a record that you can see in the Default Browse, viewed in record number order, does not appear on a report.
    Some database problems can be traced to corrupted or out-to-date indexes. If you have any doubt about the integrity of your indexes, you should update them manually.
    Ted Giles
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Index corruption is easy to repair and detect if you are the developer and at the same time the user, but if you develop something for a hospital who has a clerk 50 yrs old and above, who just feeds data suppose to be and the bills for a patient is available immediately when he/she needs it. I cant tell them take note of every medicines, services etc of every patient so that when it is time to bill them then they can compare their own notes to the one that is on the alpha five application. I have read about index issues on this forum and i noticed it dates back since 2001, I hope alpha five can make SQL server 2008 or sql sever 2012 as their native backend and not dbf, I am sure their sales will quadruple in the next 2 days.

  17. #17
    "Certified" Alphaholic Ted Giles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    So Alpha is responsible for your bad application design and lack of attention to detail?
    It doesn't sound like anything to do with the index, it's your design that's at fault.
    And I think your "ageist" coment in inappropriate.
    Ted Giles
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    And these are properly researched facts?
    Quote Originally Posted by doorscomputers View Post
    -Index corruption is easy to repair and detect if you are the developer and at the same time the user
    -but (not?) if you develop something for a hospital who has a clerk 50 yrs old and above,
    -who just feeds data suppose to be
    -alpha five can make SQL server 2008 or sql sever 2012 as their native backend and not dbf, sales will quadruple in 2 days.
    Sounds like a jetson to me, I thought he left the building

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray in Capetown View Post
    And these are properly researched facts?

    Sounds like a jetson to me, I thought he left the building
    Ted Giles, Are you paid by alpha to comment on every message here? there are many unanswered questions, look at them and answer it. did I say it is the fault of alpha? I just noticed that index corruption has been an issue when you started to sign up here on the message board. I just made a comment that maybe alpha five can change their native dbf to SQL Server, would you be unhappy if they do that? You see, index will be corrupted when a power failure or improper shutdown, these are the main causes, and developers of the application will not always be there to check if the records showing are the correct ones.sure it will be fixed alright but for an application that involves money, it is not tolerated, Now Ted Giles, It is just a comment, if Alpha Software Company cannot do it, then fine with me,but if they can change the native DBF to SQL Server then like I said it is for the benefit of the company and all the other users except for Ted Giles who maybe doesnt want Sql Server.Tell me if the comment is bad so that i will post on this board how GOOD is the dbf in enterprise application so that You Ted Giles will be happy about it. Would it be so baaaaad to suggest here.

    And Ray in Capetown , whether it is Jetson or Watson or Kuratong? what can you suggest for alpha five to be a much better RAD tool ? are you not going to be happy if SQL will be the native backend of alpha. I noticed that both you you are always in Tandem. Lets just continue posting solutions and not to comment on some newbies, after all, nobody will care to look at this message board if he/she does not want any help, if someone asked and you know the answer then just answer, if you are lazy or does not know the answer then just Shut up okay. Now, to begin with I will post two Templates for newbies to appreciate.
    It is an Invoice Template and a contact management template just for Noobs.

    By the way, Ted Giles and Ray in Capetown, will you show to the whole world how to design the two templates so that future users will not have an index corruption, both of you, your solutions will be the model for every new user to imitate. and If in the future a newbie will have a problem in index corruption, then we will direct him/her to the template that you are going to modify,I am sure that your modified version will be free of index corruptions, it will benefit millions of alpha user,
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by doorscomputers; 08-01-2012 at 06:37 AM.

  20. #20
    "Certified" Alphaholic Ted Giles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Ira has already documented this , so suggest you research the problem more. When you have done some investigation I'm sure someone will help.
    Until you complete your Forum Profile, I'm not going to respond.

    Having said that, look at the index names. You may get problems with similar named indeces in different tables when the first 8 chars are the same.
    You may also get problems if the first 8 chars are the same in a single table.
    I don't know why, it just happens.
    Suggest you try changing the IDX names to something like alpha, beta, theta etc.
    If your profiles was conmplete I could send an example.
    Last edited by Ted Giles; 08-01-2012 at 08:18 AM.
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Thank you Ted for the Tip, Never mind my profiles, just post your solutions and suggestions for the benefit of everyone,especially on index issues, after all, the purpose of this message board is to help alpha users who are trying to learn alpha five, and you won't expect newbies to contribute here immediately, of course the situation would be for you to give and give, and newbies will take and take, then in the process, newbies will soon become experts and in return if they like then they will also help new newbies. and in addition to that, if newbies will be trying HARD to contribute then you would expect inaccurate answers and it will confuse their fellow noobs like me right? If beginners ask questions, for sure they cannot find specific answers on this board, maybe, instead of telling them to search the board then why not answer the question immediately if someone knows it.Dont take messages or post personally, just answer what you know, and if you dont know or dont want to help then just leave the question as it is and I'm sure the user will try to find a way to look for a solution himself/herself. Anyway, it is just a suggestion based on my own opinion.BTW, based on my previous opinion, would you prefer for alpha software company to stick to DBF as the native backend of Desktop apps? or would you rather agree with me that it should be SQL Server or MYSQL?

    If SQL Server or MYSQL then, the posting field rule will be a huge time saver, instead of creating triggers and stored procedures. Triggers i've heard and watched from an AppDev tutorial is not recommended.
    Last edited by doorscomputers; 08-01-2012 at 10:37 AM.

  22. #22
    "Certified" Alphaholic Keith Hubert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Hi Roman,

    Whist evryone is entlted to their own opinion, I do not think it is your's or even mine, to tell other users on this forum how to answer questions.

    I agree with you that, on the face of it, to answer a question with, "search the forum", might seem like, "why did you bother to reply", but in many cases that is a very good answer. There is so much to learn here, just having a quick reply can mean you miss finding those golden nuggets.

    May I ask, why are you suggesting that Alpha drop DBF files? They may very do so in the future, but I cant see that happening for a while.

    I dont think it is of any value to you to get the odd users opinion about what file types you think Alpha should use when the thread is about Indexes. How would that help anyone in the future when they do a search?
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    The only time I have had problems with memo fields/files becoming corrupted was in the developement cycle or when copying data.

    Example: you have a memo field in a table and you copy the dbf and associated fpt to do maintenance. After that you copy only the dbf file back to the app, you could have a bad memo file. It may not be synched to the dbf.

    Indexes/indices are the old cdx files we have had forever in several programs/languages(not just alpha). As long as you keep the indexes short and not too complicated, they seem to work fine. Mixing number fields with character and maybe a date field is sheer lunacy. (MY opinion)

    I am 65 and can keep up with most 30 year olds. All my girlfriends for the past 7 years have been over 50(except 1) and quite smart. Further it to say, the biggest problems would be the younger("TRY THINGS") generation.
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    "Certified" Alphaholic Ted Giles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    just post your solutions and suggestions for the benefit of everyone,especially on index issues, after all, the purpose of this message board is to help alpha users who are trying to learn alpha five
    Unfortunately you have got of to a bad start by "dissing" the product we have adopted and been using for many years. Our knowledge came the hard way by trial and error and investigation, so simply giving you a solution won't really help you as it might work for us but not for you. Although I'm not particularly possessive of my knowledge, it's nice to be able to help someone who really wants assistance and appreciates the time taken to investigate and reply. IMHO you seem to take offense at a lot of the replies. There is no shame in asking for more info. or confessiong that you don't understand something.

    Gabe, helped me out recently with what I am ashamed to say, was an approach I simply hadn't considered. I've run with it and am now on track for additional functionailty. It could be argued that I should have known the approach, but sometimes a poke in the right direction is needed. My approach was too complex.

    As for the database back end. Sorry Roman, it's not my place to advise Alpha on their database strategy. If you want to use SQL get a free copy of "Toad" or "SQL Workbench" and start developing. Alpha connects to almost anything.

    And finally, arrogant as I am, I wouldn't dare pit my wits against the real old time coders on the Forum, so perhaps you will be able to test my theory on your examples and re-post them as a template for success.
    And I'm serious. The indeces in the examples posted are ambitious - see Dave's comment regarding dates and text. If you have a thorough testing plan then it should be easy to replicate the problem and demonstrate a solution.
    Ted Giles
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    May I suggest that if you are still having index and/or memo file problems, Post a full example db up to this forum so otherscan take a look. What might make sense to you, may not be what works best. Others may be able to make comments that will help you.

    Making an ultimatum to the people here wishing to help you WILL turn them off.
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    First table I looked at:
    Activities

    Activity_I ACTIVITY_ID Ascending Unique only
    Client_Id CLIENT_ID Ascending All
    Client_Id1 CLIENT_ID .T. Ascending All
    Client_Id2 CLIENT_ID + CDATE(DATE) .T. Ascending All
    Client_Id3 CLIENT_ID + INVERT(CDATE(DATE)) .T. Ascending All
    Reminder CLIENT_ID COMPLETED=.F..AND.GOAL_DATE<=DATE() Ascending All


    next:
    appointments

    "Cdate "CDATE(DATE)+TYPE" Ascending All
    Activity_I APPOINTMENT_ID Ascending All
    Appointmen APPOINTMENT_ID Ascending Unique only
    Client_Id CLIENT_ID Ascending All
    Client_Id1 CLIENT_ID .T. Ascending All
    Client_Id2 CLIENT_ID COMPLETED=.F. Ascending All
    Client_Id3 CLIENT_ID + INVERT(CDATE(DATE)) Ascending All


    Others may like these indexes, Not for me.
    Last edited by DaveM; 08-01-2012 at 05:58 PM.
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Quote Originally Posted by doorscomputers View Post
    I just close and open alpha, design some forms and close then open.Nothing more, there are no deletes. Sometimes alpha five stops responding, maybe that was the reason?Not sure, maybe someone has an experience on this.
    When Alpha5 stops responding something is causing it to stop responding. Resolve that issue then if you still have bad indexes you can start working on resolving those. If you would like help from the forums upload a copy of your database for others to look at and analyze.
    Andrew

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Going out the essence of this board again, lets go back to the main concern.
    If this would be your application, are you going to have this 2 indexes only?
    Appointment APPOINTMENT_ID Ascending Unique only
    Activity_I ACTIVITY_ID Ascending Unique only
    The one I posted was a template that I came across the Internet created by a certain John Manngo i think. The Order template has a good design right? To make it simple, let us discard the contact management application and concentrate our design techniques on the order app. according to my experience, only months of using alpha, the design maybe good. Now, i have tested it before and i still get some index corruption, what could be wrong in the design of the application? I have a UPS so no improper shutdown of alpha five and windows could cause the index corruption.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Unless someone has already suggested, and the app is multi-user, on a LAN, I would look into "oportunistic record locking."

    http://www.dataaccess.com/whitepaper...adcaching.html

    Also, when you say "corruption," I presume you are saying you have gone to design mode and checked that the indexes are stlll there and are still spelled the same on the master app on the server..
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Index Tip?

    Quote Originally Posted by aschone View Post
    When Alpha5 stops responding something is causing it to stop responding. Resolve that issue then if you still have bad indexes you can start working on resolving those. If you would like help from the forums upload a copy of your database for others to look at and analyze.
    Seems like a Ray in capetown style, Okey, nice original advice, go back to post number 19 and you will find 2 zip files, just in case you know, post your modification to solve index corruption issue.concentrate on the order application.

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