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Thread: speed issues (A4 vs. A5)

  1. #1
    Jonathan Pape
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    Default speed issues (A4 vs. A5)

    Has anyone else noticed when you make the upgrade for A4 to A5 that your processing speed slows down significantly?? Especially in the "runtime" version of the program. Our office is definitely not running lighting fast computers, but the time it takes to load the database off the server alone hovers around 45 seconds- a problem we did not have with the DOS based A4. This problem also rears it's ugly head in page-to-page loading (We have buttons that close form page and open another). Any ideas why this might be happening? Any ideas ideas on how we can speed things up?

    thanks!

    Jonathan.

  2. #2
    Member
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    RT
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    Default RE: speed issues (A4 vs. A5)

    Jonathan:

    Are you using Network Optimization? If not, that is a very powerful feature that should speed up the process dramatically.

    Windows is very different from DOS in that a lot of graphical information [forms, reports, etc] must travel across the network which slows down the process.

    However, when Network Optimization is utilized, it downloads all of your graphical information [forms, reports] and stores them on the local hard drive. After that one time download, your network performance should speed up because now you only have to transmit data to and from the server.

    Does this make sense?

    Robert T

  3. #3
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    Default RE: speed issues (A4 vs. A5)

    I don't have a summary of the Network Optimization Procedure for Ver 5. However, I do have one written for Version 4 by Tom Cone and slightly modified by me. The concept hasn't changed, however, there are several improvements/enhancements to the process in Ver 5. Nonetheless, this should help.

    Network Alpha Five – Version 4.x

    January 13, 2001- written by Tom Cone, edited by Robert Tishkevich

    The following assumes you're working on a peer-to-peer LAN:

    [1] Decide which pc is going to be your server, and store a complete copy of your database there. Put it in its own folder. For simplicity and portability it's useful to use only a single folder. You may, but you don't have to, install Alpha Five on this pc (server).

    [2] Set privileges and security options controlling the server to permit reads and writes to the database folder from other workstations in the office. This folder must be a 'shared' resource available to other workstations on your network.

    [3] Go to the first workstation you want to use. Install Alpha Five there, either the development or runtime versions will do.

    [4] Map the server's hard drive to your workstation as a local disk drive. Choose a drive letter that will be available on all your workstations.

    [5] Start Alpha Five from the local machine. Open the database on the server, and 'network optimize' it back to the local workstation. Use the default location [not necessary, see below] for the shadowed files on your local workstation. Make a note of the folder name within which the shadowed files are stored.

    I don’t like the default location so I use a folder called C:\A5_Shadow

    [6] Close alpha Five. Browse to the shadow folder and create a shortcut to the database ADB file that you find there. Drag that folder to your desktop. Your use can double click on it to open the database with Alpha Five.

    Repeat steps 3, 4, 5 and 6 on each workstation. Map the database folder as the 'same' local disk drive on each workstation.

    Thereafter, when the user double clicks on the shortcut to the database ADB file, Alpha Five loads and then opens the database on the server, transparently. Because the database has been 'network optimized' your forms, field rules, reports and other layouts are stored locally, and Alpha Five need only move your data back and forth.

    Note:

    The shadowed copy of your database is like a snapshot of the database as it existed on the server when the shadow was created. If you add forms or reports to the database you would do it on the server, then you must refresh the shadow.

    The folders needed for the shadow tables will be created by Alpha Five automatically. You need not create them by hand first. Nor should you copy anything into the shadow folders by hand, generally. The process is easier to complete than to describe. You start A5 locally but don't open any local databases. You 'open' the database *on the server*.

    You go to the A5 control panel and select File, then Network Optimize. When the process is finished, A5 automatically closes the database on the server, and then opens the shadow version that now resides on your local workstation. Thereafter, when you open the shadow version on your local workstation, A5 automatically connects with the real database on the server.

    If you add forms or reports to the database, A5 will store them in the database folder on the server. If you do your development work on a different machine, the revised version of your database should be copied to the database folder on the server, not the shadow versions on each work station. Be careful not to trash your real data when doing this. This means don't copy over your DBF, FPT or CDX files.

    Remember, as stated above, the shadow versions of the database are not automatically refreshed, so they will not contain the newer forms or reports until you refresh the shadow version on each workstation.

    Robert T

  4. #4
    Jonathan Pape
    Guest

    Default RE: speed issues (A4 vs. A5)

    Robert,

    Thank you for introducing this to me. I just created shadow databases on workstations in my office and the difference is incredible.

    I did discover under the options tab in Network Optimization you can set the shadow database to automatically refresh itself. Seeing as we hide the control panel from the users, to prevent any unintentional changes,

    Which presents the next logical question; if the database administrator creates, for example, a query, should it be done on the server or the shadow? Or does a shadow database eliminate the need to “work off the server?”

    Thanks again,
    Jonathan



    Robert Tishkevich wrote:
    -------------------------------
    I don't have a summary of the Network Optimization Procedure for Ver 5. However, I do have one written for Version 4 by Tom Cone and slightly modified by me. The concept hasn't changed, however, there are several improvements/enhancements to the process in Ver 5. Nonetheless, this should help.

    Network Alpha Five – Version 4.x

    January 13, 2001- written by Tom Cone, edited by Robert Tishkevich

    The following assumes you're working on a peer-to-peer LAN:

    [1] Decide which pc is going to be your server, and store a complete copy of your database there. Put it in its own folder. For simplicity and portability it's useful to use only a single folder. You may, but you don't have to, install Alpha Five on this pc (server).

    [2] Set privileges and security options controlling the server to permit reads and writes to the database folder from other workstations in the office. This folder must be a 'shared' resource available to other workstations on your network.

    [3] Go to the f....

  5. #5
    Member
    Real Name
    RT
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    726

    Default RE: speed issues (A4 vs. A5)

    Jonathan:

    Glad you saw a significant improvement in performance. I think the automatically refresh shadow option is new for ver 5.

    If I understand it correctly, your next question is critical, you must understand the following concept.

    All of the data files reside on the server and I mean all. The shadow on your local machines is nothing more than a pointer to the data files on the server. Therefore, all changes made by the DBA to your A5 application are made on the server.

    After those changes are made to the application on the server, they will show up via "Refresh Shadow"

    When users are working on the local stations, any data they add or edit, is saved on the server. Once again, no data is stored on the local machines.

    Here is another interesting point. You don't need a copy of Alpha Five on the server, but you may want it anyway so that the DBA can edit the application. However, the DBA can make those changes anywhere and then add them to the data files on the server.

    Robert T.

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