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Thread: Losing records

  1. #1
    Member Beltronics's Avatar
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    Jim Belanger
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    Default Losing records

    Using Alpha 5 Version 4.5 on a small four station network. We keep losing records in tables. We enter a new item in inventory table or we enter a new work order in "work" table and five minutes later, it isn't there any more. Next day, items entered previously are missing. This is erratic and unpredictable. Any suggestions?

    Jim Belanger
    nhbelanger@cs.com

  2. #2
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: Losing records

    It is always conceivable that you have stumbled upon a bug in Alpha Five, but first you should take steps to eliminate any possibility of user error. For example, you should make sure that the users cannot delete any records in the everyday data entry forms. If you want to allow the users to delete records, set up a separate form for the table that allows deletions. If you have some Xbasic skills, you can make this fairly sophisticated, but if you don't, you can just check the Delete Record option in the form's Properties when the form is in design mode.

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    Default RE: Losing records

    Jim,

    It appears that you are not alone, you are # 3, along with Jens Harloff and me. I haven't a clue what any of us are doing to cause this but in my case, there is a separate form for deleting records, the user cannot delete records w/o a password, unless they stumble across Ctrl-D, at which point they would have to intentionally delete the record as a warning pops up and the user can select Yes or No.

    kenn

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    Default RE: Losing records

    Jim,

    Two possibilities for you to check:

    1) Verify that each workstation is actually working with the shared database on your server. It's possible one or more are working with a local copy. Edits made there won't be visible to others working with the 'real' database on the server. If the newly entered record is visible on some machines but not others, this could be what's happening.

    2) Verify that any 'posting' field rules in your database are working correctly. If the missing records are supposed to be added to your tables B and C whenever a new record is added to table A, and you don't find them in tables B and C, that's a good sign that there's something amiss in your post field rule.


    It's often difficult to figure out how to start 'debugging' a problem like you describe. One approach would be to use the default form for your table or set to enter a few new records. (Instead of your custom data entry form.) If the problem persists this suggests the problem will be found at the 'table', either in field rules or in your indexes. On the other hand if you don't hit the problem while using the default form that's a good sign that the problem is in the scripts on your data entry form.


    -- tom

  5. #5
    Member Beltronics's Avatar
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    Default RE: Losing records

    Thanks Tom, Ken and Peter. I will try having the delete option removed from the entry forms. Yes, we are all working from the server database and no local databases exist except for the "shadow". No, I am not depending on any "posting" rules to come up with the new records.

    The problem is erratic. My data entry person will enter say 10 new radios that came in with model and serial numbers. Then, she goes to sell one and they aren't there!

    She will enter a new customer in the customer file and then almost immediately, sometimes, she can't find that customer and had to re-enter it.

    Parts are ordered and they come in. She updates the inventory. Someone in the repair department checks the record and it still shows the old inventory number and the parts are still on order. They tell "her" about it and she checks it in her computer and - they are right! It is as if she never updated it.

    So, what I am trying to say here is that this problem has existed with us for over three years now, including the newer 4.5 updgrade and it happens in the Inventory file, in the parts file and in the customer file. None are linked to each other and none are in the same set. Although, all three of these files are in a "set" when being used.

    Other than they being in a "set" (three different sets, not one), I don't see a common link.

    Jim Belanger
    nhbelanger@cs.com

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default RE: Losing records

    Two suggestions:

    1. open a generic browse - sort by record no. - look for the records chronologically where you remember them being entered - are they there?

    2. if the answer above is no. from the controlpanel, click on the table, right click, select properties - press count records - are there a bunch of deleted records in the count?

    You can undelete the deleted records with a script.

    With absolutely no judgement of your database skills - It is extremely doubtfull that Alpha is at fault here.

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    Default RE: Losing records

    Jim,

    If you are to get to the bottom of this puzzle you have to figure out what exact sequence of events, keystrokes, or mouseclicks results in the problem.

    Until you confirm that the problem will occur using the default form for the data entry table or set, you have no easy way to even tell whether the problem is at the table level, or in your data entry form.

    -- tom

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    Default RE: Losing records

    Jim,

    Since several different tables have exhibited the problems perhaps this is a hardware issue.

    Are you on a slow network?

    Is your data entry person multi-tasking other Windows apps while running Alpha Five?

    Before Alpha Five is started what percentage of available Windows resources is present on the data entry workstation?

    -- tom

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    Default RE: Losing records

    One thing you can do is to put an autoincrement field into every table. Then you can easily see if records are being deleted, or just not properly entered. If records are deleted, then there will be a gap in the autoincrement field. If there is no gap, then whatever your data entry person says, he or she is just not completely saving the record before leaving the form.

    A lot of the problems people experience are caused by modeless data entry. It is easy to overwrite records without meaning to. Changing the forms so as to force the user to commit a record before moving to another record will often solve the problem. v5 will allow us to return to modal data entry--that may well solve your problem.

  10. #10
    Member Beltronics's Avatar
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    Default RE: Losing records


    1. open a generic browse - sort by record no. - look for the records chronologically where you remember them being entered - are they there?

    I have tried this and, no, they are not there.

    2. if the answer above is no. from the controlpanel, click on the table, right click, select properties - press count records - are there a bunch of deleted records in the count?

    I have not tried this one though and I will.

  11. #11
    Member Beltronics's Avatar
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    Default RE: Losing records


    Until you confirm that the problem will occur using the default form for the data entry table or set, you have no easy way to even tell whether the problem is at the table level, or in your data entry form.

    I guess what I will have to do is have them enter data at the table level for a bit and see if it happens again. There is no way, that I know of, that I can recreate this problem and make it happen. It is, to the best of my knowledge, completely random!

  12. #12
    Member Beltronics's Avatar
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    Default RE: Losing records


    Are you on a slow network?
    I would not say that. I am not familiar with networks enough to know better but it is a 10/100 network???

    Is your data entry person multi-tasking other Windows apps while running Alpha Five?
    Yes, she usually has the UPS program loaded at the same time.

    Before Alpha Five is started what percentage of available Windows resources is present on the data entry workstation?

    I have checked this and it seems that it shows 70 to 75% resources free.

  13. #13
    Member Beltronics's Avatar
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    Default RE: Losing records

    I had never thought of using a auto increment field. I will add that to the most common problem tables and see what happens.

    All of you who are helping, thank you, but keep in mind that I have been living with this problem for over three years and, in that time, I would say I have lost a total of 20 or so records. The problem is annoying but not something that happens daily and not something I can try your suggestions with and get results in a day or a week. So, thanks for the help. I will try several of these suggestions and wait a month or two to see what develops.

  14. #14
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    Default RE: Losing records

    Jim,

    If your network is running at 10 instead of 100 you should consider upgrading. I consider 10 suitable for occasional batch file updates, one machine at a time, but not for real time multi-user database sharing.

    I'm not familiar with the UPS software your data entry person is using, but the systems resources levels you report are low. If it were me I'd check that station to see what other programs are loaded on startup which may be using resources. Hopefully you'll find some that are not needed. In any case, I recommend that the data entry folks not to multi-task other large Windows apps when doing data entry work with Alpha Five.

    These are my personal opinions based on my own experiences, and others might disagree. -- tom

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    Default RE: Losing records

    Jim,

    What table is this in, the parent or a child and if a child, how is it linked?

    kenn

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