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Re: Update BE Split Databases

Discussion in 'Information Technology' started by Dean, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. Dean

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    Another way is to "Replicate the backend" and you will end up with a Design
    Master and one or more replicas-these are the files the users actually
    connect to. You can make your design changes to the tables in the Design
    Master and then do a one-way synchronization to push the changes out to the
    production back-end. This approach can be very powerful, AND very
    complicated, so if this sounds like it might be useful, do your homework
    first, read the Replication FAQ from the MSKB and visit the
    www.trigeminal.com site for more info about replication.

    "bondtk" <bondtk@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    > So aside from the coding possibilities, whenever I need to update the BE,
    > all
    > users need to exit. As far as the Zip idea, sounds good, but our company
    > has
    > all .zip files deleted from emails automatically.
    > "Albert D.Kallal" wrote:
    >> >But does anyone have a good idea of how
    >> > to make changes to the back end of the database without making all
    >> > users
    >> > exit
    >> > out of their front end copy?

    >> Well, even before, when things where un-split, you could not modify the
    >> application. (and, before you could not even work on a "copy" of the
    >> forms+code part). So, you are a lot better off.
    >> There is several approaches I use, and which one depends on the client,
    >> and
    >> the particular situation.
    >> The first case is that I ask everyone to exit the application (or, if off
    >> site, have them email me the applications, and tell them not to work
    >> until I
    >> return to them the new updated back end). However, this "time" lag is
    >> usually quite small in most cases. The reason for this is the following:
    >> When I work on a copy of the FE, I also of course grab a copy of the BE.
    >> If
    >> I add a new field to a existing table, then I will open up a small text
    >> document (or a word document), and make a note of this change
    >> table : Contacts, add new field "CityLocation"
    >> newtable: tblLocatons
    >> (set relation from tblContacts to tblLocations)
    >> So, as I update, and add new fields, or tables, I make a little list of
    >> notes. Usually, that list is only going to be 3 or perhaps 5 changes.
    >> When I
    >> am 100% happy with the new fields, ad changes, I THEN TELL the client the
    >> update is ready, and I need a copy of their back end. They zip/email it
    >> to
    >> me, and then I simply open up that "list" of changes, and work on the new
    >> back end..
    >> Hum...ok...oh yes, I added that new field...ok..done
    >> Hum, a new table...ah, I just import that table from the development back
    >> end ...ok done...
    >> When I am all happy, I then ship back the new FE, and the new BE. The
    >> "down
    >> time" is not going to be too large here, since I ONLY keep them shut down
    >> for the time it takes me to "update" that back end, and that is typically
    >> less then 15 minutes.
    >> It is obvious by now that you should write, and implement some type of
    >> re-link code that lets you "specify" the new location to link to, or at
    >> least something that checks the link, and pops up the 'dialog' box to do
    >> this. You can use the linked table manager, but from a customer service
    >> point of view, you really should have something a bit better...
    >> So, the above is a typical solution.
    >> A 2nd approach is to development above way, but then write CODE to update
    >> the changes you made. For new tables, in place of a whole whack of "ddl",
    >> I
    >> simply include the new table in the front end, and have code to
    >> "transfer"
    >> this table to the back end, and am done (the link is already there!!!).
    >> For
    >> new fields, most of the time I can get away simply issuing some "alter
    >> table" commands in sql, and I got new fields. So, you can use some code
    >> to
    >> "update" the back end, but that code can be quite delicate to write. If
    >> you
    >> got 5+ clients in another city in different locations running the
    >> software
    >> and they are going to get the update, then this is the approach I use. (I
    >> don't want to call up, and deal with 5+ clients etc...). Note that in
    >> this
    >> case, all users have to exit anyway, and the "first" user to run will run
    >> this "update" code. (oh, yea...in that on reocrd "config" table in the
    >> FE...I also got a version number, and also a table in the BE has that
    >> number).
    >> > One question/comment about FE changes-I
    >> > assume that once I do an update on the FE, I could very simply email
    >> > the
    >> > new
    >> > FE to all users (with correct UNC links) and instruct them to save and
    >> > overwrite the old version.

    >> Yes, but do note that you can't set the UNC links unless you got the same
    >> path names on your computer. I do often use virtual pc, and do make the
    >> same
    >> path name (thus, you *can* send pre-linked talbes...and you should if you
    >> can). I also got a conig table with one record in the FE, and in there I
    >> can
    >> put in a path name to "link to " on startup (this only runs once, and
    >> then
    >> another field is set to indicate this was done).
    >> Further, in place of a whole bunch of instructions, why not use winzip
    >> (www.winzip.com), and create a self extracting .exe file that copies the
    >> file to the correct place. And, if you don't have a copy registered copy
    >> of
    >> winzip to make self extracting .exe, you can still make a zip file with
    >> the
    >> trial edition. I used a registered copy of winzip for years to do this
    >> for
    >> clients. And, I throw the copy up on a web site. (lots of email clients
    >> don't allow .exe files anymore, and lots more don't even allow mdb
    >> extensions).
    >> Now, I have a much more polished approach, as I use the free "Inno"
    >> installer, and that does a zip + allows things like shortcuts etc. So,
    >> the
    >> best approach is to adopt and start using inno installer, and then you
    >> don't
    >> need to "send" clients some instructions that they can mess up, but
    >> simply a
    >> file that does all the work...
    >> At the end of the day, you are still miles ahead in terms of flexibility.
    >> --
    >> Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP)
    >> Edmonton, Alberta Canada
    >> pleaseNOOSpamKallal@msn.com
    >> http://www.members.shaw.ca/AlbertKallal
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