VMS: Link To Your Data
Vessel Management System Professional
Link To Your Data
VMS is comprised of two major and separate components, the VMS User Interface and the data Back End. The User Interface must always be linked to a data back end (located in the default directory in the case of a single, standalone computer). This separation allows the User Interface to be updated or linked to a network data file as a distinct element. Using the VMS practice back end allows you to rehearse with various forms and controls without corrupting your unique data entries.
You can change between Practice data, Default Data and Network Data (see below) by clicking the button Data File Link found on the VMS Main Menu. This will invoke the Data File Link menu (shown below), a utility that allows you to switch between the back ends. Both Practice and Default data back ends live in the VMS default directory and can be assigned with a single mouse click. The three choices are further explained below:
1)The Practice data back end contains sample data that can be manipulated independent of your real world information. Use Practice data to learn VMS without fear of making a mistake or screwing up your real world data (below). Even after you've used the Default Data file, you can easily return to Practice for purposes of learning a new module, understating the nuance of function, etc.
2) Link to Default Data allows is the only real-world back end to use if VMS is operated on a single workstation, or if you'll use this computer as both workstation and Data Server (the central repository of data in a networked environment). When you are using Default Data you are automatically assigned administrative privileges.
Application of updates will occasionally update and modify the Default Data structure. When this occurs a backup of your Default Data will be created automatically and before modification. This backup of your Default Data file will include your business name, today's date, the hour (h), minute(m) and second(s) that the backup was created, and will be appended with the characters _rev_mdb. So the title (filename) of this backup might look like:
The rev (or revision) appendage distinguishes a backup made via the update process from a normal, voluntary backup initiated from the Vessel Specifications module. All backup files can be found in the VMS Pro default data directory (C:\Program Files\VMSPro). This revision backup contains you most current data with the data structure that has just been replaced. Should you need to revert to a prior version and/or reverse the update process you may need utilize this backup (extremely doubtful and almost never the first resort to problem resolution).
3) Link to Network: In a networked environment one computer (if both Workstation and the Data Server) will probably use the Default Data back end (option 2 above) and other networked computers will link to that same computer and share the back end (option 3). This allows more than one computer to simultaneously access the same data set (Default Data on the Server). In this scenario the Combination Workstation and Data File Server will be responsible for running the Database Optimization function on a regular basis. This scenario is the most likely configuration of VMS in a networked environment.
Vista users click here before continuing.
It's also possible that your data file will reside on a computer that is not a workstation, but rather a dedicated server. In this case your shared data file will be utilized by workstations using the Link to Network option.
Important: If the data file is installed on a standalone data server VMS should also be installed on that computer (which will decrement your license) even if it's not regularly used as a workstation so that the Optimize Database function can be periodically utilized.
Please note: Any computer that will be used as the Data File Server should be a stable and technically competent Windows computer that remains powered up for use by all networked workstations. Windows 95, 98 and ME are not recommended as operating systems for the Data File Server. If Windows NT, 2000, XP, Server 2003 or Vista are used as the data file server sufficient sharing permissions (a Windows security function) must be granted to the VMS installation directory for the network users.
If the Data File Server is simultaneously utilized as a workstation it should be operated carefully and not used alongside known unstable applications. Failure of the Data File Server might cause data loss, particularly if several when network users are connected. See A Word About Backupslater in this manual.
When you click the Link to Network button a Link dialog will appear. This is a variation of the Windows Explorer interface that will allow you to find the appropriate back end. The location of this file will change with every network setup.
After you've located the VMS data server back end you'll need to click Select All (highlights all as per illustration), then click OK.
Data File Server Path Example Below:
or, in Vista (note the underline differences)
Any workstation linked to a network data server will be limited to thirty minutes of inactivity to protect against inadvertent record locking. You need only look up a data record, or simply navigate the Main Menu to keep a networked instance of VMS alive. If your connection is lost simply re-open VMS. Your prior network link will be preserved..