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STD*MIS - FAQ - Third Party Issues

For additional information on any of these issues, see Support to determine your state/project area's STD*MIS Support Person.

Advantage Database Server Software

Q1: What is Advantage and how can it improve STD*MIS?

CDC does not endorse the use of any particular software and any suggest herein should not be considered as such. With that said, Advantage Database Server Software is a product that has proven to be effective in increasing the performance of STD*MIS in the network environment.

PC database applications sometimes have trouble supporting large numbers of users and/or transaction loads. Because PC database systems perform data processing on the client machine, the file server is reduced to a shared hard drive. Each client on the network directly reads and writes data and index files via the network operating system (NOS). That means when multiple client PCs need access to the same files, they must use the NOS to establish locks to preserve the integrity of the database. As the number of users and the contention for shared files increases, system throughput plummets as clients line up trying and retrying for locks. In addition, because each client on the network is independently reading and writing data and index files, the database is vulnerable. If, in the middle of writing a file, a client machine is interrupted due to power failure, network failure or user error, the database can become corrupted. And corruption means users have to go off-line while someone fixes the problem. As the number of users and the importance of the database application increases, this 'window of vulnerability' becomes less and less tolerable.

Advantage Database Server provides developers with the best of both worlds. By redesigning the PC database architecture, developers can work with the same easy-to-use development tools and methodology, but the distributed PC database architecture is replaced with a Client/Server model. Now, developers can deliver PC database applications that grow as the business grows without adding a tremendous amount of complexity and cost to the development cycle. Advantage applications can easily and reliably support large numbers of users, large databases and high transaction loads. And because database management is centralized through the Advantage Database Server, developers can rest assured that their applications have the performance and stability critical to success in today's markets. Advantage Database Server acts as a safety net to keep your line-of-business database applications up and available.

More information can be obtained directly through Extended Systems, Inc. at: http://www.extendedsystems.com or 1-800-235-7576, ext. 6051.

Q2: I've installed Advantage on the server holding STD*MIS. How can I tell if the Advantage is running?

The best way to tell if Advantage is running is to check it's status on the server on which it was installed. The following instructions detail how to check Advantage in both the Novell and Windows NT environments, as well as if you do not have access to the server with which Advantage is installed.

If Advantage is installed on a Novell server:

  1. Access the server console, either remotely or locally.
  2. Press alt-F3 to cycle through the various monitor screens for software running on the server.

If the Advantage server software is running, an Advantage monitoring screen will appear. It is easily recognizable as it will display "Advantage Database Server by Extended Systems Inc." in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. If you cycle through all the monitor screens and no Advantage screen appears, then Advantage is not loaded.

If Advantage is installed on an NT server:

  1. On the server itself, launch the Control Panel window.
  2. Double-click on the Services icon.
  3. In the Services window, look for Advantage Database Server in the list of services. If the Advantage Database Server is running, it will appear in the list and the Status will be "Started". If the Advantage Database Server does not appear in the list or the Status is not "Started", the Advantage is not loaded.

If you don't have access to the server on which Advantage is installed:

If you don't have access to the server on which Advantage is installed, there is another way to test for the presence of Advantage. It's not as direct as checking the server itself but should be enough to establish the presence of Advantage.

  1. From within STD*MIS, access System Utilities.
  2. Select System Maintenance, then select Re-index Data Files.
  3. Select Data Files, then select either the Address file or the Lab Test file to re-index.
  4. Once the indexing process begins, pay close attention to the progress bar. If the progress bar appears and extends itself in a normal manner, then Advantage is NOT installed. However, if the indexing is taking place but the white progress bar does not extend normally, then Advantage IS installed. This is because, under Advantage, the indexing is occurring on the server and the workstation cannot track the progress. If Advantage is not running, then the indexing occurs on the local workstation and the progress can be tracked.

Corruption Detection Software

Q1: Why would I need corruption software for use with STD*MIS?

Occasionally corruptions of data files occur in STD*MIS. These corruptions often happen as a result of network or software "freezes." If you are working in STD*MIS and the system crashes/locks-up/freezes, etc., a corruption may have occurred. Sometimes you will not know if there is a corruption in a data file until, for some inexplicable reason the system will either not function properly or not allow you access to the program altogether. Corruption detection software will allow you the ability to both check for and clean up data file corruptions.

Q2: What corruption software can be used with STD*MIS and where can it be purchased?

CDC does not endorse the use of any particular software and any suggestion herein should not be considered as such. With that said, many STD*MIS users have purchased a product called dSalvage to assist them in detecting database corruptions. This product is licensed through a company named Comtech Publishing, Ltd., P.O. Box 12340, Reno, NV 89510. 702-825-9000. Whatever software you use, it is important to back-up your system prior to using these programs.

Epi Info

Q1: What version of Epi Info is bundled with the latest version of STD*MIS?

Epi Info 6.04c is bundled with STD*MIS 3.2. Epi Info 6.04c is Y2K compliant.

FDBU

Q1: What is FDBU and who should use it?

FDBU is a database utility program. It assists Data Managers in making changes to STD*MIS from the "back-side" of the system. If you are not familiar with FDBU and STD*MIS database structure, you should NOT attempt to make changes to your system without assistance from your STD*MIS Support Person.

Q2: I need help understanding how to make changes using FDBU, does CDC provide support for this product?

Not necessarily, but we do offer assistance in using FDBU in conjunction with STD*MIS. We can assist sites that wish to utilize FDBU to correct problems in their database files using this product. If you need assistance, please contact your State/Project Area's STD*MIS Support Person.

 
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