Getting the Most from Lantica's Sesame Database Manager
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Inside Sesame Issue Index
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April 2018 issue summary. . . [order code APR18]
What About that
Recent Applications List?
A grumble is sometimes heard from folks new to Sesame over what winds up on their Recent Applications list. Handy when working as expected, this shortcut-like interface feature opens an application with a click. But it isn't quite so handy when there's no way to remove unwanted testing-only and sample apps from it. We take a fresh look at this and offer a sensible solution that doesn't involve turning the feature off altogether.
Make Reports Reveal
Their Retrieve Specs
The Retrieve specs that produced a report don’t show in the report itself. But they can be helpful to know, particularly when those reports might be passed along to others. We show an easy way to print the retrieve specs right in the report's header so there's no doubt as to exactly what the report covers.
Values In a Parent/Child Structure
A new report exposed an underlying problem with a database's data structure. The report was pulling subform data from the wrong parent records. The fault wasn't in the report but in the database ― the report was merely exposing it. An investigation uncovered what had happened and when, and a finely-tuned Mass Update set things to right.
Translating Wonky Date & Money
Fields (or How Not to Lose Data)
Q&A allowed just about anything in Money and Date fields. Users could simply hit Enter to blow off Q&A’s warnings and go on their merry way, leaving corrupted data behind that could be problematic in searches, reports, merges and other output. And even more problematic in a Sesame migration. We suggest how best to deal with something like this at both ends.
Create a Customer Activity
A wholesale products company wanted to give its sales people instant access to a summary of a customer’s buying habits, typical order volume and recently-purchased products. Not a report, but a tightly-organized capsule view, in a popup, available from the customer’s record with the click of a button. Sample Application included in this month's subscriber download file.
Archiving Parts of a Huge Database
A recent Q&A-to-Sesame system migration brought up some size-related concerns ― starting with a new application that would be in the half-a-gigabyte range. This case study details how the app was reorganized to minimize its otherwise massive footprint and make it more efficient, including the ability to archive or restore records with a button click.
_______________You ask. We answer.
How to Check/Change the @Number — Sesame allows just one @Number per application. But where is it? How do you check it? How do you reset it? And why you have to be careful when doing anything involving it.
Internal Password-protected Operations — A company wanted to password protect certain database operations independently of the overall security scheme. Sample application included in this month's download file.
Sesame / Word MailMerge Rules — A detailed recap of the right way to merge print your Sesame data with a Microsoft Word merge document.
Windows 10 Updates Might Delete Scheduled Tasks — If you use a Scheduled Task to start Sesame Server and automatically unlock your application(s) following a server reboot, you'd be wise to incorporate this new info into your methodology.
Turn Off Anti-Virus Programs for Sesame Files — Tips on excluding certain files from A/V scanning to improve Sesame's performance.
Two Different XLookups From Same Element — How to configure a Sesame gizmo to run one of two different lookups depending on whether the lookup key is text or numeric.
_______________Technical tidbits you can use today
Hide All Reports in a Database — Or hide just certain types of reports, such as those for management eyes only.
@LocalFileDialog ― How to Find Multiple File Types in One Go ― A clever way to make Sesame show, say, .doc, .docx and .docm Word files in a get-a-file run. Adaptable to isolating different image file types as well.
Make a Report Total Text 'Money' Values — Money amounts in, say, a combo box, are really text values. So how to get a Sesame report to treat them as money so they can be totaled?
A Simple Report Auto-Sizer — A nifty way to enable farsighted users to make reports display for them in a larger font size.
July 2018 issue summary. . . [order code JUL18]
— A Case Study
Data disasters happen. From a fire or natural disaster to Grand Theft Computers or a ransomware attack that hits even the off-site backups. It's hard to beat having an up-to-date copy of the database in hand off-site on a portable medium. How about you pop a thumb drive into your workstation, click a button, and off you go with a fully functional, up-to-the-minute copy of the company's database in your pocket.
with Subrecord Data
The report the comes with the sample Charity Donors database includes all the subrecords whether you want them or not. No way to specify a date range like the previous month, last year or year to date. Jon McLaughlin's new report fixes this. And the technique is adaptable to most any form/subform database. Sample application included in this month's subscriber download file.
What's Up With the
Sesame forms, fields, labels, buttons and reports are all custom-fontable. But fonts differ from other design attributes — they can be substituted by Sesame in ways that might never be seen by the application designer. We show how to find out (under the hood) which workstations have which fonts on them, along with a program that scans all the forms in an application and comes back with a list of all the fonts used in each one.
Q&A Crosstabs to Sesame
Sesame skips over any crosstab reports when translating a Q&A database. But when they're fairly simple crosstabs, as they often are, chances are good that they can be reborn in Sesame's Report Designer with a similar summary format and the same totals.
How to Import XML files
You know what plain ASCII or CSV files are — a more or less universal export/import format. But a more modern type of plain text export/import file format called XML is seeing increasing usage in companies these days. Sesame's import facilities don't accommodate XML, but an additional easy step will do the trick.
_______________You ask. We answer.
Importing Q&A Data — Q&A's export options can be troublesome when the data is destined for a non-Q&A application. Here are some tricks developers use to migrate data from a Q&A database to Sesame.
Round Up to $5 — An unusual requirement to be sure. But it can be expertly done. Sample application included in this month's download file.
Improving the Drop-Down List — Don't let quirky drop-down behavior impede your performance. Try this innovative replacement option.
Check Multiple Fields for Similar Records — This example combines the date and purchase order number to flag two or more records with the same ID number.
"I don't have a Thumbs database, but there's one in my Sesame Data folder!"
Semicolons in Lookup Data — Ouch! —What to check for if an XLookupSourceList program is pulling in some but not all of the data, or some of the data is landing in the wrong fields.
_______________Technical tidbits you can use today
Find Last Month's Records with a Fixed Retrieve (plus make your Saved Retrieves run a whole lot faster on large result sets).
Effortlessly Trash the Database ― A no-brainer. Just follow these easy steps.
Avoid Special Characters in String Arrays, Too — and you thought this was just for the key values in lookups.
//Rem Your Retrieve Specs — Why toss out a useful spec you might need again when you can simply temporarily disable it.