USE

USE

Open an existing database (.dbf) and its associated files

Syntax

      USE [<xcDatabase>
            [INDEX <xcIndex list>]
            [ALIAS <xcAlias>] [EXCLUSIVE | SHARED]
            [NEW] [READONLY]
            [VIA <cDriver>]]

Arguments

<xcDatabase> is the name of the database file to be opened and may be specified either as a literal file name or as a character expression enclosed in parentheses.

INDEX <xcIndex list> specifies the names of 1 to 15 index files to be opened in the current work area. Specify each index as a literal file name or as a character expression enclosed in parentheses. The first index in the list becomes the controlling index. If you specify an <xcIndex> as an expression and the value returned is spaces or NIL, it is ignored.

ALIAS <xcAlias> specifies the name to associate with the work area when the database file is opened. You may specify the alias name as a literal name or as a character expression enclosed in parentheses. A valid <xcAlias> may be any legal identifier (i.e., it must begin with an alphabetic character and may contain numeric or alphabetic characters and the underscore). Within a single application, Harbour will not accept duplicate aliases. If this clause is omitted, the alias defaults to the database file name.

EXCLUSIVE opens the database file for nonshared use in a network environment. All other users are denied access until the database file is CLOSEd.

SHARED opens the database file for shared use in a network environment. Specifying this clause overrides the current EXCLUSIVE setting.

NEW opens <xcDatabase> in the next available work area making it the current work area. If this clause is not specified, <xcDatabase> is opened in the current work area.

READONLY opens <xcDatabase> with a read-only attribute. This lets you open database files marked read-only. If you cannot open the <xcDatabase> this way, a runtime error is generated. If this clause is not specified, <xcDatabase> is opened as read-write.

VIA <cDriver> specifies the replaceable database driver (RDD) with which to process the current work area. <cDriver> is the name of the RDD specified as a character expression. If <cDriver> is specified as a literal value, it must be enclosed in quotes.

If the VIA clause is omitted, the DBFNTX driver is used by default. Note that if the specified driver is not linked, an unrecoverable error occurs.

In no arguments are specified, the database file open in the current work area is closed.

Description

USE opens an existing database (.dbf) file, its associated memo (.dbt) file, and optionally associated index (.ntx or .ndx) file(s) in the current or the next available work area. In Harbour, there are 250 work areas with a maximum of 255 total files open in DOS 3.3 and above. Before USE opens a database file and its associated files, it closes any active files already open in the work area. When a database file is first opened, the record pointer is positioned at the first logical record in the file (record one, if there is no index file specified).

In a network environment, you may open database files as EXCLUSIVE or SHARED. EXCLUSIVE precludes the USE of the database file by other users until the file is closed. SHARED allows other users to USE the database file for concurrent access. If the database file is SHARED, responsibility for data integrity falls upon the application program. In Harbour, FLOCK() and RLOCK() are the two basic means of denying other users access to a particular work area or record. If a USE is specified and neither EXCLUSIVE nor SHARED is specified, the database file is opened according to the current EXCLUSIVE setting. In Harbour, all USE commands should explicitly specify how the database file is to be opened, EXCLUSIVE or SHARED. The implicit open mode specified by SET EXCLUSIVE is supplied for compatibility purposes only and not recommended.

Opening a database file in a network environment requires some special handling to be successful. First, attempt to USE the database file without specifying the INDEX list. Then, test for the success of the operation using NETERR(). If NETERR() returns false (.F.), the open operation succeeded and you can SET INDEX TO the index list. A USE will fail in a network environment if another user has EXCLUSIVE USE of the database file. Refer to the “Network Programming” chapter in the Programming and Utilities Guide for more information on opening files in a network environment.

You can open index files with USE or SET INDEX. The first index in the list of indexes defines the current ordering of records when they are accessed. This index is referred to as the controlling index. You can change the current controlling index without closing any files by using the SET ORDER command.

To close a database and its associated files in the current work area, specify USE or CLOSE with no arguments. To close database files in all work areas, use CLOSE DATABASEs. To close index files in the current work area without closing the database file, use CLOSE INDEX or SET INDEX TO with no arguments.

Refer to the “Basic Concepts” chapterfor more information about the Harbour database paradigm.

Notes

. Setting the maximum open files: Control of the number of file handles available to a Harbour application is controlled by a combination of the CONFIG.SYS FILES command, and the F parameter of the CLIPPER environment variable. The F parameter specifies the maximum number of files that can be opened at any one time within the current Harbour program. Harbour determines the number of files that can be opened using the smaller of the two parameters. For example, if the FILES command is set to 120 and the F parameter is set to 50, the maximum number of files that can be opened is 50. In a network environment, file handles also need to be set in the network configuration file.

The file limit is controlled by the operating system. Under DOS versions less than 3.3, the maximum number of files that can be opened at one time is 20 files. In DOS versions 3.3 and greater, the maximum limit is 255 files.

. Opening the same database file in more than one work area: Although opening a database file in more than one work area is possible in a network environment, this practice is strongly discouraged. If done, each file must be opened with a different alias, otherwise a runtime error will occur.

. Opening two database files with the same names, in different directories: Although opening two database files with the same names in different directories is possible, the database files MUST have unique alias names; otherwise, a runtime error will occur.

Examples

      .  This example opens a shared database file with associated
         index files in a network environment.  If NETERR() returns
         false (.F.), indicating the USE was successful, the indexes
         are opened:

      USE Accounts SHARED NEW
      IF !NETERR()
         SET INDEX TO AcctNames, AcctZip
      ELSE
         ? "File open failed"
         BREAK
      ENDIF

      .  This example opens a database file with several indexes
         specified as extended expressions.  Note how the array
         of index names is created as a constant array:

      xcDatabase = "MyDbf"
      xcIndex = {"MyIndex1", "MyIndex2", "MyIndex3"}
      USE (xcDatabase) INDEX (xcIndex[1]), ;
            (xcIndex[2]), (xcIndex[3])

Seealso

CLOSE, DBRSELECT(), DBSETINDEX(), DBUSEAREA(), NETERR()

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