C5DG-8 DBPX Driver

Clipper 5.x – Drivers Guide

Chapter 8

DBPX Driver Installation and Usage

DBPX is the Paradox 3.5 compatible RDD for Clipper. It connects to the low-level database management subsystem in the Clipper architecture. When you use the DBPX RDD, you add a number or features, including the ability to:

. Create access to and modify Paradox tables, records, and fields

. Create, select, and activate secondary indexes on Paradox tables

. Create and modify Paradox table structures, including primary index fields

. Use explicit record and file locks with concurrent execution of other Clipper applications

. Import Paradox tables directly into Clipper arrays

In This Chapter

This chapter explains how to install DBPX and how to use it in your applications. The following major topics are discussed:

. Overview of the DBPX RDD

. Installing DBPX Driver Files

. Linking the DBPX Driver

. Using the DBPX Driver

Overview of the DBPX RDD

The DBPX driver lets you create and maintain (.db), (.px), (.x??), and (.y??) files with features different from those supplied with the original DBFNTX driver and compatible with files created under Paradox 3.5. The new features are supplied in the form of several syntactical additions to database and indexing commands and functions. Specifically you can:

. Create tables that recognize the standard Clipper data types as well as Currency ($) and Short (S) numbers between -32,767 to +32,767

. Create equally efficient keyed and unkeyed tables

. Create, select, and activate secondary indexes on Paradox tables

The DBPX driver provides simple, seamless access to the Paradox database system. The Clipper application programmer who intends to access Paradox tables with the “VIA” clause need only include the RDD header file at compile time and make the appropriate libraries available at link time.

Paradox stores data in tables (known to Xbase developers as data files (.db)’s), consisting of fields and records. Unlike Xbase databases, a Paradox database refers to a group of files that are related to each other in some way, rather than to one file.

Also, Paradox employs the concept of companion files, known as objects, that are related to the table. Some examples of object files are report forms, indexes, and data entry forms. A table and its accompanying objects are referred to as a family.

It is easy to identify objects belonging to a particular family since they all have the same base filename and are distinguished by their extensions as shown in the table below.

Paradox File Descriptions
——————–  —————————————————
Extension         Object

.DB                       Table

.PX          Primary Index 
.X?? or Y??  Secondary Index
.F or F??    Data Entry Forms
.R or R??    Report Formats
.G or G??    Graph Specifications
.SET         Image Settings
.VAL         Field Validity Specifications
------------ ------------------------------------------------------------

The DBPX driver only deals with the table and index files (.db, .px, .x?? and y??) so only these files are discussed here.

Though Paradox tables are limited to 8 character filenames, each table can contain an unlimited number of records in files up to 256M in size. Paradox records in nonkeyed tables can be up to 4000 bytes each while keyed tables have a 1350 byte limitation. Each record can contain up to 255 fields of up to 255 characters each.

There are some field naming restrictions you must observe. Field names may:

. Although the Paradox file structure allows fields to be up to 25 characters long, since Clipper symbols can only be 10 characters, DBPX truncates the field name to 10 characters.

. The Paradox file structure allows embedded spaces in field names. Since this is illegal in Clipper, the DBPX driver converts spaces into underscores (_).

. Not be duplicated in the same table.

Also, most Paradox data types directly match data types in standard Xbase data files, with these differences:

. Paradox tables support both the Numeric (N) data type as well as a more specific Currency ($) data type. Both the N and $ data types can have 15 significant digits. Numeric types that exceed this length are rounded and stored as scientific notation. Also, DBPX supports the Short (S) data type to represent numbers between -32,767 and +32,767.

. The Alphanumeric field type allows all ASCII characters except embedded nulls (ASCII 0). The Alphanumeric type is identical to the Character (C) data type in Xbase. Paradox limits this field type to 255 characters.

. Paradox also supports a Date (D) field type, stored as a long integer. It can contain any value between January 1, 100 A.D. and December 31, 9999.

Installing DBPX Driver Files

The DBPX RDD is supplied as the file, DBPX.LIB:

The Clipper installation program installs this driver in the \CLIPPER5\LIB subdirectory on the drive that you specify, so you need not install the driver manually.

Linking the DBPX Database Driver

To link the DBPX driver, you must specify DBPX.LIB to the linker along with your application object (.OBJ) modules.

1. To link with .RTLink using positional syntax:

C>RTLINK <appObjectList> ,,,DBPX

2. To link with .RTLink using freeformat syntax:

C>RTLINK FI <appObjectList> LIB DBPX

Note: These link commands all assume the LIB, OBJ, and PLL environment variables are set to the standard locations. They also assume that the Clipper programs were compiled without the /R option.

Using the DBPX Database Driver

To use Paradox files in a Clipper program:

1. Place REQUEST DBPX at the top of each program file (.prg) that opens a database file using the DBPX driver.

2. Specify the VIA “DBPX” clause if you open the database file with the USE command.

-OR-

3. Specify “DBPX” for the <cDriver> argument if you open the database file with the DBUSEAREA() function.

-OR-

4. Use RDDSETDEFAULT( “DBPX” ) to set the default driver to DBPX.

Except in the case of REQUEST, the RDD name must be a literal character string or a variable. In all cases it is important that the driver name be spelled correctly using uppercase letters.

The following program fragments illustrate:

REQUEST DBPX 
. 
. 
. 
USE Customers INDEX Name, Address NEW VIA "DBPX"
-OR-
REQUEST DBPX RDDSETDEFAULT( "DBPX" )
.
. 
. 
. 
USE Customers INDEX Name, Address NEW

Index Management 

The greatest variation from the standard Xbase database design in Paradox tables is index management. As in other systems, Paradox indexes are an efficient method of dynamically sorting or locating specific data within a table without forcing a search of all data in that table. Paradox tables take two forms: unkeyed and keyed.

An unkeyed table has no fields in its structure that have been identified as specific index keys. Therefore, records are maintained in natural order. New records are added to the end of an existing table, and the unique identity for each record is a record number.

Unlike Xbase data files, unkeyed tables are not more efficient in design or faster to traverse than keyed tables. This is because Paradox tables are built as linked lists rather than fixed-length, sequential tables. Therefore, it is actually less efficient to SKIP through a unkeyed table than it is through a keyed table.

A keyed table, on the other hand, can be lightning fast as long as the data you seek is part of the key. Otherwise, just as in an unkeyed table, you are forced to do a sequential search through the table’s data fields.

Paradox tables support two types of keys or indexes.

. Primary

. Secondary

Primary Indexes

Primary indexes are directly tied to keyed tables because a primary index indicates the table is keyed. Simply, it is impossible to have a keyed table without a primary index. If you remove the primary index from a keyed table it becomes an unkeyed table.

When you identify one or more of the table’s fields as a key field (by placing an asterisk (*) at the end of the field name) during table creation/restructuring, these fields are used to create a primary index. (Note that all key fields must be together as the first fields in a table). This invisibly rebuilds the table’s structure, though in operation it only seems to change or create the key index.

Once you identify this primary key, the table is automatically maintained in the key field order and all new records are checked to make sure that no duplicate keys are added to the table. This type of index is called a unique key index. You may have only one primary key per table, but this key can be a composite of many fields in the table. You may only modify by restructuring the table.

If it is necessary to change a primary key and restructure a table, all data in the table will still be bound to the unique key restriction. This is important if you change the primary key by adding a new field to it and there is already data in the table where this new composite key would have duplicates.

DBPX handles this situation by generating a runtime error and removing every record that violates this unique key and moving it to another table named KEYVIOL.db which has the identical structure of the offending table.

The KEYVIOL.db is automatically generated whenever this situation occurs. If there is already a KEYVIOL table, it is overwritten. Because of this you should always check for the existence of a KEYVIOL.db table immediately after any type of table restructuring.

Secondary Indexes

Secondary indexes are more like common Xbase-type indexes because they can be generated or modified on the fly without having any effect on the data or table structure and aren’t restricted to unique key data.

Unlike Xbase indexes, secondary indexes can only contain a single field as their key. As mentioned earlier, primary indexes are automatically maintained so that they are always up to date. Secondary indexes are created in two different types.

. Incremental (for keyed tables)

. Independent (for unkeyed tables)

Independent indexes are created only for unkeyed tables and are not dynamically maintained in any way. Because of this they can only be considered accurate at the time of their creation. If data changes inside the table that affects the index, the index must be completely regenerated before it can be considered useful again.

Alternately, incremental indexes are created only for keyed tables and are automatically maintained similarly to primary indexes except that instead of a complete rebuild at every change, only the portion of the index affected is updated. Incremental indexes are preferable when you are handling large tables since they take considerably less time and energy to keep accurate.

Temporary Indexes

ALL, NEXT, RECORD, and REST are all supported in the scoping expressions. The syntax of these keywords is identical to that used in Clipper. Note that you can only use one scope keyword at a time. If more than one of these keywords is encountered in a scoping expression, then the last keyword in the expression is the option used.

The ALL keyword (default) specifies that all records in the table should be included in the operation, starting at the first record.

NEXT processes the specified number of records, starting with the current record. For example, NEXT 5 would process the current record and the four records following it.

The RECORD keyword identifies a specific record to process. The desired record number should follow the keyword RECORD. To process record number 3, you would include “RECORD 3” in the expression.

The REST keyword causes processing to begin with the current record, instead of starting at the beginning of the table.

Sorting

In the event that you want to reorder a table based on field data but don’t need or want to have an index attached to it, you have the option of sorting the table based on the current index. This entails a simple copy from a keyed table to an unkeyed table using the table sort function.

Passwords and Security

Although the Paradox DBMS cannot be considered a data dictionary system, it does have some special characteristics that make it more suitable to networks than the standard Xbase tables. One of these features is the level of security available.

There are two methods to make sure that your data is secure: master passwords and auxiliary passwords. As the owner of a table, you can limit access by attaching a master password to it. Auxiliary passwords can also be identified to establish access to the table and its family.

Once any type of password is identified for a table, its is encrypted. This protects it not only from unauthorized Paradox users but also from anyone trying to dissect it at the DOS file level. The encryption method used by Paradox is literally unbreakable and if you (or your users) forget a table password, there is no way to recover that information.

Auxiliary passwords allow access control at the table and field levels. Access to tables can be restricted to:

. ReadOnly: No changes to the table can be made

. Update: Changes to nonkey fields are allowed, no records can be added or deleted

. Entry: Same as update except that new records can be added

. InsertDelete: Same as Entry except that records can be inserted and deleted

. All: Full access including restructuring and table deletion

Access to the fields can be identified as:

. None: This field data cannot be displayed to the user

. ReadOnly: User can see the field value, but cannot change it

. All: Full access

With DBPX, you may perform basic database operations on Paradox tables without code changes.

Note that because Paradox tables can have primary indexes which are actually part of the table structure specification, when you open a Paradox table, its associated primary index (if applicable) is also opened and activated. The only exception to this rule is if you indicate that you want a secondary index to be activated at the time you open the table. If no primary index is available and no secondary index is specified, the table is opened in natural sequence order.

You can have up to twenty-four Paradox tables open simultaneously. These may be separate tables or the same table repeatedly or any variation in between. This might be important if you want to have more than one secondary index active for a single table, allowing you to move from one work area to another with the only change being the index order of the data in the table. Be careful with this type of multiviewed approach, however, since you will be eating up memory for each work area, despite the fact that they refer to the same table.

Sharing Data in Networks

The DBPX driver supports the native Clipper single-lock locking scheme. Therefore, in a shared environment, your application and Paradox will not see each other’s record locks. This may result in some concurrency corruption and errors.

In a shared environment, DBPX performs no record buffering; immediately writing all changes to disk.

Concurrency is an issue whenever your application is running either on a network or in some other shared environment. One example of a non- network shared environment is when your application is called from another program (like Paradox, Quatro Pro, etc.) that also has access to the Paradox tables. Even if you don’t have any plans to use your program on a network, you should design it to be smart enough not to become a problem if faced with this type of shared example.

Also be aware that many networks have different rights and privilege restrictions and you should know what they are and how to handle them.

Using (.px) and (.ntx) Files Concurrently

You can use both (.px), as well as (.x), (.y) and (.ntx) files concurrently in a Clipper program like this:

REQUEST DBPX
// (.ntx) file using default DBFNTX driver
USE File1 INDEX File1 NEW
// (.idx) files using DBPX driver
USE File2 VIA "DBPX" INDEX File2 NEW

Note, however, that you cannot use (.px) and (.ntx) files in the same work area. For example, the following does not work:

USE File1 VIA "DBFNTX" INDEX File1.ntx, File2.px

Summary

In this chapter, you were given an overview of the features and benefits of the DBPX RDD. You also learned how to link this driver and how to use it in your applications.

C5DG-7 DBFNTX Driver

Clipper 5.x – Drivers Guide

Chapter 7

DBFNTX Driver Installation and Usage

DBFNTX is the default RDD for Clipper. This new database driver replaces the DBFNTX database driver supplied with earlier versions of Clipper and adds a number of new indexing features. With DBFNTX, you can:

. Create conditional indexes by specifying a FOR condition

. Create indexes using a record scope or WHILE condition, allowing you to INDEX based on the order of another index

. Create both ascending and descending order indexes

. Specify an expression that is evaluated periodically during indexing in order to display an index progress indicator

In This Chapter 

This chapter explains how to install DBFNTX and how to use it in your applications. The following major topics are discussed:

. Overview of the DBFNTX RDD

. New Locking Scheme

. Conditional Indexing

. Installing DBFNTX Driver Files

. Linking the DBFNTX Driver

. Using the DBFNTX Driver

. Compatibility with dBASE III

Overview of the DBFNTX RDD

As an update of the default database driver, DBFNTX is linked into and used automatically by your application unless you compile using the /R option.

New Features

The replaceable driver lets you create and maintain (.ntx) files using features above and beyond those supplied with the previous DBFNTX driver. The new indexing features are supplied in the form of several syntactical additions to the INDEX and REINDEX commands. Specifically you can:

. Specify full record scoping and conditional filtering using the standard ALL, FOR, WHILE, NEXT, REST, and RECORD clauses

. Create an index while another controlling index is still active

. Monitor indexing as each record (or a specified record number interval) is processed using the EVAL and EVERY clauses

. Eliminate separate coding for descending order keys using the DESCENDING clause

Compatibility

Index files (.ntx) created with the original DBFNTX driver are compatible with DBFNTX and can be used in new applications without reindexing. Index files (.ntx) created with this version of DBFNTX will also work with previous Clipper applications provided that you use no FOR, WHILE, <scope>, or DESCENDING clauses.

Important! Indexes produced with DBFNTX using FOR or DESCENDING are incompatible with earlier version (.ntx) files. If you attempt to access them with the original DBFNTX database driver or programs compiled with versions earlier than Clipper 5.2, you will get an unrecoverable runtime error. In Clipper, this generates an “index corrupted” error message, causing the application to terminate.

New Locking Scheme

The DBFNTX database driver implements a new locking scheme to resolve several problems identified in previous versions of Clipper and to prevent potential problems that might arise when running Clipper applications in a network environment. This section discusses these changes and their implications, including compatibility issues.

Lock Time-outs

Problem: Index locking in previous versions of Clipper was handled automatically by the database driver, and had no time-out provision. This created the potential for problems in network environments if a workstation died while holding a lock. If this situation occurred all other workstations waiting for an index lock would appear to freeze while waiting to obtain their lock. This could also happen if a user placed a Clipper application in the background on a multitasking system without sufficient processing time allocated to it. Eventually, most network operation systems would clear a connection that had no activity for a specified period of time. This would free the lock and everything would resume as normal, but frustrated users may have rebooted their machines possibly causing file corruption.

Solution: In Clipper 5.2 the NTX driver will generate a recoverable runtime error if it fails to lock the index after a predetermined number of retries. The default error handler for this system simply returns (.T.) to retry the operation. This emulates the behavior of previous Clipper versions.

Error Handling

Time out handling: The handling of this error is problematic because the lock is issued from various internal index routines. Therefore the only safe recoveries are to retry or quit. Choosing to default from the error or issuing a break will more than likely leave the index in a corrupted state. If either of the options is employed, the application should immediately recreate the index. The preferred way to handle a time out such as this is to alert the user of the situation so they don’t think their machine has hung, and then have the network administrator determine what workstation is causing the problem. When the problem workstation is cleared, the users that have timed out can select retry and continue processing.

NTXERR.PRG: The file NTXERR.PRG contains the source code for the default error handler INIT procedure. This error handler can be modified to allow user-defined error handling for index lock time-outs. Care should be exercised when modifying the error handler as detailed above.

Compatibility: The lock time-out capability when used in conjunction with the default error handler is totally compatibility with previous versions of Clipper. No changes are made to the NTX file structure and no action is required by the developer to activate the time-out functionality.

New Lock Offset

Problem: Index locking, which is transparent to the developer, uses a single-byte semaphore locking system. This semaphore was placed at a virtual offset (beyond the physical end of file) in the index file. In previous versions of Clipper, this offset was located at one billion (1,000,000,000) which was adequate at the time. But many systems today are capable of producing indexes that are large enough to cause the actual data present at the lock offset to become physically locked. This leads to problems when trying to read or write to the data at that offset.

Solution: The solution is to move the offset where locking occurs to a location at a greater offset. We have chosen FFFFFFFF hex, which is the largest offset possible under the DOS operating system. The problem with this solution is that new applications using the index will be locking this new byte while old applications using the same index will lock the old position. Clearly this would cause both applications to fail because each could have a lock on the file at the same time.

To avoid this, the signature of the index (in the index header) is modified to prevent pre-Clipper 5.2 applications from being able to open the index. Clipper 5.2 applications can detect the correct offset to use by the flag in the header and will automatically use the correct one. In Figure 7-1 below, each bit represents a flag:

BIT  7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
FLAG R R R O P I I C
R Reserved
I Index type - both bits set (NTX)
C Index created with a Condition, condition in header
T Created as a Temporary index
O New Offset for exclusive (semaphore) lock
Figure 7-1: Bit Field for the Signature Byte of a -Clipper 5.2 NTX File

Activation

If Clipper 5.2 automatically modified the signature in the header when it created indexes, programs with automatic reindexing routines would be creating indexes that appeared corrupt to pre-Clipper 5.2 applications. This has an obvious problem with backward compatibility. Therefore, in order to create indexes with the new signature, the developer must link in the module NTXLOCK2.OBJ with the full knowledge that this will create indexes that older applications will not be able to access.

Header Changes

The signature byte of a .NTX file is 6 for an unenhanced NTX index. The inclusion of the NTXLOCK2.OBJ will cause the signature to become 26 hex. (6 hex ORed with 20 hex). See Figure 7-1 for an illustration of all the possible values for the signature byte.

Error Handling

Clipper 5.2 applications will automatically recognize the signature byte of the header, and depending on the signature value, will use the correct index lock location. Applications built with previous versions of Clipper, however, do not have the capability to detect the optional new information in the signature byte. Therefore, when an order application tries to open a file that has been created with the NTXLOCK2.OBJ linked in it will produce a Corruption Detected error.

Compatibility

The new locking location, if used, is not backward compatible with applications compiled with previous versions of Clipper.

Indexes created by applications built with a previous version of Clipper can be used by Clipper 5.2 using the new location and will not be modified unless the index is recreated in application.

Since older applications have no knowledge of the new index locking scheme nor of the significance of the header signature, these applications will assume the index is corrupt and will produce an Index Corrupted error.

Conditional Indexing

Conditional indexes are a feature of the DBFNTX driver. This section discusses this feature of the DBFNTX driver in some detail, giving you specific information about the implementation of conditional indexes. Compatibility issues are also discussed.

Conditional Indexes

Conditional indexes are produced by using a FOR condition in the index creation process. These indexes are made fully maintainable by storing the FOR condition in the index header. This condition is subsequently retrieved and compiled each time the index in opened. During updates, items are added to the index only if they meet the criteria of the condition.

Since older applications do not have the ability to recognize and use the condition stored in the header, they must be prevented from opening the index since they corrupt the index. This is accomplished by modifying the signature of the index (in the index header) preventing pre-Clipper 5.2 applications from being able to open the index. Clipper 5.2 applications can detect the flag in the header and will automatically use the stored FOR condition correctly.

Temporary Indexes

Temporary indexes are produced by using any scoping clause other than the FOR condition in the index creation process. These indexes are not automatically maintainable because the condition is not stored for later use. These indexes can be made maintainable if the condition can be expressed as a FOR condition and is added using the FOR clause. But the main use of temporary indexes is for fast creation of indexes for read- only browses or reports that operate on a subset of the database.

Since older applications would not operate properly with indexes that do not contain all the keys in a given database, they must be prevented from using them. This is accomplished by modifying the index signature to prevent pre-Clipper 5.2 applications from being able to open the index.

Activation

Conditional Indexes

The developer need only specify the FOR condition when creating the index. In doing so he must be fully aware the index will no longer be accessible to pre–Clipper 5.2 applications.

Temporary Indexes

The developer need only specify a scope other than FOR when creating the index. In doing so he must be fully aware the index will no longer be accessible to pre-Clipper 5.2 applications and that the index created is not maintainable.

Header Changes

The signature byte of a .NTX file is 6 for a unenhanced NTX index. If the index is created as a conditional index it will have a signature of 7 hex (6 hex ORed with 1 hex). If the index is created as a temporary index it will have a signature of E hex. (6 hex ORed with 8 hex). See Figure 7-1 for an illustration of all the possible values for the signature byte.

Error Handling

Corruption Detected

Since older applications have no knowledge of the new index features nor how to interpret the additional flags in the header signature, these applications will assume the index is corrupt and will produce an Index Corrupted error.

EOF()

If an index is created with a FOR condition and an attempt is made to update the index with a key that does not match the condition, the update is suppressed and the index is placed at EOF(). This is consistent with the current behavior for indexes created with the unique flag when an update is attempted with a non-unique key.

Also if a navigational action is attempted (SKIP) and the current record is not found in the index, the index will place the record pointer at EOF(). This is true for both conditional and temporary indexes.

Compatibility

Backward Compatibility

If the conditional or temporary indexing features are used the index produced will not be backward compatible with applications compiled with previous versions of Clipper. Indexes that do not use the features, however, will be 100% compatible.

Forward Compatibility

Indexes created by applications built with a previous version of Clipper can be used by Clipper 5.2 and will not be modified unless the index is recreated using either the conditional or temporary index features.

Error Message Produced by Old Applications

Since older applications have no knowledge of the new index locking scheme nor of the significance of the header signature, these applications will assume the index is corrupt and will produce an Index Corrupted error.

Installing DBFNTX Driver Files

DBFNTX is supplied as the file DBFNTX.LIB.

The Clipper installation program installs this driver as the default in the \CLIPPER5\LIB subdirectory on the drive that you specify, so you need not install the driver manually.

Important! Before installing Clipper, you may want to rename the DBFNTX.LIB that currently resides in your \CLIPPER5\LIB directory to DBFNTX.001. The new version, when installed, will overwrite DBFNTX.LIB. If you do not rename or otherwise protect the old version of DBFNTX.LIB, you will lose it.

Linking the DBFNTX Database Driver

Since DBFNTX is the default database driver for Clipper, there are no special instructions for linking. Unless you specify the /R option when you compile, the new driver will be linked into each program automatically if you specify a USE command or DBUSEAREA() function without an explicit request for another database driver. The driver is also linked if you specify an INDEX or REINDEX command with any of the new features.

Using the DBFNTX Database Driver

In applications written for the new DBFNTX driver, you can use the INDEX and REINDEX commands exactly as you have used them in the past. The index files (.ntx) you create and maintain in this way are completely compatible with those created using previous versions of the driver.

Changes to existing code are necessary only if you use the new indexing features. The (.ntx) files you create using the new features will have a slightly different header file and cannot be used by programs linked with a previous version of the driver.

Using (.ntx) and (.ndx) Files Concurrently

You can use (.ntx) and (.ndx) files concurrently in a Clipper program like this:

// (.ntx) file using default DBFNTX driver

USE File1 INDEX File1 NEW

// (.ndx) files using DBFNDX driver

USE File2 VIA "DBFNDX" INDEX File2 NEW

Note, however, that you cannot use (.ntx) and (.ndx) files in the same work area. For example, the following does not work:

USE File1 VIA "DBFNDX" INDEX File1.ntx, File2.ndx

Compatibility with dBASE III PLUS

The default DBFNTX driver makes Clipper programs behave differently than traditional dBASE programs. Some of these differences are discussed below.

Supported Data Types

The DBFNTX database driver supports the following dBASE III PLUS- compatible data types for key expressions:

. Character

. Numeric

. Date

. Logical

Supported Key Expressions

When you create (.ntx) files using the DBFNTX driver, you can use all Clipper or user-defined functions compatible with dBASE III PLUS as well as other functions accepted by the extended Clipper functionality.

Error Handling

The indexing behavior of DBFNTX and DBFNDX in a Clipper application is identical unless otherwise noted. With the default DBFNTX driver, you can handle most errors using BEGIN SEQUENCE…END SEQUENCE as illustrated in the next section.

FIND vs SEEK

In Clipper, you can use the FIND command only to locate keys in indexes where the index key expression is character data type. This differs from dBASE III PLUS where FIND supports character and numeric key values.

Note: In Clipper programs, always use the SEEK command or the DBSEEK() function to search an index for a key value.

The DBFNTX driver lets you recover from data type errors raised during a FIND or SEEK. However, since Error:canDefault, Error:canRetry or Error:canSubstitute are set to false (.F.), you should use BEGIN SEQUENCE…END to handle such SEEK or FIND data type errors. Within the error block for the current operation, issue a BREAK() using the error object that the DBFNTX database driver generates, like this:

bOld := ERRORBLOCK({|oError| BREAK(oError)})
 .
 .
 .
 BEGIN SEQUENCE
     SEEK xVar
 RECOVER USING oError
     // Recovery code END
 .
 .
 .
 ERRORBLOCK(bOld)

There is an extensive discussion of the effective use of the Clipper error system in the Error Handling Strategies chapter of the Programming and Utilities guide.

Sharing Data on a Network

The DBFNTX driver provides file and record locking schemes that are different from dBASE III PLUS schemes. This means that if the same database and index files are open in Clipper and in dBASE III PLUS, Clipper program locks are not visible to dBASE III PLUS and vice versa.

Warning! Database integrity is not guaranteed and index corruption will occur if Clipper and dBASE III PLUS programs attempt to write to a database or index file at the same time. Therefore, concurrent use of the same database (.dbf) and index (.ndx) files by dBASE III PLUS and Clipper programs is strongly discouraged and not supported by Computer Associates.

Summary

In this chapter, you were given an overview of the new features of the default DBFNTX RDD. You learned how to this driver is automatically linked and how to use it in your applications, and were given an overview of the compatiblity issues.

C5DG-2 RDD Architecture

Clipper 5.x – Drivers Guide

Chapter 2

Replaceable Database Driver Architecture

Clipper supports a driver architecture that allows Clipper applications to use Replaceable Database Drivers (RDDs). The RDD system makes Clipper applications data-format independent. Such applications can, therefore, access the data formats of other database systems, including the dBASE IV (.mdx), FoxPro (.cdx), and Paradox (.db) formats on a variety of equipment. This driver architecture can even support database drivers that are not file-based, although all of the drivers supplied with Clipper 5.x are file-based.

The concept of replaceable drivers is not new to this version of Clipper. In previous versions, the use of the default database driver (DBFNTX.LIB) was hidden by the fact that it was automatically linked into your application. In fact, this is still the case. The DBFNTX driver has been replaceable since it was first introduced in version 5.0. Before this version, the DBFNTX driver was the only RDD supplied as part of the system.

In This Chapter

With the introduction of the new RDDs, Clipper provides many new and enhanced commands and functions that access and manipulate databases. These language elements can enable your applications to access data regardless of the RDD under which it is ordered. There are also commands and functions that give you specific information about the RDDs in use.

The Language Implementation section of this chapter includes tables that summarize these new and enhanced language elements. This chapter also covers basic terminology, implementation principals, and general concepts of the Order Management System.

The following major topics are discussed:

. RDD Basics

. Basic Terminology

. The Language Implementation

. Order Management System

RDD Basics

The cornerstone of the replaceable database driver system is the Clipper work area. All Clipper database commands and functions operate in a work area through a database driver that actually performs the access to the stored database information. The layering of the system looks like this:

                      +———————————+

                      | Database Commands and Functions |
                      ----------------------------------|
                      |          RDD Interface          |
                      |---------------------------------|
                      |         Database driver         |
                      |---------------------------------|
                      |           Stored Data           |
                      +---------------------------------+

 In this system, each work area is associated with a single database driver. Each database driver, in turn, is supplied as a separate library file (.LIB) you link into your application programs. Within an application, you specify the name of the database driver when you open or access a database file or table with the USE command or DBUSEAREA() function. If you specify no database driver at the time a file is opened, the default driver is used. You may select which driver will be used as the default driver.

Once you open a database in a work area, the RDD used for that work area is automatically used for all operations on that database (except commands and functions that create a new table). Any command or function that creates a new table (i.e., SORT, CREATE FROM, DBCREATE(), etc.) uses the default RDD. Most of the new commands and functions let you specify a driver other than the default driver.

The normal default database driver, DBFNTX (which supports the traditional (.dbf), (.ntx), and (.dbt) files) is installed into your \CLIPPER5\LIB directory. This driver is linked into each program automatically to provide backwards compatibility.

To use any of the other supplied drivers, either as an additional driver or an alternate driver, you must use the REQUEST command to assure that the driver will be linked in. You must also include the appropriate library on the link line.

All Clipper applications will automatically include code generated by RDDSYS.PRG from the \CLIPPER5\SOURCE\SYS subdirectory. If you wish to automatically load another RDD, you must modify and compile RDDSYS.PRG and link the resulting object file into your application. The content of the default RDDSYS.PRG is shown below. Only the portion in bold should be modified

 
     //  Current RDDSYS.PRG
     #include "rddsys.ch"

     ANNOUNCE RDDSYS                     // This line must not change
     INIT PROCEDURE RddInit
        REQUEST DBFNTX                   // Force link for DBFNTX RDD
        RDDSETDEFAULT( "DBFNTX" )        // Set up DBFNTX as default
                                         // driver

        RETURN

     // eof: rddsys.prg

To change the default to a new automatically-loading driver, modify the bold lines in RDDSYS.PRG to include the name of the new driver. For example:

     //  Revised RDDSYS.PRG
     #include "rddsys.ch"

     ANNOUNCE RDDSYS                     // This line must not change
     INIT PROCEDURE RddInit
        REQUEST DBFCDX                   // Force link for DBFCDX RDD
        RDDSETDEFAULT( "DBFCDX" )        // Set up DBFCDX as default
                                         // driver

        RETURN

     // eof: rddsys.prg

If you change this file, all Clipper applications in which it is linked will automatically include the new RDD.

To use any RDD other than the default, you must explicitly identify it through use of the VIA clause of the USE command.

You need not disable the automatic DBFNTX loading to use other RDDs in your applications, but if your application will not use any DBFNTX functionality, you can save its code overhead by disabling it.

To completely disable the automatic loading of a default RDD, remove the two lines shown above in bold. For example:

     //  New Revised RDDSYS.PRG
     //  disables auto-loading
     #include "rddsys.ch"

     ANNOUNCE RDDSYS                     // This line must not change
     INIT PROCEDURE RddInit

        RETURN
     // eof: rddsys.prg

Basic Terminology

The RDD architecture introduces several new terms and concepts that are key to the design and usage of RDDs. You should familiarize yourself with these concepts and terms as you begin to use the RDD functionality. The meaning of some earlier terminology is also further defined. The following RDD functional glossary defines the terminology for all RDDs.

. Key Expression : A valid Clipper expression that creates a key value from a single record.

. Key Value : A value that is based on value(s) contained within database fields, associated with a particular record in a database.

. Identity : A unique value guaranteed by the structure of the data file to reference a specific record in a database even if the record is empty. In the Xbase file (.dbf), the identity is the record number; but it could be the value of a unique primary key or even the offset of an array in memory.

. Keyed-Pair : A pair consisting of a key value and an identity.

. Identity Order : Describes a database arranged by identity. In Xbase, this refers to the physical arrangement of the records in the database in the order in which they were entered (natural order).

. Tag : A set of keyed-pairs that provides ordered access to the table based on a key value. Usually, an Order in a multiple-Order index (Order). An Order.

. Order : A named mechanism (index) that provides logical access to a database according to the keyed-pairs. This term encompasses both single indexes and the Tags in multiple-Tag indexes.

Orders are not, themselves, data files. They provide access to data that gives the appearance of an ordering of the data in a specific way. This ordering is defined by the relationships between keyed- pairs. An Order does not change the physical (the natural or entry) order of data in a database.

. Controlling Order : The active Order (index) for a particular work area. Only one Order may control a work area at any time, and it controls the order in which the database is accessed during paging and searching.

. Order List : A list of all the Orders available to the database in the specified work area.

. Order Bag : A container that holds zero or more Orders. Normally a disk or memory file. A traditional index like (.ntx) is an Order Bag that holds only one Order. A multiple-Tag index (.mdx or .cdx) is an Order Bag that holds zero or more Orders. Though Order Bags may be a memory or disk file, Clipper 5.x only supports Order Bags as disk files.

. Record : A record in the traditional database paradigm is a row of one or more related columns (fields) of data. In the expanded architecture of Clipper, a record could be data that does not exactly fit this definition.

A record is, in this expanded context, data associated with a single identity. In an Xbase data structure, this corresponds to a row (fields associated with a record number); in other data structures, this may not be the case.

In this document we use “record” in the traditional sense, but you should be aware that Clipper permits expansion of the meaning of record.

. single-Order Bag : An Order Bag that can contain only one Order. The (.ntx) and (.ndx) files are examples of single-Order Bags.

. multiple-Order Bag : An Order Bag that can contain any number of Orders; a multiple-Tag index. The (.cdx) and (.mdx) files are examples of multiple-Order Bags.

. maintainable scoped Orders : Scoped (filtered) Orders created using the FOR clause. The FOR condition is stored in the index header. Orders of this type are correctly updated using the expression to reflect record updates, deletions and additions.

. non-maintainable/temporary Orders : Orders created using the WHILE or NEXT clauses. These Orders are useful because they can be created quickly. However, the conditions in these clauses are not stored in the index header. Therefore, Orders of this type are not correctly updated to reflect record updates, deletions and additions. They are only for temporary use.

. Lock List : A list of the records that are currently locked in the work area.

The Language Implementation

To support the RDD architecture and let you design applications that are independent of the data format you are using, many existing Clipper commands and functions have been enhanced, and several new language elements have been added. The following tables summarize these changes and additions. See the Reference chapter of this guide for more detailed information on a particular item.

     Enhanced Commands and Functions
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Command/Function  Changes
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     APPEND FROM       VIA clause
     COPY TO           VIA clause
     DBAPPEND()        Terminology
     GO                Terminology
     DBAPPEND()        Terminology
     INDEX             ALL, EVAL, EVERY, NEXT, RECORD, REST, TAG, and
                       UNIQUE clauses
     SEEK              SOFTSEEK option
     SET INDEX         ADDITIVE clause
     SET ORDER         IN, TAG clauses
     DBSETINDEX()      Terminology
     RECNO()           Terminology
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------

     New Commands and Functions
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Command/Function    Description
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     DELETE TAG          Delete a Tag (Order)
     DBGOTO()            Position record pointer to a specific identity
     DBRLOCK()           Lock the record at the current or specified identity
     DBRLOCKLIST()       Return an array of the currently locked records
     DBRUNLOCK           Release all or specified record locks
     ORDBAGEXT()         Return the Order Bag file extension
     ORDBAGNAME()        Return the Order Bag name of a specific Order
     ORDCREATE()         Create an Order in an Order Bag
     ORDDESTROY()        Remove a specified Order from an Order Bag
     ORDFOR()            Return the FOR expression of an Order
     ORDKEY()            Return the Key expression of an Order
     ORDLISTADD()        Add Order Bag contents or single Order to the Order
                         List
     ORDLISTCLEAR()      Clear the current Order List
     ORDLISTREBUILD()    Rebuild all Orders in the Order List of the current
                         work area
     ORDNAME()           Return the name of an Order in the work area
     ORDNUMBER()         Return the position of an Order in the current Order
                         List
     ORDSETFOCUS()       Set focus to an Order in an Order List
     RDDLIST()           Return an array of the available Replaceable
                         Database Drivers
     RDDNAME()           Return the name of the RDD active in the current or
                         specified work area
     RDDSETDEFAULT()     Set or return the default RDD for the application
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------

User Interface Levels

We want to make it easy for you to quickly take advantage of the added functionality provided in Clipper 5.x. In order to effectively use the RDDs, you should read the following discussions. They are provided as a means of identifying the degree of programming knowledge or Clipper experience that will let you effectively use the RDD features.

For this purpose the RDD feature set is arbitrarily divided into levels A and B. Tables listing the commands or functions that comprise these access levels are also supplied. In addition, an RDD Features Summary is provided in table form which outlines the features available in each driver. The commands and functions in both of these levels of access are described in the Reference chapter of this guide.

Level A – Command-Level Interface

Level A. a simple command-level interface very similar to those found in other languages (e.g., dBASE IV, FoxPro). This is the primary access for new Clipper users who may or may not be familiar with other languages.

The following table lists the commands and functions accessible by the Clipper programmer with background in languages such as dBASE or FoxPro. The commands and functions in this table provide access to the additional features without requiring an advanced knowledge of Clipper or other programming concepts.

     Basic Commands and Functions
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Command/Function  Changes
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     DELETE TAG        Delete a Tag
     GOTO              Move the pointer to the specified identity
     INDEX             Create an index file
     SEEK              Search an Order for a specified key value
     SET INDEX         Open one or more Order Bags in the current work area
     SET ORDER         Select the controlling Order
     DBAPPEND()        Append a new record to the current Lock List
     DBRLOCK()         Lock the record at the current or specified identity
     DBRLOCKLIST()     Return an array of the current Lock List
     DBRUNLOCK         Release all or specified record locks
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level B – Function-Level Interface

Level B. Clipper also adds a function level interface that not only allows access to the enhanced functionality of the drivers, but permits the building of higher-level functions using these composing behaviors. This level is meant for more experienced Clipper users who need to take advantage of the full power of the driver and Order Management System.

The following table lists the DML and Order Management functions recommended to the intermediate to advanced Clipper programmer. These functions provide the greatest flexibility in accessing the extended features of these drivers

     Advanced Functions (including Order Management)
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Command/Function    Description
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     DBAPPEND()          Append a new record to the current Lock List
     DBRLOCK()           Lock the record at the current or specified identity
     DBRLOCKLIST()       Return an array of the current Lock List
     DBRUNLOCK()         Release all or specified record locks
     ORDBAGEXT()         Return the default Order Bag RDD extension
     ORDBAGNAME()        Return the Order Bag name of a specific Order
     ORDCREATE()         Create an Order in an Order Bag
     ORDDESTROY()        Remove a specified Order from an Order Bag
     ORDFOR()            Return the FOR expression of an Order
     ORDKEY()            Return the Key expression of an Order
     ORDLISTADD()        Add Order Bag contents or single Order to the Order
                         List
     ORDLISTCLEAR()      Clear the current Order List
     ORDLISTREBUILD()    Rebuild all Orders in the Order List of the current
                         work area
     ORDNAME()           Return the name of an Order in the work area
     ORDNUMBER()         Return the position of an Order in the current Order
                         List
     ORDSETFOCUS()       Set focus to an Order in an Order List
     RDDLIST()           Return an array of the available Replaceable
                         Database Drivers
     RDDNAME()           Return the name of the RDD active in the current or
                         specified work area
     RDDSETDEFAULT()     Set or return the default RDD for the application
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------

RDD Features

The following decision table summarizes the availability of key features across RDDs. It lists the features available in each RDD so you can use it as an aid in correct RDD implementation and data access.

     RDD Features Summary
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Item                                NTX   NDX   MDX   CDX  DBPX
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Implicit record unlocking in        Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes  Yes
     single lock mode
     Multiple Record Locks               Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes  No
     Number of Concurrent Record Locks   *1    *1    *1    *1   1
     Order Management (Tag support)      Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes  No
     Orders (Tags) per Order Bag (File)  1     1     47    50   N/A
     Number of Order Bags (Files)        15    15    15    15   N/A
     per work area
     Conditional Indexes (FOR clause)    Yes   No    Yes   Yes  No
     Temporary (Partial) Indexes         Yes   No    No    Yes  No
     (WHILE, ... )
     Descending via DESCENDING clause    Yes   No    Yes   Yes  No
     Unique via the UNIQUE clause        Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes  No
     EVAL and EVERY clause support       Yes   No    No    Yes  No
     Production/Structural Indexes       No    No    Yes   Yes  No
     Maximum Key Expression length       256   256   220   255  N/A
     (bytes)
     Maximum FOR Condition length        256   N/A   261   255  N/A
     (bytes)
     ------------------------------------------------------------------------

     *1 determined by available memory.

Clipper 5.x Order Management

Clipper includes a new Order Management System which provides a more effective and flexible way of indexing data. The main objective of the new Order Management implementation is to raise the Xbase indexing paradigm from a low level of abstraction (Xbase database specific) to a higher, more robust, level. This higher level of abstraction allows the user to build new commands and functions.

Low level abstraction refers to manipulation of discrete elements in the database architecture (i.e., field names and sizes, methods of handling controlling indexes, etc.).

High level abstraction refers to manipulation of general elements in a data source. It lets us, for example, set a controlling Order without explicitly addressing the character of the data file structure. This higher level of abstraction was achieved by reviewing all the processes that indexes have in common.

The Order Management function set was generically named (i.e. non-dbf specific) to provide a semantic that could encompass future RDD implementations that may not be file-bound. For example, an RDD could easily be created that orders (indexes) on a memory array, or other data structure, instead of a database. Therefore, all Order Management functions simply begin with ORD (for Order). You will find the function names to be self-explanatory (e.g., ORDCREATE() creates an Order, and ORDDESTROY() destroys an Order).

Concept

An Order is a set of keyed-pairs that provides a logical ordering of the records in an associated database file. Each key in an Order (index) is associated with a particular identity (record number) in the data set (database file). The records can be processed sequentially in key order, and any record can be located by performing a SEEK operation with the associated key value. An Order never physically changes the data that it’s applied against, but creates a different view of that data.

There are at least four basic types of processes that you can perform with an Order:

1. Ordering: Changes the sequence in which you view the data records.

2. Scoping: Constrains the visibility of data to specified upper and lower bounds. Determines the range of data items included, through a scoping rule, like the WHILE clause.

3. Filtration: Visibility of data is subject to conditional evaluation. Filtration determines which items of data are included, through a filter rule, like the FOR clause.

4. Translation: Values in underlying data source are translated (or converted) in some form based on a selection criteria. For example:

INDEX ON IIF(CUSTID > 1000, "NEW", "OLD")

The difference between scope and condition as it applies to FOR and WHILE is that the WHILE clause provides scope, but not filtering, but a FOR clause can provide both.

There are three primary elements in Order Management:

. Order: An Order is a set that has two elements in it: an Order Name, which is a logical name that can be referenced, and an Order Expression which supplies the view of the data. The Order Name provides logical access to the expression and the Order Expression provides a way of viewing the underlying data source. Data ordering can also be modified to ascending or descending sequence.

– Order Name: An Order Name is a symbolic name, that you use to manipulate an Order, like a file’s alias. The difference between an Order Name and the Order Number with which you would normally access indexes (Orders), is that the Order Name is stored in the index file. It is available each time you run the program, and is maintained by the system. The Order Number is generated each time the Order is added to an Order List and may change from one program execution to another. This makes Order Name the preferred means of referencing Orders.

– Order Expression: Is any valid Clipper expression. This is an index expression such as:

CUSTLIST->CUSTID

This expression produces the ordered view of the data. The values derived from this expression are sorted, and it is the relationship of these values to one another that provides the actual ordering.

. Order Number: An Order Number is provided by the Order List. An Order Number is only valid as long as the work area to which it belongs is open.

– Order Numbers provide one of the services performed by Order Names, allowing you to access a specific Order. In general, you should avoid accessing Orders by number.

– The ORDNUMBER() function returns the ordinal position of the specified <orderName> within the specified <orderList>.

. Order Bag: Unsorted collection of Orders. Each Order contains two elements (Order Name and Order Expression). Each Order Bag may have zero to n Orders. The maximum is determined by the RDD driver being used. Order Bags are similar to multiple-index files in that there’s no guarantee of any specific order within the container or Bag. Within an Order Bag you can access specific Orders by referencing a particular Order Name. Order Bags have persistence between activations of the program.

. Order List: An Order List orders the collection of Orders that are associated with and active in the current work area. It provides an access to the Orders active within a given work area. Each work area has an Order List, and there is only one Order List per work area. An Order List is created when a new work area is opened, and exists only as long as that work area is active. Once you close a work area, the Order List ceases to exist.

When you SET INDEX TO, the contents of the Order Bag are emptied into the Order List. At this point, the Orders in the Order List are active in the work area, where they will be updated as the data associated with the work area is modified. You may access an Order in the list by its Order Number or by its Order Name. You should access an Order by its name rather than a hard-coded ordinal position. You can make any Order in the Order List the controlling Order by giving it focus, as explained below.

. Order List Focus: Order List Focus is, essentially, a pointer to the Order that is used to change the view of the data. It is synonymous with controlling Order or controlling index, and defines the active index order. The SET ORDER TO command does not modify the Order List in any way. It does not clear the active indexes. It only changes the Order List Focus (the controlling order in the Order List).

Notes

The following list contains specific information regarding Order Bag usage and limitations with DBFNDX and DBFNTX index files:

. Single-Order Bags: With DBFNDX and DBFNTX you can explicitly assign the Order Name within the Order creation syntax. You can then use the Order Name in any command or function that accepts an Order Name (Tag) as a parameter.

. Single-Order Bag with INDEX ON: Single-Order Bags may retain the Order Name between activations. During creation, DBFNTX stores an optionally supplied Order Name in the file’s header for subsequent use. Therefore, the Order Name is not necessarily the same as that of the file. By contrast, DBFNDX cannot store an Order Name since this would prevent dBASE from accessing the file. By default DBFNDX Orders inherit the name of their index file.

Summary

This chapter has introduced you to the RDD concept, giving you specific information on the architecture that implements RDDs in Clipper. The basic terminology of RDDs has also been defined.

Finally, you have seen an overview of the language enhancements designed to make using RDDs straightforward and to let you build applications that do not depend on the RDD in use. The next chapter elaborates on these language enhancements, discussing syntax and usage in detail.

Strong Relation

Build strong relationships

Basics of building databases, indexs and relations.

Basic Controls – 2


( Text Box  )

We are continuing with Viva_HMG.hbp, Main.prg and Main.fmg. We have assign real actions other than MsgBox() to our two buttons now : Open File and Edit Record. Open File not required GUI controls ( at least for now ), so we can begin with it: For Open File we need a file ( a table ) first: it’s here; a table with four field: Clients.dbf :

No:  Field Name Type Width Dec
---  ---------  ---- ----- ---
  1  CLI_ID       N      5   0
  2  CLI_SNAM     C     12   0
  3  CLI_NAME     C     12   0
  4  CLI_TLF      C     11   0

And then add a little routine to Main.prg for open (USE) it:

PROCEDURE OpenTable()
   IF FILE( "CLIENTS.DBF" )
      USE CLIENTS
   ELSE
      MsgStop( "Clients.dbf file not found !")
   ENDIF
RETURN // OpenTable()

And assign this procedure to ACTION of  Open File  button.

Now, we can begin Edit Record task. For this task we need a separate form, a sub form.  Then let’s begin. “New form” from tool-bar and assign a name : EditReco. Assign a title : “Edit Record”, a type : MODAL. Our table has four fields, so we need four LABEL first:

Names :  lblCLI_ID,  lblCLI_SNAM,  lblCLI_NAME, lblCLI_TLF;

Values ( Captions ) : ID,  Surname, Name, Tlf

Rows : 60, 100, 140, 180 Col : 60

Cols :  60, 60, 60, 60

Widths : 70, 70,  70, 70

Alignement : RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT

We can see our job at work:

Now we need a place  for display the current data and accept user input. The control for this purpose is text box. So we need to define four text boxes for each field in the table.

The button of text box in the IDE tool bar is :

Names :  txbCLI_ID,  txbCLI_SNAM,  txbCLI_NAME, txbCLI_TLF;

Rows : 55, 95, 135, 175

Col : 140

DataTypes : First : NUMERIC, others : CHARACTER

We can see our job at work:

Well …

But where are table data ?

To see table data we need assign field values to text boxes as values.

Again, a little procedure:

PROCEDURE ReadData()
   EditReco.txbCLI_ID.Value   := CLIENTS->CLI_ID
   EditReco.txbCLI_SNAM.Value := CLIENTS->CLI_SNAM
   EditReco.txbCLI_NAME.Value := CLIENTS->CLI_NAME
   EditReco.txbCLI_TLF.Value  := CLIENTS->CLI_TLF
RETURN // ReadData()

and a call command for this procedure to ON INIT event of  EditReco form.

The result :

Everything is OK ?

No !

This is only first record of table; how we will see others ?

Yes, we need now yet another feature: navigation; that is travelling between records of table.

But before navigation, we have a problem: Open Table must be processed before Edit Record.

Otherwise a run time error will occurs: Alias does not exist. 

What we can do?

–       Discard Open Table button, open the table automatically; at beginning of program or at beginning of editing.

–       Before editing, check the table, if doesn’t open,

–          a)  open automatically or

–          b)  warn user and don’t load Edit Table form.

Probably most convenient is : disable Edit Record button until table is open.

First a mini procedure :

PROCEDURE Initialize()
   Main.btnEditRec.Enabled := .F.
RETURN // Initialize()

And then add this procedure ON INIT event of form main:

Last point: enable it after USE table:

PROCEDURE OpenTable()
   IF FILE( "CLIENTS.DBF" )
      USE CLIENTS
      Main.btnEditRec.Enabled := .T.
   ELSE
      MsgStop( "Clients.dbf file not found !")
   ENDIF
RETURN // OpenTable()

Run and see:

Before Open File :

After Open File:

Now we can pass to navigation:

We need seven buttons: Go Top, Go Next, Go Previous, Go Last, Save, Discard, Exit.

Name: btnGoTop, Caption : Top,  Col : 50, Row: 220, Height: 28, Width: 60

Name: btnGoNext, Caption : Next,  Col : 130, Row: 220, Height: 28, Width: 60

Name: btnPrevious, Caption : Previous,  Col : 200, Row: 220, Height: 28, Width: 60

Name: btnGoLast, Caption : Last,  Col : 270, Row: 220, Height: 28, Width: 60

Name: btnSave Caption : Save,  Col : 380, Row: 60, Height: 28, Width: 100

Name: btnDiscard, Caption : Discard,  Col : 380, Row: 140, Height: 28, Width: 100

Name: btnExit, Caption : Exit,  Col : 380, Row: 220, Height: 28, Width: 100

Common: Font Name: Tahoma, Font Size: 9

Actions :

btnGoTop: ( DBGOTOP(), ReadData() )
btnGoNext: ( DBSKIP(), ReadData() )
btnPrevious: ( DBSKIP( -1 ), ReadData() )
btnGoLast: ( DBGOBOTTOM(), ReadData() )
btnSave: SaveData()
btnDiscard: ReadData()

btnExit: ThisWindow.Release

Note that actions of four first buttons include two actions, separated by comma and enclosed by parenthesis.  With this notation we can define more than one action together.

SaveData() is the inverse of  ReadData(): copy values of text boxes to table fields.

PROCEDURE SaveData()         // Save data from text boxes to table
   CLIENTS->CLI_ID   := EditReco.txbCLI_ID.Value
   CLIENTS->CLI_SNAM := EditReco.txbCLI_SNAM.Value
   CLIENTS->CLI_NAME := EditReco.txbCLI_NAME.Value
   CLIENTS->CLI_TLF  := EditReco.txbCLI_TLF.Value
RETURN // SaveData()

Discard is simply re-reading data from table.

The result:

To be continued …

Download source files

RDD Terms

Controlling Order:

The active Order (index) for a particular work area. Only one Order may control a work area at any time, and it controls the order in which the database is accessed during paging and searching.

Controlling Order :

The active Order (index) for a particular work area. Only one Order may control a work area at any time, and it controls the order in which the database is accessed during paging and searching.

 Identity :

A unique value guaranteed by the structure of the data file to reference a specific record in a database even if the record is empty. In the x-base file (.dbf), the identity is the record number; but it could be the value of a unique primary key or even the offset of an array in memory.

Identity Order :

Describes a database arranged by identity. In x-Base, this refers to the physical arrangement of the records in the database in the order in which they were entered (natural order).

Key Expression :

A valid Clipper expression that creates a key value from a single record.

Key Value :

A value that is based on value(s) contained within database fields, associated with a particular record in a database.

Keyed-Pair :

A pair consisting of a key value and an identity.

Lock List :

A list of the records that are currently locked in the work area.

Maintainable scoped Orders :

Scoped (filtered) Orders created using the FOR clause. The FOR condition is stored in the index header. Orders of this type are correctly updated using the expression to reflect record updates, deletions and additions.

Multiple-Order Bag :

An Order Bag that can contain any number of Orders; a multiple-Tag index. The (.cdx) and (.mdx) files are examples of multiple-Order Bags.

Non-maintainable/temporary Orders :

Orders created using the WHILE or NEXT clauses. These Orders are useful because they can be created quickly. However, the conditions in these clauses are not stored in the index header. Therefore, Orders of this type are not correctly updated to reflect record updates, deletions and additions. They are only for temporary use.

Order :

A named mechanism (index) that provides logical access to a database according to the keyed-pairs. This term encompasses both single indexes and the Tags in multiple-Tag indexes.

Orders are not, themselves, data files. They provide access to data that gives the appearance of an ordering of the data in a specific way. This ordering is defined by the relationships between keyed-pairs. An Order does not change the physical (the natural or entry) order of data in a database.

Order Bag :

A container that holds zero or more Orders. Normally a disk or memory file. A traditional index like (.ntx) is an Order Bag that holds only one Order. A multiple-Tag index (.mdx or .cdx) is an Order Bag that holds zero or more Orders.  Order Bags may be a memory or disk file.

Order List :

A list of all the Orders available to the database in the specified work area.

Record :

A record in the traditional database paradigm is a row of one or more related columns (fields) of data. In the expanded architecture of Clipper, a record could be data that does not exactly fit this definition.

A record is, in this expanded context, data associated with a single identity. In an x-Base data structure, this corresponds to a row (fields associated with a record number); in other data structures, this may not be the case.

Single-Order Bag :

An Order Bag that can contain only one Order. The (.ntx) and (.ndx) files are examples of single-Order Bags.

Tag :

An Order. A set of keyed-pairs that provides ordered access to the table based on a key value. Usually, an Order in a multiple-Order index (Order).

Database Terms

Alias :

The name of a work area; an alternate name given to a database file. Aliases are often used to give database files descriptive names and are assigned when the database file is opened. If no alias is specified when the database file is USEd, the name of the database file becomes the alias.

An alias can be used to reference both fields and expressions (including user-defined functions). In order to alias an expression, the expression must be enclosed in parentheses.

See also : Work Area

Attribute :

As a formal DBMS term, refers to a column or field in a table or database file.

See Also: Column, Field

Beginning of File :

The top of the database file. In Clipper language there is no beginning of file area or record. Instead, it is indicated by BOF() returning true (.T.) if an attempt is made to move the record pointer above the first record in the database file or the database file is empty.

Cell :

In a table, a cell is the intersection of a Row and a Column.

Column :

A database term used to describe a field in a table or database file.

See Also: Field

Concurrency :

The degree to which data can be accessed by more than one user at the same time.

Condition :

A logical expression that determines whether an operation will take place. With database commands, a logical expression that determines what records are included in an operation. Conditions are specified as arguments of the FOR or WHILE clause.

See Also: Scope

Controlling/Master Index :

The index currently being used to refer to records by key value or sequential record movement commands.

See Also: Index, Natural Order

Database :

An aggregation of related operational data used by an application system. A database can contain one or more data files or tables.

See Also: Field, Record, Tuple, View

DBMS :

An acronym for the term database management system. A DBMS is a software system that mediates access to a database through a data manipulation language.

Delimited File :

A text file that contains variable-length database records with each record separated by a carriage return/linefeed pair (CHR(13) + CHR(10)) and terminated with an end of file mark (CHR(26)). Each field within a delimited file is variable length, not padded with either leading or trailing spaces, and separated by a comma. Character strings are optionally delimited to allow for embedded commas.

End of File :

The bottom of a database file. In Clipper language, this is LASTREC() + 1 and is indicated by EOF() returning true (.T.).

Field :

The basic column unit of a database file. A field has four attributes: name, type, length, and decimals if the type is numeric.

See Also: Database, Record, Tuple, Vector, View

Field Variable :

A variable that refers to data in a database field, as opposed to data in memory.

See Also: Local Variable, Memory Variable, Variable

Index :

An ordered set of key values that provides a logical ordering of the records in an associated database file. Each key in an index is associated with a particular record in the database file. The records can be processed sequentially in key order, and any record can be located by performing a SEEK operation with the associated key value.

See Also: Controlling/Master Index, Key Value, Natural Order

Join :

An operation that takes two tables as operands and produces one table as a result. It is, in fact, a combination of other operations including selection and projection.

See Also: Projection, Selection

Key Expression :

An expression, typically based on one or more database fields, that when evaluated, yields a key value for a database record. Key expressions are most often used to create indexes or for summarization operations.

See Also: Index, Key Value

Key Value :

The value produced by evaluating a key expression. When placed in an index, a key value identifies the logical position of the associated record in its database file.

See Also: Index, Key Expression

Master Index :

The index currently being used to refer to records by key value or sequential record movement commands.

See Also : Controlling/Master Index

Memo Type :

A special database field type consisting of one or more characters in the extended character set. The maximum size of a memo field In Clipper language is 65,534 bytes. A memo field differs only from a character string by the fact it is stored in a separate memo (.DBT file) and the field length is variable-length.

See Also: Character String

Natural Order :

For a database file, the order determined by the sequence in which records were originally entered into the file. Also called unindexed order.

See Also: Index

Normalization :

The process of elimination and consolidation of redundant data elements in a database system.

Projection :

A DBMS term specifying a subset of fields. In Clipper, the analogy is the FIELDS clause.

See Also: Join Selection

Query :

A request for information to be retrieved from a database. Alternately, a data structure in which such a request is encoded.

Record :

The basic row unit of a database file consisting of one or more field elements.

See Also: Database, Field, Table, Tuple

Relation :

A link between database files that allows the record pointer to move in more than one database file based on the value of a common field or expression. This allows information to be accessed from more than one database file at a time.

Relational Database System :

A system that stores data in rows and columns, without system dependencies within the data. In other words, relationships between different databases are not stored in the actual database itself, as is the case in a system that uses record pointers.

Row :

A group of related column or field values that are treated as a single entity. It is the same as a Clipper language record.

See Also: Column, Field, Record

Search Condition :

See : Condition, Scope

Scope :

In a database command, a clause that specifies a range of database records to be addressed by the command. The scope clause uses the qualifiers ALL, NEXT, RECORD, and REST to define the record scope.

See Also: Condition

SDF File :

A text file that contains fixed-length database records with each record separated by a carriage return/linefeed pair (CHR(13) + CHR(10)) and terminated with an end of file mark (CHR(26)). Each field within an SDF file is fixed-length with character strings padded with trailing spaces and numeric values padded with leading spaces. There are no field separators.

See Also: Database, Delimited File, Text File

Selection :

A DBMS term that specifies a subset of records meeting a condition. The selection itself is obtained with a selection operator. In Clipper language, the analogy is the FOR clause.

Separator :

The character or set of characters that differentiate fields or records from one another. In Clipper language, the DELIMITED and SDF file types have separators. The DELIMITED file uses a comma as the field separator and a carriage return/linefeed pair as the record separator. The SDF file type has no field separator, but also uses a carriage return/linefeed pair as the record separator.

See Also: Delimiter

Sort Order :

Describes the various ways database files and arrays are ordered.

. Ascending

Causes the order of data in a sort to be from lowest value to highest value.

. Descending

Causes the order of data in a sort to be from highest value to lowest value.

. Chronological

Causes data in a sort to be ordered based on a date value, from earliest to most recent.

. ASCII

Causes data in a sort to be ordered according to the ASCII Code values of the data to be sorted.

. Dictionary

The data in a sort is ordered in the way it would appear if the items sorted were entries in a dictionary of the English language.

. Collating Sequence

Data in a sort will be placed in sequence following the order of characters in the Extended Character Set.

. Natural

The order in which data was entered into the database.

Table :

A DBMS term defining a collection of column definitions and row values. In Clipper, it is represented and referred to as a database file.

Tuple :

A formal DBMS term that refers to a row in a table or a record in a database file. In DIF files, tuple also refers to the equivalent of a table record.

See Also: Database, Field, Record

Update :

The process of changing the value of fields in one or more records. Database fields are updated by various commands and the assignment operator.

Vector :

In a DIF file, vector refers to the equivalent of a table field.

See Also: Database, Field, Record, Tuple

View :

A DBMS term that defines a virtual table. A virtual table does not actually exist but is derived from existing tables and maintained as a definition. The definition in turn is maintained in a separate file or as an entry in a system dictionary file. In Clipper, views are supported only by DBU.EXE and are maintained in (.vew) files.

See Also: Database, Field, Record

Work Area :

The basic containment area of a database file and its associated indexes. Work areas can be referred to by alias name, number, or a letter designator.

See Also: Alias