PGdebt technical bulletin 4

Upgrading a PGdebt 5 network to a PGdebt 8 network

Note that there are separate bulletins for new installations, rather than upgrades
Please read the whole leaflet before starting.
Consider phoning PG Computing for advice.

Who is going to do this configuration ?
Please remember that all networks should have a network supervisor, who is responsible for setup, backups and all network troubleshooting and administration. The supervisor should carry out this installation.

General principles
PGdebt 8 must be installed and set to run locally on every workstation just as PG5. Only the client data files and some other important files are shared between the computers. These shared files should be set up in specific folders on the server, for client server networks, and on the 'master' or 'main' computer for peer to peer networks just as in PG5. Your PG5 network will already have these shared directories set up, and PG8 will pick them up, so there is no need to change them.

However PG8 has one big change from PG5. The creditor database is in a different format and it is stored in a different place, on the server or master rather than on each local PC. This is a vastly superior arrangement but it means you must make some manual changes to the folders to get the right files in the right places.

The upgrade steps required are these:

  1. Make a new folder on the server
  2. Make a copy of your old creditor database if you wish to retain this (send to PGC Ltd)
  3. Install PG8 on the first workstation
  4. Copy the database files to the server
  5. Configure the workstation
  6. Install and configure the remaining workstations

Which directory will it go into ... C:\PGdebt5 or C:\PGdebt8 ?
If you are upgrading from PGdebt 5 or 5.1 then PG8 will go into the C:\PGDEBT5 folder along with the older files. The location is not important, as long as you know where it is. Use the PGdebt default settings initially, it does not matter if all computers are not the same. Please do not manually change these folder names

How to do it
These examples assumes that your PGdebt5 network installation is running perfectly...if is has problems, sort them out before starting the upgrade ! In particular, the drive and directory mapping and sharing should all be completed and running perfectly before you start. This will normally be the case if your PG5 setup is operating correctly. This is important as PG8 picks up the existing settings.

NB. The notes below are brief, it is recommended that you contact PGC for advice before starting and we will talk you through this process.

Step 1. Make a new folder on the server
The server or master PC should have folders containing PGdebt files which need to be accessed across the network by the workstations. These are usually called \data, \stanlets and \common. Make another folder on the same level as these and call it \draft. If you are not sure which these folders are, take a look at Options/supervisor/files-paths on a PC which is NOT the server and make a note of them from this screen.

Step 2. Make a copy of the old creditor database
The old creditor database needs to be sent to us for conversion to PG8 format. You should make a 'synch' disc on a floppy before starting the installation and this will contain the database. Choose the PC which has the 'best' creditor database. Place a new floppy in drive A. Start PGdebt. Go to Options/supervisor/synch and make the 'synch' disk. Remove it when finished and set aside to be sent to PGC Ltd. It will be returned with instructions, in the new format.

Step 3. Install PG8 on the first workstation
Just install the program, over the top of PG5. Do not delete anything. Do not try to run PG8 yet.

Step 4. Copy the database files to the server
Locate the two files called CREDITOR.DAT and CREDITOR.IDX which have just been installed in the C:\PGdebt5\common folder on the local PC. Use Windows to copy these two files to the common folder on the server/master PC. This step only need to be done once, not on every PC. The files are a matched pair so make sure you copy both.
Locate two other files called WTEMPLAT.PGT and MTEMPLAT.PGT which are in the main PGdebt folder (probab;y C:\pgdebt5) and copy these to the common folder on the server, alongside the CREDITOR files mentioned earlier. (this is a new location for these files).

Step 5. Configure the first workstation
Start PGdebt on the workstation and go to Options/supervisor/files-paths. Use the Browse button to configure the folder for draft files to be the new folder on the server you made in step 1. PGdebt should now run normally

Step 6. Install and configure the remaining workstations ( and server if required)
Install PGdebt on all other workstations and repeat step 5 on each one in turn
PGdebt does not NEED to be on the server, but if it is there the install and configue it now. On peer to peer networks PGdebt is prpably installed on the master PC...Install PG8 now and configure it.

Stop unauthorised access to the Files-paths screen by setting a 'supervisor' password on all computers !

Take care with setting up, especially the path to the COMMON files, if this is wrong, the statistics will not run correctly, but it will NOT be obvious. All PCs should be looking to use the same common folder on the server.

Your existing creditor database
You can use the new creditor database which comes with PG8, that is the situation you are in now if you have followed the above instructions. But your old database (which has all your local and personal creditors in it) can be converted by us. Please send the 'synch' disc which you made in step 2 to PG Computing and we will convert it and return it to you wih instructions. The sync disc contains no client or confidential information. If you did not make a synch disc, it may still be possible to use you old database. Contact us for advice.

Synchronising computers on the network is not required, but if you have any standalone PCs which never connected to the network, then these must be synchronised. See the manual for details.

Backing up everything necessary in PG8 is very easy on a network. Just back up the data, stanlets and common folders on the server/master, and you will have backed up all client data, standard letters, creditor database and the VITAL statistics file PGCOMMON.INI
Your network supervisor should have a robust backup routine in place, so make sure these folders are included in it. If all else fails you can back up PGdebt using the in-program backup facility. However to do this PGdebt must be installed and properly configured on the server and the backup can only be made from the server.