PGdebt technical bulletin 9

Using PGdebt on more than one computer when they are not networked

If you have an appropriate licence, you may wish to use PGdebt on more than one computer...generally this is NOT recommended, but if you must do it, please read this note carefully. You must abide by these instructions.

This tech bulletin does not apply when PGdebt is properly networked.

NB. There is a separate bulletin for using PGdebt 7 on laptop computers which can be linked to a network.

Normally the program would be networked if several computers are involved, and the network would solve most problems, but if you are going to use the program on several non-networked computers then you really do have to be disciplined about keeping the computers synchronised. The manual briefly describes this and the help files have more can print out the help files sections. Please read them carefully before you start !

Why do the PCs have to be synchronised ? Because on a network they will all talk together and use the same system files, if they are not networked, the user will have to do manually what the network does automatically, and keep certain files the same on every PC, without networking.

You can avoid synchronising if you are willing to accept the built in statistics without making any changes to these or if the PCs have separate case loads and you NEVER want to combine the statistics from the various computers, then there are no problems...just carry on. However if you may ever want to combine the statistics, then play safe and sync the PCs regularly.

If you do want to combine the statistics and/or change the stats setup in any way, then you must ensure that the file which contains the statistics codes is IDENTICAL on all computers. The only way this can be achieved is to copy the file to each computer in turn, (changing the stats codes on each machine individually will not work, the file must be identical and copying it is the only way to guarantee this). PGdebt contains a 'synch' disc facility to make this easy for you. Basically, you should nominate one of the computers to be the 'main' computer and make all significant stats setup changes on this. Whenever any stats setup changes are made, make a synch disc and use it to synchronise the other computers. This must be done every time you make a significant change to the stats setup.

You should also consider where to keep your data...if you want to combine the stats then data files will have to be kept on floppy discs even though these are very slow. In general this is not recommended.

What constitutes a significant change ?
Any changes made on the screen page Options/Supervisor/Statistics qualifies as a significant change except changing the worker names.
When such a change has been made, the program will tell you with a message that states:

"A vital config file has changed, make system backup"      

The prompt to make a system backup is because the vital stats file has changed. As well as the system backup you should also make the synch disc and use it to synchronise the other PCs and on later version of the program a further message reminds you of this. Note that the System backup and Synch discs are NOT the same thing !   It sounds complicated, but it is quick, simple and easy in practice as long as one person, (the supervisor) takes change of the procedure.

What exactly is synchronising ?
Synchronising means copying the vital file plus some others onto a floppy and making a 'synch' disc. Then take this disc to the next PC and use it to synchronise that one. The vital stats file as well as standard letters, creditor database and templates will be made the same on all PCs
To make the synch disc, start at the main PC and

That completes the procedure on that PC, move on the nest if required. If you wish you may decide what to synchronise by checking or unchecking the checkboxes in the lower section...for instance the second PC user may not want to have his standard letters or creditor database overwritten...if so uncheck these boxes.

NB. Synchronising does not affect the client files in any only updates the PGdebt system files.

I recommend...

To summarise.