MIE Software Support Note
Subject: Best Practices when using MIE Software products Applies to: All Products Date: 16 July 2010

Best Practices When Using MIE Software Products

MIE Software products are database products, utilising Microsoft Access as the software platform. To keep databases as optimised and accurate as possible, we recommend the following practices. These practices are based on advice from Microsoft and from our own experiences dealing with problems that our users have encountered.

Compact and repair your data files regularly

How to compact the data file you currently have open (Summit Event Manager Pro example).

1- Hold down the Ctrl and W keys at the same time. This will display the following:

Compacting Step 1

2- You need to note the Event File Location and Name so you know where to locate the file when compacting. Also, make sure that you are the only person with this event file open. Once you have noted this, click 'No'.

3- Go to File and click on Open Event. You need to open an event that is NOT the event you want to compact. An easy way to remember this is to just open the demo.eve file located in your C:\SEMP folder.

Compact Step 2

Compactng Step 3

4- Go to File, and then click on Compact and Repair Data File.

Compacting Step 3

5- Browse for your event file. You noted the event file location and name in Step 2.

6- Select the event file and click on 'Open'.

7- You will get the following message after compacting has been completed:

Compacting Step 7

8- You can now reopen your event file.

Why should I compact my files?

Environmental factors may leave your data files damaged. The symptoms of a corrupted data file can range from no visible symptoms to '#Deleted' appearing in certain records, to the inability to open one of the objects in the database, to the complete inability to open the file in Access and loss of ALL data.

The Compact/Repair utilities that Microsoft Access provides are built into our current software products as Safeguarded compacts. These utilities are both for optimising normal data files and recovering damaged data files. We recommend that you compact your data files at the following times.
    1. Before you perform your daily backup, compact any event data files (files ending in .eve), contact manager data files (files ending in .cmd) and Summit Central data files (files ending in .mmd) that have been updated that day. This both checks that the data files are not corrupted and minimises their size. We recommend that you use Summit SafeGuard to do this.
    2. Before starting work on a data file for the first time each day. There is no point in entering data into a potentially corrupt data file.
    3. After EVERY time one of our programs does not terminate normally by the user clicking the Exit button, for example, power failure, network failure, invalid page fault, general protection error or accidentally hitting the Restart button on your computer before Microsoft Windows has been shut down. In this case, run Safeguarded compacts of all data files, REGARDLESS of whether or not they have been updated that day.

If a Compact/Repair operation does not complete successfully or you have a corrupt file please contact your supplier or
MIE Software
. DO NOT continue to use the data file as you may be creating further corruptions and rendering a potentially recoverable data file as unrecoverable and IMMEDIATELY make a backup of the corrupted file. Do not attempt to open the backup copy in any way. Failure to follow this compacting regime can result in unrecoverable and complete loss of ALL your data.

Close Summit if you are away from your computer

Leaving Summit open when your computer is inactive, particularly in a network environment, can result in inactive network cards being interpreted as network read/write errors. This can result in Summit data files then being incorrectly flagged as corrupt.

Use the full version of Microsoft Access rather than the Run Time version

Utilising the full version of Microsoft Access makes it easier to determine the product version and allows access to the software source code. This makes it easier for us to check your software and data and provide better support.

Backing up your data files

Unless you enjoy re-entering lost information, backing up your data files is a great habit to develop. Ideally, a backup copy of your data files should be kept offsite or on another memory source such as an extrernal hard drive or a USB memory stick as a safety measure in case your computer crashes or becomes infected with a virus. There are many programs available for backing-up your files, however Summit Safeguard has been specifically developed for Summit products are includes the compact and repair function. To find out more information about Summit Safeguard click here.
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