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Create DDF

Create DDF

(OP)
It feels funny posting in a forum that isn't visited very much! I am trying to recreate some DDF files and I know all of the field information. I am looking for a builder that i can use to create the DDF if I enter the field information into it.

Any suggestions? I am using v8, if that makes a difference. When I had to do this five or six years ago I just modified the file, but I didn't want to have to do that this time. I just want to be able to build the ddf. Another option is to read my ddf, modify the field length that I need to increase and create a new ddf. Any hep would be appreciated.

RE: Create DDF

You should be able within the Control Center to add a new table and work through the fields. In V8, there was an "unlinked" or "unbound" mode that affected only the DDFs rather than both the DDFs and data files. You may want to use that mode when adding the tables.
A better option would be to take the field information and write CREATE TABLE statements.

Mirtheil
Certified Pervasive Developer
Certified Pervasive Technician
http://www.mirtheil.com

RE: Create DDF

(OP)
I was looking at your web site earlier and it looked like you knowledgeable about Pervasive! The problem is, our set-up is different that most companies, I think. We actually don't use most of the tools. We create the files and dlls ourselves from files that define the fields, lengths, and data type. As well, we define the indexes in a file. With that being said, I don't use any SQL in my data access. This may sound different, but it is all I know. I learned how to program while working at this company and this is just he way we have done it.

This is why I was looking for something to create the DDFs knowing all of field information. Does this change anything? I don't really want to get in and try to change the DDF files again. I just have to change the length of one field, but it is a pain to test, but I will if I have to. I assume you may have not of heard a company operating this way. Or, maybe you have...

RE: Create DDF

In all the years I've worked with Pervasive / Btrieve, I've seen all kinds of ways of doing things. The way you describe is very similar to how most shops accessed the Btrieve engine before the rise of ODBC and Relational access.
Before I suggest some alternatives, let's step back. A few questions:
- What interface do you use currently (Btrieve API, ActiveX, PDAC, OLEDB, ODBC, etc)?
- What are you going to do with the DDFs you are creating?
- Can you give an example of what you are trying to do? You say you're changing the length of one field. Are you adding or subtracting to the length?
- Are you changing the data file as well?

Mirtheil
Certified Pervasive Developer
Certified Pervasive Technician
http://www.mirtheil.com

RE: Create DDF

(OP)
That makes me feel a little better. I have been working with this DB for a lot of years being a this company for 17 years now. Not programming all of them, but most of them. With that being said, I will answer your questions with the best of my knowledge.

- What interface do you use currently (Btrieve API, ActiveX, PDAC, OLEDB, ODBC, etc)?
I guess I don't how technically answer this. We (I) write all of our software and DLLs in VB .NET and VB6. We also use Excel very extensively for reporting and some updates by setting the references to our DLLs. We have Pervasive v8 installed on all of the machines that access the data. This is our main portion of operations. We also use UPS and FedEx software to import data to ship packages. It uses ODBC, which is where my problem is.

- What are you going to do with the DDFs you are creating?
The DDFs are to be able to import shipping records into UPS and FedEx programs. I already have it working from years ago, but we are increasing the length of one field. I think that last time I did it we manually just changed the DDF, but I don't remember because it was five or six years ago, I think. Maybe longer.

- Can you give an example of what you are trying to do? You say you're changing the length of one field. Are you adding or subtracting to the length?
I am increasing the length of one field from 7 to 10 characters. Basically, we are running or of invoice numbers, so we have to increase the length.

- Are you changing the data file as well?
Yes, we are changing the data file, but that won't be handled by me. That process is pretty easy and will be taken care of by my boss, the owner of the company. The record length will stay the same. We have room at the end of the record to restructure the data and add on more length to our invoice number.

I hope that is complete enough.

RE: Create DDF

That helps a lot. Here's what I would suggest. Since you're changing the data file separately, using a tool like Smithware's DDF Builder (if you have it or can find it) or the Table Designer in "Unlinked" mode is probably your best bet.
In both tools you will be able to open the DDFs and the specific table (or tables) and modify the definition without changing the data file. It's been a while since I used V8 so I had to pull out my docs. In the User Guide on page 5-58 (page 218 in the PDF), there is a section called "To set a Btrieve column size." These are the steps you'll need to length of the field. You might need to adjust the fields after the one you're changing. I just can't remember.

One thing that is very important: Make sure you are using the latest version of v8. I believe it was v8.7. Early versions of V8 had problems with Unlinked mode in Table Designer.

Mirtheil
Certified Pervasive Developer
Certified Pervasive Technician
http://www.mirtheil.com

RE: Create DDF

(OP)
It sounds like a step forward. I am very unknowledgeable about the Pervasive tools. Frankly, the one tools that I use are the pervasive Software Monitor Utility and one more when I am logged into the server, but I don't remember what it is at this point. I want to error on the side and I am not sure what tools to open. The last thing that I want to do is goof anything up.

I did read about the Smithware DDF builder and that pervasive bought them in 1998. I didn't see any tool to download though. I will try to figure this out more and we do plan on upgrading sometime soon in the future. I think that we have some older servers that were preventing us from doing it and we are in the process of upgrading them now.

RE: Create DDF

Google a product named FastDDF Builder. I've used it for setting up and modifying V8 DDF files.

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