Conversion of data from Innovative Software -- SMART Data Manager to current database program (? MS Access or other)

Hi --

I am exploring possible options for converting data in the SMART Data Manager program of the Innovative Software Smart Software System to a system which will be easier to use on newer computers.  The SMART program dates from 1985 (yes, really) and has been used continuously due to the large volume of records already entered into it (approx 80,000 detailed entries of collectible vinyl recordings), and retiscence to deal with changing it (or, re-entering the data).  We currently have computers with various operating systems, from Windows 95, Windows 98 SE and Windows XP.  We have been unable to use the SMART program with anything higher than Windows 95 -- when using it in the DOS base it has crashed the system in 98 and 98 SE, I haven't tried it in XP.  We currently have MS Access 2000.  How can I convert data from the SMART Data Manager to Access 2000 -- or is there another database program which might be better?  

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


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allanau20Commented:
Feesch,

Here's my 2 cents, and I hope it leads you somewhere.

The first thing you need to find out is how to get to the data in SMART.  

Can you build an ODBC  connection? Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Data Sources (ODBC)?

If you can't get to it, then can you export the data from SMART to some kind of file like csv or text?

If you can't do either of the two, then it's pretty tough (I think).  

Trying to help.

HobsonTCommented:
Does this system run on its own server?

If it is similar to a standard application then, have you tried looking at any of the files that are part of the existing system?  From what I have seen many database systems around that time used flat files, or dBase files to hold their data.

<silly>
From what I can gather Innovative Software merged with Informix Software, which in turn was taken over by IBM. Maybe you could send them an email to see if there is a product upgrade...
</silly>
Barbara Curry-KaufmanAuthor Commented:
Hello allanau20 --

First of all, I don't want you to think I am ignoring you!  I have been traveling and did not have any of my "own" computers available.  I am now at the one with Windows 98SE on it, and I have tried to locate ODBC connection on it.  I can't even locate "administrative tools."  This may be of limited help in that all of the data is currently on the Windows 95 computer, which I will again have access to next week.  I will try it again and let you know.  

Thanks for your input
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Barbara Curry-KaufmanAuthor Commented:
Hello HobsonT --

Likewise, I don't want you to think I am ignoring you!  Contacting IBM is a good idea.  I tried searching their site for any related terms I could find to no avail and have sent off a query this morning.  I will let you know.

All of the computers we might be using this data on are individual, not on another server or network.  Once I have access to the computer the data is currently on (the Windows 95 computer), I can check to see if I can import the data into Access as a dbase file.  I read some instructions on that, but have little knowledge of how to do this.  

I will keep you posed on results.  And thanks again for your input.

Barbara Curry-KaufmanAuthor Commented:
To both allanau20 and HobsonT --

I would like to try the suggestions of the appropriate computer before accepting an answer.  Please be patient with me.  

Thanks
allanau20Commented:
Feesch,

NP.  Good comments HobsonT.  What I had in mind is from a programming perspective on how to retriew the data.
But I think it's faster and easier if you could get the data out through SMART.
Like you said, maybe there's a feature that will allow you to dump into a dbase file.  
Or like what HobsonT said, maybe SMART already has some kind of flat file or db files.

Here's a link from MSDN about importing or linking from another data source.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/off2000/html/acconAboutImportLinkData.asp

Hope this helps.

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Barbara Curry-KaufmanAuthor Commented:
Thanks, both of you for your input.  I am still investigating how to do this and haven't found the complete answer, but you both have put me on the right track and increased my understanding of what's involved.  
Your help is greatly appreciated.
Have a good Holiday.
Feesch
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