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Update frontend {mde}

Posted on 2004-04-27
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Last Modified: 2013-12-05
Hey all, after a few ideas..

Here's the se-up

Access 97 on Win 2000 Pro

mde frontend on users C:\ {in same location}

mdb backend on network drive

Basically what i want to do is update the mde if i find a bug / add something new

Here's my idea..

Have a Verison table in the backend that stores the current version of the mde that should be used
Have a similar table in the frontend that has the mde current version.

When the frontend is loaded, check to see if it's the right version, if it is, carry on happily, if its not
then i want to update (delete and copy) a new frontend to the user's pc.

My logic seems ok to me, but how do i go about it???

I thought about something like:

Docmd.Quit
'then running a bat file / some VB to delete the current mde and replace the new one.

Haven't fully tested as its at work, but i tired

Docmd.Quit
Msgbox "test"


and no love, no msgbox..  My thinking is that i'd need to close the mde before copying a new one.. anyway to  do this?

Any ideas on how to do this???  Dont really want to use replica's, but if i need to i supose i could

Cheers!

Dave
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Question by:flavo
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43 Comments
 
LVL 65

Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 10926966
just a thought, when you quit Access, how do you know whether to update the frontend or not?

or are you running another program to check?

you could do this, if version numbers differ then put up a message box saying

"the "app title" client has been updated. Please go to Start/Programs/<App>/Update Now to update your frontend
then do application.quit

so basically when you install the DB's on the user's PC's, have a shortcut which runs a batch file
this batchfile wil perform your copy


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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 10926991
>> just a thought, when you quit Access, how do you know whether to update the frontend or not?

the idea was basically
Function needUpdates() as Boolean
If mdeVersion <> mdbVersion Then

Docmd.Quit
'run some bat file or the like to update and re-open the mde
Else
'continue normally
Endif

and run  it in the Autoexex macro
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Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 10927032
what if the versions were the same and you quit access? that was all, it was just something I was confused about

do you know what I mean?

maybe Im still confused here

if you start access, check for updates
if update required then quit

if you start access, check for updates
if no update required, run normally, then user selected quit to end app



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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 10927046
if you start access, check for updates
if update required then quit

and update the mde, (i'm assuming you cant overwrite the mde while its still open - pritty sure about that one)

if you start access, check for updates
if no update required, run normally, then user selected quit to end app

Runs like nothing ever happened

idea?
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Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 10927108
yea, but Im confused about the ending part, I understand the logic in checking for versions, its what happens after Im a little confused about

say you have a batchfile which runs access and performs updates,
when you quit access, how do you know whether to run the update or not, can Access set a return value?


thats what Im confused about
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Expert Comment

by:IT-Schubertz
ID: 10927119
why checking from within the IDE?
Create a simple batch file as starter for your app.
The batch looks first in a defined folder on your network, if a file named your.mde is there.
If not, no new version is existing
if yes, this is the new version. Copy it to the desired local folder by overwriting the existing one.
Last step is always calling your.mde

We have had a similar problem in the past. An application which was delivered to about 100+ workstations. Every update was a pain in the ass!
However, this solution worked quite good. Although we later (as we changed the network into a Active Directory Domain) we implemented a distribution method over roles.


Happy DOS-coding  :-))

Greetings

Andy
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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 10927141
>>  when you quit access, how do you know whether to run the update or not, can Access set a return value?
>>  thats what Im confused about

That's the bit i was looking for help with... not sure how to go about it at all!..

Any ideas about any way of doing it are fine.. open fully to ideas, mine was just an idea, that now seems to be unworkable..

IT-Schubertz,

Maybe the way....  Really would rather do it in Access, if i can...


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Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 10927154
ok, Dave now I gotcha

well I dont think its possible within Access, you could try this if you really wanted to do it in access, not elegant, but should do the trick

if your function to check for updates,
if update required, then create a temporary file, say "c:\updatereq", then quit

then in your batchfile, after you run access, check for existence of this file
if file exists, delete this file, copy new frontend, restart access


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Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 10927158
sorry, typo, should be

in your function to check for updates

not

if your function to check for updates
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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 10927159
Going to bed, talk about it in the AM (T minus 10 hours) when i get to work.. feel free to keep posting to give me something to play with while drinking my coffee!

Cheers!

Dave
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Expert Comment

by:IT-Schubertz
ID: 10927308
@rockiroads,

this is basically my advise, only making it a bit more complicated :-)
Think about the problems that come to my mind:
1. You have two locations concerning the update process which would have to be maintained:
the access logic for comparing the version information and the batch file for copying and restarting access.
2. If you call the batch file and then quit access (which - as we all know would have to happen in this order), how can you assure that the new version already got copied?
While executing the batch file, Access will probably shut down in this moment. So, unfortunately the -soon to be replaced- mde is still in use.
The batch file would run over that problem and restart Access, but you will still have the old application.
A solution would be a timer which will wait some seconds, but nah! that's not nice style.
So, implementing the logic directly in a batch file (could also be a VB script btw) is the most elegant thing.

Greetings

Andy
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Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 10927398
Hi Andy, yep that could be the case

The use of a temp file was the idea behind the soluton, like I said not elegant

how you implement it is a different matter, Dave wanted it within Access so I just gave the example solution in Access,
your solution is also valid
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Expert Comment

by:stevbe
ID: 10927422
I have used the same approach as Andy in the past but if you really want to do this with Access then what you need is an intermediary database that checks the version, does the copy if necessary and then launches the resulting file. I have used this method also, you can make a nice splash screen wioth the company logo and the "please wait while updating" label if you need to copy the file down. Think about how you can use this to "distribute" all of you front-ends and I bet you come up with a nice little tool. Let me know if I can help with any of the particulars.

Steve
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Expert Comment

by:IT-Schubertz
ID: 10927433
I did not want to point out that my solution is valid. I did it to show the flaws I see in your suggestion. No offense intended.
I think it is impossible to do in Access itself.
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Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 10927459
Andy, no offence taking, I know why solution isnt perfect, and with creating temporary files there will be flaws
you need to check if file created etc etc etc and all the palarva that goes with it

I thought about Steve's idea as well but thought it might be more hassle having two mdb's, e.g. db change
though the splash screen idea is good

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Expert Comment

by:Rey Obrero
ID: 10928345
I have been doing this with my application that needs update.
As Steve have pointed out,
a second mde to do the copying of the new mde.
From the StartUp form of the Application mde.

Private Sub Form_Load()
CheckUpdate                      ' this is just one of the routine at startup
End Sub

Private Sub CheckUpdate()
Dim DestPath, ServerPath
ServerPath = "\\Server01-08\DBFolder\update.mde"
DestPath = "C:\Documents and Settings\" & Me.txtUserName & "\Applicat\update.mde"
On Error GoTo ChkUpdateError
   
   
    If Me!LocRev.Value <> Me!Rev.Value Then
    FileCopy ServerPath, DestPath                       ' copies the the second mde {update.mde}
    CheckVersion
    Else
        Exit Sub
    End If

Exit_ChkUpdateError:
    Exit Sub

ChkUpdateError:
    MsgBox Err.Description
    Resume Exit_ChkUpdateError

End Sub
==============

Private Sub CheckVersion()
Dim Db As DAO.Database
Dim oApp As New Access.Application
    If Me!LocRev.Value <> Me!Rev.Value Then       'Verifies rev again before opening the update.mde
    oApp.Visible = True
    Set Db = oApp.DBEngine.OpenDatabase("C:\Documents and Settings\" & Me.txtUserName & "\Applicat\update.mde")
        oApp.OpenCurrentDatabase ("C:\Documents and Settings\" & Me.txtUserName & "\Applicat\update.mde")
        Db.Close
    Set Db = Nothing

    Else
        Exit Sub
    End If
DoCmd.Quit             'Quit the application , now you can replace the mde. update.mde executes the copying
                              ' of the updated application mde.
End Sub

my $0.02


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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 10933006
I ave seen this at work,,

Open mde, msgbox says -> Your not using current version.  Then it closes, runs a bat file, then opens the mde again {from the bat file}

Ideas??

Ill look into it al little more..  Try and find the Access guy, hes hard to catch, very hard
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Expert Comment

by:Rey Obrero
ID: 10933232
Drop me a line and i'll send you the update.mdb
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Expert Comment

by:Krys_Wilson
ID: 10933817
Hey guys,

I'm not the best at creating batch files but there is a guy here at work that really is great at it.

I'm pretty positive you can do this.

On Load

Check for version
If version is different then open batch file

First thing batch file does is kill the current running process of Access MDE.
Then it does an xcopy of the MDE from the network to the c drive
Then it launches the new MDE.

If you want me to ask my friend here at work how to create this batch file I will do so!

Also, any ideas why this wouldn't work?

Chris
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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 10933821
Tested and this worked.. needs a little work, but you'll get the idea..  Still need to do the checking to see if it needs updating, but thats the easy bit..

Sub test()

Shell "cmd.exe /c d:\db\test.bat"
DoCmd.Quit

End Sub

test.bat ----->

SLEEP 3
del "d:\db\db1.mdb"
copy D:\db-test\db1-test.mdb d:\db\db1-test.mdb
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MSACCESS.EXE" "d:\db\db1-test.mdb"

<---- test.bat

Seems  to work, just glad for once VB doesnt wait for the shell to end before coninuing on its merry way..



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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 10933857
% Krys,
% you want me to ask my friend here at work how to create this batch file I will do so!

Can do it... have a  few examples at work, but thanks anyway..

Here's the "real way", just wanted a little tester first

@echo off

set PROGRAM_NAME=My program
set LOCAL_DIR=c:\somewhere\
set NETWORK_DIR=\\server\dir\
set MDE_FILENAME=MyProgram.mde
set SHORTCUT_NAME=MyProgram.lnk

echo .....
echo  %PROGRAM_NAME% Update in progress
echo ....
echo .


if not exist %LOCAL_DIR%\%MDE_FILENAME% goto MakeLocalDir
goto StartOS

:MakeLocalDir
echo New Installation
mkdir %LOCAL_DIR%
echo .

:StartOS
%NETWORK_DIR%\sleep 5
if "%OS%"=="Windows_NT" goto NT
if "%OS%"=="" goto Win95
goto end

:NT
if NOT "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%"=="" goto Win2000
echo Windows NT
if exist "%userprofile%\desktop\%SHORTCUT_NAME%" goto NT_a
goto NT_b
:NT_a
del "%userprofile%\desktop\%SHORTCUT_NAME%"
:NT_b
copy "%NETWORK_DIR%\%SHORTCUT_NAME%" "%windir%\Profiles\All Users\desktop"
echo .
goto copymde

:Win2000
echo Windows 2000
if exist "%userprofile%\desktop\%SHORTCUT_NAME%" goto Win2000_a
goto Win2000_b
:Win2000_a
del "%userprofile%\desktop\%SHORTCUT_NAME%"
:Win2000_b
copy "%NETWORK_DIR%\%SHORTCUT_NAME%" "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\desktop"
echo .
goto copymde

:Win95
echo Windows 95
copy "%NETWORK_DIR%\%SHORTCUT_NAME%" "%windir%\Profiles\%USR%\desktop"
if exist "%windir%\Profiles\%USR%\desktop" goto Win95_a
goto Win95_b
:Win95_a
del "%windir%\Profiles\%USR%\desktop"
:Win95_b
copy "%NETWORK_DIR%\%SHORTCUT_NAME%" "%windir%\desktop"
echo .
goto copymde

:copymde
copy %NETWORK_DIR%\%MDE_FILENAME% %LOCAL_DIR%
echo .
goto end

:end
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MSACCESS.EXE" %LOCAL_DIR%\%MDE_FILENAME%

echo ....
echo  ... The update is now complete.  This window can now be closed.
echo ....
echo  Thank you.
echo ....

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Expert Comment

by:Krys_Wilson
ID: 10939800
Looks good Flavo!

Let me know how it worked.

Chris
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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 10943504
Will be a while, putting the job on hold for a while..
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Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 10943566
exam time!!!
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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 10943595
2pm (T minus 7 hours...)  Dont really care, only mid-sem and im sooo over it, last subject, then another peice of paper and a few more letters after my name..

Dave.
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Expert Comment

by:Krys_Wilson
ID: 10952609
Ok guys, I am having a problem trying to implement this.

When I run the bat file from Windows Explorer, it works great.

When I call it using VBA with this code, it doesn't work correctly.  It will still copy, but to my C:\WINNT folder.

Call Shell(Environ$("COMSPEC") & " /c M:\SQLSTAF\Test.bat", vbNormalFocus)

The problem is under "Tools>Options>General" my default database folder is set to a UNC server share.  \\Server\Folder

Cmd.exe when called from access can't use the UNC share and defaults to WinNT.  Here is the error at the top of the batch file when it runs.  Please note that it still runs the batch file, it just copies the database to the C:\WINNT folder.

'\\Server\Folder'
CMD.EXE was started with the above path as the current directory.
UNC Paths are not supported.  Defaulting to the Windows Directory.

Now, when I change the default database folder to have a C:\ the batch file runs perfectly.  Unfortunately this setting will be different with all my users and the default is to a server share (\\server\folder) so it wont work for them.  Is there any way around this?

Also, if this needs to be in a different question, let me know and Ill post it there.

Chris
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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 10953809
I had a lot of probelms getting it to work in Access to, worked in DOS, not Access..  Here;s what im using now (havent tested the "real one"

Shell "cmd.exe /c d:\db\test.bat"
DoCmd.Quit

bat file

SLEEP 1
del "d:\db\db1.mdb"
copy D:\db-test\db1-test.mdb d:\db\db1-test.mdb
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MSACCESS.EXE" "d:\db\db1-test.mdb"


I had to play around with the " " a little bit to get it all to work..  If you want the SLEEP.exe i can put it up somewhere  {free from MS i think...}

Dave
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Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 10972701
Congratulations Dave, your in the Top15 again (actually Ive just noticed)

if its just a problem with Shell, why not try ShellExecute, dont know if it makes a difference though, but I thought I'd throw it in.
If its not Shell anymore, Where is the problem now?


run it like this LaunchApp "d:\db\test.bat",WIN_MIN



Private Declare Function ShellExecuteAPI Lib "Shell32.dll" Alias "ShellExecuteA" (ByVal hwnd As Long, ByVal lpOperation As String, ByVal lpFile As String, ByVal lpParameters As String, ByVal lpDirectory As String, ByVal nShowCmd As Long) As Long


'***App Window Constants***
Public Const WIN_NORMAL = 1         'Open Normal
Public Const WIN_MAX = 3            'Open Maximized
Public Const WIN_MIN = 2            'Open Minimized

'***Error Codes***
Private Const ERROR_SUCCESS = 32&
Private Const ERROR_NO_ASSOC = 31&
Private Const ERROR_OUT_OF_MEM = 0&
Private Const ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND = 2&
Private Const ERROR_PATH_NOT_FOUND = 3&
Private Const ERROR_BAD_FORMAT = 11&


Public Function LaunchApp(stFile As String, lShowHow As Long, Optional sPars As String = vbNullString)

    Dim lRet As Long, vTaskID As Variant
    Dim sRet As String
   
    'First try ShellExecute
    lRet = ShellExecuteAPI(hWndAccessApp, vbNullString, stFile, sPars, vbNullString, lShowHow)

    If lRet > ERROR_SUCCESS Then
        sRet = vbNullString
        lRet = -1
    Else
        Select Case lRet
            Case ERROR_NO_ASSOC:
                'Try the OpenWith dialog
                vTaskID = Shell("rundll32.exe shell32.dll,OpenAs_RunDLL " _
                        & stFile, WIN_NORMAL)
                lRet = (vTaskID <> 0)
           
            Case ERROR_OUT_OF_MEM:
                sRet = "Error: Out of Memory/Resources. Couldn't Execute!"
           
            Case ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND:
                sRet = "Error: File not found.  Couldn't Execute!"
           
            Case ERROR_PATH_NOT_FOUND:
                sRet = "Error: Path not found. Couldn't Execute!"
           
            Case ERROR_BAD_FORMAT:
                sRet = "Error:  Bad File Format. Couldn't Execute!"
           
            Case Else:
        End Select
       
        If sRet <> vbNullString Then MsgBox sRet
    End If
    LaunchApp = lRet & _
                IIf(sRet = "", vbNullString, ", " & sRet)
End Function
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Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 10972707
if test.bat doesnt exit, maybe you need to put a exit statement in (thats if one is not already there)
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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 10973817
rocki,

I did get it working, just a pain to get the bat file working from Access, eventhough it worked from the DOS prompt.

Krys was having some prob's getting his version to work.

>> Congratulations Dave, your in the Top15 again (actually Ive just noticed)

Means im on here not doing work that i sohuld be doing :-(

Dave
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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 11555952
heres the final code -

this function is called in the AutoExec macro
tblLocalVersion is locacl to the mde, tblCurrentVersion is linked from the BE. Also has a little routine to copy the shorcut if they deleted it


Function CheckVersion()

On Error Resume Next

Dim db As DAO.Database
Dim rsLocal As DAO.Recordset
Dim rsCurrent As DAO.Recordset

    Set db = CurrentDb
    Set rsLocal = db.OpenRecordset("tblLocalVersion")
    Set rsCurrent = db.OpenRecordset("tblCurrentVersion")
   
        If rsLocal(0) <> rsCurrent(0) Then
            'not same version, need to update
            MsgBox "You are not using the current version.  " & rsCurrent(0) & " will now be installed", vbCritical
            Shell "cmd.exe /c " & Chr(34) & "\\server\path\Update.vbs" & Chr(34), vbHide
            DoCmd.Quit
        End If

'clean up
db.Close
rsLocal.Close
rsCurrent.Close
Set db = Nothing
Set rsLocal = Nothing
Set rsCurrent = Nothing

End Function

'**********************************************************************
then Update.vbs :
'**********************************************************************

Option Explicit
'
'
Dim wait
Dim WshShell
Dim Return
Dim FSO
Dim sUserProf


Const sLocalFolder = "C:\CD_Email\"
Const sMDE = "EmailMgmt.mde"
Const sNetworkPath = "\\server\path\Update\"
Const sLink = "\\server\path\Update\Email Mgmt.lnk"

Set WshShell = CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")
sUserProf = WshShell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings("%userprofile%")


wait = 2
wait_function(wait)

Set FSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

If Not FSO.FolderExists(sLocalFolder) Then
      FSO.CreateFolder(sLocalFolder)
      FSO.CopyFile sLink, sUserProf & "\Desktop\Email Mgmt.lnk", True
      Set FSO = Nothing
End If


Update sNetworkPath, sLocalFolder, sMDE

WshShell.Run chr(34) & "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Msaccess.exe" & chr(34) & " " & sLocalFolder & sMDE

Set WshShell = Nothing

Private Sub wait_function(secs)

Dim enter_time, leave_time

      enter_time = Timer
      leave_time = Timer

            While (enter_time + secs > leave_time)
                  leave_time = Timer
            Wend
End Sub


Private Sub Update(sNetworkPath, sLocalFolder, sMDE)

Dim FSO

On Error Resume Next

      Set FSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
      FSO.CopyFile sNetworkPath & sMDE, sLocalFolder & sMDE, True
      
      'clean up
      Set FSO = Nothing

End Sub



'**********************************************************************
then just for the heck of it, my way of installing it on the local PC
'**********************************************************************

Option Explicit

Dim WshShell
Dim Return
Dim FSO
Dim sUserProf
Dim lResp

On Error Resume Next

Const sLocalFolder = "C:\CD_Email\"
Const sMDE = "EmailMgmt.mde"
Const sNetworkPath = "\\server\path\DataBase\Update\"
Const sLink = "server\path\Database\Update\Email Mgmt.lnk"
Const sLinkFile = "Email Mgmt.lnk"

Set WshShell = CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")
sUserProf = WshShell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings("%userprofile%")
Set FSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")


      If Not FSO.FolderExists(sLocalFolder) Then

            FSO.CreateFolder(sLocalFolder)

      End If

FSO.CopyFile sLink, sUserProf & "\Desktop\" & sLinkFile, True
Set FSO = Nothing

Update sNetworkPath, sLocalFolder, sMDE


lResp = MsgBox("Installation is complete." & chr(10) & "Do you wish to start the application now?", vbYesNo, "????")

      If lResp = vbYes Then
            WshShell.Run chr(34) & "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Msaccess.exe" & chr(34) & " " & sLocalFolder & sMDE
      End If

'clean up
Set WshShell = Nothing

Private Sub Update(sNetworkPath, sLocalFolder, sMDE)

Dim FSO

On Error Resume Next

      Set FSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
      FSO.CopyFile sNetworkPath & sMDE, sLocalFolder & sMDE, True
      
      'clean up
      Set FSO = Nothing

End Sub


Dave!
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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 11757703
I was going to close this with points going to you guys, but really, i think i did it myself.  please feel free to differ.  Im going to close with refund.
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Expert Comment

by:Rey Obrero
ID: 11757714
you should ask for refund, dave

;-)
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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 11759495
I dont think the Q should be deleted, there is some very good info in this, and very helpfull to others.

I think PAQ and refund is the way to go.

Anyone else interseted in my method??  thought it was better than using 2 db's as a FE.

Dave
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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 11761729
ee_ai_construct,

the code i posted @ 07/15/2004 02:23PM EST (Australian East Standard Time) is where the "the same content is in other questions" first came from.  Its up to you what you do with the PAQ / delete option, but i think you will be lossing some very valuable info on how the method was derived if you chose to delete.  It seems to be that most experts have previously used 2 db's (ie. Stevbe, capricon1 {two of the highest experts in this TA} and  IT-Schubertz) to do the same thing that i have done in 1.

Dave.
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Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 11761898
No objections here,

Im happy for the refund, but if this is supposed to be a knowledge sharing exercise, surely it would be better to leave this PAQed rather than to delete it. Its not just the answer but the build up to the answer, that is the extra knowledge in this question

ee_ai_construct, from the original question,there is the answer provided by flavo plus a few alternatives, even though none were satisfactory, it can give some ideas to people reading this on many ways of tackling a problem




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Expert Comment

by:Rey Obrero
ID: 11762201
i agree with dave and rocki

;-)rey
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Author Comment

by:flavo
ID: 11762279
Thanks rock and cap.

usually 2 is better than 1, but in this case its not.  The sol~n works and has been tested with several app's with 400+ users, no problems as yet.

Dave!
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ee_ai_construct (replacement part #xm34)
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by:flavo
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thanks  ee_ai_construct!!!

Dave
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