On 02:19 PM 2/05/2001 +0100, Jason Morgan said:
>We are experiencing serious instability in Protel 99SE+SP6.
>We have three users continuously using Protel on a shared database
>physically located on
>a remote NT file server.
>There are three machines, all P3 > 600MHz with at least 256Mb DRAM and >1G
>remaining disk space.
>Two are running W2K Pro and the other Win 98.
>Here are some of the problems we are experiencing.
>A user trying to update a library that they don't have Design Explorer
>privileges caused protel to crash
>setting the database backup to a length of 174 characters and killing the
>database copy.
>Opening a document reported that the access record is in use, crashing the
>Any other machine opening the same sheet now crashes with the same error.
>When editing a sheet it not automatically write protected by the database,
>so another user may
>open, edit and save before the first is aware a change has been made.
>(There is a lock file option, but its manual!!)
>+Various exceptions, and "protel has caused an exception" messages.
>Are we the only people with these problems?
>Twice now, we've had to send the file off to Premier to have them check it
>Corruption can happen in a file within a database that may not get looked at
>for several days,
>by then its often too late to resort to a backup (which we take every 2
>hours, upto three days
>deep at present)


I just noted that no-one has responded to your post.  There is almost 
always at least one reply so this was a bit rude of us...

I am running Win2k and 99SEsp6 and I have very very few exceptions these days.

There is known problems with ATI based video cards.  Are all of the 
machines similarly configured (hardware wise)? Do you use ATI-based cards?

The database corruptions sound serious. On this list we have had very few 
reports of DDB corruption even in the very early days of the DDB.  I am 
aware of a few but I cannot recall the details of any and I am not aware of 
any pattern.  Have you had any comment from Protel or Premier (the UK agent 
aren't they?)?  Sounds like you may have info for us - if you hear anything 
pls let us know.

At one site we use shared libraries (NT/Win98 peer-peer network) and we 
have had no corruptions - but I am not aware of any attempts to update the 
library without privileges.

I do not suppose you have tried to replicate the issue in a controlled 
manner have you?

>Opening a document reported that the access record is in use, crashing the
>Any other machine opening the same sheet now crashes with the same error.

What do you mean by this?  Is this related to the library save crash you 
mentioned prior - or is this a completely separate event?

As for write protection for documents opened by one user to prevent write 
access by another - this issue was slightly improved by SP6. At least there 
is a warning - I agree that the lock should be automatic.  As well, a 
second user opening the document should be warned that it is read-only and 
the document title bar should reflect this (a la Word).

Have you noticed under Client Menu (the 
|Preferences there is the Notify When Another User Opens Document 
option.  Although not a forced lock it is useful so you know who is doing 
what and you can then coordinate actions.

I assume you are confident the network and server are all reliable.

Not much help above I suspect - database corruptions seem very rare if the 
traffic on this list is a reliable measure.  And I think most people are 
finding that the number of exceptions has gone done a lot with sp5 and now sp6.

Anyone else using DDB permissions on shared libraries in similar ways to 
Jason?  Is it reliable for you?  Anyone in a position to try some 
controlled trials?  Jason, can you elaborate the sequence of events more 
clearly to allow others to try?  **Warning**: based on Jason's experiences 
I would suggest doing this with well backed up data only.

C'mon list - we can do better than the response so far to Jason's 
problems.  This is exactly the sort of issue that we all want to know about 
- database corruption - yikes!

Ian Wilson

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