The ABB software family:
The ABB software family entails one database per fiscal year for shared data, and several databases for applications:
(Note: the Classification maintenance utility and the Programmes & Activities library maintenance utility have been merged into one programme database).
or the time being, the application server and the data server are two separate areas located onto the same physical server (\\Server\SYSVOL\ABB, within the “FinPlan” domain of the Ministry of Finance’s local area network). For future developments, it is advisable that data and application servers be separate dedicated servers.
The application server is \\Server\SYSVOL\ABB\Software. Users access it in read-only mode. It hosts the files users do not need to update, basically the programme files.
The data server is \\Server\SYSVOL\ABB\BudgetBases. Users access it in full access mode. It hosts the files users need to update, basically the budget databases.
The Budget databases are “BudgetXXXX.mde”, where “XXXX” is the fiscal year under preparation.
The Budget database.
They are hosted in the data server.
The application databases are:
The classification utility, which entails also the Programmes/Activities’ library maintenance and the links between Functions and Organisational Units.
The budget data entry utility
The “Yellow Book” utility (budget presentation and export)
They are hosted in the application server.
(Note: the “2003” part of filenames refer to the software version, not to the fiscal year)
To protect application databases against accidental tampering due to inappropriate actions by the end users, they are implemented in such a way that they are accessed only through hyperlinks in HTML documents. So, when the user clicks on the appropriate hyperlink, the web browser makes a temporary copy from the application server to his/her local disk and launches it locally (still accessing the data contained in the remote Budget database, though).
Note: it is advisable that all users access shared resources with Mozilla browser instead of Microsoft’s MSIE. The reasons are that MSIE usually launches applications twice instead of once when the hyperlink is clicked on, and above all that it does not make a local temporary copy of them. So, access conflicts may occur with MSIE, not with Mozilla. The installation file for Mozilla is available at \\Server\SYSVOL\ABB\Mozilla\mozilla-win32-1.3.1-installer.exe (Mozilla is “opensource” software, i.e. free).
Among other advantages, this deployment strategy allows:
(However, this may not be true when a non-standard browser is used)
The software development team to maintain the applications in only one location;
The users to access always the latest versions and to run them from local temporary copies (which is faster than running remote shared copies, especially when many users are running the same application);
The users to choose the application they want to run from an explanatory menu screen which is designed and maintained in a single location by the software development team.
The application databases to be saved in a read-only area, while the budget databases are saved in a read-write area (and backed up daily in a read-only area, of course).
Every application to be linked with a selectable budget database.
The sources of application databases are respectively “Classification2003.mdb”
(note the “.mdb” extension instead of the “.mde”
extension). They are stored in a place where they can be accessed only by members of the software development team, who compile and implement them for end users when required.
(the computers’ names are just examples)
The main gateway (in Montenegrin language) to access ABB software is \\Server\SYSVOL\ABB\Doc\MenuABB_CG.html
, a web document containing several hyperlinks that allow the end user launching application software from the web browser (see screen copy hereafter), and reviewing software documentation. (\\Server\SYSVOL\ABB\Doc\MenuABB_EN.html
for the same facility in English). (If you are connected to the LAN
, click one of the above links).
Very important: applications implementation in short
Open the non-compiled backed-up version of the application (for instance: “Classification2003.mdb”)
Use the administrator’s function “Redefine attaches” to link the programme to the desired database (for instance: “\\Server\SYSVOL\ABB\BudgetBases\\Budget2001.mdb”).
Use the “Startup” sub-menu of the “Tools” menu to change the application title (for instance: “ABB Classifications for the Year 2001”).
Use the “Database utilities” sub-menu of the “Tools” menu to create an MDE (i.e. compiled) file (for instance: “Classifications2003.mde”).
Close the application.
Open the newly created MDE file (for instance “Classifications2003.mde”).
Use the “Tools – Database utilities” menu to compact the database.
Copy the “Classifications2003.mde” file in the required folder where network users will access it (for instance: “\\Server\SYSVOL\ABB\software\”).
Make sure that the ABB software menu pages (\\Server\SYSVOL\ABB\Doc\MenuABB_CG.html and “\\Server\SYSVOL\ABB\Doc\MenuABB_EN.html”) contain the appropriate hyperlink to access the application.
All ABB applications require MSAccess 2000 to be used with the “ABB.mdw”
workgroup file. It is located at \\Server\SYSVOL\ABB\Software\ABB.mdw.
It may be copied onto the user’s local hard disk for more convenience.
To join the workgroup, use the wrkadm.exe utility (usually located in the "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\1036" folder).
Note: contrary to their habit, Microsoft have made Access 2000 databases partially compatible with Access XP.
new MicroSoft bug was recently discovered: the pathname to the database where attached tables are enclosed may not exceed a defined but undetermined number of characters. When the length of the pathname exceeds the limit, the linked table manager apparently works but actually does not
, and the behaviour of MSAccess may become unpredictable. The exact limit has not been determined yet. It is recommended to arrange the network deployment in such a way that computer names and folder names are as short as possible.
NB: All work stations should be set up to display a screen area of 1024 x 768 pixels.