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Using a Read-Only Version of LIMSDATA
The information in this article applies to LIMS 1.x and Access 2.0.
This article outlines the benefits of incorporating a read-only copy of LIMSDATA in a multiuser environment. Instructions to configure a read-only version are also included.
In a multiuser LIMS installation, incorporating a read-only copy of LIMSDATA can offer several benefits. For example, in a production environment, system performance is affected by many factors including the number of concurrent users, the volume of data maintained in the database, network traffic, server RAM and disk speed, etc. During times when lengthy queries are performed or numerous and/or lengthy reports are generated, this read-only access to LIMSDATA competes with normal data entry. Significant performance gains can be obtained by running such queries and reports against a read-only copy of LIMSDATA. Users of the production database will also notice performance improvements when their data entry no longer competes with queries and reports.
In environments where satellite offices, remote users, or users not easily connected to the lab’s network require access to LIMS data, distributing copies of LIMSDATA for read-only access may also be beneficial. Copies of LIMSDATA could even be sent via e-mail for such purposes.
Use the procedures below to configure a read-only version of LIMSDATA on an existing LIMS workstation. This configuration allows the workstation to be used both for read-only access and continuing to support the production environment (although not simultaneously).
1. Create a new directory on the workstation’s local drive for the read-only version:
2. Copy files LIMSCODE.MDB and LIMS.INI to the new directory.
3. Exit all instances of the production LIMS to close LIMSDATA.MDB then copy the file to the new directory.
4. Edit the new LIMS.INI and update the DataDatabase parameter in the [LIMS Options] section and replace the path to the production version with the path to the new read-only directory.
5. Using File Manager, activate the ReadOnly property of the new read-only LIMSDATA.MDB.
6. Create a new icon in Program Manager to start the read-only LIMS by copying the existing icon that starts the production version. Edit the new icon’s properties:
Description: Read Only Command Line: c:\access\msarn200.exe /ini c:\access\lims\readonly\lims.ini c:\access\lims\readonly\limscode.mdb
7. Start the read-only version and log on using the LIMSAdmin account to reattach tables. Verify that the main menu lists the new read-only version of LIMSDATA. The new icon can now be used by any LIMS user with a login account.
Of course the data in the read-only LIMSDATA is only current at the time it was last copied. However, using network or operating system utilities it is possible to automate the copying process to post a new copy of the read-only database periodically. For example, a copy could be scheduled to occur overnight when the production database is not in use.