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WinMSS Database

WinMSS Database

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WinMSS Database

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The WinMSS database is a Microsoft Access database named "WinMSS.mdb" that resides in the application directory. The WinMSS Development Team suggest you regularly perform two maintenance functions:


Regularily back-up the entire WinMSS.mdb database to ensure your data is secure.
Regularily compact the database to reduce its size improve its performance.


Important: You must ensure that the WinMSS.mdb database file is not in use when you back-up, otherwise you may create an incomplete or otherwise unusable back-up!  By using the display connected computers feature, you can confirm that no other computers are accessing the WinMSS database prior to your back-up.



A good back-up strategy allows you to recover from any hardware, software, or human error in a reasonably short time.  WinMSS back-ups can be performed at two different levels: at the database level and at the match level.


Establishing a Back-up Recovery Point

You take a back-up to establish a point in time such that if anything "goes wrong" afterwards, you can recover everything back to how it was at that point in time and then go forward.  Taking a back-up is also referred to as a checkpoint.


The formula is common sense: The longer the back-up intervals, the longer it takes you to recover.  Conversely, the more frequently you take a back-up, the less time it takes to recover.


Looking at two strategies:


1) No back-ups taken at all, before or during the Match.  With this strategy, you have a single point of recovery - the very beginning.  In the case of a complete hard disk failure, you would have to setup the Match all over again, and reenter all of the scores.  If this were to happen on the last day of a major Match, it would be a crisis.


2) Back-ups are taken several times during the life of the Match. This is a safer strategy. How often you back-up is primarily determined by how much time can you afford to spend on a recovery. Generally it takes much less time to perform a back-up than it does to recover after a hard drive failure.


A Recommended Back-up Strategy

This strategy addresses the recovery of Match data, and assumes that you have a system level back-up strategy that provides a recovery point in the case of total failure.


Prior to any match, it would be wise to back-up your WinMSS database (the WinMSS.mdb file located in the same folder that you placed your WinMSS application in), and then compact it (see below: Compacting and Repairing your Database, below).


During a match, it may be more convenient to back-up just that match, rather than the whole database.  A match level back-up can be done using the Match Export/Backup feature.  Most matches can be successfully exported to a single blank, high-density, floppy diskette.


Usually, you are entering data from documents such as Match application forms or Score Sheets.  You need to coordinate the documents with a back-up so you know what data has to be keyed back into the system, after recovery from a back-up has been made.


Before the Match:

Take a back-up after each significant amount of data input.  Specifically, you should back-up the Match after:

Creating the Match and entering the Stage profiles.
Entering a significant amount of membership information.
Establishing or editing competitor information with Squads, Affiliations, Teams, Tags, Contest Divisions, Power Categories, etc.


During the Match:

Take a back-up after:

Final registration and last minute updates.
After each batch of Score Sheets has been entered, or at least twice a day.
At the end of the day, prior to printing Match results.


Don't overwrite a prior back-up when making a back-up.  If something goes wrong, you could lose both.


Recovery After a Failure

In the very unlikely event that you have to recover from some sort of failure, restoring the WinMSS database file (WinMSS.mdb) is sufficient in most cases.  If you only need to restore a single Match that has been previously exported using the WinMSS Export Match feature -- just use the WinMSS Import Match feature and specify the same folder (windows directory).


Compacting and Repairing your Database

The database can become fragmented from frequent use. You should periodically compact the WinMSS database to reduce its size and to improve WinMSS' performance. The "Compact and Repair Database.bat" batch file is included with WinMSS to make this task very easy. Backing up your database before compacting is recommended.


To compact the WinMSS database:

1.Exit WinMSS.
2.Back-up the WinMSS database file.
3.Execute the "Compact and Repair Database.bat" batch file, located in the application folder.
4.When you are prompted to do so, press any key to proceed with the compact process.



Batch Files