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From Brad Moore <bradm6...@hotmail.com>
Subject RE: Methods for upgrading database and application
Date Tue, 12 Feb 2008 16:03:45 GMT
Thanks for your response.  I think I need to clarify a couple of things though.

We are not using Access as the front end, we were using it for the database and now that has
been converted to Derby.  The front end is written in another language that can connect to
the database using ODBC or JDBC.  Moving to Postgre now is not possible with the timelines
that we have, and the fact that the conversion to Derby is nearly completed now.

Unfortunately the way our program works I can not just upgrade the database behind the scenes
without our users being aware of it.  Our program is a product that we sell and our clients
install on their servers and client machines.  I do not have access to their computers to
do the database upgrades.  We use a third party installer app that we can create scripts in
to perform the upgrades (Indigo Rose TrueUpdate).  

TrueUpdate is able to check a script on our web server to determine if there is an upgrade
available.  If there is an upgrade available it informs the user and asks them if they want
to upgrade or not.  If they choose to upgrade then it runs our scripts which includes upgrading
the database as well as the front end application.

The main reason I need to ensure that everyone is out of the database while the database upgrade
is being performed is because I could be adding/dropping columns or tables in the upgrade
and I don't want the previous version's front end application accessing a partly or fully
upgraded database.  If all of the users are disconnected from the database while the database
upgrade is performed then the next time they try to connect to the database the application
checks to make sure that the front end application version matches the back end database version,
and if it doesn't it forces them to upgrade their front end application so that the front
end and back end is always in sync.

This has worked very well for us for several years using this method with the Access database,
but I don't know how to ensure that all of the users our logged out of the Derby database.
 I'm starting to think I may have to add a table to the database that tracks who has logged
in and when, and when they have logged out.  There could be issues with this however, where
if the user shuts down their computer without logging out of the application the table would
still have a record in it saying that they are currently logged in when they are not.

Any other suggestions?



> From: john@kewlstuff.co.za
> To: derby-user@db.apache.org
> Subject: Re: Methods for upgrading database and application
> Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2008 12:23:53 +0200
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> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: Brad Moore
> To: Derby Discussion
> Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 2:51 AM
> Subject: Methods for upgrading database and application
> Hi,
> I am currently working on converting our client/server application from an 
> MS Access database to using Derby.  We have approximately 40 sites that use 
> our software and each one can have from 1 to 10 client computers that 
> connect to the central database.
> The latest issue I have come across is how to handle the application and 
> database upgrades at our client sites.
> Our current process is automated and works like this:
>     1. Check on our website to see if there is a new release available
>     2. If there is a new release available, download the new client 
> application and the scripts to upgrade the database
>     3. Determine if anyone is currently connected to the database prior to 
> performing the upgrade so we are not altering tables while someone is doing 
> work.
>     4. If anyone is connected to the database we abort the upgrade and 
> inform the user that they should make sure all other users are disconnected 
> before performing the upgrade.
>     5. If there are no users connected to the database then we rename the 
> Access file so that no users can connect to the database while we're 
> performing the upgrade.
>     6. Perform the database upgrade.
>     7. Rename the Access database file back to it's original name so it is 
> available for use again.
>     8. Upgrade the client application files.
> =======================================================
> Brad MS Access is the best prototyping tool in the world, and the worst 
> database
> I vaguely remember writing tons of code to make it user friendly, getting 
> around exclusive locks
> and other stuff
> It sounds like a big system you have there, and I think you should also look 
> at big
> systems like Postgres
> I say this becaus I'm not sure of Derby's ODBC support, I dont know if there 
> is an official
> driver... and coming from MS I think you "better" make sure that works well.
> On Postgres using MS Access as a frontend works, I not sure thats Derby's 
> thing....
> Coming from MS Access, I think you thinking small... on these big dB's 
> things like worrying about
> users in the dB before you start routing maintenance... is done for you.
> Setting flags that say... when all the users are finished, lock down the 
> dB... are just flags
> Also in most area's now the bigger dB's are MS friendly (Run Setup) but
> can also do linux
> Anyway
> Derby is a great dB... and its hard to classify them... but making an 
> application that needs
> embedded dB (Derby is great), making an Accounting application where a 
> networked dB
> just falls out of the JRE... Derby and Sun make it easy..
> Aim at sitting in your control tower... and just doing it all, no more 
> download, and users banging their head.
> The user mustnt even know you in the dB and changing stuff...
> Running 10 branch offices.... do you homework is all I wanted to say....
> =======================================================
> Currently we are able to determine if anyone is connected to the Access 
> database by just trying to rename the .mdb file.  If this fails then the 
> database is in use.  I have been unable to find a good way to determine if 
> there are any users currently connected to the Derby database.  I have found 
> mentions of calling NetworkServerControl runtimeinfo and looking at the 
> Active Sessions, but I don't know of a way to call that function and return 
> the Active Sessions results to the installer program that I am using (Indigo 
> Rose TrueUpdate).
> Is there any other method for determining the number of users that are 
> currently connected to a Derby database?
> Also, is there a way to lock the database so that no users can connect to it 
> while the upgrade is being performed?
> Is there anyone else that has a similar type of situation, and how did you 
> handle it?
> Thanks,
> Brad 


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