Moving data between computers

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Access Anaesthetics was designed as a single user application. However, it is not unusual for a provider to need to use the system on two computers. These might be a desktop computer in the office and a portable computer which is carried on the day's work. Also, we recognise that often a practice manager handles the accounts for a provider at a location other than the provider's office. The Access Anaesthetics licence agreement allows for the transfer of data between such installations provided that both locations are used for the one practicing anaesthetist.


The only file which changes during use of the system is the user's data file, AAUser.mdb. This is the file which should be transferred between computers. For example, an anaesthetist may use his system in a home office, transfer the file to a portable computer, use the portable system to enter data while at work, then transfer the file back to the home office computer at the end of the day. With this system it is important to be aware of which copy of the file has the most up-to-date data.


When transferring the data file, standard methods using Window Explorer are the easiest. You should overwrite the existing AAUser.mdb file with the new file, provided you know you are copying a more recent version. Normally, the system will just open as usual and the up-to-date data will be available.





You can change the name of the user file to any name you like which may help you identify the version of the file. For example, you may wish to call it 'UserFile1999Sep10at9am.mdb'. If you include a date or time in the file name you will always know which is the most up to date file. You already do this when you create a backup (automatic or manual) by creating a backup which is an identical copy of your data file with a different name or location. (You can, of course, use the built-in backup function to copy your data file to a floppy disk for transfer to another computer, instead of using Window Explorer.)


NoteIf you do change the file name or store the file in a different directory on the two computers, you will have to rename it back to AAUser.mdb and put it back into your Access Anaesthetics directory in order to view the data.


Data transfer step by step


The recommended steps are as follows:


1.Using the source computer (e.g. the office desktop), make a copy of the data file, AAUser.mdb onto a floppy disk. You can use either the built-in backup system or Windows Explorer.
2.Insert the floppy disk into the laptop computer and copy the backup file to the Access Anaesthetics folder. (This step can also be done using a direct cable connection between computers, or even by a file transfer over the internet.)
3.If the backup file is not named AAUser.mdb, rename it to this. If a file called AAUser.mdb already exists on the laptop, you will first need to rename or delete it.
4.Open Access Anaesthetics on the laptop computer and add, edit or print your accounts in the usual way.
5.To reverse the process and move the data back to the desktop computer, follow steps 1 to 4, replacing the term 'desktop' with 'laptop'.


CautionAlways make sure you have only one 'active' copy of your data file. If your secretary is entering data on the desktop and you are entering data on the laptop, each data file will have a different set of data. When you move a data file from one computer to another, one of the sets of modifications will be lost.


Snapshot and document files


The above discussion relates to moving the Access Anaesthetics data file AAUser.mdb between computers. As described in the backup section, snapshot files and Word or Excel documents created while using the system are not included as part of the AAUser.mdb file and need to be copied separately. If these files are not copied from the desktop to the laptop, they will obviously not be available to the laptop user.


In practice, since these files are generally only created when accounts or letters are printed on a printer, and since it is likely that they will only be created on one computer (e.g. the office desktop), it may not be necessary to copy these files between the different computers.