Multi-User Databases

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Advanced > Multi-User Databases

ClipMate can share data on a network in a workgroup setting.  Although each user should be directing the bulk of their clips to a database on their local hard drive, you can set up a secondary database on a network server for everyone to use for sharing clips.  This can be as simple as a single user wanting common clips on multiple machines, or you can think much bigger.  Consider a tech support or document assembly department able to share common boilerplate clips on the network server.

Previous versions of ClipMate allowed this as well, but it didn't provide for multiple users making updates to the same collection.  Whichever user updated the collection last, would wipe out any work done by other users.  But with our new database technology, you CAN allow multiple users to add or update clips in the same collection.  Additionally, you can opt to have ClipMate poll the database for changes made by other users, and notify you.

To set up a multi-user database, first you must establish a network directory, accessible by a drive letter, to which all users have read/write/create access.  (Note that this has been tested on Windows2000/XP networks, but not Novell)

Next, have one user create a new database in that directory, using the Database Tab in the User Preferences dialog.  Set the directory as appropriate, and select the option for "multi-user, networked database".  Select a user name for this user - it can be their login name, first name, or whatever you prefer.  Use the Read-Only checkbox to limit access to users who you wish to restrict.

Important - every user must have read/write access to the directory.

In a multi-user environment, each user should have their own local database as well.  You do not want Sara's Excel copies to slow down because Tom just copied a bunch of PowerPoint slides.  Instead, users should copy everything locally, and then move important clips onto the network. On the other hand, if you are the sole user of a computer empire in your basement, and want the same clip available at each computer, then you may very well want to just have a single, networked database.

Also, in a multi-user database, you probably want to avoid having collections like "inbox".  You should instead set up meaningful collections, by topic, project, or purpose.  Such as "Tech Support", "Policies", "Stocks", or "How To".  Set them all to be "safe" collections.  And you may want to turn on the Garbage Avoidance, so that if anyone is "sitting" on a collection, and they forget, then the collection won't fill up with their garbage.  Instead, it'll "bounce" back to their own InBox.

Important - the network and server must always be available!

ClipMate needs reliable, continuous access to the database. If a shared database resides on a server that is allowed to hibernate, suspend, sleep, etc., or is on a network that is unreliable, then you will have trouble.  It is NOT acceptable to share a database on the network, when the database server is going to be frequently inaccessible.  Shared databases are for servers or "always-on" workstations.

Refreshing Networked Data:

As users add data to networked databases, each user will see the new data when they switch collections.  So if Joe puts a new tech support bulletin in the "Tech Support" collection, then Mary will see it when she switches to that collection. If she is already viewing that collection however, she can use the File | Reload Collection, or click on the "network update" icon that appears in the status bar when the new data is detected (this is available if the "polling" option is used).

Exclusive Access:

New versions of ClipMate may need to gain exclusive access to the database to perform upgrades to the table structures.  This will require exclusive access to the database.  Check the readme.txt file of any update to version 6.x, to see if there are database changes that will require exclusive access.  If so, you will need all users to shut ClipMate down while you perform the maintenance.  The same applies if you perform other database maintenance.

Shutting Down:

If you are going to shut down the server or PC that is hosting the database, you should close ClipMate on the other workstations first, because they may hang if the networked directory is not available when they log off.

Tech Tip:  There is a table in the database called "users", which keeps track of the individual users in the database, for purposes such as identifying the creator of a clip, or for notifying users of updates.  You can view the current state of the table by going to the SQL window, and entering this SQL:

select * from users;


Or for a fancier report showing which clips were created by which users:

select users.username, clip.timestamp,, clip.title

from clip, users

where clip.user_id =

order by users.usernam