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Author Topic: How to consolidate separate/disparate CHS databases into a single one?  (Read 517 times)

IainB

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I'm not sure how to go about managing this, or even whether it's feasible.
Is there some way of using CHS to suck in several CHS databases one by one, or their backups, or has it got to be done via .CSV file export/import (which would seem a bit constipated)?
One of the things I liked about NoteFrog was its use of separate stacks, and stacks could  be shared around and split up or consolidated according to one's needs.
I see some potential issues, including, for example:
What happens to image clips? Can they be migrated with the database, or do they get left behind?
Once consolidated, how does one filter out any likely duplicate clips? What about the text parts of the image clips?
How can you attach or (say) re-attach an orphaned text clip to an image clip, so that it has those two tabs?

I expect there's more, but that seems good enough for starters. Any ideas/advice?

Shades

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Re: How to consolidate separate/disparate CHS databases into a single one?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2016, 02:58:07 PM »
Never installed the software and haven't got any other experience with CHS.

There is a manual way of doing this if those CHS databases store their content in a text-based file (which you can easily find out by opening these files in the text-editor of your choice). You might be able to copy the content of one database file into the database you want to keep.

If these are text based files, links to images (and their associated content) should remain intact.

Re-attaching orphans you could do by matching their ID with the clip ID you desire.

However, if CHS databases are spread over multiple files, even if these are text-based, you will have a harder time (un-)matching IDs for all the tasks you have planned.

There is a piece of software called: FlowHeater Designer (free and commercial license). This software can create a 'connector' between databases and/or files for easy import/export of data in the way that you want. Not nearly as powerful as MS BizzTalk from yesteryear, but it uses those concepts quite well.

IainB

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Re: How to consolidate separate/disparate CHS databases into a single one?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2016, 03:46:47 AM »
Hmm. Thanks @Shades.
That's got me thinking a bit more laterally now.
When I started using CHS, I did not have the requirement to do this, but now I do. It's a newly-discovered requirement, and - as I infer from your response - it may have a lot to do with data portability.

mouser

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Re: How to consolidate separate/disparate CHS databases into a single one?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2016, 12:59:02 PM »
There is no way to do what you want currently, since CHS was never intended to work with multiple databases.

If I had to support this, perhaps the cleanest way is to add an import operation to the existing export operation.  So the process would be: Export from your secondary CHS database, delete all the rows you don't want imported into your main database, then import into your main database.

IainB

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Re: How to consolidate separate/disparate CHS databases into a single one?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2016, 02:49:54 PM »
Thanks @mouser, that looks hopeful.
If there was only me that wanted this, then I wouldn't really want to force the issue, but if you reckoned that this could be a generally useful additional functionality, then I'd be interested.
The "add an import operation to the existing export operation" is the type of thing I had expected.
I would tend to delete unwanted clips prior to exporting the data, rather than after.

In terms of requirements, what of the potential issues I mentioned?:
  • Could we use the in-built CHS hash calculation to automate the identification and deletion of duplicate clips after importation to the database?
  • What happens to image clips? Can they be migrated with the database, or do they get left behind?
  • What about the text parts of the image clips?
  • How can you attach or (say) re-attach an orphaned text clip to its associated image clip, so that it has those two tabs?

I shall look for possible alternative tools to help here, from the list (Related programs and credits) given in the back of the CHS Help file.
By the way, there is a dead link in that list, to http://www.baltsoft.com/product_gkb.htm (404). The new site for that is http://generalkb.com/ .

mouser

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Re: How to consolidate separate/disparate CHS databases into a single one?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2016, 02:56:02 PM »
Quote
What happens to image clips? Can they be migrated with the database, or do they get left behind?

good question.

Images are stored as normal files, sorted into subdirectories by date.  You can see that if you go to the File menu and choose "Browse Clip Image Directory".
The text notes associated with an image are stored in the database as normal, as well as the path to the image file.

So if you merged clips the images would migrate over if their location didn't change.  If you merged clips from another computer, you'd have to move over the image files as well, possibly changing the paths to the image files if they have changed.

If an image can no longer be found (for example if user deletes it) then it will still be listed in the clip list database, it's just the image won't be available.


IainB

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Re: How to consolidate separate/disparate CHS databases into a single one?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2016, 05:02:57 PM »
^^ Yes, you just confirmed what I had figured out.
There are pros and cons to having the images in separate files, outside of the database proper. By and large, I think I prefer it that way actually.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 03:40:03 AM by IainB »