I have uploaded the latest version of the PARP:PS database. The major difference between this one and previous versions is the syncing. I have syncing working on the following tables: AuditTrail, Trenches, SU, Finds, Finds Attributes, Media, MediaLink, Ceramics, QuantifiedPottery, ReportPhases, SoilSamples, Measurements, and SUCompType (which I would like to get rid of but not right now).

Most of the details involving the syncing mechanism are described in an earlier post. In summary: the parent database is the one that lives on the ‘server’ computer. It is the master database. While it is opened, multiple other computers can connect to it from our limited wi-fi network and add/edit records. The parent database is then closed and copied onto each of the iPads (or other computers that are working outside of our network). Those databases are renamed PS_11_child. The child databases are then edited, copied back to the main laptop, and the scripts are run from the Parent database. Currently, I run the script 1_1 Import Audit Trail from the Scripts->Sync menu. That starts the ball rolling and the last step of each scripts is to run the next script. You can disconnect that process by removing that last script step from each section. The scripts also provide some feedback concerning the number of records that are being updated with each step.

The scripts themselves are written in pieces to make it easier to edit them. You might find that you have to do this if you change the name of the parent database. Script steps x_2 and x_3 import data from one table in the parent database to another table in the database. Those steps will have to be edited if you change the file name. If there is no file named PS_11_child when the script steps ask for one, you will be prompted to find it, so changing the name of the child databases shouldn’t be a problem.

An important point to make with this process is that the syncing steps are wholly dependent upon accurate timestamps in fields. Those timestamps are automatically entered when a record is created or modified but I ran into some problems late last week that were related to the iPad recording the wrong time. It was set properly in Settings-General-Date & Time. That is, my time zone was right, but when I tell the iPad to set the time automatically it sets it for four hours earlier. I haven’t figured out why this is the case, but I have to make sure that all iPads are set to the correct time in the field.

This database syncs by having a shadow table for each main table. So there is an SU table and an SU Shadow table. The child records go into the shadow table and are compared with the main SU table. For this to work properly, if you make a change to the SU table on the parent, you must make the same change to the SU Shadow table, or the fields will not import correctly.

We are currently still in the process of testing the scripts and syncing mechanism. We also have a couple of internal questions to settle on matrices and elevation recording, so this isn’t quite the database that we will use this year, but it is close.

Update– I added the full DDR report and reposted the archive. A DDR report is a full description of the database in (this case) html format. Open the DDR folder and double-click on Summary.html to see how detailed. I am in the process of updating the documentation for the use of the database as well.

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