This article describes the changes to the structure of Acute Softwares Network Diary, and how to convert existing data to the new version
Why did the structure of the Program Change?
The Problem was that Network Diary was too difficult to setup for the average user. Large companies with a professional IT person were fine, but most of our customers were small businesses who just wanted an easy way to share appointments and tasks. The old version of the network diary, although scaleable was complicated to setup correctly and did not handle laptops connecting and disconnecting from the network.
Also, for privacy reasons the master versions of each users data files lived on their own PC and only public events and meetings were copied to the central database using a server. This process proved to be troublesome, and many customers complained that this feature was not even required - 'we just want to share all our information'
How does the new Diary work?
The solution was a simplified Shared Path for all users. All users save information in the same folder, and the information is uniquely identified by their username. ( e.g. D200508.duncan, D_Tasks.jane ).
A separate server is no longer required as everything is on the one spot, and the new Diary client manages all saving of the files. The result is that it makes appointments loading and saving much quicker and there is the added bonus of a simplified backup (everything is in one spot)
Do I get an upgrade for free?
Yes, all existing registered customers are entitled to a free upgrade to version 6.0 of the Network Diary.
What new features are in version 6.0?
Faster - working with other users events is much faster Simpler - very easy to install Better Sharing - users can open other users diaries and manage events, tasks and notes remotely. This was the number one requested feature.
What features have been taken out of version 6.0?
Due to the fact that there is no longer a server running on the Network Diary, some features have regrettably been removed:
- Chat:- chat over the LAN is no longer supported
- Message Notification when users add meetings do not occur (although you instantly see the new events on your diary when you go into it)
Can I still use the old version?
Yes, of course. Existing customers are still supported; it's just that all new features will be on the new version only. The larger installations which are managed by IT administrators will probably not have a reason to upgrade.
Is there any privacy in the new version?
Yes. Now that all information is on a shared folder, privacy of events is obtained through encryption - to make an event private, simply tick the 'Private' checkbox and the details for this event will be encrypted. Even though others can see an event in your diary they will not be able to read it.
Do problems occur if 2 people try to write to a diary at the same time?
No, there are no problems. This situation could occur if you are adding an event to your diary and someone adds a meeting for you at the same time. Normally on a shared folder there would be data loss (the person who writes first, gets the information overwritten by the person writing second).
The network diary uses a 'Safe Save' method of writing to the data files, so in this instant the 2nd client waits for the (0.01 - 0.5 second) delay while the first client finishes before updating the saved file.
How do I setup the new diary
Uninstall your existing copy of the diary (Start Menu > Acute Software > Uninstall Network Diary)
Delete the old netDiary.ini file (C:\Program Files\acute\netdiary\data )
Download the latest version from acute softwares website and run the setup program.
Install to the same place (C:\Program Files\acute\netdiary) as your current program.
Start the diary and choose Options > Datafiles. Point to the new shared folder
Still in the options menu, go to Staff and add your name to the user list (if you haven't already done so)
How can I convert my data files to the new format?
You can use the utility from Acute Software called 'convertD60.exe' to do this, but basically all you need to do is :
1. Decided on a username (check with admin and make sure no spaces)
2. rename your tasks file from d_tasks.DAT to d_tasks.yourname
3. rename your events files from D200508.dat to D200508.yourname
4. rename your notes files from allnotes.DAT to allnotes.yourname
5. copy all files from your local folder (C:\Program Files\acute\netdiary\data into the new shared data folder (e.g. N:\shared\diary )