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SQL table

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Hi All,

I use 4D V12 on windows, and i need to read and write some SQL server
tables.
How i can do it?

Thanks
Ferdinando
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.ExternalData folder outside of the database folder?

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As I read the docs, there is no way to have the .ExternalData folder anyplace other than inside the database folder and still have 4D manage the files. I guess the mode “Automatic Location/Use default folder” says it all.

My question is, why can’t the path to the default folder be defined by the developer or end user?

The reason I chose automatic location using the default folder was because photos are modified using QPix some time after the record containing the photo is initially saved to 4D. I figured that letting 4D handle the external storage would be a whole lot easier. Now that the .ExternalData folder has grown to over 300gb I would like to put the folder on an external disk. I tried using an alias, but that does not work.

I don’t see why there couldn’t be a way to designate the location of the default folder. Is there a way to do this now that I am missing? Is my thinking flawed in some way? Perhaps this is a good idea for a feature request?

John




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Re: .ExternalData folder outside of the database folder?

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Maybe two things to try...
Can you place the entire data folder on the external drive?
Would using a Symbolic or Hard link work instead of an alias.

Keith - CDI

> On Jun 10, 2017, at 11:07 AM, John Baughman via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> As I read the docs, there is no way to have the .ExternalData folder anyplace other than inside the database folder and still have 4D manage the files. I guess the mode “Automatic Location/Use default folder” says it all.
>
> My question is, why can’t the path to the default folder be defined by the developer or end user?
>
> The reason I chose automatic location using the default folder was because photos are modified using QPix some time after the record containing the photo is initially saved to 4D. I figured that letting 4D handle the external storage would be a whole lot easier. Now that the .ExternalData folder has grown to over 300gb I would like to put the folder on an external disk. I tried using an alias, but that does not work.
>
> I don’t see why there couldn’t be a way to designate the location of the default folder. Is there a way to do this now that I am missing? Is my thinking flawed in some way? Perhaps this is a good idea for a feature request?
>
> John
>
>
>
>
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Re: .ExternalData folder outside of the database folder?

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John,
I was initially excited about this external storage option for the same
reasons: lots and lots of image files I needed to store and index and maybe
have the option to edit via external programs (Photoshop or Pixels). This
is not the real intent of the design though.

I think the goal for storing files externally is to speed up queries on
those records. As I understand it when a sequential (non indexed) query is
performed the entire record is loaded into memory. So not loading these big
text/blob/picture fields instantly speeds up that process a lot.

When folks like us look at it as a storage solution we're hacking it into
something different. For me the biggest issue that instantly came up was
the size of the backup files and the time they took to build. You don't (or
didn't, I haven't checked recently) have an option to exclude external data
from the backup. This makes sense from 4D's perspective because 4D has no
way of distinguishing whether that data is super critical or not. Data is
data so it backs it all up.

Ultimately I went with a scheme where I index the documents in 4D and store
them on AWS (and thanks again to Bruno LeGay for his excellent component
for managing this sort of thing). For image files I store two versions: a
thumbnail (300x300) and the full file. There's an argument for storing the
thumbnail in the datafile. I choose not to and that's very likely just a
matter of taste.

Once it's on AWS getting the file is simplicity itself - you simply
reference its URL. To store a changed copy you'll need to re-upload the new
file. And it's cheap. You can use the cost calculator on AWS to work it out
but I suspect it will cost less per month than you spent on coffee today
plus you've got security options galore.

Ping me offline if you'd like to do a phone call and I'll show you how I'm
using it.

On Sat, Jun 10, 2017 at 10:07 AM, John Baughman via 4D_Tech <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> As I read the docs, there is no way to have the .ExternalData folder
> anyplace other than inside the database folder and still have 4D manage the
> files.
> ​
>

​...

>
> My question is, why can’t the path to the default folder be defined by the
> developer or end user?
> ​...​
>
> I don’t see why there couldn’t be a way to designate the location of the
> default folder. Is there a way to do this now that I am missing? Is my
> thinking flawed in some way? Perhaps this is a good idea for a feature
> request?
>

--
Kirk Brooks
San Francisco, CA
=======================

*The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing.*

*- Edmund Burke*
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External data storage question

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I recently changed storing a picture field outside the database from automatic location to custom path name to file. Still working on getting it ready for deployment.

I just noticed that if I open a form with the picture field displayed, then change the picture to a different image, save it, then reopen the record, the picture field continues to display the old picture. The picture file in the storage folder reflects the new picture. I can actually watch it change as the record is saved. The bad thing is if I save the record again the old picture gets saved to the storage folder and the new picture is lost. If I restart the database, without having reentered and saved again, the new picture displays properly.

I know that I have to manage the creation and modification of the picture on disk which I am doing, but I do not see anything that says I have to load the picture from the storage folder. Am I missing something?

I also recently started working this db in v16 R4 beta so this may be a bug in the beta? I do not really have an easy way to test this is an earlier version of 4D.

John


John Baughman
Kailua, Hawaii
(808) 262-0328
[hidden email]





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Re: External data storage question

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John:

We did this big time long before 4D permitted it autosaving the ‘picture’ outside of the data file that they looked after. Therefore we had to look after the saving, and when loading up the form we had to look after retrieving the ‘picture’ as well. It sounds like you have done almost all the work an it should not take much code for you to be loading the pictures as well. With what you have done now, how does 4D know the path of the document (picture) that you saved. Is 4D caching the picture in memory so that if you reload it right away it uses what is cached instead of going and getting the file again? You can test this by shutting down your app in between.

Jody


Jody Bevan
ARGUS Productions Inc.
Developer

Argus Productions Inc. <https://www.facebook.com/ArgusProductions/>




> On Aug 3, 2017, at 5:21 PM, John Baughman via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I recently changed storing a picture field outside the database from automatic location to custom path name to file. Still working on getting it ready for deployment.
>
> I just noticed that if I open a form with the picture field displayed, then change the picture to a different image, save it, then reopen the record, the picture field continues to display the old picture. The picture file in the storage folder reflects the new picture. I can actually watch it change as the record is saved. The bad thing is if I save the record again the old picture gets saved to the storage folder and the new picture is lost. If I restart the database, without having reentered and saved again, the new picture displays properly.
>
> I know that I have to manage the creation and modification of the picture on disk which I am doing, but I do not see anything that says I have to load the picture from the storage folder. Am I missing something?
>
> I also recently started working this db in v16 R4 beta so this may be a bug in the beta? I do not really have an easy way to test this is an earlier version of 4D.
>
> John
>
>
> John Baughman
> Kailua, Hawaii
> (808) 262-0328
> [hidden email]

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Re: External data storage question

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John,

Ouch. That definitely sounds like a bug to me, so I'd say file it wherever
you're meant to. I think that's on the beta release forum in France.

I can't offer any real help because the only time I've used the external
feature for lots of pictures, we went with letting 4D manage where to put
the file. Then we backed it up into an explicit and sensible file hierarchy
by hand. Worked fine. Made me feel safer...and made the files reusable. (I
know I've mentioned this in the past, but there it is again.) Ask Tony or
me if you've got questions.

I'm on the mainland right now but not coming back through Hawaii. Are you
at home or on the mainland?
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Re: External data storage question

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> On Aug 3, 2017, at 1:45 PM, Jody Bevan via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> With what you have done now, how does 4D know the path of the document (picture) that you saved.

Jody,

        With custom pathname you use the command SET EXTERNAL DATA PATH and the path is saved with each record. In the table trigger for new and existing records…

CREATE FOLDER($imagePath;*)  //$image path is the full path to the picture file inside the external storage folder
WRITE PICTURE FILE($imagePath;[Patient Record]Image)  //saves the current picture in the field to the storage folder

$currentImagePath:=Get external data path([Patient Record]Image)

If ($currentImagePath#$imagePath)  //If this is a new record currentImagePath will be an empty string. This also handles the upgrade to the new custom storage when I deploy.
        SET EXTERNAL DATA PATH([Patient Record]Image;$imagePath)

End if

John


John Baughman
Kailua, Hawaii
(808) 262-0328
[hidden email]





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Re: External data storage question

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He David,

> Ouch. That definitely sounds like a bug to me, so I'd say file it wherever
> you're meant to. I think that's on the beta release forum in France.

        Yep. I am nearly convinced that his is beta bug. I have already found a couple of other bugs and reported them. I will wait a bit to see if I hear back from any others on the NUG before I post this as a bug on the beta forum.

> I can't offer any real help because the only time I've used the external
> feature for lots of pictures, we went with letting 4D manage where to put
> the file. Then we backed it up into an explicit and sensible file hierarchy
> by hand. Worked fine. Made me feel safer...and made the files reusable. (I
> know I've mentioned this in the past, but there it is again.) Ask Tony or
> me if you've got questions.

        Interestingly, I started this many many years ago, before 4D introduced external storage, storing externally with my own code. When 4D implemented the external data option, I switched to letting 4D handle it all automatically.

        The problem is that over time the external data folder has grown to over 200gb in size. The way that 4D implemented the automatic external storage is to include the external storage folder in a 4D backup. This has resulted in backups that take over 3.5 hours to complete. Unacceptable, in my opinion.

        By switching to custom path to file, the backup now only takes about 2 minutes. As an added benefit now all the files can be easily found manually in the finder on the drive. I have them stored by patient name/# and image series. 4D’s automatic implementation of the storage results in an organization of the files in such a way that it is impossible to locate a file in the finder.

        These images are also served to an iPad app. With automatic storage I have to load the record and save the picture out to a file that I can send to the iPad. I am looking at being able to serve the pictures to the iPad directly from the storage folder. In theory that should be noticeably faster.

> I'm on the mainland right now but not coming back through Hawaii. Are you
> at home or on the mainland?

        Just got back last week.

John

John Baughman
Kailua, Hawaii
(808) 262-0328
[hidden email]





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Re: External data storage question

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OK. I got my hand slapped for posting a bug to the beta forum. Somewhat miffed, I created a test db in v16.1 so I can either prove it to be a beta bug, or be able to talk to 4D TS in the morning with a version other than the beta. Well I am having the same problem in v16.1. So, yes I erred by posting a bug to the beta forum.

Anyway…. Anyone have any idea what I might be doing wrong? I do not see anything in the docs that says I need to do anything when opening the record in an input form. Outside of loading the record, I should not have to do anything to get the picture from the file on disk. Is not that the whole purpose of SET EXTERNAL DATA? If I procedurally load the record and check the picture size, 4D automatically loads the picture and I in fact get it’s size.

I have posted the steps I am taking to make this work. Maybe someone can point out what I am doing wrong before I make a fool of myself a second time when I call 4D TS in the morning. ;-)

Thanks,

John



Here is what I am doing in my test DB. I have a table with the picture field set to store the picture outside the data file. I have an output and input form created automatically by 4D in the user environment. The input form has the Image field and a button to load a picture into the picture field.

1. Create a new record, using New Record menu item in the user environment.

2. Load a jpg into the picture field.

3. Click the save button. The table trigger’s on saving new record event does the following...

        a. Saves the picture to my documents folder with WRITE PICTURE FILE
        b. Sets the external data path with SET EXTERNAL DATA PATH

4. Create a second record as above with a different jpg.

5. Return to the first record input form and verify the the original picture is still being displayed properly.

6. Load a different jpg into the picture field. Ok, the new picture is displayed properly. So far so good.

7. Click the save button. The table trigger's saving existing record event does the following…

        a. Saves the new picture to my documents folder with WRITE PICTURE FILE. Same file name and path so the existing file on disk is updated.
        b. Using Get External Data Path, check if the data path is still set properly if not SET EXTERNAL DATA PATH again… it is in fact always properly set.

8. Open the second record just to make sure that every thing from the first is cleared and a different record is loaded. Second looks good displaying it’s picture as expected.

9. Open the first record… The original picture is displayed!!!

10. Restart the database. Now the new picture displays as it should in the first record.








> On Aug 3, 2017, at 1:21 PM, John Baughman via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I recently changed storing a picture field outside the database from automatic location to custom path name to file. Still working on getting it ready for deployment.
>
> I just noticed that if I open a form with the picture field displayed, then change the picture to a different image, save it, then reopen the record, the picture field continues to display the old picture. The picture file in the storage folder reflects the new picture. I can actually watch it change as the record is saved. The bad thing is if I save the record again the old picture gets saved to the storage folder and the new picture is lost. If I restart the database, without having reentered and saved again, the new picture displays properly.
>
> I know that I have to manage the creation and modification of the picture on disk which I am doing, but I do not see anything that says I have to load the picture from the storage folder. Am I missing something?
>
> I also recently started working this db in v16 R4 beta so this may be a bug in the beta? I do not really have an easy way to test this is an earlier version of 4D.
>
> John
>
>
> John Baughman
> Kailua, Hawaii
> (808) 262-0328
> [hidden email]
>
>
>
>
>
> **********************************************************************
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Kailua, Hawaii
(808) 262-0328
[hidden email]





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RE: External data storage question

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> OK. I got my hand slapped for posting a bug to the beta forum.

I apologize for my bad English or being unclear in my answer.
I only wanted to help you to speed up the process, as getting solutions for issues is - in my experience - faster using the 4D Partner support directly, as the team is there to help you to understand the behavior and help to report the bug.
I wanted to help, that's only.
In no way the intention was to say don't do that.
Of course you can post directly, if you prefer that.

I'm sorry
Thomas Maul



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Re: External data storage question

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what happens if you do

[myTable]myPicture:=[myTable]myPicture*0

before you load the new jpg ?

your trigger is running, so the picture is touched for the database, we can assume that.
but the picture on form is not updated, so it sounds like a ref count issue for the form.

besides, you describe

> 6. Load a different jpg into the picture field.


the exact way in which you do that (command, drag and drop, etc) might hold the key to understanding.

> 2017/08/04 17:36、John Baughman via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> のメール:
> 6. Load a different jpg into the picture field.



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Re: External data storage question

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John,

On Fri, Aug 4, 2017 at 1:36 AM, John Baughman via 4D_Tech <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> 3. Click the save button. The table trigger’s on saving new record event
> does the following...
>         a. Saves the picture to my documents folder with WRITE PICTURE FILE
>         b. Sets the external data path with SET EXTERNAL DATA PATH


​I use triggers ​a lot and I avoid actions this involved in them. I view
triggers as a way to check the internal consistency of the record and
enforce data rules. At most I'll do things like apply timestamps and
similar. Triggers need to be very quick. Remember that a trigger is a
function and returning anything other than zero causes the record not to
save or delete.

​Also keep in mind triggers always run on the server. So doing something
like file manipulation is problematic and you can't rely on IP vars.

​I'd move the file manipulation back to the form context. No idea if it
will matter in this specific instance​ but it will be easier to get the
user involved if something isn't working as expected.


--
Kirk Brooks
San Francisco, CA
=======================

*The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing.*

*- Edmund Burke*
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Re: External data storage question

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Kirk,

        Correct me if I am wrong but, there is no choice with external data and client server as the external data folder is on the server machine. The managing of the external file has to be done on the server and a trigger is the logical place to do it as the external file has to be updated every time the image is modified or deleted.

John


> On Aug 4, 2017, at 4:32 AM, Kirk Brooks via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> ​Also keep in mind triggers always run on the server. So doing something
> like file manipulation is problematic and you can't rely on IP vars.
>
> ​I'd move the file manipulation back to the form context. No idea if it
> will matter in this specific instance​ but it will be easier to get the
> user involved if something isn't working as expected.

John Baughman
Kailua, Hawaii
(808) 262-0328
[hidden email]





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Re: External data storage question

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Kirk,

In answering your question I discovered the problem was the command...

SET EXTERNAL DATA PATH([Patient Record]Image;$imagePath)

which apparently has to be called every time the picture is updated, not just when it is created even if the data path has not changed. Apparently SET EXTERNAL DATA PATH not only sets the path, but clears whatever cache 4D is using for the picture. I was calling SET EXTERNAL DATA PATH only if the path had changed or not been previously set.

So instead of…

WRITE PICTURE FILE($imagePath;[Patient Record]Image)
$currentImagePath:=Get external data path([Patient Record]Image)
 If ($currentImagePath#$imagePath)
        SET EXTERNAL DATA PATH([Patient Record]Image;$imagePath)
                                               
End if

I am calling…

WRITE PICTURE FILE($imagePath;[Patient Record]Image)
SET EXTERNAL DATA PATH([Patient Record]Image;$imagePath)

Works perfectly now.

I seem to remember now that when external data storage was first introduced there was some discussion or documentation that a feature of the new storage option was that 4D would cache pictures when loaded so that the next time the picture was needed it would not require a trip back to the file on the disk.


John

John Baughman
Kailua, Hawaii
(808) 262-0328
[hidden email]





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Re: External data storage question

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John,

It's great that you found this and tracked down the solution within a day,
with help from 4D.

Since this sounds like a potentially painful gotcha, it would be great if
the docs were updated with some notes. Not sure how that happens, but I
know that there's a way if you log in to something, somewhere, somehow...Or
4D could add something to the docs.
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RE: External data storage question

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Hi David,

> Not sure how that happens, but I know that there's a way if you log in to something, somewhere, somehow...Or 4D could add something to the docs.

Do you mean this?

Tech Tip: The Comments feature for the Documentation Site .
http://kb.4d.com/assetid=77724

-Tim





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Re: External data storage question

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There's also the livedoc web site where partners can add comments to the documentation.

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Jeffrey Kain
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> On Aug 4, 2017, at 3:45 PM, David Adams via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Since this sounds like a potentially painful gotcha, it would be great if
> the docs were updated with some notes. Not sure how that happens, but I
> know that there's a way if you log in to something, somewhere, somehow...Or
> 4D could add something to the docs.

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Re: External data storage question

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Would the livedoc version get the information into the docs for all
supported versions of the product? If so, it sounds like John could write
it up. Otherwise, what do you have to do - file a doc bug? Is that a thing
at 4D?
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Re: External data storage question

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Not sure - maybe Tim Penner knows for certain?

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Jeffrey Kain
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> On Aug 4, 2017, at 3:57 PM, David Adams via 4D_Tech <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Would the livedoc version get the information into the docs for all
> supported versions of the product? If so, it sounds like John could write
> it up. Otherwise, what do you have to do - file a doc bug? Is that a thing
> at 4D?

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