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How can I avoid errors in my database?

There are several common problems that might arise in your MainBoss Basic database:

Bad dates
For example, you might accidentally type 1007 or 3007 instead of 2007. In some contexts, MainBoss will detect when you've typed in a date that is obviously wrong, but in others, MainBoss will accept whatever you type. Unfortunately, this may lead to problems later on (especially if you migrate from MainBoss Basic to MainBoss Advanced). Other examples of bad dates include "Work Start Dates" that come after the corresponding "Work End Dates" and labor dates that fall outside the period when a job was actually done.
Deleted records that are used by other records
For example, suppose you accidentally delete the record for a Building. Then every other record that refers to that Building (e.g. records for spaces and equipment in the building) now refer to a non-existent building. This can cause numerous problems.
Corrupted data
There are various other ways that data can be messed up, such as computer crashes, disk errors, or using some program other than MainBoss to change alter MainBoss files.
Meters without units
All meters should have associated units of measure; otherwise, the process of transferring data from MainBoss Basic to MainBoss Advanced will create invalid data values. Go through your list of meters to make sure that each one has a unit of measure associated with it.

There are two keys to dealing with such errors: auditing and archiving.

We recommend that you run audits on a regular basis (at least once a month), so that you can catch problems soon after they occur. This is particularly important because some types of errors can multiply as time goes on; for example, if you have an error in a task record, you'll get erroneous work orders every time you generate a work order from the task. By eliminating errors early, you can reduce the number of corrections you have to do later on.

You should also run an audit after any unexpected shutdown (e.g. a computer crash or power outage). After running an audit, and after making corrections, run another audit to make sure the corrections haven't caused more inconsistencies.

We also recommend that you archive old data from time to time. This does more than just improve MainBoss performance; if some of your old records contain corrupted data, the archiving gets rid of those records and makes your database "clean" again.

Migrating to MainBoss Advanced

It's particularly important to have a clean database if you're migrating from MainBoss Basic to MainBoss Advanced. If you're doing this, make sure you're working with a copy of your main database, not the database itself. (See Making a Test Database for instructions.)

The less data to export/import, the less likelihood that mistakes will interfere with the process. Therefore, archiving to a very recent date may save you a lot of headaches by removing old erroneous data. However, as noted above, archiving gets rid of price quote information. You may therefore want to experiment on several test databases, trying to find an archive date that gets rid of bad data with a minimal loss of price information. If any information is lost, you can always copy it by hand from your 2.9 database (which will still be available because you're working from a copy of the database, not the original).

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