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MainBoss's auditing facilities examine your database for errors and other unusual conditions. These conditions may arise from a variety of causes:
- Power failures or other system crashes while MainBoss was in the middle of an operation.
- Left-over problems from older versions of MainBoss.
- Deleting table entries that other tables depend on. For example, suppose you delete an entry from the Priority Code table, but one or more work orders still have that priority. The audit report will show you which work orders use the now non-existent priority.
- Typing errors and other kinds of mistakes. For example, the auditing facilities look at the labor records associated with a closed work order, then compares the dates of the labor records to the dates on the work order. If the labor records specify work done outside the period of the work order itself, this usually indicates a mistake in entering dates for the work order or the labor records.
Some of the conditions listed in the audit report may not be actual errors. For example, MainBoss reports any date earlier than 1980 in the database. Most of the time, such an old date is evidence of a mistake when typing information; however, some organizations may have old equipment with a purchase date before 1980. In this kind of situation, you can simply ignore what the audit report shows.
The auditing window lets you correct some kinds of errors. With many types of errors, however, you may need to correct the situation using other parts of MainBoss. For example, suppose you delete a Priority code from the Priority table and MainBoss discovers a number of work orders that use the now non-existent code. The auditing window lets you blank out the priority code on such work orders, so that they no longer use the old code.
However, you may prefer to assign different priority codes to some of the work orders; in this case, you must use the normal facilities to open each work order and assign a new code. Alternatively, you may decide to restore the code you deleted (which means creating a new priority code with the same identifier as the deleted one).
The above example shows that it may take work to resolve the problems listed in the audit report—you may have to edit existing records, create table entries, and so on. We recommend that audit report problems be handled by someone who is thoroughly knowledgeable with your organization's operations.
|Note: Before beginning an audit, we recommend that you reindex your database first (as described in Reindexing). For both reindexing and running the audit, make sure that nobody else is using the database at the same time.|
To obtain an audit report, select Administration —> Database —> Audit from the menu. MainBoss begins by opening a window that indicates an audit is taking place; this window shows the audit's progress by displaying the names of the files that MainBoss is reading. You can cancel the audit by clicking Cancel in this window.
After the files in your database have been examined, MainBoss displays a new window stating the results of the audit. This window contains the following:
Problem list: The main part of this window is a list of problems discovered in your database file. This list has the following columns.
- Table: The table or database file where a problem was discovered.
- Identification: The identification code for the record where the problem was discovered.
- Field: The name of the field where the problem was discovered. Note that this is the name used in the database file; typically, this is a short form of the field name you would see when you use MainBoss to look at the same table.
Problem: A description of the problem. Possible problems include the following:
- Orphan record,AUDIT found a record who noone refers to: An orphan record is one that should be referred to by some other record but is not. For example, when you type in the labor costs for a work order, MainBoss creates labor records; the record for the work order should contain links to all the associated labor costs. However, suppose you are entering a work order and the system crashes after you have typed in some labor records but before you save the actual work order. In this case, your database won't have a work order record that links to the labor records. Therefore, the labor records are orphans—they're just wasted space, because no work order is using them. Other types of orphan records can occur in similar ways.
The usual way to deal with orphan records is to delete them. Click on the line in the Problem list, then click the Delete Record button.
- Lost link, AUDIT found a reference to a record in another table that does not exist: A lost link occurs when you delete a record in one table and other records in other tables refer to the deleted record. For example, if you delete a Priority code from the Priority table, any existing work orders that use that priority will now have a lost link.
There are two ways to fix a broken link. First, you can use Clear Linkage to set the field blank. In our Priority code case, this would blank out the Priority field of a work order that referred to the deleted Priority. Alternatively, you can use Create Link to recreate the lost field. In our Priority code case, this would create a new Priority whose code matches the missing one.
- Bad character in text field: A text field contains a character that MainBoss does not allow (usually a backslash \). The audit window lets you set this character to a blank instead.
- Bad Date: A field contains a value that is not a valid date.
- Date is in the future: A field contains a date that is in the future, even though such a date doesn't make sense. Note that MainBoss does not report this problem if it makes sense for a date to be in the future; for example, the "Scrap Date" for a piece of equipment is typically in the future, so MainBoss does not consider this a problem. However, if the "Purchase Date" is in the future, MainBoss considers this an indication that the date might have been typed incorrectly.
- Date is before 1980: This is considered suspicious for any date, even though there are situations where it might be correct.
- Work start date is past close date: The closing date on a work order comes before the stated date that the work was started. This suggests that either the start date or close date is incorrect.
- Work end date is past close date: The work order was closed before the job was actually finished. This suggests that either the work end date or the close date is incorrect.
- Labor time outside workorder interval: A labor record specifies that work was done on a job before the work order's start date or after the work order's close date.
- Effective reading < previous reading: A meter reading is lower than the previous reading on the same meter. This suggests that one of the readings was typed incorrectly.
- Reading date/time <= previous reading: A meter reading was specified at a date/time that preceded a reading that was already recorded. This suggests that the readings were entered out of order, or that a date/time was typed incorrectly.
- Refresh: Re-examines all the database files and creates a new Problems list. This is useful if you have corrected some of the problems in the list and want to get rid of those entries so you can see what problems remain. It is also useful if you want to see whether you have actually fixed a particular problem.
- Edit: Opens a window that lets you edit the record that is currently selected in the Problem list. For example, if the currently selected line describes a problem in a work order, clicking Edit opens a window that lets you edit the appropriate work order.
This button is disabled if there is no direct way to edit the associated record.
- Next: Goes to the next entry in the problem list.
- Clear Linkage: This button appears when the selected problem in the Problem list may be corrected by deleting the contents of a field. For example, you will see this button if the selected line refers to a lost link; clicking the button sets the appropriate field blank.
- Create Link: This button appears when the selected problem in the Problem list may be corrected by creating a new record in an appropriate table. For example, you will see this button if the selected line refers to a lost link; clicking the button creates a new record with the same code as the missing one.
When you create a new code in this way, MainBoss sets the record's description to a message indicating that the code was recreated in an audit process. In most cases, you'll want to edit this description into something more useful.
- Delete Record: This button appears when the selected problem in the Problem list may be corrected by deleting a record. For example, you will see this button if the selected line refers to an orphan record.
- Print: Prints the audit report. For more information, see Printing an Audit Report.
- Done: Closes the audit window.
Other correction buttons may appear in the audit window to correct problems not mentioned above.
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