How can I test features of MainBoss Basic (especially new releases) without interfering with my existing data?
There are several situations where it is useful to create a test database:
- If you intend to start using features that you haven't used before, you might want to "play around" with the features in a test database before actually putting them into your production database.
- If you are putting in a new update of the software and want to make sure that everything works the way you expect before you start using the new software "for real."
- If you are migrating from MainBoss Basic to MainBoss Advanced and need to "clean up" your database before the migration process.
In these cases, it's useful to create a test database separate from your regular (production) one. (Note that your MainBoss licensing agreement permits creation of such duplicate databases for testing purposes.)\
To create a test database, follow these steps:
- As always, back-up your existing database before doing anything else (Administration -> Database -> Backup).
- Reindex the database (Administration -> Database -> Re-Index).
- Back-up the database again.
Locate your database files.
Typically, these will be in C:\MainBoss.
- Right-click on the desktop icon or program menu entry that you use to start MainBoss. In the resulting menu, click Properties.
- The "Start In" field in the properties window displays the name of the folder containing your database files.
- Using Windows Explorer, open the folder that contains your database files. You will see files with names like access.cdx and access.dbf.
Create a new folder and copy all your database files to that folder.
You can do this by:
- Using Windows Explorer, select all the database files (e.g. by pressing Ctrl+A).
- Right-click the set of selected files, then in the resulting menu, click Copy.
- Click somewhere outside the set of selected files (to unselect them). Right-click, then in the resulting menu click New -> Folder.
- Windows creates a new folder and waits for you to give the folder a name. Enter a name like Test.
- Double-click the new folder to open it. Since it's new, the folder should be empty.
- Right-click the empty folder. In the resulting menu, click Paste. This will make copies of all your database files.
- If you typically start MainBoss from a desktop icon, right-click on the icon and then click Copy in the resulting menu. Otherwise, if you typically start MainBoss from the Windows Programs menu, right-click on the MainBoss entry in the menu and then click Copy.
- Go to the Windows desktop. Right-click the desktop, then click Paste Shortcut. This pastes a shortcut icon to MainBoss on your desktop.
- Right-click on the new desktop icon. In the resulting menu, click Rename. Give the icon a useful name like Test MainBoss.
- Right-click the new desktop icon again. In the resulting menu, click Properties.
- Set the Start In field to the name of the folder where you copied your database files.
- Click OK to close the window.
You can now use this desktop icon to work with the copied files (i.e. your test database) rather than your real database.