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Do you need to upgrade?
Last updated: 7 Nov 2003 by XpertSS.com
If you are using versions of Approach newer than v3.x, see the article 'Versions of Approach for MS-Windows / NT' in this FAQ to see what the later versions give you, and which version is the best one for your operating systems.
Assuming you are running Approach v2.x or 3.x:
NOTE : If you are upgrading from v3.* to v9.* or later, then it is highly recommended that you first upgrade and convert your database applications to v97, and then upgrade to later versions from there.
- If you are running Windows 3.x and using anything prior to v3.02*, then yes you should upgrade to 3.02 at a minimum!
- If you are running Windows 95/98 or ME, you have an option to stay where you are or to move up to any newer version, but the best one to start with is v97. With it you get many new features, LotusScript, and you avoid the bugs that were in v96.
- If you are running or considering upgrading to Windows 2000 or XP, you will likely find that your older Approach versions no longer work properly and they do not take advantage of the power of these newer operating systems. The 9.7 and 9.8 releases come within SmartSuite only, and are the best 9.x versions for these operating systems.
The rest of this article relates to upgrading from v3.02 to v97 or later:
You only really need to upgrade if you want to use LotusScript to create your own functions that are not possible using macros and calculated fields. But there are other "goodies" in the newer releases you will want to consider. Starting with V96/97 many new features were added to make developing your applications easier to do: (And this is not an exhaustive list!)
Like all upgrades, earlier versions cannot use the .apr's created / converted to a later version. Newer versions of Approach cannot save .apr's in earlier formats (i.e... v97 and vME cannot save a .apr in v3.02 format). And you should not share databases between users running V3.02 and V97 or V9.x because the "SmartIndex" file formats are different.
- LotusScript enables sophisticated task automation using an object-oriented BASIC-like programming system. Attach scripts to a wider variety of object-related events than are available when using macros.
- New Internet features include the ability to save views as .HTML or save entire applications in a .APT file for sending to remote users or storing on a FTP or web server.
- Multiple-page forms - up to 5 pages per form are allowed.
- The ability to display a form view as a "dialog box" with tabs for each page.
- The Find Assistant helps you create complex queries with the help of an "Assistant" to guide you step-by-step.
- The ability to assign names to Finds and Sorts created manually on a view or using the new "Assistant" and run them either directly or from a macro.
- A new "Action Bar" with common functions immediately available (Browse, Design, New Records, Find, and select from a list of Named Find/Sorts)
- Updated SmartMasters with examples of LotusScript.
- Drill-down to data from a chart or crosstab to view the records summarized on a worksheet or other view that you select.
- The Message command in a macro can have two buttons labeled by you and set to run other macros of your choice.
- TeamSecurity increases data security by providing customized security privileges for individuals or groups. The application designer can set up explicit control over database access privileges, view access, and design privileges.
Firstly, install the new software and install the latest version of the fix pack (available from the XpertSS.com web site's Free Downloads area usually) before you do anything else. Then test thoroughly all parts of your application.
1) In order to work reliably, all finds you created within macros should be made into Named Find/Sorts and assigned names. Then update the macro Find command to refer to the named find.
2) If you edit a Find command that references a Named Find/Sort in a macro and then exit the macro editor using the "Cancel" key, you will delete the Named Find Sort (a bug that exists in all versions of Approach to-date).
3) You can't use the Find Assistant for variable field finds. Use a view find instead. If the name of the variable field includes spaces, the correct syntax is @"Name of variable Field"
4) Finds you created with formulas and variable type fields may not work. The problem is the order of the fields in the formula. For example, a find with "If(table.field = variablefield)" will work, but if you have it set up as "If(variablefield = table.field)" it will not. (although this DOES work in v3.02)
5) v96/ v97 are unforgiving regarding mismatched field types when using a variable with a predefined find. The find will not work if the variable field type is not the same as the criteria field (although this DOES work in v3.02).
6) Do not save your .apr on a report, crosstab, or chart view unless you also change your Approach Preferences to not "Show" Report Summaries. Otherwise the .apr will open in Design Mode on that view.
7) The format of your form letters may be corrupted and need recreating.
Some people have experienced difficulties with some macros not working after upgrading. If you find some that don't work then you will need to rebuild them. Apparently macros with references to Lotus Notes are particularly susceptible.