ODB Administrator User Guide

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Omnis Data Bridge Administrator Guide

The Omnis Data Bridge, from Raining Data, allows shared Omnis database files on Mac OS X Server for software packages built with Omnis 7 and Omnis Studio. The package provides a simple Object Class to manage the File Open dialog in your Omnis Studio based application. Omnis 7 applications can use a similar method to access the datafiles managed by the ODB process. Omnis database files can be stored in any safe and secure directory on the server, well away of accidental deletion by an unwary end user. The application presents an easy to understand list of available data files to the end user. Saving the selection and log on information as is as it was back in the days of Mac OS 9.

This page presents a portion of the ODB Administration Tool user guide. The developer API and other technical information is included with the product.


Like all things in software, nothing springs from the efforts of just one person. The ODB Administrator Tool is no different, as we have received excellent support from a number of people who we want to thank. First and foremost among these is Alan Schmidt of Bottom Line Software, whose keen eye for user interface detail is clearly evident. Without Alan's support at the inception of this product, the ODB Administration Tool would not exist.

In addition, Kelly Burgess provided a lot of help with the AppleScripts used in various incantations of the product as did the engineering and support staff in TigerLogic's Omnis group who helped us with the ODB process. Finally, Stephen Csomor, who created the Startup Installer we recommend.


The ODB Administration Tool (ODBT) is a collection of a Omnis Studio library and files that ease the implementation and administration of the Omnis Data Bridge (ODB) for Omnis based applications. The ODB overcomes a problem in the Mac OS X file sharing subsystem, and is used with Omnis applications that use the Omnis Data Manipulation Language and attendant data files. The kit includes the ODB Admin Library, a sample data file, and client windows for Omnis Studio and Omnis 7.

The ODB runs on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. As the ODB Adminstration Tool is written entirely in Omnis Studio, it also runs on these three platforms.

ODB Administration Library

The ODB Administration Library is used on the computer hosting the Omnis data file. The library allows you to add and remove access to Omnis data files from the Omnis Data Bridge configuration. The library performs two major functions. First, it reads and writes the configuration files for Omnis Data Bridge, starting and stopping the process as appropriate. Second, it maintains a data file that can be easily opened by any Omnis application, giving the user the impression that the server side process is "seamless".

The ODB Admin library was written to be a stand-alone application. However, you may include it in your applications as a module. As a module, it offers a set of public methods you can use to integrate it into your application work flow.

End User Application

Two sample libraries are planned for the final release of the kit. One is for Omnis Studio and the other for Omnis 7. Each contains several classes that are intended to be added to your application. The classes contain all the necessary code to access the Admin data file and present a list of available data files to the end user. They are used in place of the Open Data File command in Omnis. Modify the window class to match the look and feel of your application.

The classes for the end user application write a small xml file to the Omnis directory that contains the Omnis executable. This file is used to preserve the settings between sessions. It can be copied between installations, as long as the parameters are the same for all installations.

ODB Admin Data File

The data file is named "ODB_Admin.df1". It should be placed on a shared volume that all clients can access. The client window included in the ODB Administrator package will access this data file to present a list of available databases to the end user. In addition, this data file contains all necessary connection data. Use the ODB Admin.lbs to add, remove and update information in this data file.

System Requirements

The ODB Administration Tool Kit has been tested on Mac OS X, version 10.4, using Omnis Studio version 4.1. The end user clients were tested using Omnis 73 version 8.1 and Omnis Studio version 4.1. The code provided may work with other versions of Omnis and operating systems.

The Omnis Data Bridge version 1.4 was used for all tests.


On The Server

Install the Omnis Data Bridge on the server per the instructions from Raining Data.

Install Omnis Studio runtime on the server, again following the instructions from Raining Data. You may use the SDK for testing, but only the runtime installation is recommended for end user installations.

Copy the ODB_Admin.df1 file to a shared volume. In our tests this was hosted by the same machine running the ODB process.

Copy the ODB_Admin.lbs file to any desirable location on the server. Open it with Omnis Studio, and set the pathnames for the ODB_Admin.df1 and the ODB data file directory.

On The Client

You may use the sample library as a module by placing it in the Startup folder of the Omnis installation, and accessing the window class from your own code. You may also copy the classes into your application library. Modify the window class to match the look and feel of your application. Use it in place of the standard Open Data File command in Omnis.

Using the ODB Admin Tool

The ODB Administration Tool is intended to use on the server hosting the ODB process. This section describes the user interface features.

ODB Control tab

This is the main control panel where you start, stop, and restart the ODB process. The status of the process is shown as "Omnis Data Bridge is running" or "Omnis Data Bridge is not running".

Data Files tab

Here you will find the list of data files stored in the ODB_admin.df1 file. A check box indicates whether a given file is included in the config.xml file use by the startup process of the Omnis Data Bridge.

There are buttons to add, modify and delete file descriptions from the list. The delete command does not delete the physical file, only the data file description used by ODB Administration Tool.

After any additions, modifications or deletions, you must "commit changes" to cause the ODB_Admin data file to be updated and the config.xml to rewritten. Commit changes is found on the Actions drop-down menu.

Actions Menu

The Actions menus presents the command relevelant to the Data Files Descriptions displayed in the Data Files tab.

Create Pointer File. Pointer files are small data files that contain only the ODB parameter needed for the Open Data file command. The client software can then select the data file in the usual fashion, read the parameter to establish the ODB connection.

Commit Changes. This command writes the current list contents to the ODB_Admin data file and updates the config.xml file. Changes are not reflect in the ODB process until the ODB process is restarted.

Commit Changes and Restart ODB. A convenience command that ties to together two complimentary functions. Reload Data File List. Simply rereads the current content from disk.

Preferences tab

Here you set the various preferences for the ODB process, including the automatic starting and stopping of the process via a cron job.

Log tab

Displays the current contents of the messages.txt file and info.txt. Messages.txt reports the success or failure of the ODB start and stop operations. Info.txt contains activity log data, if the option is selected on the Preferences tab.

Help tab

A few lines of information that may clear up some behavior that is less than obvious.

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