today’s technical medical office environment, advanced
technology has made available databases that allow the user
secure, safe, and reliable data storage. One critical
factor for reliability of these databases is the environment
– a database is only as stable as the equipment and network
on which it runs. In this paper we will look at possible
reasons data corruption can occur, in particular looking at
the symptoms and the causes.
are few symptoms you may look for that can indicate you have
Lytec, you notice that you are missing data that has not
been archived or deleted.
inconsistencies in the data, such as; bills exist without
any detail line items.
different reports with the same selection criteria
calculates different totals.
·You are getting
database errors, such as, Error 2, 4, 22, 54 and many
Business Software has many tools for fixing data
corruption. However, if the source of the corruption is not
fixed, your data will most likely get corrupted again.
Since data repair services are not free, they interrupt
normal business operations, and otherwise can be costly;
finding the source of the corruption is vital in a
profitable business environment when chronic data corruption
Data Bases thru Version 2005, are based on the Pervasive
Data Base, which is a very stable data base. Version 2006
and later, are based on Microsoft’s SQL Data Base, another
very stable database. Most customers never experience any
database issues for years when using Lytec on a stable
computer and/or network, some customers do have an
occurrence of data corruption once or twice over a several
year period, and lastly, a handful of customers have more
frequent data corruption errors. Rarely does a customer
have chronic data corruption. These errors, no matter how
frequent or infrequent, are all associated with the issues
that are addressed in this White Paper.
numerous reasons why data corruption can occur, however,
there are also many ways it can be prevented and/or obverted
in many cases. It is important to have the latest updates
of Lytec and the Data Base software installed on all of the
computers that use Lytec. Lytec releases periodic updates
(service packs) that can be installed to prevent/correct
known issues. This will prevent known issues from occurring
on your database that have been solved by the manufacturer.
is easy for the inexperienced customer or technician to
blame the Lytec software or the Pervasive (or Microsoft)
Database for the data corruption, the problem is usually
rooted elsewhere. Just because the software manipulates the
databases does not mean that the problem is within the
software. Very rarely a software bug does exist in the
software, but rather these bugs are usually only associated
with an initial release of a particular version. Your
support representative should be aware of these known
data that is processed by the computers in your network, the
more chances a problem can occur from any of the problems
outlined in this White Paper. To reduce the amount of data
that is processed (called Traffic), we highly recommend the
Client/Server version of Lytec. When Lytec reads data in a
peer-to-peer network, it must read a section of the indexes
and a section of the data area of the database. All of
these sections must be transmitted over the network between
the user’s workstation and the computer where the data
resides. If any type of interruption occurs to the process
while the database is receiving changes, then the changes
may not be incorporated fully in the database. This can
result in various database issues that usually lead to
database corruption. This White Paper discusses those types
of problems and they include: power surges or outages,
network connectivity problems, improper program shutdowns
(which could be caused by power surges or outages), memory
errors, and hard disk errors. Compounding the traffic
problem is the number of users connected to a database –
more users provides more opportunities for a problem. The
Client/Server software provides a method for the Lytec on
the user’s computers to send a short message to the server
computer. The server computer reads the indexes and data
sections and then returns the actual data record to the
user’s computer. This reduces the amount of traffic to
usually less than 5% of a peer-to-peers’ network traffic.
Reducing the traffic reduces the chances for a problem to
Additional Client/Server considerations are:
·Use only Windows
2000 or 2003 Server on hardware made for these operating
·Set the network
up as a Domain, not Stand Alone server.
·Be sure you have
also setup DNS correctly for your network topography.
·Make sure all
clients access the network as Domain Users.
·Be sure all
servers are setup with a static IP and that they are listed
correctly in the DNS server.
·Be sure the
network location of the database is shared via the File
Sharing Management Services on the server and that all users
have permissions for FULL CONTROL.
doubt about the above settings, consult with your network
Environmental Issues that
Regularly Cause Data Corruption
computer equipment failure, networking issue, power issue,
or operator issue is the usual cause of data corruption.
These causes are discussed in more detail below.
failures include memory failures, hard disk crashes, power
supply failures or other failures within the user’s
workstation or on the server/workstation where the database
is stored. These problems are unavoidable. You should plan
on Computer Failures happening in your office – it’s just a
matter of time. That’s why backups are so important to be
made on a regular basis. Additional computer failures can
occur because of components in the Windows Operating System
being corrupted by errant software, a hardware failure, and
virus or worm. Virus and worm protection are a must if you
have internet connectivity, especially if you allow your
staff to surf the internet.
Networking issues cause most data corruption. Network
connectivity is the most vulnerable area of your network.
Network cables can get eaten by rodents, crushed by file
cabinets, cut by workmen, stretched by tripping, along with
a variety of other physical issues can occur. Network
technicians equipped with the appropriate network cabling
diagnosis equipment can easily determine if your cabling
meets the specifications of your network cards. In today’s
market, network cable is rated by Category. Category 5e or
6 are now considered the minimum cable quality required.
backups for network switches, routers, hubs, and/or other
networking equipment is a must. Test your battery backups
weekly to ensure they will operate long enough to get your
network shut down when a full power outage occurs.
local power grid has fluxuations due to storms and/or power
outages, you will need to have battery backup equipment on
all of your computers and networking equipment. Otherwise
data may not get fully written to the database, causing
computer operator turns off the computer power without
shutting down Lytec, it is the same as a power outage, and
therefore can cause data corruption.
computer operator uses the Task Manager of Windows to abort
the Lytec program, without allowing it to shutdown
appropriately, some of the data that was destined for the
database may not get written, which again can cause data
crucial that you ensure that all users are disconnected from
Lytec before copying, moving or backing up your database.
The proper way to perform a database copy/move/backup
depends on the database and version. You should consult a
Lytec certified consultant for assistance.
Backing Up Your Data – A White
Paper from Easy Business Software
Protecting Your Office from Internet Vulnerabilities