FileFlex is designed to operate natively with industry-standard database environments. This short chapter will help you understand how FileFlex works with Microsoft's FoxPro and Access database environments.
Using FileFlex with FoxPro
FileFlex uses FoxPro's native format. FoxPro can read and create FileFlex data files, index files, and memo files as if they were FoxPro's own. In fact, to FoxPro, FileFlex files are FoxPro files.
This compatibility extends to the multi-user edition of FileFlex. FileFlex' internal locking protocol is the FoxPro locking protocol. This means you can transparently use multi-user FileFlex with FoxPro, while both are operating on a database (provided, of course, you program the multi-user functions into your application correctly).
Using FileFlex with Access
When using Access with FileFlex files, the key thing to keep in mind is that Access will think FileFlex files are FoxPro files. So all instructions for using Access with FoxPro .DBF files will apply to FileFlex 3 files.
You can link a FileFlex file into an Access database. To access, the database consists of a number of tables, and each FileFlex .DBF file is one such table. You can also import FileFlex files into Access and export them from Access to FileFlex (select FoxPro format), but that's not quite as powerful.
When you link a FileFlex file into an Access database, you're making the FileFlex data file part of the Access database. Doing this involves the following steps:
Keep in mind that if you link in an index file (a FileFlex .CDX file) along with the FileFlex .DBF file, Access will always need to be able to find the file in order to open the linked table. If you move the file, Access might not allow you to open the linked table.
When Access updates the data in the FileFlex .DBF file, it also updates the .CDX index files to reflect changes. If you're using FileFlex (or FoxPro) to update the data as well, your FileFlex or FoxPro program must also update the associated .CDX index files as well. Access (and all players in this round-robbin of data files) must have current index files.
If you're developing a CD-ROM application and want to use Access with your FileFlex 3 files, you may run into a complication. Access likes to create a .INF file in the same folder as the .DBF files. To link such a table from a read-only device, place the .INF file on a writeable drive. You can hack (you'll have to hack) the Windows registry to specify the path of the .INF file. See the Microsoft Access help system for the topic "Customize Microsoft FoxPro or dBASE driver settings" to learn more about this procedure.
Discuss this chapter on the FileFlex Boards.