By Penelope Perkins, Senior Technical Writer
Users who have clamored for a multi-user Repository for years, your wait is over! It’s here! And it’s been here since the release of Synergy/DE version 10, which supports multi-user access of structures, files, templates, formats, and enumerations. Now, one user can edit a template while another edits a structure. Or, multiple users can edit different structures simultaneously. Even if you are the only one who modifies the repository at your company, this new feature still provides benefit because it allows you to run multiple instances of the Repository program and switch between them, editing different definitions in each window. As multiple users add and delete records, definition lists will change. You can quickly refresh the definition lists for structures, files, templates, formats, and enumerations by pressing F5 or selecting List > Refresh from the menu.
With multiple users modifying your repository, it is inevitable that at some point two of them will bump into each other. If you try to edit a record that is locked by another user, you’ll see a “record locked” message and be given the option to view the definition instead. You might also see a “record locked” message when you attempt to save changes to the definition you are editing. If this happens, you will have to either wait for the other user to finish or cancel your changes. These conflicts occur because locking takes place at the record level. When you commit a change, all affected records are locked. This means, for example, that even a minor template modification could lock hundreds of records, because it would also lock any structures that include fields using that template, any child templates associated with it, and so on. (On OpenVMS, you may need to increase your Enqueue quota [Enqlm] to accommodate this.)
A simple conversion will make your version 7, 8, or 9 repository ready for multi-user access in version 10. When you open a repository and select a definition for editing, you’ll be prompted to convert. In the unlikely case that you are still using a repository from version 6.1 or 6.3, you’ll need to convert it yourself using the rpscnvt utility. You can find detailed instructions on using rpscnvt in the version 10 Repository release notes.
Once a repository has been converted, there’s no going back. A version 10 repository cannot be accessed by pre-version 10 Repository or by other pre-version 10 Synergy/DE programs and tools, such as Composer, Workbench, and the compiler. If you really need to access a converted repository in an older version of Synergy, you can generate it to schema in version 10 and then load the schema into the older version, as long as you have not added any version 10 features, such as new file definition attributes or new field and key types.
For most of you, conflicts with your co-workers—at least when it comes to editing the repository—will be rare. We think you will find that multi-user access in Repository makes your work flow more efficient and that the wait was well worth it.