legacy Database

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philip kirkham

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Aug 24, 2000
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386
Hi,
I have an MD who has finally got round to asking for an old database be brought into the 21st century.

It was created/written back in the days of windows 95 and works 4 etc, in DOS, from what I can gather the program works extremely well for what it is supposed to do, and from what I can fathem out, the main files(s) are in a .DBM format.

DBM I believe is database manager - the file(s) are 1.05MB and 1.425MB's in size, from what I have determined, the option to save in a format like de-limited text (CSV?) is not possible.

The question - is there a recomended software that can read this format and then convert it to CSV so that can be transfered to excel then on to access or any step in between, the PC is so old that the only way to remove the data is through a 3.5" floppy disk or manually input via screen to screen or print a hard copy (vista pc's will not network through to this compaq through it's network card, nor have I tried to fit a usb card - on a 3/4 full 600mb hard disk there may not be sufficient memory to allow for any additional equipment).

Would I need to move the whole program including the bat file or could I just use the .DBM file?

any thoughts would be appreciated

phil
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2006
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8,450
I feel your pain.
My client has Win 3.1 running his primary data base and will not adjust to reality.
I got this program running under XP, but he insists everything be exactly as it was in Win 3.1.
"Print to file" is too complex for him, so I'm just waiting for the day of Doom when his ancient 486 dies.
You should be able to identify this program, but it may be "Data Ease", and these guys may be able to help. This is not really my field, so someone else may be of more help.
http://www.dataconsultancy.org/
 

philip kirkham

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Aug 24, 2000
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386
Thank you for the replies,

The software the dbm file runs on is called INFOMAST - apparently based in the USA 1982/1983, I am told the software is adjusted to suit the requirements of the user (how you get into it appears to be a mystery).

The old 486 compaq is running fine, it just needs to be retired and a more up to date software to be used, to remove the legacy issue.

Using MS Access, I have generated a 'table' that works well enough to find entries that have been entered, and would be labourous normally (until I figure out how to create queries and reports etc.), it just entering and using the data that is available in the old compaq, I tried unsuccessfully to enter the file onto a computer at home with a 3.5" floppy drive, but it reported the disk was unformatted (probably need to get this pc working first before adding the dbm file into it's access).

Hopefully I can report later when the pc at home is fixed, as to whether a dbm file can be opened by access, though from what I can tell it is not a listed format but it will be interesting to find out if it opens.

best regards
phil
 

philip kirkham

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 24, 2000
Messages
386
Hi,

I had a look at the perl link and I have seen software for converting perl to access / csv etc, only problem is a statement within the pdf in that it says that you cannot transfer data between different platforms, I pressume this means between perl and other formats and not between dbm files, assuming that the perl software does not distiguish between itself and infomast say like an MS excel created csv and a MS works csv.

i.e. that the dbm file from infomast could be in theory transfered to the perl software as it is a dbm file, but not unless it is a perl to csv or access converter.

best regards
phil
 

philip kirkham

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 24, 2000
Messages
386
Hi,

As suspected, Access cannot open dbm extensions neither can MS WORKS even in 'all files', it appears I will have to try to find an editor for perl and see if that opens the file in a format that is convertable to the csv or txt

unless any one else has any more ideas?

best regards
phil
 

philip kirkham

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Aug 24, 2000
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386
Hi,

There was one thing I did not concider and that is an emulator or way of having the DOS program work in a Vista OS if at all possible.

Not being a programmer I would not have the capacity to complete this perfectly, there was an instance where we had a stock control program that was a DOS based unit, where this was opened in Vista via a separate window, something to do with transfering the BAT ! file along with the data.

If this is possible, what would I need to do, I know the folder (in windows) shows a INFOMAST.BAT file and several files with the same name but different extensions eg ORDEAAAA.DBM (main file 1050KB) and files like ORDEAAAA.FILE1 or 2 or 3 etc and in the previous time for the stock control program the program was just transfered to the Vista computer and it open via an icon in the desktop, any advice would be appreciated.

Best regards
phil
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Messages
255
I have run MS-Dos programs under Vista by installing MS Virual PC 2007. Furthermore, you may even be able to 'ghost' a snapshot of the drive, and then do a restore under virtual PC (boot the virtual PC from the HDD imaging program's disk). This has worked for a customer who upgraded PCs to Vista but still were not ready to migrate away from their Peachtree Accounting.
 

philip kirkham

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 24, 2000
Messages
386
Hi,

Thanks for that, after speeaking to the boss, he seemed to think that the person who wrote the program did not even remember how he accessed the program to edit it, so he thinks the program is locked for changing.

As for ghosting I do not have the basic skills to even get that to work, but I will try and see what it entails (spoilt with only ever using MS programs - pity).

We looked at the printing side of the features to see what was available, it appears he put print to 1 - 'screen', 2 - 'printer' and 3 - disk, now this seemed to flag some intrest and after a bit of a discussion the boss said that when they were looking into transfering the data in the late 90's the guy would have tried everything to see if this could be done, so the boss thinks that this function either does not work or may cause a system failure, something he does not want to get into, I am under the impression that it appears to be something the guy may have overlooked, the possibility is that the print to disk could either be to the C drive or a floppy drive, either way the line underneath asks for a file name for it to be saved to. Although it does not state what format would be available, and I am a little too cautious to even attempt it.

Thanks for any comments received, if the ghosting bit is a none starter, it looks like I have 11200 records to manually enter in, on top of the 3500 already scheduled to go in - OH, OH, OH deep joy, speak to you all in about 5 years then when I have access to try and upgrade as a legacy software - Oh I forgot, thats next week, LOL.

Best regards
phil
 
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