Starting the Presentation Server

didyouknowoiWhile most of an application’s configuration information is stored in various application database records, there are some startup options that need to be determined before the actual database can be accessed (i.e. before the OpenEngine virtual machine is loaded).

The Presentation Server can be configured with a wide range of options at startup, via means of an RXI configuration file, and/or a set of command line switches.  Both methods support nearly all of the same options, but any option specified by a command line switch always overrides the same option specified in the configuration file.

Presentation Server configuration (RXI) files

There are nearly twenty options that can be applied when starting the Presentation Server and adding these as switches to a command line shortcut can be a tedious and error-prone exercise. In order to remedy this, it is possible to create an RXI (Revelation Xml Ini) file to store these options instead, where they are read and parsed by the PS during its boot-up sequence.  Read On…


What’s New in OpenInsight 10.0.4

didyouknowoiStarting with OpenInsight 10.0.4, “child” processes launched from OpenInsight can be configured so that they do not consume additional license seats. In particular, CTO, AREV64, BRW, and O4W calls (using the engine server’s built-in web server) made from a copy of OpenInsight will not count against the licensed count of users.

For example, a single user copy of OpenInsight can now run the IDE, a CTO session, and generate a BRW report at the same time.

Note that this enhancement requires both OpenInsight 10.0.4 (or above), and the Universal Driver 5.2 (or above).

OpenInsight 10.0.4 will work with the Universal Driver 5.1, but it will not exhibit these license enhancements until it is
“paired” with a UD 5.2.

To take advantage of this license enhancement for O4W and engine server tasks, users/developers must update their eserver.cfg file (either directly or through the Settings dialogs). In particular, any passwords that are currently explicitly embedded in the eserver.cfg can be replaced with an asterisk (“*”); this indicates that the specific connection should use the enhanced licensing.

This also has the additional advantage of no longer requiring manual updates to the eserver.cfg file when passwords are changed for the applications or users defined in the connection string. (As an additional enhancement, the username can also be replaced with “*” if you wish to use the ‘default user’ created for an application).     

OpenInsight 10 (10.0.4) will be the final version to target Microsoft’s .Net framework version 4.6.  The next version of OpenInsight 10 will target .Net 4.7.

Certain versions of Windows (for example, those running Windows 10 version 1507 or earlier) may have difficulty installing the .Net 4.7 framework.  Before you install the next release of OpenInsight 10, please ensure that all required systems have been upgraded to .Net 4.7.  For more information click HERE.

Click HERE for a copy of the OpenInsight 10.0.4 ChangeLog.

Catch Up Time

Firstly, I am sorry for having been so quiet recently.  As many of you will know, I have been heavily involved with learning OpenInsight 10, planning and then producing the OpenInsight 10 Quick Start Videos.  I have now produced and published 46 individual lesson videos on my OpenInsight 10 YouTube Channel and I still have reporting and a few other topics to cover over the next few weeks.

However, I wanted to share some wonderful news that came to my attention a couple of weeks ago.  Every year Database Trends and Applications (DBTA) publish their annual industry awards and this year OpenInsight 10 was voted the Reader’ Choice Award Winner in the Best MultiValue Database category.  This is quite the accolade considering that OpenInsight 10 has only been released for a very short time and it is a very welcome acknowledgement of the fantastic work undertaken by Mike, Carl and the whole developer team at Revelation Software.

If you would like to experience OpenInsight 10 for yourself, please drop me a line via and I will get back to you as quickly as possible with details of the OpenInsight 10 evaluation.


Increased OpenInsight 10 WORKS User Count

didyouknowoiThose of you that have been watching my initial OpenInsight 10 videos, will not have failed to notice the OI Management Console and the tools that this powerful feature brings to all OpenInsight 10 (OI10) Systems Administrators.

Not only does it expose some really useful information and statistics, as well as much easier remote configuration, but it makes administering a live system so much easier through the brand new Command Channel.  The guys at RevUS touched on this in their recent Introduction to the Features and Benefits of OpenInsight 10 Webinar and I show working it in my video which provides a Quick Overview of OI10.  Jump to around 12 minutes and you’ll see the Management Console running as an O4W application in the built in OI10 browser on screen.

Anyway, interest in the Management Console was high following the Webinar and a thread appeared on with regards to some people having trouble running the Management Console and needing a 10 user O4W license to run it.  Whilst running it online is super useful and convenient because System Administrators can access the Management Console from anywhere in the world and at any time, some people might just want to run it locally from their desktop using their OI WORKS license.  This is how I ran the system in the videos.

Even in this local based setup, O4W and the Management Console consumes an additional license, or two – it’s the nature of O4W.  Now, I’ve sat in many a presentation for software where the vendor says “Hey, we have this amazing module, it’ll change your life and that of your users.  Ohh, but it’s going to cost you …”.  Heads quickly fall like a child being offered a big bag of colourful sweets, only for the parent demanding a week’s worth of chores to be completed before access is granted to the bag of sweets.

Revelation Software have once again shown its ongoing commitment
to its OI WORKS community.

It looked like Revelation Software were heading down this same route, but, true to form, Bill told me about an OI WORKS discussion forum posting from Bob Catalano over the weekend.  In the posting, Bob confirms that the Management Console will not function with the usual 2 user OI WORKS license and because of this a decision has been made to increase all existing 2 user WORKS licenses to a 3 user license.

This is brilliant news, it shows Revelations commitment to its highly valued OpenInsight WORKS community of professional application developers and it provides yet more value from the, already, invaluable WORKS subscription service/license.  However, those of you opting for the cheaper NUL based license for your developers will need to look at increasing your NUL license accordingly and in the normal license increase manner.

If you are an active WORKS subscriber looking to work with OI10, please log into WORKS and head over to the WORKS forum for further details on claiming your new OI10 authorisation key.

If you are an expired OI WORKS subscriber or wish to get onto OI WORKS to gain access to OpenInsight 10, please contact your local Revelation office and one of us will be more than pleased to discuss your needs.


Quick Catch Up

So, I’ve been quiet on the blog for a few days but I’ve been far from quiet in the office.  As well as the day job, I have been busy creating OpenInsight 10 (OI10) Lesson videos and there are currently ten lessons online.  I’m now getting into building forms, so now is a good time to head over to my new OI10 YouTube Channel, catch up on what I’ve been doing and also please remember to subscribe.

Subscribing and commenting lets me know that it is worth my time creating these videos and that people are finding them useful or not.  If you are a positive comment, a like and subscribe online would be welcome.  If not, please drop me an email explaining why and I’ll try to change before I get too much further into the series.

I am also pleased to feature the RevUS DBTA video from yesterday.  This is a video that features Mike Ruane, Bryan Shumsky and Bob Catalano (all from Revelation Software in the USA) all talking about the many “Features and Benefits of OpenInsight 10”.

In addition, and a first for my YouTube channels, I have a guest presenter.  Andrew from Sprezzatura worked on something for me recently and which will become a big time saver and another example of using the OI10 tool set, rather than cutting and maintaining code.  His video went live this afternoon on the channel.

Anyway, please like, subscribe and comment and help me to keep putting in the hours to get the series of lessons completed and, once that’s done, I’ll be looking for other OI related subjects, hints, tips and how-to’s to video.

The channel can be found here:

New OpenInsight 10 YouTube Training Video Playlist


Several of you have been chasing me about the OpenInsight 10 (OI10) training videos recently and the need for these was highlighted recently with the news that we have several non-OpenInsight MultiValue developers taking an interest in the tool set.

I have just finished producing the first three videos in the training series and I have published them to my new OI10 YouTube Channel and in a new playlist which will be added to as I get to finish more videos.

These first three videos are fairly light weight:

  1. The first touches on what OpenInsight is, where is came from and there is a quick overview of the OI10 development environment.  The overview is a reproduction of one of my earlier videos but it is included here for people who are new to OpenInsight and it is therefore conveniently placed in the Lesson playlist.
  2. The second video looks at installing the OI10 evaluation software and making some initial configuration changes ready for the training videos to be followed.
  3. The third video looks at how to create your first application and how to add an application level user into the system using the enhanced security.

I have also added a link to my earlier OpenInsight 9.x tutorial video playlist and which is located on a totally separate YouTube channel.

As usual, access to the video series is 100% free and I hope that existing and new OpenInsight developers and users will find the series of videos useful.

If you have not already, please be sure to subscribe to the channel to get notification of when additional videos are uploaded.  I expect this to be fairly frequently initially and then things will slow up as I have to learn more about the massive changes that have been delivered in OpenInsight 10.

As always, please comment below the videos to let me know that they are being watched and whether you find them useful or not.

Renaming a Table

didyouknowoiSo, I build most of my applications without much planning and preparation.  Yeah, yeah, I know P*** poor planning = P*** poor performance, but I am not a professional and I don’t pretend to be, I just quickly knock systems together for a hobby, as a learning process and also for demo purposes.

In the the following case, I had a table called MP_OPPORTUNITIES, named thus for historical reasons and so that I could easily copy and paste code from another application into this one.  However, the application that I am working on ‘might’ make it into OpenInsight 10, or I might release it on a case by case basis to OI WORKS developers, I’ve not decided yet, and for that reason I’d like to have table names and form names that make some sense.

Anyway, the form would be better named MP_ORDER_ENTRY and therefore the corresponding data table would also benefit from being called MP_ORDERS (following my naming convention).  So, I dropped into the Database Manager, changed the table name and was prompted with the Impact Analysis report.  I noted the items and duly renamed the table.

Problem 1 – The form now opens as read only and I cannot change the data bindings, as I had expected I would :(.

Plan B: Restore from backup and this time I’ll clear out all of the data bindings in the form, save it and then rename the table.

Problem 2 – OI will now not save the form because I appear to have a rogue data binding and OI cannot find column ” “.  I checked all of the data bindings and even removed a couple of edit tables, alas no joy!!

A quick call to support and once again the guys put me on the right track.
It is always easier to do things the right way, instead of blindly ploughing into self made problems.

So, if you have a badly named table, this is the best way that ‘I’ have found to put your system right:

  • Design the database and system properly from the outset ;-).

    This should be a given,  but if you are like me, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Firstly take a good backup of your system, right before you try this and not the day before, like me (will I ever learn?).
  2. Open the Database Manager, select the table that you wish to rename and rename it to your new table name.


  3. When you rename the table, OpenInsight will conveniently run an Impact Analysis check on the system and report entities that you might (will) need to look at following the renaming of the table.  OpenInsight does not (at this stage in the OpenInsight 10 development) rename all of the values throughout the system for you.  That’s currently a manual process.

    In my case, this means looking at two forms.  For a system that might be a little older, it gets a little more difficult and you might have popups, reports and other entities to consider.  It might even be worth sticking with your badly named table.  After all, the only time that end users are likely to see the table name is if you have exposed any report writing tools to your users.

    I should also point out that, I have previously chosen bad table names and I have renamed them before creating any forms, popups, reports, etc. against the data tables.  Those rename perfectly and with no extra worries or work involved.

  4.  So, we now have our renamed table and list of problem forms.  Lets sort those out by opening a record (Ctrl+R, or Open Record), selecting SYSREPOSWINS as the Table Name and locating our required Record/s.  In my case it is the form called SYPHERSPOS**MP_OPPORTUNITY_ENTRY (as shown below).


  5. This will open up the record in the OpenInsight Integrated Development Environment (IDE) using the appropriate tool, the System Editor ++ in this instance.  For the uninitiated (like me), this is a daunting screen and one in which (I think) someone with only a little knowledge can do a lot of damage – so be careful and get advice if you don’t know what you are doing.


  6. Thankfully, OpenInsight’s ‘Find and Replace’ feature comes to the rescue.  From the Search menu, we select Replace and we are prompted with the dialogue window shown below.  Simply enter the value that we want to search for in the ‘Find what’ prompt (our old table name in this instance) and the new new table name in the ‘Replace with’ prompt.  All very straight forward.


    OpenInsight will then trawl through the record and let you know how many instances of the value have been found.  Click Replace All (as above) and the System Editor makes the changes and reports the replacements accordingly.

  7. So, we now have a renamed table and a form with an old name and new data bindings.  We can now launch and run the form and it’ll work just fine, pulling data from the newly named table.  However, one last step is needed to put our system right.

    We open the MP_OPPORTUNITY_ENTRY form in the Forms Designer and simply select ‘Save As’ from the File menu and save the form with the new name – MP_ORDERS.


    This will leave you with both our new MP_ORDERS form and the old MP_OPPORTUNITIES form.  Open the old form and select Delete from the File menu and you are done.

Of course, all of this hard work could have been avoided if I’d spent a few minutes properly planning my system.  However, it is nice to know that OpenInsight and the guys at Revelation Software still have my back and if I get myself into, they can help me to get out of that mess again.

Note to self – It really is time to get some proper training 😉

Thank you to Andrew and Bob for helping through this.