Who can use the SkillTrack data conversion programs?
- Customers who are presently using SkillTrack for DOS v1.2 can use the data conversion programs that are part of the SkillTrack for Windows installation process.
- Customers who are presently using SkillTrack for DOS v1.1 must first convert their data into the format for v1.2. Contact SkillTrack Software for more information.
- Customers who are presently using a program other than SkillTrack to manage their business data may wish to convert applicable data from their existing system into SkillTrack for Windows. SkillTrack Software can assist you in this effort; please contact us for more information.
Importing your SkillTrack for DOS data into SkillTrack for Windows
Before you can run the conversion program, you must first initialize the SkillTrack database. Follow the instructions in the document entitled Instructions for installing SkillTrack for Windows.
Close the SkillTrack Database Manager (SKTMGR.exe)
If the SkillTrack Database Manager is running, it will appear as an icon in the system tray of the PC you have designated to be the database manager control station. For Windows network servers, this will be the network server itself; for NetWare, this will be a Windows client connected to the network server. Right-mouse-click on this icon and select Close from the pop-up menu. If you have scheduled backups, SKTMGR will issue this warning:
If you close the database manager, SkillTrack backups will not be performed on schedule. Do you want to continue?
Press the Yes button—the conversion process takes many hours for most production databases, and the overhead of running backups during the conversion will unnecessarily slow the process down. You will make a complete backup of the database when the conversion is finished.
Locating the conversion program files
The installation program placed the conversion program files in a directory below the one you selected for installing SKT.exe and SKTMGR.exe. If you accepted the default directories, the conversion programs will be in C:\SKT\Convert on Windows servers, and in F:\SKT\Convert on NetWare servers.
There are two application files in this directory: SKTSetup.exe is the Windows program you want to run. It will call DOS2WIN.exe, a Clipper program that extracts your SkillTrack for DOS data out of your existing production tables.
Preparing to start the conversion
- If you are converting your data for the purpose of evaluating SkillTrack for Windows (and we suggest that you do so), and if you have room on your network server, we recommend copying your production data to a temporary directory. SKTSetup can be run against the temporary data, which will allow your staff to continue working in SkillTrack for DOS while the conversion is underway. This also provides a reference in case questions arise concerning the completeness of the conversion process: We can always look back to the source data to see what existed at the time of the conversion.
- Please ensure that no other processes are running or scheduled to run on the PC you have selected for running the conversion. For example, NetWare has a feature whereby users may broadcast messages to other stations on the network; all processes on the receiving stations are stopped until somebody clears the messages. (Refer to your NetWare documentation for instructions regarding disabling receipt of broadcast messages on your version of NetWare.)
You will be asked to log in with your SkillTrack initials and password. Any SkillTrack user initials will work; if all else fails, use $$$ and the password you selected for this super-user account when you initialized the SkillTrack for Windows database.
Fill in the data requested:
Where did you install your SkillTrack database (SKT.db)?
Navigate to the drive and directory where SKT.db was installed. If you are running on the Windows server and you accepted the defaults at installation, this would be C:\SKT\Database. However, even if you accepted the default directories, if you are running from a client workstation you will need to change the drive letter (C:) according to the mapped network drive letter (e.g., S:\SKT\Database).
You can either type in the full path to SKT.db or use the directory navigation dialog that is launched when you press the open folder icon at the right of the control.
Where is your SkillTrack v1.2 (DOS) data?
This is the full path to either your production SkillTrack database, or to the temporary directory where you made a copy of the production database.
Where are your SkillTrack resume files (*.rsm)?
If you used the resumes feature of SkillTrack for DOS and would like the conversion program to load your *.rsm files into the SkillTrack for Windows database, navigate to the directory where these files are located. The conversion program expects all of your *.rsm files to be in one directory. If you have distributed these files over multiple directories, please create a consolidated directory and copy all of the resumes into it.
If you do not want to import the *.rsm resumes into your SkillTrack for Windows database, simply place a checkmark in the Don’t load resumes checkbox.
How long will the conversion take?
The answer to that question depends on many factors:
- How large is your SkillTrack for DOS database? You can find the answer to this question by running these DOS commands in your production directory:
DIR *.DB* and
Each of these commands will list files with the designated extensions, and will summarize with a line similar to this: 152 file(s) 63,353,487 bytes
Add the results from these two commands. If the total is in the range of 100MB to 150MB, you are in the size range of the database we used for our testing (our results are listed below).
- What is the megahertz of the PC on which you are running the conversion? Ours was a Pentium 200MHz.
- How much RAM is on the PC on which you are running the conversion? We had 128MB, of which 34MB was available.
- How much cache did you allocate to the SkillTrack database server? We gave it 40MB, but we already knew the converted data would yield a 100MB database. We recommend you use 40MB of cache if you have it available, and less if you do not. After the conversion is complete, you should readjust the database cache to represent 40% of the physical size of SKT.db.
Our conversions took approximately eight hours. Our test sites have experienced similar results (run times in the range of 8-12 hours).
Reviewing the Conversion Log file (DOSDATA.LOG)
When the conversion is finished, SKTSetup.exe will display a log of what transpired during the conversion. For each table loaded, a summary of the number of rows added to SkillTrack for Windows as well as the number of rows rejected will be displayed. Wherever a row has been rejected, the primary key for the rejected row and the error message describing the reason it was rejected will be displayed. You will likely find these messages difficult to decipher, but if you feel you had a very large number of rows rejected, you can send the log to us and we’ll help you analyze it. Contact SkillTrack Software for instructions before forwarding log files to us.
Restart SKTMGR.exe and make a backup
If you have not already read the documentation that accompanies SKTMGR.exe, now is a really good time to do so. It will explain how to make a full database backup, and how to set up the scheduler to make differential backups, even while users are logged into the database.
This is also a good time to reconfigure your tape backup system to copy the backed-up database and transaction log files each night.
Deleting temporary files
The conversion program created a directory below the directory where SKT.db is located. Under default installations, this directory is [Your Network Drive]:\SKT\Database\DOSDATA. It contains the ASCII files created by the Clipper data extractor, DOS2WIN.exe. Once you have satisfied yourself that the conversion completed correctly, you can delete this entire directory from your network.
Additionally, if you made a copy of your SkillTrack for DOS production data in a temporary directory and have satisfied yourself that the conversion correctly transferred your data, you can delete this temporary directory, as well.
Working with the converted data
We encourage you to install the SkillTrack for Windows client on several workstations in your office so that your staff can get to know the new product. Note, however, that the unregistered database has two restrictions:
- Only two users can be logged into the database at one time.
- The database will expire at midnight of the date displayed in the title bar.
When you decide to convert to SkillTrack for Windows "for keeps", you will need to reinstall the SkillTrack Server from the CD and rerun the data conversion. You will also need to contact SkillTrack Software to obtain a registration key that allows all of your users to connect to the database at the same time, and to remove the expiration date.