Feature Article: Data File Integrity Checks

June 2017    Tags: , , , , ,

The Data File Integrity Check (DFIC) and Archive File Integrity Check (AFIC) are important tools used to test data files for valid information and structure. The DFIC can be run from any Tabs3 and PracticeMaster program via Utilities | Data File Integrity Check, whereas the AFIC is run from Tabs3 Billing via Utilities | Archive Integrity Check.

If errors are found when the DFIC or AFIC is run, a report is available to preview or print out. The report provides information on the error(s), including the Error Code and where the error is located in the system (e.g., field, file, client, etc.). DFIC Error Codes can be found in Knowledge Base Article R11653, “Data File Integrity Check Errors,” and AFIC Error Codes can be found in Knowledge Base Article R10771, “Archive File Integrity Check Errors.” These articles provide links to information on what the error means, potential causes of the error, and how to resolve the error.

But when and how often should you run the DFIC and AFIC? We recommend running these checks at the following times:

  • Before backups.
  • During month-end procedures.
  • When moving the data to a new server.
  • When updating the software to a new version.
  • If anything unusual occurs in the software, such as loss of network connectivity or loss of power, or when a fatal error occurs and after it is corrected.

It is very important that errors are taken care of right away. Ignoring errors in the data can compound into larger issues, making the original error more difficult to correct and in some cases not possible. Since some errors require restoring the data, ignoring these errors for long periods of time can lead to data loss, or the need to have your data repaired.

When was the last time you ran the DFIC or AFIC? You can easily see when each of these utilities has been run via the Support Log.

To use the Support Log to determine when a DFIC and/or AFIC have been run

  1. From the View menu, point to Log Files and select Support Log.
  2. Next to Features, select Specific.
  3. In the Select Features window, select Data File Integrity Check and/or Archive File Integrity Check (Tabs3 Billing only).
  4. Click OK.
  5. Click Print.

The DFIC and AFIC can be set up to run when opening the program or at a specific time using a startup option of “/DFIC” or “/AFIC”. Using a startup option in conjunction with a batch file can automate your DFIC and AFIC to run at any time, including after regular business hours. More information on startup options is available in the program’s Help using “startup options” for the Index keywords. Information on automating tasks can be found in Knowledge Base Article R11034, “Automating Tabs3 and PracticeMaster Maintenance Tasks.” Take the time now to verify how often your firm is running the Data and Archive File Integrity Checks so that you can implement any necessary procedural changes.

Help keep your data error free by running the DFIC and AFIC regularly.

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