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How can I test features of MainBoss Basic (especially new releases) without interfering with my existing data?

There are several situations where it is useful to create a test database:

In these cases, it's useful to create a test database separate from your regular (production) one. (Note that your MainBoss licensing agreement permits creation of such duplicate databases for testing purposes.)\

To create a test database, follow these steps:

  1. As always, back-up your existing database before doing anything else (Administration -> Database -> Backup).
  2. Reindex the database (Administration -> Database -> Re-Index).
  3. Back-up the database again.
  4. Locate your database files. Typically, these will be in C:\MainBoss. If not:
    • Right-click on the desktop icon or program menu entry that you use to start MainBoss. In the resulting menu, click Properties.
    • The "Start In" field in the properties window displays the name of the folder containing your database files.
  5. Using Windows Explorer, open the folder that contains your database files. You will see files with names like access.cdx and access.dbf.
  6. Create a new folder and copy all your database files to that folder. You can do this by:
    • Using Windows Explorer, select all the database files (e.g. by pressing Ctrl+A).
    • Right-click the set of selected files, then in the resulting menu, click Copy.
    • Click somewhere outside the set of selected files (to unselect them). Right-click, then in the resulting menu click New -> Folder.
    • Windows creates a new folder and waits for you to give the folder a name. Enter a name like Test.
    • Double-click the new folder to open it. Since it's new, the folder should be empty.
    • Right-click the empty folder. In the resulting menu, click Paste. This will make copies of all your database files.
  7. If you typically start MainBoss from a desktop icon, right-click on the icon and then click Copy in the resulting menu. Otherwise, if you typically start MainBoss from the Windows Programs menu, right-click on the MainBoss entry in the menu and then click Copy.
  8. Go to the Windows desktop. Right-click the desktop, then click Paste Shortcut. This pastes a shortcut icon to MainBoss on your desktop.
  9. Right-click on the new desktop icon. In the resulting menu, click Rename. Give the icon a useful name like Test MainBoss.
  10. Right-click the new desktop icon again. In the resulting menu, click Properties.
  11. Set the Start In field to the name of the folder where you copied your database files.
  12. Click OK to close the window.

You can now use this desktop icon to work with the copied files (i.e. your test database) rather than your real database.

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