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Help Desk


Common Questions & Answers

E-Data: Frequently Asked Questions

Users Capabilities
Server Configuration
Settings Configuration
E-Data Customization
Specific Problems and How to Solve Them

Users Capabilities

  1. Is there any way to password protect entries, giving each user a unique password?
  2. Can users edit their own information?
  3. Can users add images or photos to the e-mail directory?
  4. When doing a search, what command would visitors use to see all directory entries?

Server Configuration

  1. Does E-Data run on Microsoft NT Server?
  2. My server does not support. pl extensions. Can I change the .pl extension of E-data to .cgi in order to make E-Data work?
  3. Which file type does E-Data use to store all directory information in?
  4. How many users can E-Data realistically support before it starts to slow down?

Settings Configuration

  1. Which settings are configurable?
  2. To add a new field, in which section of the dir.pl file should I make changes?
  3. How do I add new fields to the directory entries?
  4. How do I add fields to the confirmation form?
  5. How do I add fields to the update form?
  6. How do I add new fields to the entry form?
  7. How do I add a new field to the updated entry display?
  8. How do I add a new field for the displayed changed-password entry?
  9. How do I add a new field for the displayed confirmed entry?
  10. How do I add a new field to the display-all-requested page?
  11. How do I add a new field to the search-requested page?

E-Data Customization

  1. Do I need to customize E-Data offline?
  2. Can I add, change or delete fields?
  3. Can I change font types, font size and font colors?
  4. If I have an existing MS Access file of users can it be imported into E-Data?
  5. Can the "subscribe to mailing list" option be turned off?
  6. Can I use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to customize how E-Data looks?
  7. I don't want all e-mails to be displayed. Is there a way to do that with E-Data?
  8. Would I be allowed to run the script from in two different versions, say one in English and one in German?
  9. Can I translate the output to another language?
  10. Is there any way for the administrator to delete entries without having to go directly into the phonebook.txt file?
  11. Can I send e-mail to the members of the directory using E-Data?

Specific Problems and How to Solve Them

  1. When someone enters a URL in the directory and the URL contains a tilde "~" it shows up in the directory as a blank space, which of course breaks the link. Is there a fix or work-around for that?

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Server Configuration

1. Does E-Data run on Microsoft NT Server?
E-Data works in any platform, like Windows NT,  that supports Perl 5.x. You need to have Perl installed in your computer. Once you customize E-Data you will have to upload the program to a directory that runs cgi applications (e.i. cgi-bin).

2. My server does not support. pl extensions. Can I change the .pl extension of E-data to .cgi in order to make E-Data work?
You can change the extension .pl to .cgi in E-Data so that it works. But make sure you change all references to .cgi as well. It will work without any problem.

3. Which file type does E-Data use to store all directory information in?
E-Data creates a text file which can be easily imported into a database, spreadsheet, or any other software that handles text files. The HTML formatting is done on the fly by reading from this text file.

4. How many users can E-Data realistically support before it starts to slow down?
There is no limit in the number of users the program can efficiently support. However, the more powerful the computer in which install the program, the more users the program will be able to handle efficiently.


Users Capabilities

1. Is there any way to password protect entries, giving each user a unique password?
Users can register using their e-mail address as a "user name" and will need to choose a password. If they forget their password the program will remind them of the hint word.

2. Can users edit their own information?
Yes. E-Data has "Edit" buttons next to each user's entry. By clicking on that button, users will go to a page where they can edit their own information. It is password protected. If they forget their password the program will remind them of the hint word.

3. Can users add images or photos to the e-mail directory?
E-Data allows you to link to a any image URL in the web. If the URL is valid, the image will be displayed in E-Data.

4. When doing a search, what command would visitors use to see all directory entries?
The default entry form includes a button labeled "Display All Entries". Clicking it is the only way to display all entries.


Settings Configuration

1. Which settings are configurable?
Some of the settings you need to configure in the dir.pl file are:

Relative location of this script (near line 7)
$cgiurl = "/scripts/adventia/edata/dir.pl";

Maximum number of search results to be displayed (near line 9)
$max_count=10;

Set to yes/no to enable/disable login (near line 11)
$require_login="no";

Location of the phonebook file. This must be the (near line 14)
# absolute UNIX path (eg. /usr/local/info/phonebook.txt)
# or DOS path if running on a Windows server

E-mail of the database administrator. (near line 26)
$webmaster = "support\@adventia.com";

Message displayed when user enters an invalid password (near line 125)

Add new fields if needed (near line 272)

All respective settings are commented starting with the text "# CUSTOMIZE:" and is immediately followed by a description of the setting and how to specify its values.

2. To add a new field, in which section of the dir.pl file should I make changes?
You should make changes in the following sections where the   commented txt line # CUSTOMIZE: appears:

- DIRECTORY ENTRIES (line 77)
- CONFIRMATION FORM (line 337)
- UPDATE FORM (line 414)
- ENTRY FORM (line 681)
- ENTRY UPDATED (line 1051)
- PASSWORD CHANGED (line 1141)
- ENTRY CONFIRMED (line 1213)
- DISPLAY ALL REQUESTED (line 1246)
- SEARCH REQUESTED (line 1312)

Each section is easy to locate in the code by its titles along the dir.pl file. In the next points we explain how to add a new field, making the respective insertion in each of the above sections. The code is self-explanatory.

3. How do I add new fields to the directory entries?
The directory entries are the results displayed whenever a user executes a search or clicks on the "Display all entries" button. Let's say you want to add the "Phone Number" field. To add the new field follow the next two steps:

a. Go near line 77 of the dir.pl file to add the header for the new field. Within the "sub print_table_headers {" insert the following code:

              print "<TD CLASS=\"color1\"><STRONG>Phone Number</STRONG></TD>";

b. Go near line 277 of the dir.pl file to add the new field. Within the print <<"HTML"; tag (near line 281) insert the following code:

<tr>
      <td>Phone Number: </td>
      <td><INPUT TYPE="text" NAME="phone" value="$form{'phone'}"

               SIZE="40"></td>
</tr>

The order in which you add the new fields will depend on the order in which you want the fields to be displayed.

To remove a field, just delete the command line of the particular field (from and including the tags <tr> to </tr>) from the header (a) and the field list (b).

4. How do I add fields to the confirmation form?
The confirmation form shows the data the user has just entered in the input form and asks for verification by the user about the accuracy of the information provided.

Let's say you want to add the "Phone Number" field. To add the new field to the confirmation form follow the next two steps:

a. Go near line 360 of the dir.pl file to add the header for the new field. Insert the following code:

print "<TD CLASS=\"color1\"><STRONG>Phone</STRONG></TD>";

b. Go near line 373 of the dir.pl file. In the order you want the new field displayed, enter the following code:

print "<TD>$form{'phone'}</TD>";

To remove a field, just delete the command line of the particular field (from and between the tags print to </TD>) from the header (a) and the field list (b).

5. How do I add fields to the update form?
The update form allows users to update their information.

Let's say you want to add the "Phone Number" field. To add the new field to the confirmation form follow the next step:

Go near line 421 of the dir.pl file. Within the <FORM ACTION tag, near line 425, insert the following code:

<td>Phone Number: </td>
<td>

   <INPUT TYPE="text" NAME="phone" value="$entry[$PHONE]" SIZE="40">
</td>

To remove a field, just delete the code line of the particular field from, and including the tags, <td> to </td>.

6. How do I add new fields to the entry form?
The entry form is the initial form where the user enters his/her information. Let's say you want to add the "Phone Number" field. To add the new field to the entry form insert the next code:

        <tr>
           <td width="37%">Phone Number:</td>
           <td width="63%" align="left"><input type="text" size="40" name="phone"></td>
       </tr>

To remove a field, just delete the code line of the particular field, from and including the tags <tr> and </tr>.

Note: Near line 785 you can customize the position of each of the different fields, e.g. $PHONE=5; means that the new field "Phone Number" will be fifth entry.

7. How do I add a new field to the updated entry display?
Once the user updates its new information the updated entry will be displayed. To add a new field, let's say "Phone number", just enter the new the code $entry[$PHONE] in the appropriate order in two places: near line 1079 and near line 1085.

8. How do I add a new field for the displayed changed-password entry?
Once the user changes its password a new page will be displayed containing the new password. To add a new field, let's say "Phone number",  just enter the new the code $entry[$PHONE] in the appropriate order in two places: near line 1162 and near line 1168.

9. How do I add a new field for the displayed confirmed entry?
Once the information entered by a user is confirmed a new entry form will be displayed. To add a new field, let's say "Phone number",  just enter the new the code t$form[$PHONE] in the appropriate order near line 1223.

10. How do I add a new field to the display-all-requested page?
Once a user is confirmed clicks on the "display all entries" button, all entries will be displayed. To add a new field, let's say "Phone number",  just enter the following code inside the print <<"HTML"; tag:

print "<TD CLASS="bgcolor2">$entry[$PHONE]</TD> (near line 1285)

11. How do I add a new field to the search-requested page?
For example, to display phone numbers in the search results, add the following line:

<TD>$entry[$PHONE]</TD> (near line 1356)


E-Data Customization

1. Do I need to customize E-Data offline?
Yes, you will need to make all changes offline. Once you customize E-Data you will have to upload the program to a directory that runs cgi applications (e.i. cgi-bin).

2. Can I add, change or delete fields?
E-Data is easy to configure. We deliver the complete source code so you can customize the program according to your needs. You can add, delete or rename fields. You can remove the "View All" button. You can also place the search option in a separate page if you want to.

3. Can I change font types, font size and font colors?

Yes, you can. You can change colors, fonts and font sizes.

4. If I have an existing MS Access file of users can it be imported into E-Data?
If you have an existing Access file of users, just save it as a text file and you will be able to use it with E-Data.

5. Can the "subscribe to mailing list" option be turned off?
The "subscribe to mailing list" option is just a way to let users indicate whether they would like to receive email from the owner of the web site. It can be removed it by editing the script (let us know if you would like us to remove it for you).

6. Can I use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to customize how E-Data looks?
Yes. You can use CSS to customize the looks of E-Data.

7. I don't want all e-mails to be displayed. Is there a way to do that with E-Data?
We suggest to get rid of the "Display All Entries" button from the main page. Without the button, the only way to see user information is via the search form, and you can configure the maximum number of entries that can be returned at a time.

8. Would I be allowed to run the script from in two different versions, say one in English and one in German?
To run two different versions, all you'll need to do is purchase another license and install the script with a different name. Then you can point both scripts to the same database file, or each to a different file.

9. Can I translate the output to another language?
Yes, you can easily edit the script and translate all text to any language.

10. Is there any way for the administrator to delete entries without having to go directly into the phonebook.txt file?
Currently not. We are in the process of creating a control panel which will allow you to delete or edit entries without going into the script.

11. Can I send e-mail to the members of the directory using E-Data?
E-Data is not designed to send email because every system has a different way of sending it. E-Data would only list the information for viewing.


Specific Problems and How to Solve Them

1. When someone enters a URL in the directory and the URL contains a tilde "~" it shows up in the directory as a blank space, which of course breaks the link. Is there a fix or work-around for that?'
Use a tab character (\t) as the field delimiter instead of the tilde "~". To do that, just edit your database file and replace the current delimiter with the tab character.


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