RemoteAccess v2.xx Files Database Documentation

Docs on RA's files areas database operation

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Notes on the RemoteAccess 2.00 File Database

RemoteAccess 2.00 introduces a completely rewritten file handling system.
All file information is held in database files; the FILES.BBS system is
now obsolete. RemoteAccess uses the database for all aspects of file
retrieval; the actual file itself it not accessed until download time.
This means that file searches are now faster by several hundred percent,
especially with CD-ROM file areas.

The limits on the database are as follows:

Maximum number of file areas     : 65535
Maximum number of files per area : 65535

This means that if a file is on disk but not in the database, RemoteAccess
will be completely unaware of its existence. It is therefore important that
your file database (referred to as FDB onwards) is kept up to date. There
are new utilities described in this document which assist you in this.

(NOTE: There are two exceptions to the above rule. The first is if there is
       a wildcard entry in the FDB. In this case, RemoteAccess will expand
       the wildcard for each matching file and display separate entries for
       each match found. The second is described in the section on RACONFIG
       under MANAGER.FILE AREAS.DirectDL.)

One notable change in behaviour is that a file search by date is now based
on the UPLOAD date, *not* the actual FILE date. Bear this in mind if you
"touch" file dates to make them appear as new.
As a side note, you will notice that during downloads, the transfer status
window now displays a double progress bar. The top bar represents the
progress of the current file, while the bottom bar represents the progress
of the entire batch. Other enhancements to the transfer window include a
progressive CPS indicator.

Upgrading is largely automated. First run RACONFIG; it will update most of
the new configuration fields for you. Go to the PATHS menu and enter a path
to hold the new database files (on systems with large filebases you will
require a few megabytes). Briefly run through the new fields in RACONFIG
(see the section towards the end of this document for more details) and set
the new options to your requirements.

Exit RACONFIG and run GENFBASE to generate the database files.

IMPORTANT! If you have ANY files-related menu types (except DOWNLOAD SPECIFIC
FILE and DOWNLOAD ANY FILE) for which you have a fully qualified path on the
optional data line, you must replace the path with either a /F or a template
area number. Obviously you will need to define these areas in RACONFIG if they
are not already defined.

..May still be used via the RAFILE IMPORT and EXPORT commands. If you use
programs which add entries to FILES.BBS (TICK, for example), simply use the
RAFILE IMPORT command every time the utility is run. RAFILE will import any
entries which do not exist in the FDB. Similarly, RAFILE EXPORT may be used
to generate FILES.BBS for programs such as master file list generators etc.

This utility is used to generate the FDB files from one or more conventional
FILES.BBS lists. It has no command-line parameters, and asks a couple of
self-explanatory questions. Normally you would only ever use this utility
once. It is also useful however for generating FDB files from new CDROMs.

If you select the file counter import option, you will be asked for a file
counter position number. This is the column number that the first digit of
your file counters start at. Note - not the delimiters (such as a bracket),
GENFBASE needs the start column of the actual number.

GENFBASE also allows you to specify the column which the file description
begins in. For the standard FILES.BBS format which contains only filename
and description, select the default of zero.

If you instruct GENFBASE to expand wildcards it will expand all wildcards
found in FILES.BBS and create separate entries in the FDB for each matching
file; otherwise, wildcard filenames will be imported "as is". Any FDB entry
which contains a wildcard will be searched on disk by RA for matching files
in all file search/list functions. Note that RA will never search the disk
*unless* an entry does contain a wildcard.

GENFBASE automatically strips leading '+' and '|' characters from multi-line
file descriptions.

This is the interactive FDB management utility (it now also incorporates the
user editor that was previously part of RACONFIG). RAMGR is menu-driven, and
most options are self-explanatory. It has five optional command-line

        /B - Run in monochrome (black and white) mode.
        /N - Ignore any missing file area paths (normally RAMGR will not
             allow you to enter a file area which has an invalid path).
        /F - Edit files only (bypass main menu).
        /U - Edit users only (bypass main menu).
        /A - Auto-update mode (file editing). Forces an automatic update
             of all files when an area is entered.

RAFILE is the FDB batch maintenance utility. It is completely command-line

        ADD      <area#> <name> [uploader_name] [description]
        INDEX    [area#]
        CLEAN    [area#] [/KM]
        COMPRESS [area#]
        EXPORT   [area#] [output file]
        IMPORT   [area#] [input file] [/ERASE] [/Uuploader_name]
        KILL     <filespec> [area#]
        LOCK     <filespec> [area#]
        UNLOCK   <filespec> [area#]
        FILELIST <output file> [area#] [/Ssecurity] [/Ddays old] [/Bbanner] 
                               [/Ffooter] [/NOHDR] [/7BIT] [/FORMF]
        SORT     [area#] [DATE] [REVERSE]  (Default=NAME,FORWARD)
        ADOPT    <filespec> [area#]
        UPDATE   <filespec> [area#] [TOUCH|TOUCHMOD]
        REARC    [area#]

[] Parameters are optional, <> parameters are mandatory. If an <area#> of
zero is specified, RAFILE will process all areas. Wildcards are valid in
all <filespec> parameters.

It is possible to process multiple file areas in one pass. There are two
steps required to do this. First, create a textfile which contains the areas
you wish to process. The area numbers may be separated by spaces or commas,
and a range of areas may be specified by inserting a '-' between two numbers:


1 3 5 10
15-23 31-54 57 60 62

NOTE: To specify a entire group of areas, prefix the area number with the 
      character "G". Eg. the line 1 2 3 g5 9 would process file areas 1,2,3,9
      and every area in group 5. This format is also valid on the command-
      line, but bear in mind that this method only accepts a single area or
      group number.

The second step is to specify the name of this textfile on the RAFILE 
command-line in place of the area number. You must precede the filename with

** RAFILE will skip (not process) any areas that are currently in use by
   RemoteAccess or RAMGR.


ADD       Simply adds a new file to the database. This is like a
          local upload.

INDEX     Regenerate the quick index file for the specified area.
          Used only if the index becomes corrupted.

CLEAN     Kills files from the database (AND on disk) based on the
          kill information in RACONFIG (see later). This automatically
          performs a COMPRESS. The optional /KM switch will cause all
          file entries marked as MISSING to be removed from the FDB.
          NOTE that RAFILE will never remove COMMENTS from the FDB.
          By setting the MoveArea field for a file area (see RACONFIG) to
          a non-zero value, instead of killing the files, RAFILE will 
          move them to the area number specified.

COMPRESS  Optimises the database files and removes deleted entries.

EXPORT    Generates a conventional FILES.BBS listing for the specified area
          in the actual file directory UNLESS an output filename is

IMPORT    Imports files (and their descriptions) from FILES.BBS in the
          file directory (or another input file if specified) into the
          database. The /ERASE switch will kill the input file after the
          import. All imported files will have their UPLOAD date set to
          the current date, to make them appear as new. The UPLOADER field
          for each imported file will be set to the sysop name as defined
          in RACONFIG unless overridden with the optional /U parameter.

KILL      Kill all matching files from the database and on disk. This also
          performs a COMPRESS operation.

LOCK      Lock all matching files from deletion or moving.

UNLOCK    Unlock all matching files.

FILELIST  Generate a master file list of all areas. If the /S<security>
          switch is used, only areas of >security> list security or LOWER
          will be included in the list. The /D<days> option includes only
          files which are <days> days old or newer. You may also specify
          a /B<banner_file> which will be added automatically to the top
          of the file list. A /F<footer_file> will optionally be appended to
          then end of the file list. /NOHDR disables the header that is 
          normally inserted at the top of each area, and /7BIT causes all
          hi-ASCII characters in the header to be translated to their 7-bit
          equivalents. The /FORMF option inserts a formfeed at the end of
          each area.

SORT      Sort a range of files by name or date, forward or reverse.
          Automatically sorts files in between comment lines.

ADOPT     Add to the database all matching files in the area which are not
          already in the database.

UPDATE    Update all matching files' database entries from actual DOS
          file information. The TOUCH switch will set the file UPLOAD
          date to the current date unconditionally. TOUCHMOD does the
          same as TOUCH but only if DOS reports that the file has been 
          modified since the last UPDATE operation. This allows you to
          mark any changed files as new.

REARC     Re-archive all files in the area with the archive type specified
          for that area in RACONFIG.FILE AREAS.ArcType. NOTE - only archive
          types which have an entry in the OPTIONS.FILES.UL scan window can
          be converted.

RACONFIG.EXE - New options
SYSTEM.PATHS.Filebase        - This is the directory in which the database
                               files are located.

SYSTEM.PATHS.CD-ROM temp     - If this field is non-blank, files which
                               reside in CD-ROM areas will be copied to this
                               path for the download. Files are removed after
                               the download is completed.

SYSTEM.PATHS.Rearchiver      - This is a temporary path used by RAFILE for
                               the automatic archive conversion function.

OPTIONS.FILES.Payback credit - If this field is set to a non-zero value, then 
                               every time a file is downloaded, the person 
                               who originally uploaded the file will have 
                               his/her credit field increased by the specified
                               value. If this field is set to 255, the 
                               uploader's credit will be increased by the 
                               cost assigned to the file.

OPTIONS.FILES.Newfiles.Tag   - Allows you to enable or disable file tagging
                               during the new files search at logon.

OPTIONS.FILES.No dupe ext    - If set to "Yes", RemoteAccess will ignore file
                               extensions when checking for upload dupes. Ie.
                               ANDREW.ZIP will considered a duplicate of
                               ANDREW.ARJ, ANDREW.LZH, etc. NOTE - this
                               feature is disabled during a a single batch
                               upload, so a user can upload FILE.AR1, FILE.AR2
                               etc. provided the first file is not a dupe.

DL description               - Determines whether users are given the
                               opportunity to download a special file which
                               contains a FILES.BBS type listing of all
                               files and descriptions in the download batch.

OPTIONS.FILES.Upload scan    - Pops up a sub-menu in which the internal upload
                               archive/virus checking features may be
                               configured. Additionally, you must enable
                               "UL scan" for each area you wish this option
                               to be active for:

        Scan online          - Determines whether the scan is done while the
                               user is still online (immediately after the
                               upload, or after the user disconnects. If this
                               option is set to "Ask", the textfile
                               UPLDSCAN.A?? is displayed just before the 
                               prompt. NOTE: Users are not credited for 
                               uploads until *AFTER* passing the scan
        Failed scan          - Determines the action to take on a file which
                               fails the virus scan. You may either
                               delete the file or mark it as unlisted and/or
                               unavailable. You may additionally move the
                               file to another area. Note that all these
                               options may be combined in any way except

        Scan utility         - Command-line to activate virus scan utility.
                               RA simply exexutes this command-line for 
                               each uploaded file. The full path and name
                               of each file may be passed by putting the
                               '@' character on the command-line. If the 
                               scan utility returns a non-zero errorlevel,
                               the file is assumed to be corrupt in some way.
                               NOTE: You !MUST! specify a full DRIVE and
                               PATH in this field.


        Arc 1 .. Arc10       - Definitions for up to ten archivers. Enter the
                               file extension (eg. ZIP), the unpack command-
                               line (eg. C:\UTIL\PKUNZIP.EXE @), and the
                               pack command-line (eg. C:\UTIL\PKZIP.EXE @).
                               Note the "@" character, which is automatically
                               expanded to the full path and name of the
                               file to be processed. These entries are used
                               by RAFILE for the archive conversion function.
                               NOTE: You !MUST! specify a full DRIVE and
                               PATH in this field.

OPTIONS.FILES.RAMGR keys     - This submenu allows you to configure up to
                               5 external utilities which may be activated
                               from the RAMGR file list screen. Any '@'
                               characters on the command-line will be replaced
                               by the full path and name of the currently
                               highlighted file. The *M macro may be used
                               to swap RAMGR out of memory before the shell.

OPTIONS.FILES.Ext arcview    - This is the full path and name of an external
                               archive viewing utility. This command-line
                               (if not blank) will be called in place of the
                               built-in archive viewing menu command.

OPTIONS.FILES.Missing format - This is an alternative list line for files
                               which are marked as MISSING in the database.

OPTIONS.FILES.List format    - There is a new macro set which entirely
                               replaces the old one. The new macros are:

        @NE - Filename, uppercase, with extension.
        @NN - Filename, uppercase, no extension.
        @SB - File size in bytes.
        @SK - File size in kilobytes.
        @UL - Name of the file uploader.
        @UD - Date on which file was uploaded.
        @FD - Actual file date.
        @LD - Date on which file was last downloaded.
        @TD - Number of times file has been downloaded.
        @Kn - Keyword [n] for the file (n=1-5).
        @CS - Cost of the file (deducted from user's credit).
        @DF - Description (formatted).
        @DU - Description (unformatted).
        @FR - Displays (Free) if file is free, spaces if not.
        @NA - Displays (NotAvail) if file is marked as not available.
        @NW - Displays '*' if file is new, space if not.
        @PW - Displays (Password) if the file is password-protected.

* Substituting a % for the @ will force string type fields to lowercase.
* Substituting a ^ for the @ will force string type fields to uppercase.
* There is one additional special macro. '#nn' will set the width for
  all following fields to [nn] characters. Eg, #03 (note the leading zero)
  will truncate/pad all following fields to 3 characters. Use #00 to reset
  default field widths.

* NOTE: If used, the @DF and @DU macros MUST appear at the very end of the
        list format entry.


CD-ROM   - Indicates whether the files in this area are located on read-only
           media, such as CD-ROM.

Free     - This overrides the individual FREE flag in each file entry and
           causes all files in the area to be marked as free. This is
           equivalent to a \PATH\*.* /FREE entry in FILES.CTL.

LongDesc - Permits users to enter up to a page of text for each file
           description. Note that RemoteAccess does not require this flag
           to be set to "Yes" to actually display a sysop-entered long

DirectDL - Normally users are only permitted to download files which are
           actually in the FDB; if this option is enabled, users will also
           be allowed to download files which do exist in the area path,
           but do not exist in the database. NOTE: Such files are never
           displayed in any area lists or file searches.

PwdUL    - Permits users to optionally password-protect their uploads into
           the area.

UL scan  - Enable upload scanning in this area.

ArcType  - Specifies the preferred archive format for this area. Used by 
           RAFILE REARC.

DL days  - This field is used by RAFILE's CLEAN function to automatically
           kill old files. Any file which has not been downloaded for the
           number of days in this field will be deleted. A value of zero
           disables deletion by this field for the area.

FD days  - As above, but uses the actual file date to kill by.

MoveArea - This field is used in conjunction with the DL days and FD days
           options on a RAFILE CLEAN function. Instead of being killed,
           old files will be moved to this area.

Min age  - This allows the sysop to define a minimum age for listing and
           downloading from the area.

Password - This is a default password that will be automatically assigned
           to all files in the area. It will not override individual file

Group    - This is the group (category) that the file area is in. Group
           support is used to group your file areas into logical divisions,
           thus making it easier for users to find files they are interested

Def.cost - Allows the sysop to assign a default cost (in credits) to each
           file in the area. This cost is automatically assigned to all files
           in the area which have an individual cost setting of zero.

Uploads  - Specifies the area in which files should be placed which are
           received during a bi-directional transfer or regular upload. This
           makes it possible to automatically "redirect" uploads that would
           normally be placed in the template area.

           The path is expanded in the external protocol download command-
           line from the "!" character. If set to zero, files will be uploaded
           to the currently selected template area. NOTE: Bi-directional 
           support is available only from transfers initiated as downloads, 
           NOT as uploads.

AltGroup - These entries allow you to assign up to three secondary groups 
           for the current file area. For example, it might be convenient to
           classify one area under two groups - "OS/2 files" and "Text files".

Device   - This field supports "jukebox" CD-ROM devices which hold multiple
           CDs. Simply assign any number between 1 and 255 to each multi-disk
           device. In this field, enter the number of the device which holds
           the CD on which the files for this area are located. RemoteAccess
           will use this information to avoid device sharing conflicts.

AllGroup - Setting this option to "Yes" automatically forces the file area
           to appear in every group.


This window allows the sysop to categorise file areas into logical groups.
Enter the minimum security level and flag settings for the user to be able
to select each group. NOTE - this security setting simply limits the user's
ability to select the group. File areas do NOT inherit the security settings
of the group they are in. See MENU TYPES for more information on file group

MENU TYPES - Additions and changes

IMPORTANT! All files-related menu types (except for DOWNLOAD SPECIFIC FILE
They ONLY accept a /F or a template number.

See the "Upgrade notes" section at the start of this document for more.

The /L switch on the optional data line for the above two menu types is no
longer valid since RemoteAccess can obtain the long description information
from the template area settings.


New menu type 71 - Edit Tag List. When (A)dding to the tag list, you may
specify the area number to search by putting either the area number or a
/F on the optional data line. Leaving the optional data line blank enables 
global searching and tagging.

The List Files, List New Files, Find File by Name, and Find File by Keyword
menu types all now take the optional /T parameter at the end of the optional
data line to enable file tagging. When tagging is enabled, each file is
listed with a number, which the user may select for download at a later
time, at the More prompt. Files are tagged by entering either a list of tag
numbers or file names (wildcards valid). Files which are already in the tag
list are marked with a '+' character immediately after the tag number. Users
may additionally edit the tag list and view displayed files from the tag


The Find File by Keyword menu type accepts the /Q switch on the end of the
optional data field. This causes the search to use the 5 keywords in the
file header record rather than the description text. This type of search
is *much* faster than the description search (which is the default), but
has two drawbacks; you must maintain the keywords for each file separately,
and it will only find exact (not partial) keyword matches.

The sysop-only MOVE FILE menu type has been enhanced. It now supports
move, copy, delete and edit description operations. It also now displays a 
list of areas for the user to select the target, rather than asking for a

Menu type 48 - download specific file, now accepts two optional data line
types. The first is simply one or more fully qualified download filenames
(old type). The second is the following:


This tells RA to send the named files (note, no path is necessary) from the
specified <area>. This second method must be used if you want the file 
download counter and last date downloaded fields to be updated.

Menu types 39 and 46 - display textfile direct and display textfile direct
with CR - also accept the above optional data format. NOTE: No security
checking is done on the area before the files are displayed.


All of the three file search functions now accept a /FG on the optional data
line. If this parameter is present, only file areas in the currently selected
file group will be searched.

The Select File Area menu command supports file groups through the following
optional data line parameters:

        /FG - Displays only file areas in the user's currently selected
              file group.

      /FG=0 - Displays a list of all groups the user has access to, asks the
              user to select a group, and then displays all file areas 
              within the selected group.

      /FG=n - (n is a specific group number). Displays only file areas in
              file group n.  

The file FGROUPS.A?? will be displayed in place of the hard-coded file area
group list, if present. The file FGRnnnnn.A?? (nnnnn= group number) will be 
displayed to the user in place of FILEAREA.A?? if any of the above command-
line parameters are used.

Additionally, the /F=+ and /F=- menu template commands have been enhanced.
The following new parameters are available:

       /F=> - Select the next available file area WITHIN THE CURRENT GROUP.
       /F=< - Select the previously available file area WITHIN THE CURRENT GROUP.

      /FG=+ - Select the next available file group.
      /FG=- - Select the previously available group.
      /FG=n - Set the current file group to n.

Placing the /FG switch on the optional data line of a global download command
will limit file searching to areas in the currently selected file group.

Placing the /FG switch on the optional data line of an upload command will
limit duplicate checking to areas in the currently selected file group.

The text file macro control code to display the name of the currently selected
file group is ^F#.

/* End of file "RA200FDB.TXT" */

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