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Reading Personal Knowbase Files over a Network

If you need multiple users to be able to read the same Personal Knowbase data file (KNO file), you may find it useful to place the data file on a network. A centrally located data file on a network allows any user with a computer connected to the network to read the data.

Personal Knowbase over a Network

Personal Knowbase works fine across a network, but only one person can access the data file at once. This is because PK opens the file in read/write mode and cannot risk more than one user making changes at the same time, which could damage file integrity.

You can put the PK data file on the network as a publicly readable file. Then if a second PK user tries to access the file, he will simply be told that the file is already in use. This works fine if you don't need simultaneous access.

For example, here at Bitsmith Software, we use a PK data file on a network to track bug reports and program changes. This works great for our purposes, because two people are unlikely to access the file at the same time.

PK Reader over a Network

If you do need multiple users to be able to access the PK data file on the network at the same time, a better option is to use the read-only version of the software, PK Reader. With PK Reader, any number of users can access the data file across the network simultaneously. Since PK Reader opens the file in read-only mode, there is no risk of more than one user making changes at the same time.

Personal Knowbase Reader

Each person who needs to access the data file should install the PK Reader program on their local computer. Alternatively, PK Reader itself can be installed in a network folder, and each user can start the program directly from the network.

This method works best when you want only one person responsible for making changes to a file, and other users will only need to view the file's information.

Maintaining Your File with a Single Author

Whether users are reading your file with Personal Knowbase or PK Reader, you need to use Personal Knowbase itself to create the file, make changes, or add new data.

If only a single person is making changes to your data file, we recommend keeping the primary copy of the data file on that person's local computer.

Each Personal Knowbase data file is a single self-contained file with the file type KNO. After making changes, copy the KNO file to a folder on your network. Once it's on the network drive, any user connected to that network can open the KNO file by using PK's Open command and navigating to that network folder to select the file.

Open dialog box on a network drive

If you need to make more changes to the KNO file, again do that on your local computer with Personal Knowbase, then copy the changed file to the network folder to replace the previous copy of the file. The next time the end-users access the file, they will see the changes that you made.

Maintaining Your File with Multiple Authors

If multiple people need to make changes using PK, you can place the primary data file on the network, but be aware that only one person can edit the file at a time. In this case, changes are accessible to end-users immediately when you close the file.

Note that if you choose to edit the central file directly, the file will not be accessible to others even for read-only access while you are editing it with the full version of Personal Knowbase. While you have the data file open, other users will be locked out.

As with all important files, keep a backup of the file in a safe place. This is especially important if your primary data file resides on a publicly-accessible network.

Reading a Personal Knowbase data file from a network can aid in sharing data with colleagues, students, or just family members on your home's local area network (LAN). Companies use PK over a network to distribute support information for help desks. Professors put course information in a PK file for students to access with PK Reader. Families use PK files for coordinating planning for large events. PK's flexibility makes it great for distributing information.