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In this article Barry Mavin, CEO and Chief Software Architect for Recital, details how to work with Triggers in the Recital Database Server.


A trigger is a special kind of stored procedure that runs when you modify data in a specified table using one or more of the data modification operations: UPDATE, INSERT, or DELETE.

Triggers can query other tables and can include complex SQL statements. They are primarily useful for enforcing complex business rules or requirements. For example, you can control whether to allow a new order to be inserted based on a customer's current account status.

Triggers are also useful for enforcing referential and data integrity.

Triggers can be used with any data source that is handled natively by the Recital Database Engine. This includes Recital, FoxPro, FoxBASE, Clipper, dBase, CISAM, and RMS data,

Creating and Editing Triggers

To create a new Trigger,  right-click the Procedures node in the Databases tree of the Project Explorer and choose Create. To modify an existing Trigger select the Trigger in the Databases Tree in the Project Explorer by double-clicking on it, or select Modify from the context menu. By convertion we recommend that you name your Stored Procedures beginning with "sp_xxx_", user-defined functions with "f_xxx_", and Triggers with "dt_xxx_", where xxx is the name of the table that they are associated with.

Associating Triggers with a Table

Once you have written your Triggers as detailed above you can associate them with the operations performed on a Table by selecting the Table tab.

The Tables tab allows you to select a Trigger procedure by clicking on the small button at the right of the Text field.

Types of Triggers

As can be seen from the Tables tab detailed below, The Recital Database Server handles 6 distinct types of Triggers.

Open Trigger

The Open Trigger is called after is a table is opened but before any operations are performed on it. You can use this trigger to record a log of table usage or provide a programmable means of checing security. If the Trigger procedure returns .F. (false), then the table is not opened. You can use a TRY...CATCH block around the associated command to inform the user.

Close Trigger

The Close Trigger is called just prior to a table being closed. In this trigger you may find it useful to get transaction counts by using the IOSTATS() built-in 4GL function, and record these values in a transaction log.

Update Trigger

The Update Trigger is called prior to a record update operation being performed. You can use this trigger to perform complex application or data specific validation. If the Trigger procedure returns .F. (false), then the record is not updated. You can use inform the user from within the Trigger procedure the reason that the data cannot be updated.

Delete Trigger

The Delete Trigger is called prior to a record delete operation being performed. You can use this trigger to perform complex application or data specific validation such as cross-table lookups e.g. attempting to delete a customer recortd when there are still open orders for that specific customer. If the Trigger procedure returns .F. (false), then the record is not deleted.

Insert Trigger

The Insert Trigger is called prior to a record insert (append) operation being performed. You can use this trigger to perform such tasks as setting up default values of columns within the record. If the Trigger procedure returns .F. (false), then the record is not inserted.

Rollback Trigger

The RollbackTrigger is called prior to a rollback operation being performed from within a form. If the Trigger procedure returns .F. (false), then the record is not rolled back to its original state.

Testing the Trigger

To test run the Trigger, select the Trigger in the Databases Tree in the Project Explorer by double-clicking on it. Once the Database Administrator is displayed, click the Run button to run the Trigger.

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The Openfiler NAS/SAN Appliance (NSA) is a Storage Management Operating System / NAS Appliance distribution. It is powered by the Linux 2.6 kernel and Open Source applications such as Apache, Samba, LVM2, ext3, Linux NFS and iSCSI Enterprise Target. Openfiler combines these ubiquitous technologies into a small, easy to manage solution fronted by a powerful web-based management interface. Openfiler allows you to build a Network Attached Storage (NAS) and/or Storage Area Network (SAN) appliance, using industry-standard hardware, in less than 10 minutes of installation time.

Building upon the popularity of server virtualization technologies such as VMware, Virtual Iron, and Xen, Openfiler can also be deployed as a virtual machine instance or on  a bare metal machine.

This deployment flexibility of Openfiler ensures that storage administrators are able to make the best use of system performance and storage capacity resources when allocating and managing networked storage in a multi-platform environment.

Openfiler is ideally suited for use with High Availability Recital applications as it incorporates:

  • Heartbeat cluster manager
  • drbd disk replication
  • CIFS
  • NFS
  • Software and hardware RAID
  • FTP
  • rsync
  • iSCSI
  • LVM2
  • Multiple NIC bonding for High Availability
  • Powerful web-based GUI


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Recital 10 enhances the APPEND FROM command. The enhancement was added to the following syntax ;
APPEND FROM  <table-name> 
Before when appending into a shared Recital table each new row was locked along with the table header, then unlocked after it was inserted. This operation has now been enhanced to lock the table once, complete inserting all the rows from the table and then unlock the table. The performance of this operation has been increased by using this method. All the database and table constraints are still enforced.
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The SET RELATION Recital Navigational Data Command can be used to link two (or more) tables based on the master index key of the child table.  With a relation active, as you move through the parent table, the record pointer also moves in the child table, automatically selecting the first related record or moving to the end of file if no related record exists.    

open database southwind
// open child table
use order_details order orderid in 0
// open parent table
use orders order orderid in 0
set relation to orderid into order_details
do while not eof()
? orders.orderid, order_details.productid

The code above will display the productid from the first related record, but you will often want to display information from all the related records in the child or detail table as in an SQL Left Outer Join.

open database southwind
select orders.orderid, order_details.productid;
from orders left outer join order_details;
on orders.orderid = order_details.orderid

In this case, we can use a second nested DO WHILE loop, for example:

open database southwind
use order_details order orderid in 0
use orders order orderid in 0
set relation to orderid into order_details
do while not eof()
// Display first or 0 child record
? orders.orderid, order_details.productid
// Display any additional child records
do while not eof(order_details)
? orders.orderid, order_details.productid
skip in order_details

Or we can use the SET SKIP command.  The SET SKIP command can be used with DISPLAY, LIST and REPORT and automatically skips through all the related records in the child table.

open database southwind
use order_details order orderid in 0
use orders order orderid in 0
set relation to orderid into order_details
set skip on
set skip to order_details
list orders.orderid, order_details.productid

LIST and DISPLAY offer a number of keyword options to allow you to configure the display output.  REPORT offers full column based report design.
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When using Recital Web you can maintain the exact state of each cursor between pages like this.

On entry to the .rsp page.

IF type( _session["state"] ) != "U"
    m_state = _session["state"]
    // open up your tables for the first time 

On exit of the .rsp page.
_SESSION["state"] = m_state
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We are pleased to announce the release of Recital 10.0.3.

Here is a brief list of features and functionality that you will find in the 10.0.3 release.

  • New Commands:
  • New Functions:
    - CURVAL()
    - OLDVAL()
  • Enhanced Functions:
    - TMPNAM() - additional parameter to specify the return of basename only
    - MAILATTACH() - parameter changed from array to filename to allow directory and file extension to be specified
  • Enhancements:
    - DO level increased from 32 to 64.
  • Fixes:
    - Delay exiting Recital after SYS(3) or SYS(2015)
    - SET SOFTSEEK issue when search key above first record in index
    - Compilation error with REPLACE command after UDF call
    - FETCH INTO memvars error
    - END TRANSACTION at command prompt error
    - ROLLBACK locking error
    - Linux ODBC Driver undefined symbol error
    - RELEASE variable with same name as variable in calling program issue
    - SQLCODE() issue on non-gateway data access
    - Issuing two SQLEXEC() calls error
    - LASTSEQNO() in workareas > 1 error
    - SET RELATION to detail table in workarea 1 issue
    - LIST STATUS on empty table delay
    - SET AUTOCATALOG alias entries error
    - SORT error
    - Other reported bugs
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Key features of the Recital scripting language include:

What are the key feature of the Recital database?

  • High performance database application scripting language
  • Modern object-oriented language features
  • Easy to learn, easy to use
  • Fast, just-in-time compiled
  • Develop desktop or web applications
  • Cross-platform support
  • Extensive built-in functions
  • Superb built-in SQL command integration
  • Navigational data access for the most demanding applications
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DRBD (Distributed Replicated Block Device) forms the storage redundancy portition of a HA cluster setup. Explained in basic terms DRBD provides a means of achieving RAID 1 behavoir over a network, where whole block devices are mirrored accross the network.

To start off you will need 2 indentically sized raw drives or partitions. Many how-to's on the internet assume the use of whole drives, of course this will be better performance, but if you are simply getting familar with the technology you can repartition existing drives to allow for two eqaully sized raw partitions, one on each of the systems you will be using.

There are 3 DRBD replication modes:
• Protocol A: Write I/O is reported as completed as soon as it reached local disk and local TCP send buffer
• Protocol B: Write I/O is reported as completed as soon as it reached local disk and remote TCP buffer cache
• Protocol C: Write I/O is reported as completed as soon as it reached both local and remote disks.

If we were installing the HA cluster on a slow LAN or if the geogrphical seperation of the systems involved was great, then I recommend you opt for asyncronous mirroring (Protocol A) where the notifcation of a completed write operation occurs as soon as the local disk write is performed. This will greatly improve performance.

As we are setting up our HA cluster connected via a fast LAN, we will be using DRBD in fully syncronous mode, protocol C.
Protocol C involves the file system on the active node only being notified that the write operation was finished when the block is written to both disks of the cluster. Protocol C is the most commonly used mode of DRBD.


global { usage-count yes; }
common { syncer { rate 10M; } }
resource r0 {
protocol C;
net {
max-buffers 2048;
ko-count 4;
on bailey {
device    /dev/drbd0;
disk      /dev/sda4;
meta-disk internal;
on giskard {
device    /dev/drbd0;
disk      /dev/sda3;
meta-disk internal;

drbd.conf explained:

Global section, usage-count. The DRBD project keeps statistics about the usage of DRBD versions. They do this by contacting a HTTP server each time a new DRBD version is installed on a system. This can be disabled by setting usage-count no;.

The common seciton contains configurations inhereted by all resources defined.
Setting the syncronisation rate, this is accoimplished by going to the syncer section and then assigning a value to the rate setting. The syncronisation rate refers to rate in which the data is being mirrored in the background. The best setting for the syncronsation rate is related to the speed of the network with which the DRBD systems are communicating on. 100Mbps ethernet supports around 12MBps, Giggabit ethernet somewhere around 125MBps.

in the configuration above, we have a resource defined as r0, the nodes are configured in the "on" host subsections.
"Device" configures the path of the logical block device that will be created by DRBD
"Disk" configures the block device that will be used to store the data.
"Address" configures the IP address and port number of the host that will hold this DRBD device.
"Meta-disk" configures the location where the metadata about the DRBD device will be stored.
You can set this to internal and DRBD will use the physical block device to store the information, by recording the metadata within the last sections of the disk.
Once you have created your configuration file, you must conduct the following steps on both the nodes.

Create device metadata.

$ drbdadm create-md r0
v08 Magic number not found
Writing meta data...
initialising activity log
NOT initialized bitmap
New drbd meta data block sucessfully created.

Attach the backing device.
$ drbdadm attach r0

Set the syncronisation parameters.
$ drbdadm syncer r0

Connect it to the peer.
$ drbdadm connect r0

Run the service.
$ service drbd start


Heartbeat provides the IP redundancy and the service HA functionailty.
On the failure of the primary node the VIP is assigned to the secondary node and the services configured to be HA are started on the secondary node.

Heartbeat configuration:


## /etc/ha.d/ on node1
## This configuration is to be the same on both machines
## This example is made for version 2, comment out crm if using version 1
// replace the node variables with the names of your nodes.

crm no
keepalive 1
deadtime 5
warntime 3
initdead 20
bcast eth0
auto_failback yes
node bailey
node giskard

// The configuration below set authentication off, and encryption off for the authentication of nodes and their packets.
//Note make sure the authkeys file has the correct permisisions chmod 600

## /etc/ha.d/authkeys
auth 1
1 crc

// is the VIP (Virtual IP) assigned to the cluster.
//the "smb" in the configuration line represents the service we wish to make HA
// /devdrbd0 represents the resource name you configured in the drbd.conf

## /etc/ha.d/haresources
## This configuration is to be the same on both nodes

bailey drbddisk Filesystem::/dev/drbd0::/drbdData::ext3 smb

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For Recital to run correctly on 64bit Linux you require the ia32 shared libraries.

The 64bit port of Recital requires these libraries to allow access to 32bit Xbase and C-ISAM data files which are 32bit.

If you do not have these libraries installed you will either get a "can't find db.exe" or an "error loading shared libraries" when trying to run or license Recital.

Installing the ia32 shared libraries

Redhat EL 5 / Centos 5 / Fedora 10

  1. Insert the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Supplementary CD, which contains the ia32el package.

  2. After the system has mounted the CD, change to the directory containing the Supplementary packages. For example:

    cd /media/cdrom/Supplementary/

  3. Install the ia32el package:

    rpm -Uvh ia32el-<version>.ia64.rpm

Alternatively: Note you must have the required repo's enabled.
 yum install ia32el

Ubuntu / Debian

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

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Dave Michelle at ITPRO writes a good review of the DS3400 San here.
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Copyright © 2019 Recital Software Inc.



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