Panorama only allows one user to edit each record at a time. Once you begin editing, the record remains locked until you either move to another record, switch to another window, or save the database. The best way to understand record locking is to see it in action. We’ll follow along as “Bob Blue” and “Rudy Red” both edit a Real Estate Listings database. As we follow along, we’ll use one of these icons with each screenshot to identify which computer we are looking at, Bob’s or Rudy’s.

Bob gets a phone call that there is an offer of $675,000 on the Geneva Street house! So he opens the listings database and double clicks to enter the new offer.

At the same time, Rudy is checking his e-mail and receives a message that Tim Tobin is not the Agent on the 632 Geneva Street house, it should be Mary Jackson. So he opens the listing database and double clicks on the agent name.

But when Rudy double clicks, Panorama doesn’t let him edit the agent name. Instead, it tells him that this record is already being edited by Bob.

Back on Bob’s computer, Bob has pressed the Return key to finish entering the new asking price, but he still hasn’t moved to another record.

As long as Bob remain’s on this record, it remains locked, so if Rudy tries again to edit the Agent name he finds that it is still locked.

Now Bob moves on to a different record.

This unlocks the 623 Geneva Street record so that Rudy can now edit it.

Notice that the new $675,000 offer that Bob entered now appears in Rudy’s copy of the database. Whenever you begin editing a record Panorama not only locks that record, it also updates your copy of the record with the latest data from the server.

Rudy completes his modification by typing in the new agent name and then moving to another record to unlock the record he just modified.

Bob can’t see Rudy’s change right away, but it will appear if he edits this record again or chooses Synchronize Data from the File menu. Here’s what Bob’s screen looks like after he synchronizes.

To learn more about synchronization see Shared Database Synchronization.

Record Lock Timeout

When you edit a record, Panorama normally keeps it locked until you do one of three things—move to another record in the same database, bring a different database to the front, or save the database. But what if someone starts editing a record and then gets distracted? Perhaps they get a phone call, or leave for lunch. Meanwhile no one else can edit that record.

Fortunately this can be resolved by enabling Panorama’s record lock timeout. You may recall that when we made the Real Estate Listing database sharable we set this timeout to 45 seconds.

Let’s revisit the record locking example from the previous section. Suppose Bob starts editing the record and then is interrupted and walks away from his computer.

After 15 seconds, nothing has changed.

Still no change after 30 seconds.

After 45 seconds, however, Panorama automatically completes Bob’s editing and unlocks the record.

Now Rudy (or anyone else) can edit this record.

Changing the Record Lock Timeout

To change the timeout value, start with the database you want to change on top. Then open the Database Options dialog from the File menu, and switch to the Server panel.

Change the auto unlock timeout to the desired setting and press the Ok button.

When editing, the timer is reset every time you hit a key or click the mouse. So setting this value to 20 means that the record will automatically unlock if you don’t hit a key or click the mouse for 20 seconds.

Note: When the timeout is modified after the database has already been changed to a sharable database, the change applies only to the current computer. You must repeat it on the other computers on the network if you want them to use the same settings. (Conversely, this allows you to use different timeouts on different computers.)

See Also


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