iData Pro 4 Transition Guide

Version 2
August 4, 2020

The purpose of this Transition Guide is to provide links to information that will be of use to customers now that the lone programmer/publisher has retired.  (If you have any suggestions for improving this Transition Guide, please let me know.)

Changes to the Macintosh Operating System (MacOS) often require changes to software. It is rare that such changes cause an application to be completely unusable. An exception to this was the upgrade to MacOS 10.15 (Catalina), which required that all apps be updated from 32-bit to 64-bit compatibility. It was this change that required many customers to upgrade from iData 3 to iData Pro 4. ( iData Pro 4 has been 64-bit compatible from the beginning.)

However, such an extreme OS change is unusual. The most common kind of change involves changes to how specific functions are implemented, and even those seldom cause earlier versions of the functions to stop working altogether.

The Plan

    1. The idata3.com and idatapartners.com domains will be allowed to expire in September 2021. I'm gradually setting the iData Pro 4 update routines to use my personal domain, raccoonbend.com, beginning with v. 4.0.48.

    2. The contact links on the iData Partners pages have been removed, since they were intended for use by new customers, and are now a source of a lot of spam. My email address will still be available in the Email iData Partners menu item under the Help menu.

    3. I have no plans to produce updates after v. 4.0.49, unless some serious problems show up. However, if such problems do appear, I will probably try to fix them, since I also rely heavily on iData Pro 4. What this means is that you should make sure that your iData Pro update preference is set to automatically check for updates on a weekly or monthly basis, so that you can get any updates in a timely manner, if I do make any.

    4. I do not plan to provide any tech support. You can continue to use the Email iData Partners menu item under the Help menu to report actual problems, such as serious bugs, but if it is just a case of your not being able to figure out how something works, I probably won't reply. Your main solution will be to become familiar with the information available via the User Guide menu item under the Help menu.

    5. I've received many questions about what other software may be available to replace iData Pro 4. I haven't come across anything so far that can perform anything like iData Pro 4, but if I do, I will update this Transition Guide to inform you, so you should come back here periodically to see if there is any news. The version number will be updated, and new information will be added to the beginning of the page.

Info and Links

   

     1. Back Up Your Datafiles Regularly

     This is the best insurance against losing your data.

        a. You can use Save As... under the File menu in iData Pro 4 to save a copy of a datafile. Append the date to the name. For example, save MyDatafile.id3 as MyDatafile 080420.

        b. Compress a datafile in the Finder, then rename the resulting .zip file using the date, so that MyDatafile.id3 becomes MyDatafile.id3 080420.zip.
 
    2. Exporting Data

    Over the past few months, I've added three new features for exporting iData Pro 4 datafiles in formats that may be useful for import into other apps. They all appear in the Export As sub-menu, under the File menu. These all have articles in the User Guide.

        a. RTFD File... - Each datafile is exported as a single RTFD file.

        b. Folder of RTFD Files... - Each datafile is exported as a folder of RTFD files, with each record appearing as a separate RTFD file within that folder.

        c. Folder of Text Files... - Each datafile is exported as a folder of plain text files, with each record appearing as a separate text file within that folder.

    RTFD files can be opened, searched, and edited in TextEdit and some other apps. Although the field content, if any, will be included, fields will be part of the text block, not separate structures as they are in iData Pro 4.

    Folders of RTFD or plain text files can be imported into Apple's Notes app in a single operation. Each record shows up as an editable record.

    The advantage of RTFD format is that text styles and embedded images are retained, while plain text files are just ... plain text. Both formats are searchable and editable.

    3. Search Problems

    Recently, the most common problem that customers have had involve the Find routines.

    Find function problems are usually caused by inadvertently changing the Find setting. It appears to the user that the Find function has simply stopped working

    The problem is usually caused by the user clicking the magnifying glass icon next to the Find Box, which changes how the Find function works.  You can find the details in the Edit section of the User Guide, under Find Sub-Menu.

    You can hover the mouse cursor over the magnifying glass icon to see a tooltip that shows which modifier keys produce which function settings when the magnifying glass icon is clicked.

    4. Info for New Users

    In addition to the User Guide, which is available from the Help menu in iData Pro 4, the New Features in iData Pro (Since iData 3) item in Section I of the Help Topics index will be especially useful to those who have recently upgraded from iData 3.