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There are loads of ways to write text to external files. There is the
built in getPref() and setPref() methods which will store the
preferences on the local machine... that is probably not what you want
since you will want the preferences shared among a bunch of networked users.
So, there is the fileIO xtra which comes with Director. You can look it
up in the help file for syntax and usage. That will let you store
whatever text you want to a file, and you can store that file anywhere
that the computer has write access (so if the users have write access to
a network share, you can put the file there).
There are other xtras that can do the same thing, some are easier to use
than the others. propSave and vList can save native Director lists to
files without turning them into text first, so they are much faster.
"I was planning on using the INM Database xtra to store pricing in a
database, but the xtra does not work over a network. "
Are you sure about this? I haven't ever used the INM Xtra, but I have
used the free SQLite database xtra in a similar fashion. If you can
create a mapped drive to the shared network folder, it should appear to
the xtra as just another local disk, and you should be able to read or
write any files (assuming the user has permissions) including updating a
Another possibility would be to build a client/server application using
the old MUS xtra. Your server application would have to reside on some
computer on the LAN, and it would locally access what ever database you
were using. Your users would run a client application that could connect
to the server over the LAN or even the internet if you wanted. The MUS
xtra would allow you to send data back and forth, such as users
requesting pricing information, adding some new product, etc.
This is not a trivial task, but it would allow you to have more control
over how the database would be modified. Remember, just because users
access the same Director movie from a network drive, it is really no
different from each one having a copy of the movie on their local hard
drive. In fact they really do have a temporary copy of the movie (in RAM
or a cache). So what you get is multiple users each modifying the
database simultaneously via individual instances of a director movie,
without the director movies even being aware of each other.
There are other limitations, such as a limit of 16 simultaneous users.
Another limitation requires modifying the router configuration if any of
the users are not on the same LAN as the server. I've experimented with
the MUS xtra and I am familiar with most of the pitfalls, so I could
offer you some more details if you really were interested in this route.
These solutions are require only Director lingo programming. If you
search the google groups archive you will find information about
resolving the issue using server side scripting languages.
As well as the other suggestions, the Valentina Xtra might be worth a
look. They also have a database server that sounds like it would suit
your needs and the xtra can communicate with this - all it needs is an
IP, port, etc.
Thank you for all of your input. It helps running this by others and getting different thoughts. I will look into what you all have suggested.