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The Replication Special Report - Trigeminal Software, Inc. (English)  

The Replication Special Report
(the real story!)

The history of this paper has been somewhat convoluted, but a lot of people still send me e-mail regarding this piece of work, so I thought I'd set the record straight, once and for all.

In December 1995, I was approached by someone at Pinnacle Publishing to work on a Special Report on Microsoft Access 95. These special reports typically run about 100-150 pages and provide in-depth coverage of a single topic. I agreed to write the paper about Replication, a very cool feature that was new for both Access and Jet 3.0.

In February 1996, Pinnacle began taking online and phone orders for this paper--which was nearly done--and started some of their advertising efforts. The evil music had started to play in background, but like most people in such stories, I didn't hear it.

By March, the paper was completed and I was going to be able to see the report in print by the end of May. Since I was going to be a speaker about replication at the Access Advisor DevCon in Orlando in June, this seemed perfect. (Can you hear the music getting any louder at this point?)

The DevCon came and went and the Special Report, a 100+ page document on using replication in Access and Visual Basic, was still not in print. I queried Pinnacle about this and they repeatedly assured me it was in the works and almost done. I would see it in print any day now.  (The music is deafening at this point, and I finally seem to notice it.)

By December of 1996, I started getting regular e-mail complaints from people who had either expressed interest in this paper or had ordered it, wondering where the hell it was. The truth is that although replication is a very cool thing, there was very little documentation on it, so this paper was in demand among people who were thinking about using replication in their development.

Finally, in March of 1997, 15 months after I was originally asked to do the paper, and after Access 97/Jet 3.5 had been released (making the report slightly obsolete anyway), Pinnacle, which had recently changed ownership, officially stated that they had no plans on publishing the papers since it had been so long and they were out of date. The information on their web site was removed and the new management personally called each person who had ordered the paper to apologize and refund their money.

SO WHAT BECAME OF THE PAPER?

Well, the new management of Pinnacle (we'll make them the heroes of the story since everything they did was both helpful and timely) returned the rights to the paper to me. My plans were to update it to include the new features Jet 3.5/Access 97 added to replication:

  • Partial replication
  • Internet synchronization
  • VC++ DAO SDK headers that include replication interfaces
as well as the new features Jet 4.0/Access 2000 added:
  • Unified treatment of conflicts and errors
  • Priority-based conflict resolution
  • New metadata for conflicts
  • New replica types (prevent deletes, anonymous, local)
  • Registry settings to better configure Internet replication
  • Information on replication schema
  • SQL-Jet replication (Jet subscribers to SQL 7.0 merge publications)
I was then planning to publish it -- somewhere. The problem is that it is too small to interest most publishers, yet too big to appear in any kind of magazine (its currently in the 200 page range, as many of the above updates have been done). I am still looking, but I am not hopeful due to the lack of luck, so far. It would have been much better if Pinnacle had just printed as they had planned to initially.

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