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Introduction

Automatic Project Management for Clarion

Multi-Proj is a comprehensive tool for the rapid creation, maintenance, and use of DLLs in Clarion for Windows.

If you have any of the following situations then you are a candidate for Multi-Proj When your program grows large, there comes a point when you start to consider breaking it up into many app files, that create DLL's. This process can lead to quite a bit more overhead, functions have to be prototyped, procedures need to be exported, and so on. Multi-Proj has been designed to automate as much of this Multi-App-Management as possible. It also allows you finer control over how each application interacts with the others.

Another popular use for Multi-Proj, even if you only have one app file, is the ability to create versions that substitute a different driver than the one specified in the dictionary. This means, for example, that migrating from one driver to another is much easier with Multi-Proj especially if you need to maintain support for both drivers.

It should be noted that this is a developer-level tool. In other words it gives you, the developer, more power, and more flexibility than before. The cost of this power is knowledge. When you know what you're doing, Multi-Proj is on you side. When you don't know what you're doing then it can cause you grief. Please take the time to work through the tutorial.

Multi-Proj continually maintains all the related files, including the EXP files, PRJ/CWPROJ files, distribution commands, and maintenance of the template file - automatically. Now changing a DLL becomes as simple as compiling a single batch. All of the rest of the work is taken care of.

Another thing we regularly do now, is compile all our APPs during the development cycle with Full Debugging turned on. However Multi-Proj generates Debug Free PRJ/CWPROJ files for us, which we compile just before distribution (with the Multi-Proj Manager - a Batch Compiler). Thus our clients get the leanest code possible - while we can make full use of Clarion's native debug facilities.

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How does it work?

Multi-Proj consists of 2 parts. Firstly it is an extension template that is added to the global area of your application. This template stores all the various project settings that are required to build the various versions of your APP. When your application is compiled a project for each version is created. A Batch file (.bat) is also created for each version, which contains all the necessary distribution commands.

Note: This next part can be ignored for Clarion 7 (or later) users
The second part of Multi-Proj is the Multi-Proj Manager (MPM) . This is a separate utility which is able to drive the Clarion IDE (Find it in your Start | All Programs | Clarion 6 Accessories | MultiProj | Multi-Proj Manager). This is where you can group APPs and PRJs together to form Batches. Actually I should say that MPM groups them together for you - part of what the Extension does is link all the dependencies together - so adding just 1 PRJ file to your batch will add all the other PRJ and APP files that are required. If the application is a DLL a template to use the DLL is automatically written for you. The template contains a global extension which will activate the DLL in another application. This activation includes prototyping all the functions exported by the DLL, and including the DLL in the new application's Project settings. A code template for each exported function is also included to simplify calling the functions.

To truly understand all the goodies that Multi-Proj offer, it is useful to understand how DLLs are normally created, maintained, and used, in Clarion. Doing things the hard way is the easiest way to see how Multi-Proj makes it easier. Of course you can skip all the pain and simply do it the easy way. If you want to dive right in, then a good place to go from here is the Tutorial. This walks you through all the steps of turning a single APP into a Multi-DLL product. It also shows you how to add Multi-Proj to a Multi-DLL product.

Multi-Proj Global Extension Options

General Tab

Project File Name : This is the name of the overall project containing all the separate versions. This is typically the same name as the APP.

Export File Structures : Exports file structures so they can be used in other APPs using this DLL. Note that all the usual Clarion settings and overrides still apply as they did before. (i.e. Generate All File Declarations, Export All File Declarations, Individual File Overrides etc).

Export Your Global Data : This exports the data variables, contained in the Global Data area (i.e. the Data button) so they can be used in other APPs using this DLL. It is recommended that you only export data from your data DLL, however you can export data from any other DLLs if you want to.

Export Template Global Data : The Clarion templates typically generate 3 global variables (GlobalRequest, GlobalResponse and VCRRequest) which are not visible in the Global Data area. These must only be exported by 1 DLL in your product - although more than 1 DLL can export YOUR global data. This should be set in your data DLL and not in any other DLLs.

Export ABC library : If your APP is based on the ABC library classes, then at least 1 DLL in your product (typically the Root DLL) needs to 'export' the ABC library. All the other DLLs and EXEs set the normal Clarion option "Generate Template Globals and ABCs as External"

Export Procedures in Module Order : When making a DLL it is important to always export the procedures in the same order. This makes your DLL more compatible with programs compiled with a previous version of your DLL. If you are adding Multi-Proj to an existing APP then this is one way to force the order of the procedures. For more information on compatibility see the section entitled DLL Backward Compatibility later in this document.

This APP has no _RD and _RU Files : This is for Legacy Template APPs only. Click this option on if this APP uses no Dictionary File Structures.

This APP has no _SF module : This module is usually generated by the Clarion Legacy Templates. However in some APPs it is not included. If your APP does not generate a _SF module then click this on.

This APP has no BC modules : This is for ABC Template APPs only. Click this option on if the APP has no BC modules. Typically the data dll will have BC modules, whereas the other apps will not. If you get this option wrong (by ticking it on when you shouldn't) you will experience problem P1 as documented in the Multi-Proj Trouble-Shooting Guide.

Highest BC Number : This is only for ABC, and only needs to be filled in in the Data DLL. The template will generate a number of modules named xxxxxBC0.CLW, xxxxxBC1.CLW and so on. The exact number of modules is dependent on your dictionary, and very hard to predict reliably, so Multi-Proj needs you to fill in the number here. Note this can change as your dictionary grows. If you get this number wrong you will experience problem P2 as documented in the Multi-Proj Trouble-Shooting Guide.

Tip : Clarion counts them up from 0, to 9, then starts from A. You enter either the highest number, or if there are letters, then the highest letter.

Export OW Classes : This is for apps that have the Object Writer template included. If this item is ticked then the Object Writer classes will be exported, regardless of the EXPORT setting for these classes. If this option is not ticked then the classes will not be exported, again regardless of the EXPORT setting for those classes.

Only Export OW classes : If this option is ticked then only the class will be exported from the app. Use this option if you are making a DLL, which contains a class, but nothing else.

Suppress ABC Init : This suppresses the generation of all the ABC init code. Use this if your Object Writer class does not depend on any ABC classes.

This is app number : When making DLL's Multi-Proj supports a technique called Rebasing. This makes your apps load faster, and they're generally more "Windows friendly". This only applies to DLL's, Exe's and Lib's do not need to be rebased. For a detailed discussion about rebasing see ClarionMag ). While figuring out all the various rebasing numbers can be confusing, Multi-Proj tries to simplify it for you.  Here's how it works;

Each DLL in your application has a "Big Picture" number. It doesn't really matter what the number is, but it's best to simply start with 1 and move upwards from there.  So the Allfiles app will be app number 1, then Procs DLL will be app number 2 and so on.

Each number is good for 1 meg of virtual memory. If your DLL is more than a meg big then skip a number in the next dll. So if this data DLL was say 1.1 megs in size, then the Proces DLL would be app number 3.

Note for debugging: Leave the number set for the size of the non debug DLL's (i.e. compile the DLLs with DebugMode turned off to get the size you need to use). The extra size on the disk (when you compile with debugging turned on) is not loaded by windows. It is only used by debuggers, and analysis tools (like GPF Reporter and Profiler.)

Versions Tab

Versions : Click on this button to set up each version. If you are creating a multi-driver suite of apps, then each driver will need it's own Version.

Each Version has the following settings;

Title : This is the title on the list of versions. This title is only used for display purposes. A typical title might be "32-bit Stand-Alone, Debug Off, Version".

Set : If you are making a multi-dll, multi-driver, suite then you need to specify the SET that each version belongs to. Each different driver needs it's own SET name. For example, if you have a set of apps using the Topspeed driver, and this version uses the Topspeed driver then use a set name like TOPSPEED. It doesn't matter what the set name is (it could be TPS) so long as all the APPS in the suite use the same SET names.

Target Type : This is the target type of the version. Choose from EXE, LIB and DLL.

Target OS : This sets whether the version is 16 or 32-bit. (note 16 bit is retained for backward compatibility, but Multi-Proj no longer actively supports 16 bit programs).

Runtime Library : Set this to "Stand Alone" for compatibility with applications compiled with DLLs. Set this to "Local" for compatibility with applications compiled into a single EXE.

Debugging : Set this to On or Off.

Target Name : Enter the name of this version of the project. A CWPROJ (Clarion 7 or later) or PRJ (Clarion 6 and earlier) file along with an EXP and BAT file with this name will be created. Also a EXE, DLL and/or LIB file will be made with this name. Each version thus needs a different target name, and all the target names must be different to the Project File Name (as set above on the general tab). If you are compiling EXE's then each version needs to have a different name, although they can be renamed in the "Distribution" settings. For more information on naming standards and strategies see the section entitled DLL Naming Strategies later in this document.

Project Name : If the Project needs to have a different name to the target name then you can enter the Project name here. This is most often used when you are creating different versions of the same DLL, and the DLL's have the same (target) name. In the case of a DLL (unlike an Exe) renaming after the fact doesn't work well. But each version still needs a unique Project name, so you can enter that here.

Suppress this version for now : If you no longer want to generate a specific version, then tick this option on.

Driver Substitution to use: Pick the driver substitution from the list of possibilities if you would like MultiProj to automatically configure this version for driver substitution. This will mean that the correct file driver will be added to the project, as well as the project define.

Resources : Add specific resources here which apply to this version. This would typically include other 3rd party libraries. Note that it is now possible for 3rd party products to integrate directly with Multi-Proj - saving you this step. For more information see the section entitled 3rd Party Support for Multi-Proj later in this document.

File Drivers : This lets you override the File Drivers that will be linked into this Version of the project. This is typically used when you're making use of the Driver Substitution facilities in Multi-Proj. (For more information on Driver Substitution read the Section below). If you add any drivers here, then you must add all the drivers here. None of the detected drivers, or drivers set on the All Versions Resources Tab will be included.

Defines : Add specific project defines here. This is typically used when you want to do conditional compiles. For more information on conditional compiles see the section entitled Conditional Compiles.

Distribution : This section allows you to copy files (for this particular version) from one place to another. Typically you might want to copy DLL, EXE or LIB files.

Resources Tab

File Drivers : Multi-Proj should detect all the file drivers used by the project. If it misses one (or more) out then you can enter them here. Enter the Driver name, not the library name (e.g. TOPSPEED for Topspeed driver etc.)

Force : If you are generating the Prj in one version of Clarion, but planning to actually compile it in another, then set the actual compile version of Clarion here. This makes sure that the correct file driver libraries are inserted ready for compiling. This feature is mostly used by Clarion 3rd Party suppliers to compile their DLL's in various Clarion versions.

Common Resources : These are resources that will be used by all the versions of your APP. These are typically graphic files, like ICOs, BMPs or GIFs.

External Source : This is for external source files that may be used in your application. For example if you make use of the resize support in Clarion 2 then you will need to add the ResCode.Clw file here. To see what other external sources your application uses, check out the External Source Section of your APPs Project settings.

Enable Override Drivers : Turn this on if you want to enable the Override Driver support. For more information on overriding drivers see Driver Substitution later in this document.

OverrideDriverPossibilites : This allows you to create one, or more, Driver override Possibilities. Note this is not doing the overriding - merely creating the possibility of an override. For each possibility you need to set;

Template Tab

template tab screenshot

Template Set Name : If this DLL is to be part of a larger Template SET then enter the template set name here. This is normally used when this is not a generic DLL, but rather a DLL specific to an application. By creating one SET for all the specific product related DLLs, the templates are grouped better in the template registry. This name would probably be the name of the product. If you are creating a generic DLL which will be used in many different APPs then leave this name blank.

NB - you will need to register this template after it's generated the first time.

Template File Name : This name is typically the same name as the APP file itself. If this DLL is not part of a Template SET then this file should have the extension TPL. If it is part of a bigger SET then it should have a .TPW extension. This template will include a Global Extension Template (for activating this DLL in other APPs) and a code template for each Exported Function in the template.

Note that if this APP is an EXE then it makes no sense to have a Template - so leave this entry blank in that case.

Don't Generate Code Templates : Click this on to only generate the Global Extension, and not the Code templates. You would typically do this if you are creating the Code Templates yourself (stored in some other TPW file in the same SET).
Includes : If you are wise enough to add your own, hand-written template files to this template set, then add a list of your own TPW files here.

Don't generate Dependency defines : Part of what Multi-Proj does is generate special defines into the generated PRJ's so that the Multi-Proj Manager can figure out which apps are dependent on which other apps. If you wish to suppress this feature then you can tick this option on. This option is ignored in Clarion 7 and later.

Advanced Tab

MsSql : Real becomes Sreal: Tick this option on if you are using driver substitution, to MsSql, and you are not using FM3. This option automatically converts any REAL fields in your dict, into SREAL fields when generating the MsSql file declaration. It needs to do this because Clarion does not correctly convert REALS to FLOATS when the file is created. (If you are using FM3 then you can leave this switch off, as FM3 creates the table correctly.)

Bulk Generating and Compiling (Clarion 7 and later)

The Clarion 7 (and later) IDE contains a built-in batch compiler. Indeed all compiles are really batch compiles, it's just that in most cases the batch contains a single app file.

The name for a "batch" In the IDE is a "solution". A solution is thus a collection of one, or more, CWPROJ files. Since Multi-Proj generates lots of CWPROJ files for you, it is trivial for you to create a new solution, containing any number of these CWPROJ files.

Once you have created a solution you can easily open it, and compile it, thus compiling all the CWPRJ files that it contains.

Using a Multi-Proj DLL in another application

Because Multi-Proj writes a template for you, it's quite easy to use the functions exported from your DLL in your other APPs.
  1. When you first write a new DLL, you'll have to register the new template that Multi-Proj makes for you. Actually if the new template is part of a Template Set then the Set has to be registered. Once the Set has been registered it does not need to be re-registered every time you add a new DLL to it. This is one of the advantages of using Template Sets.

    The name of the Template Set is what you set on the Template tab of the Multi-Proj extension. Or if there is no Template Set entered there, then use the Template File Name. (If there's also no Template File Name then there's no template!) You only need to register the template once - when you change your DLL the Template, and the Template Registry are updated automatically.

    To register a template go to the Setup menu (in the Clarion IDE) , to Template Registry option and click on the Register button.
  2. The first time you use the DLL in another application, go to the Global Extensions area. Then include the Activate_XXX global extension template. (XXX is the name of your library). This extension adds the DLL to your current APP, and prototypes all the exported functions, and data, for you.

    If you are building a multi-driver system then you will need to set the Driver Set that the app will belong to. In other words when you compile the application itself, which driver do you want it to use. The template will offer you a drop-down of the various sets that are available for the DLL you are activating.
  3. When ever you want to use one of the functions in the DLL, then you can either go to an embed point, and type the call in there, or you can make use of one of the Code templates that Multi-Proj generated for you. There is a code template for each generated function which will prompt you with the parameters required, and the syntax for the function.

External Functions in the Application Tree

It's often useful to have some of your External functions present on the Tree in the IDE. Clarion does this for you when you use one of the template ways of one procedure calling another. For example if you call a procedure, using the template, from a Frame or Menu, then that procedure appears, as a To-Do, under the Frame in the application tree.

When you're dealing with multiple DLL's you would usually go ahead and define the procedure as being an ExternalDLL - and create a module, in your Tree, for the DLL. However there is a problem with this approach. If you do it this way, the name of the DLL is entrenched in the APP file. This may seem like a good thing, but it's not. It makes it impossible to create different versions of this App (which might use different versions of that DLL) in a smooth and easy manner.

One way (and the way used in earlier Multi-Proj versions) was to simply not allow Procedures to be created in this way. There is however a simple work-around which lets you have your cake, and eat it.

Multi-Proj includes two simple templates which essentially allow procedures to be defined as Externals and be visible in the tree, and yet not complicate our multiple version approach. It's a bit of kludge, but hey, it works.

Firstly create the External Module - using not one of the regular external modules, but the one offered by the Multi-Proj template. ( i.e. Open the App, Application menu, Insert Module, and select the Multi-Proj External Module.) This Module MUST be called External.Ico and you must make the Map Include file set to Empty.Clw . Then you can click on each To-Do in turn, and make the Multi-Proj External Procedures. As you do this make sure the Module name is External.Ico - select it from the list if necessary.

But hold on - you say - What's this about an Icon. Well the truth is, External.Ico (in your Tree) is NOT an icon. It's simply a convenient name which the IDE is happy with. It's necessary to go with the strange name to fool the Linker a bit later on. Unfortunately in this case the IDE is too smart, and insists on adding whatever name we use to the Project ( the one built into your application). Usually at this point it would be a LIB file - which is what we're trying to avoid. By using the name of an Icon ( which does actually exist - it's shipped with Multi-Proj) - the linker is happy.

The reason we use the Empty.Clw statement in the Map is because all of these procedures are going to be prototyped by their respective Multi-Proj generated templates. If we let Clarion do it's normal thing we'd get an 'Indistinguishable Prototype' error. So again to override Clarion's cleverness we use this simple override.

Tips

  1. If you are creating a DLL / Lib combination then set the APP itself to be a DLL. Then click the Export Function switch for those procedures you want to export.
  2. If your program gets link errors when trying to compile the project, but the application itself compiles ok, then check the "Project" settings of the APP. Most likely you have omitted a resource in either your Version Resources, or Common Resources.
  3. If you want maximum value from the Code template then use the long form of prototyping when you prototype your functions in the DLL. The prototype for the procedure is set on the Procedure properties window. Normally you only put the parameter types in the Prototype e.g. (LONG, LONG, STRING) . However you can also put the variable names here. For example (LONG FromDate, LONG ToDate, STRING Holiday)
  4. If you are using FM3, and you are using Multi-Proj to create multiple driver versions of your app, then you need to handle the fact that each driver version of your file represents a different file version number (as far as FM3 is concerned). To do this;

    in your data dll

    global embed point, called "program setup"

    priority 10

    put

      compile('***',MsSQLDriver=1)
      ds_VersionModifier = 1000
      ***


    if you had a third driver, say oracle, then you'd also add

      compile('***',OracleDriver=1)
      ds_VersionModifier = 2000
      ***

     
    and so on.
  5. If you are struggling to use the Multi-Proj Manager, because of DDE problems, then try making a shortcut to the Mp.Exe on your desktop. Running it from here, rather than from inside the IDE (Accessories menu) seems to work better on some machines.
  6. If you have a lot of icons in your application, you should export your txa and add the icons to the MultiProj Common Resource list using copy and paste. You can then re-import the txa with the icons in the list.

List of Errors

Compile and Link Errors

Make error: File "<filename>.exp" not found: The target type in the Multi-Proj Global Extension does not match the target type in the Project Properties. If you are building a DLL make sure they are both set to DLL. If you are using Clarion 5.5 legacy, then you need to modify the buildexp.tpw to add an embed point as follows (right at the end of the file):

#EMBED(%AfterClosingExports,'After Closing the export file')

Execute of <filename>.DLL failed, File not found: Make sure in the Project Properties, that you haven't put the Target Name in the Programs to Execute section by mistake.

Link Error: Unresolved External NetDUNRename (and about 90 others): This is caused if this Application is a Data DLL, and NetTalk is installed on your system, and neither the Activate, nor Suppress NetTalk extensions are in this app. If you intend to use NetTalk then add the Activate NetTalk Global Extension to the application, otherwise add the Suppress NetTalk Global Extension.

Link Error: Unresolved External <$CUSTOMER> in <filename>.obj: This may happen if you have not included all the Global Templates for all the DLL's in your project. You should have a Global Template for each DLL that this application is dependent on, plus your template set name Global Template. (If this occurred when you were doing the tutorial and you had not done the first part of the tutorial, then you probably chose to Generate All, instead of the 'Just This File' Generate option. If you are not working through the whole tutorial and are just doing the Multi-Proj Manager tutorial, then re-install Multi-Proj to restore the original tutorial files.

Link Error: Unresolved External ~<iconfilename> in <filename>.obj: This will happen if you've put the tilde character in front of icon files in your browse icons tab. You need to remove the tilde characters from the front of the icon filenames that you have used in your browse icons. These are icons are included in your project and the icon used will be the one included in the project. Only icons used in handcode require a tilde to use the icon included in the poject.

Syntax error: Indistinguishable new prototype: <procedure name>: You may have declared your procedure to be an ABC External type when it should be a Multi-Proj ExternalProcedure.

Link Error: Unresolved External: Possible causes:
  1. If you are using 3rdparty products that are adding items to your Application's project and are not MultiProj compatible, then they will be not be informing Multi-Proj about those LIBs.
  2. You have not informed MultiProj what the highest BC module is (that is generated by your application).
  3. There are some file drivers/external resources that have been added manually to your app's project, that MultiProj does not know about, and is not adding to the Project.
  4. You have added a function to one of your DLLs, but the IDE is not automatically updating your template chain. (See the FAQs on overcoming this issue)
  5. You have a function with the PASCAL attribute, but you have not specified a NAME attribute to the function (in the function prototype).
How to resolve this:
$VCRRequest is unresolved for Export: This should only happen in old version of Clarion 2, before this variable was introduced. To fix this error, go to the Global Embeds, in the "Global Data" embed point add

VCRRequest long

Missing Global Variable Declaration: GLO:<Filename>_Name: You are using Driver Substitution and  FM3, but you have not checked the "Create global variables for file names" in the Multi-Proj global extension template.

Duplicate Template Error

You have not allocated a unique template name in the Template tab of the Multiproj Template.

My Compiler GPFs since breaking my app into DLLs.
  1. Are the first 5 letters of _every_ app unique? We've seen problems where the first 5 are common and this leads to generated source from one app ending up in another.
  2. Because MultiProj creates a code template for each function of the DLLs (this used to be on by default, but is now off by default for this reason) it manages - your template registry can get to a size that Clarion cannot manage. Uncheck the "Don't Generate Code Templates" checkbox, and then regenerate all your applications. Delete your registry.trf file (located in the clarion\template directory) and then re-register your templates (see www.capesoft.com\accessories\downloadFAQs.htm#FAQB5 for details).
  3. Does it GPF at the same place? i.e. could it be code related? We've seen "bad" code sometimes GPF the compiler.
  4. Clean out obj32 and obj32\release from time to time, that can help if you got a bad obj file.
  5. After a gpf go to the windows task manager and remove any process called NTVDM or C6*
I get "Too many #Pragma defines" error message

On the "Template" tab of your Multi-Proj extension template, turn on the 'Don''t generate "Dependency" defines' switch.

<MemoField> Is unresolved for export

Your project is trying to export a MEMO field (declared as such in the dct) - but has been converted to a CSTRING (or STRING) in the project. In that project version (MultiProj template) uncheck the "Export Memos" checkbox located on the File Drivers tab.

Driver Substitution

Driver Substitution (DS) is a Multi-Proj Advanced Feature and may not be relevant to your situation. DS is useful however if you are changing from one Driver to another - or you wish to support multiple drivers in your application. For example if you have an existing application using the TOPSPEED driver, but you wish to also have an MSSQL version, then Multi-Proj will allow you to do this.

One point to note here however is that Multi-Proj does not optimize your code at all for the drivers. There are some differences, internally, between ISAM (Flat File) drivers like TOPSPEED and SQL drivers like MSSQL. In time you may want to optimize parts of your code for the actual driver. At this stage Multi-Proj merely performs the driver substitution. It is however possible (using Conditional Compiles) to optimize your code for both drivers. That will be discussed in a moment.

Note: Before proceeding with implementing driver substitution, you must make your dictionary SQL compliant (see https://www.capesoft.com/docs/fm3/fm3sql.htm#Convert). It is highly recommended that you use FM3 to manage your data conversion, as doing this manually will be very tedious (www.capesoft.com/accessories/fm3sp.htm)

The Mechanics

Adding Driver Substitution to your application is a 2 part process.
  1. First on the Multi-Proj extension, on the Resources Tab, Click Enable Driver Substitution ON. Then click on the Override Driver Possibilities button. The idea here is to define which drivers might be overridden. In our example (of having TOPSPEED and MSSQL versions) we will override the TOPSPEED driver with MSSQL in some versions, and in other versions we won't. We'll get to the versions in a moment - for now we're just defining the possibilities.

    Override Driver Possibilities

    With each possibility you'll need to enter a Conditional Define. This is basically an identifier or an equate. This equate will be defined for you. When the equate is 1 then the driver will be substituted, when it's 0 it won't. You'll see how the equate is set in a moment - for now though it's necessary just to create the name. For the example I'm going to call it UseMsSql.

    You'll also need to set the From and To drivers. If the SQL backend restricts the number of characters (for example old versions of MySQL has a 12 character limit) then enter that. In the case of most SQL backends you'll need to enter a database prefix. For MsSql this is most likely to be dbo. (including the .) but this does depend on your database.

    In the data DLL you'll also need to enter the Owner (usually a variable that contains the database connection string) and optionally a Send string.
    • Add Create Attribute - If your tables are not created in TPS - you may like to add the create attribute for your SQL project.
    • Do no Generate long External Names - if you have already added an external name to your fields and keys, then you can turn this off to prevent MultiProj from tacking an additional name attribute on to the field and key declaration.
    • Auto Detect DATE/TIME pairs - only check this is if you have not used a GROUP,OVER a STRING(8) in your dictionary for your dates and you are using a version of SQL (MSSQL <2005) that does not support individual DATE/TIMEs.
    • Make All keys case sensitive - if your keys don't need to be case-insensitive, then it's a good idea to check this, as a case-sensitive key is far more optimized that a case-insensitive key.
    • Generate Overs for Arrays - SQL does not support dimensioned fields (this includes PostgreSQL, because the Clarion ODBC driver does not support arrays). This means that you will need to create a group, and place the array over the group, which Multi-Proj can do for you (as long as you have not already done this in your dictionary manually).
    • Make Auto-Number - Dictionary | Server-side | Client-side. This switch will enable you to turn off Client-side Autonumbering in your SQL project. You will still need to create the identity field (or tell FM3 to do it for you) in your dictionary - but this will not affect your flat-file version.

      NOTE: If you set this option to Server-Side, in Clarion 7 and later, a change to the ABC classes is required. The declaration of the FileKeyQueue structure needs to be moved from the ABFILE.CLW file to the ABFILE.INC file. these files are in \clarion\libsrc\win.The structure is;
      FileKeyQueue         QUEUE,TYPE,PRIVATE ! QUEUE of all keys in a file
      Key                     &KEY ! Reference to a KEY
      Description             STRING(80) ! Key description text (from Data dictionary)
      Fields                  &KeyFieldQueue ! Reference to key components queue
      AutoInc                 BYTE ! Auto-increment flag (from Data dictionary)
      Dups                    BYTE ! Duplicates allowed flag (from Data dictionary)
      NoCase                  BYTE ! Case sensitive flag (from Data dictionary)
                           END
    • General Field conversions - This allows you to form a list of field types that you want to force to a specific type on the SQL backend (In conjunction with FM3). IOW if you want all DATEs to be formed as datetime types on the backend, you can specify this here.
    • Different Owner Files - this allows you to override the default owner variable for specific files. This is useful if you want to connect to 2 different databases (for example, for global data). Note: If you want FM3 to manage both databases, you will need to build an upgrader application for this separate database, as FM3 can only manage 1 database per application instance.
  2. The second part of the process is creating the actual MSSql version. You do this by creating a Version in the normal way. In the Driver Substitution droplist, select the driver substitution possibility that you just created. Then go to the Resources Tab (still in the same Version) and click on the Other File Drivers button. Here you'll need to make sure that your Export Memos is unchecked for SQL versions.
Note (for FM3 users):

Some tips for maintaining multiple projects

You can create conditionally compiled handcode specific specific to one driver project set. This is typically useful where you want to setup different filenames for each file driver supported.

    compile('****',MSS_DRV=1) 
     !MSS_DRV is the Conditional Define you used in the OverrideDriverPossibilities template prompt.
CustomersFileName = 'dbo.Customers'
    !****

    omit('****',MSS_DRV=1) 
CustomersFileName = 'Customers.tps'
    !****

The Internals

If you look in your main module for your App you'll see that Multi-Proj generates the file structures multiple times - once for each possible substitution, and once for the actual dictionary set. However ONLY 1 set of file structures is actually Compiled into your application. By using Conditional Compiles, and the Conditional Define, Multi-Proj allows for the different versions of your program.

Multi-Proj may have to change the file structure slightly in order to accommodate the specifics of each driver. For example Topspeed files support the MEMO data type - but MSSQL doesn't. So for MSSQL memo fields are converted to CStrings. In addition some of the File attributes are not supported by all drivers, so where necessary they are removed (for example MSSQL doesn't support RECLAIM).

Other Issues

Your file structures needs to contain only data types which are valid in both drivers. See the Advanced tab for specific field overrides that Multi-Proj can do for you.

Overriding Driver Substitution for individual files

If you'd like to keep specific data files as a type (not being influenced by the Driver Substitution), then you can add the following File UserOption to your dictionary file declaration:

FIXDRIVER            <DriverType>

Open your dictionary and right-click on the file that needs to be fixed, go to the options tab and add a User option as follows:

Fix Driver Example

Note, you must set the Value to what you want it to be (typically the original FileDriver itself).

Overriding the addition of the NAME attribute (external name) to fields and keys

To suppress MultiProj from adding the ,NAME('"externalname"') attribute to fields and keys, Use the File User Option:
 NoExternalName = 1

Handling Dynamic Indexes in your Dictionary

The easiest option is to remove the dynamic Index(es) - although this is not always possible to continue supporting your TPS version. If you cannot delete the dynamic index, then you need to do the following in the Key User Options for that particular index:

SQL Key User Option

Basically, MultiProj needs to force a field name into the Index, so that a non-dynamic index will be created in the SQL project. The above FieldName option is the name of a field in that table.

Browse Filtering in your app

In your browses, you may have used different keys in filters for the browse. When using SQL, you need to use the primary key - or alternatively add the primary key component field to the key that you are using.

Secwin

Typically you would like your secwin files to exist on the new backend. This is a simple process to set the new place for the Secwin files (just check the Make Secwin files on the substituted database checkbox of the Driver Substitution options), although exporting and importing your data can be a little more complex. First up, is you need to export your Secwin data from the previous application (using the ds_ExportTables - a Secwin function that will export all the secwin data to a binary file). This needs to be done in the old application, as the secwin file driver needs to be set correctly. The new application then needs to call the ds_ImportTables (another Secwin function to import from the binary file that was exported).

Auto Numbering

Often it's useful to be able to use a AutoNumbered key in the TPS version of your application, but transfer the autonumbering to the server-side when compiling the SQL version of the project. This is reasonably straight forward using Multi-Proj, but requires some changes in your Clarion environment (since the Clarion templates themselves are not aware of Multi-Proj). We have submitted a change for SoftVelocity to attend to, and this should hopefully be included in future versions of Clarion.

Note: If you are wanting to prime the record (for child browses) you will need to use the driver options string as specified in the FM3 docs.

Firstly, what you need to change in your Clarion templates:

Open your ABPROGRM.TPW file in a text editor (you can use the source editor in Clarion) and search for the following line (Clarion 6 users of 9058 and up):

#ERROR('An Identity Column can not belong to an Auto Number Key (Key:'&%Key&' - Column:'&%FileIdentityField&')')
#ERROR('Set the Auto Number option to false.')
An Identity Column can not belong to an Auto Number Key (Key:%Key - Column:%FileIdentityField)
Set the auto Number option to false.


Comment out those lines as follows:

#!ERROR('An Identity Column can not belong to an Auto Number Key (Key:'&%Key&' - Column:'&%FileIdentityField&')')
#!ERROR('Set the Auto Number option to false.')
!An Identity Column can not belong to an Auto Number Key (Key:%Key - Column:%FileIdentityField)
!Set the auto Number option to false.


Do the same to the CW.TPL file.

Secondly, what you need to change in your ABFILE.CLW and ABFILE.INC (at the time of writing this clarion 6 9059 and below, and clarion 7.1 and below):

Open your ABFILE.CLW file in a text editor (you can use the source editor in Clarion) and search for the following line:

RelationQueue QUEUE,type

Cut the complete definitions of the RelationQueue, KeyFieldQueue, FileKeyQueue, FieldsList, SaveQueue and BufferQueue queues (this should be around 55 lines of code) and paste those definitions into the ABFILE.INC

Thirdly, you'll need to setup your DCT for Server-side and client side autonumbering as follows:
  1. Leave the auto-numbering on in the Primary Key (you can turn this off in your MultiProj settings).
  2. In the autonumbered field, add the following Field user options (Note: must be field user options):

    Showing Server Side AutoNumber field user options

Fourthly, open your application in the IDE, and go to the MultiProj template (Global | Extensions | Activate MultiPrj):

On the resources tab, click the Override Driver Possibilities button, and locate the SQL override that you want to make the numbering server-side. Click the properties button, and in the Make Auto-Number drop down list, select the "Server-Side" option.

Generate File Declarations in Modules

In your application, on the Global Properties, File Control Tab is an option to Generate File Declarations in Modules. As from Multi-Proj 3.01 this option is supported, however a manual change to the shipping templates is required to support this.

Template Change ABC

In ABFILE.TPW circa line 568 you'll see the following code;

#EMBED(%BeforeFileFileStructRecEnd),%File,HIDE
#IF(%GetFileDeclareMode() = 'FILE')
%FileStructRecEnd
#ENDIF
%[20]NULL %(LEFT(%FileStructEnd))


This needs an extra line added to the bottom to become

#EMBED(%BeforeFileFileStructRecEnd),%File,HIDE
#IF(%GetFileDeclareMode() = 'FILE')
%FileStructRecEnd
#ENDIF
%[20]NULL %(LEFT(%FileStructEnd))
#EMBED(%AfterFileDeclaration,''),%File,HIDE #! MultiProj


A request for this to be added to the shipping templates has been made (PTSS 43006). Hopefully future versions of Clarion will ship with this embed point included.

Template Change Clarion (Legacy)

The exact same change as for ABC (described above) is required in File.TPW circa line 135. The same code exists there, and the same embed needs to be added.

3rd Party support for Multi-Proj (Clarion 7 and above)

Note - Clarion 7 introduced a new project format, so developers should implement the instructions below if their template supports C7 or above. In addition, if supporting C6 and below, see the previous section.

One of the features in Multi-Proj is the addition of a number of Embed points. These allow other 3rd party products to interact with Multi-Proj, which saves you a lot of time and effort. The following section deals with these features, and is directed primarily at Template Authors. If you do not write templates then you can safely ignore this section. However if you're a user of other 3rd party products, and the product is not MP compatible, then you might want to direct them to this document so they can add compatibility.

The primary goal of the compatibility features is to reduce the amount of work required by the User to add resources to the application. In the template language this is taken care of using the #Project command. Unfortunately there is no way to Read the contents back from #Project - and indeed in certain cases this would be insufficient anyway. In order for you, the Template Writer, to afford the user maximum computability between your product and Multi-Proj you need to add some extra code in addition to each of your #Project statements. Lets look at each type of resource in turn;

Graphics Resources

These are files such as BMP, WMF, GIF, ICO ,CUR and so on. These files are "version independent" and so are added to a single Embed point - called

%mpRscAll7

If your template has a statement like

#Project('Cool.Ico')

then you need to add the following to your template

#AT(%mpRscAll7)
    <Library Include="Cool.Ico" />
#ENDAT


If you have added a File Driver to your project, using say

#FIX(%Driver,'TOPSPEED')
#PROJECT(%DriverLib)

then you need to add the following to your template

#AT(%mpRscAll7)
    <FileDriver Include="TOPSPEED" />
#ENDAT


Source Code Resources

These are CLW files which your template might use, but which are not added to the Application Tree. Your template code might typically look like this;

#Project('Tag.Clw')

then you need to add the following to your template

#AT(%mpCompileAll7)
    <Compile Include="Tag.Clw" />
#ENDAT


Note that the above embed point is used for Source files which are included Regardless of the Runtime Library (i.e. Stand-Alone or Local). There are also embed points which are only used in specific cases - i.e. if the your external source file is dependent on the Runtime Library then you can use the following embed points;

#AT(%mpCompileX7) #! 32-bit DLL
#AT(%mpCompileXL7) #! 32-bit Local


LIB and OBJ Resources

These resources are almost always dependent on the Runtime library of the program being compiled. Your template code will probably look something like;

#PROJECT('whatever.lib')

In this case you can use the All embed. The only complication is that each % character in the code above needs to be expanded to %25 in the code below. Like this;

#AT(%mpLibAll7)
    <Library Include="whatever.lib" />
#ENDAT


There are also two additional embed points if you are directly deciding between Lib mode and DLL mode. You can use

#AT(%mpLibX7)
    <Library Include="C%%25V%%25NET.Lib" />
#ENDAT


for DLL mode and

#AT(%mpLibXL7)
     <Library Include="C%%25V%%25NETL.Lib" />
#ENDAT


for Lib mode, respectively. (In the Above examples the CLANET and CLANETL Libs are being included.

Project Defines

These are template driven defines that are placed in the Project Defines section. Typically your code might look like this:

#pdefine('MyDefine=>1')

Leave this define as is for non-Multi-Proj users, but for Multi-Proj users, add the following:

#AT(%mpDefineAll7)
%%3bMyDefine=&gt;1%%3b
#endat

Notice the leading and trailing %%3b (which is a ;) and the encoding of the > sign to &gt;

Global Data

This is common between Clarion 6 and below, and Clarion and below. See the details in the Clarion 6 section above.

DLL Backward Compatibility

One topic worth discussing briefly is that of making sure your DLLs are backwards compatible. What I mean by this is that you are able to ship a more recent version of your DLL, into an existing client, without there being any side effects. This is a very powerful approach because it allows you to distribute bug fixes, and minor updates, of your product in pieces, rather than requiring a whole new install.

The key to this compatibility issue is the items which are Exported from the DLL. This can get quite complicated, so I'm going to stick to the basics here. The items exported are stored in the EXP file. If new stuff is ONLY added to the bottom of the EXP file, then the DLL will be forwards compatible. In other words the new DLL will work with programs compiled earlier.

However, the stuff in the export file is stored by Number, not by Name, and it is usually listed as first data, then procedures, then classes and so on. Thus if you add data to the DLL, all the procedures will get a different number.

For this reason it's a good idea to restrict the exporting of data to the Data DLL. All the other DLLs should export only Procedures. Then items added to the DLL will be at the bottom of the EXP file, and the DLLs will be completely forwards compatible.

Conditional Compiles

In Clarion it is possible to conditionally compile code, depending on some settings in the CWPROJ/PRJ file. Remember the goal of Multi-Proj is to allow you to compile multiple versions of the same APP - from the same source files. This implies that the source files must contain all the possible flavors of the code. However, of course, only one flavor must be compiled in any given situation.

For Example : If you are using any Windows API calls, then in all probability these calls are slightly different in 16-bit and 32-bit. So a 16-bit DLL needs to compile slightly different code to a 32-bit DLL. this is an example of where using a Conditional Compile is very useful. To use the GetWindowsDirectory call you would need to do the following in the Global Map;

Module ('Windows')
COMPILE('***',_WIDTH32_=0)
  GetWindowsDirectory(*CSTRING,USHORT),USHORT,PASCAL,RAW,name('GetWindowsDirectory')
***
COMPILE('***',_WIDTH32_=1)
  GetWindowsDirectory(*CSTRING,USHORT),USHORT,PASCAL,RAW,name('GetWindowsDirectoryA')
***
End !Module


In the above example we make use of the _Width32_ define (this is a built in define) to determine if the DLL is compiling in 16 or 32-bits.

This approach is however very useful in other circumstances. For example, say you wanted to create a debug version of your program, and a non debug version. Then you could add the following code to your APP;

COMPILE('***',_Debg_=1)
  stop('The variable x = ' & x & ' here ')
***


Or you might want to create a message screen for non-registered versions, like this;

COMPILE('***',_Demo_=1)
  Message('Come on! Please send me money!!')
***


One useful tip is that Defines used in this way are automatically assumed to be 0 if they don't exist. Thus you only have to add them to versions when they must be set to something other than 0. To add a define to a version, go to the Multi-Proj extension, go to the specific version, go to the defines tab, and simply set the Define to 1 there. For example;

_Demo_=>1

Notice the somewhat unusual => sign (which means equals).

Also remember that _Width32_ is set for you in 32-bit compiles.

If you are doing a multi-driver system and you want to add code for a specific driver, then you can use the Conditional Define that you created on the OverRide Driver Possibilities list. For example if you used UseMsSqlDriver then you can encapsulate some code in a conditional compile. For example;

COMPILE('***',UseMsSqlDriver )
  myview{prop:sql} = 'Select * From Customers'
***


This code will then only be executed when the MSSql driver is being used.

DLL Naming Strategies

It is useful to follow a strategy when naming DLLs. You can use whatever strategy you like - some common strategies are listed here for your convenience. Obviously your naming strategy will depend on you specific requirements.

Clarion style

This was introduced with Clarion 7, and is still used with Clarion 8.

CLAaaaL.DLL

Clarion Old style

This was introduced with Clarion 4, and is also used with Clarion 5, 5.5 and 6.

CnaaaXL.DLL

Clarion Older style

This is the Style used with Clarion 2.

Ct2aaann.DLL

FAQs

I'm getting compile errors in my Project

1.1. I've added a new function to one of my DLLs, but when I try to use it, it says 'unresolved external' in the other application.
1.2. When I run my Multi-Proj compiled application, the Application icon is not the same.
1.3. I have some manually declared variables (equates, etc.) that I would like exported from my data dll. How do I do this?

1.1. I've added a new function to one of my DLLs, but when I try to use it, it says 'unresolved external' in the other application.

Answer: You probably have not setup Clarion to re-register your templates, so your application does not know about the new function added to the DLL. Set this up in the Clarion IDE as follows:

Template Re Register Setup


1.2. When I run my Multi-Proj compiled application, the Application icon is not the same.

Answer: You need to tell Multi-Proj what your application icon is in the Resources tab of the MultiProj template (you'll find an Application Icon entry field on that tab).


1.3. I have some manually declared variables (equates, etc.) that I would like exported from my data dll. How do I do this?

Answer: Add your exported variable list to the global embed "Inside export list". MultiProj will pick this up and add to the MultiProj project's exports.

Copyright and License

Multi-Proj and Multi-Proj Manager are copyrighted © 2020 by CapeSoft Software CC. All rights reserved.

This product, and all the files contained therein, is copyrighted by CapeSoft Software.

Each developer needs his own license to use Multi-Proj. (Need to buy more licenses?)

This product is provided as-is. CapeSoft Software, employees of CapeSoft, and Dealers of CapeSoft products, explicitly accept no liability for any loss or damages which occur from using this package. Use of this package constitutes agreement with this license. This package is used entirely at your own risk.

 Templates written by Multi-Proj are your property and can be distributed as you wish.

Version History

Download latest version here

3.02 Released 24 May 2021 3.01 Released 5 March 2020 3.00 Released 13 Sept 2018 2.99 Released 6 Sept 2018 2.98 Released 19 July 2017 2.97 Released 7 January 2016 2.96 Released 19 August 2015 2.95 Released 25 February 2015 2.94 Released 15 April 2014 2.93 Released 31 January 2014
2.92 Released 7 October 2013 2.91 Released 13 June 2013 2.90 Released 2 May 2013 2.89 Released 26 February 2013
2.88 Released 6 August 2012
2.87 Released 20 July 2011 2.86 Released 19 May 2011 2.85 Released 9 November 2010 2.84 Released 14 October 2010 2.83 Released 6 October 2010 2.82 Released 21 September 2010 2.81 Released 29 March 2010 2.80 Released 19 February 2010 2.79 Released 8 July 2009 2.78 Released 29 May 2009 2.77 Released 27 November 2008
2.76 Released 10 November 2008
2.75 Released 18 July 2007 2.74 Released 12 June 2007 2.70 Released 12 April 2007 2.66 Released 8 May 2006 2.64 Released 6 Aug 2004 2.63 Released 12 Jan 2004