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How does the Auto FE Updater know when to copy files from the server?

The Auto FE Updater utility compares the file date and time at the time the file was copied down from the file server folder with the current file date and time on the file server.   (The utility does not use a table or database property with a version number.)

Note that Access can update the local Access FE file as the user is working in it. This is usually minor items such as query plans or form filters that are set and then cleared once the form is reopened. As well the developer might have temp tables in the Access FE file which are being updated.    Therefore the date and time of the Access front end database file on the users target folder can't be used to do the comparison.

The utility stores that date in a AutoFEUpdater.INI file in the target folder usually in the Application Data folder on the users PC. The next time the Auto FE Updater is executed I compare the date stored in that file with the date on the server. If different the utility copies down the updated file(s).

This logic only copies down changed files.  For example, files, such as Leban's PDF printing DLLs, which haven't changed in years will only ever be copied down to the target folder once. 

You can see this for yourself by starting up the Auto FE Updater utility on your own system.  Choose a configuration file and, if you haven't already run that configuration file. then Run Config File.  This will copy the files down to your target folder. Now  run the Validate Config File command button and click on Open Target Folder to open Windows Explorer. Open the AutoFEUpdater.INI file in the target folder. You should see file names and date and times. Now make a change to a file on the server and Run Config File again. Now open the AutoFEUpdater.INI file in the target folder again and you will see the changed file date/time.

If you have a license for the Enterprise Edition you can force the Auto FE Updater to refresh all files.

   

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