McLachlan Software
ivan Version 3.1.5 Features

This version has no functionality changes but has been compiled and tested on Windows 2000 with tools from the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit.

ivan Version 3.1.4 Features

This version includes a more recent version of the calendar.exe application which removes dependency on "older" microsoft dlls (specifically MFC40.dll). The setup.exe program has been modified so that MFC40.dll is no longer installed. This also means that the ivan download file is now 3MB which is about 500KB smaller than version 3.1.3.

This version fixes a bug in the long filename implementation introduced in version 3.1.3 which prevent long file paths being used with error logs. Since error logs are no longer used by default this would not affect most users.

This version extends the filepaths possible so that they are 256 characters long. This is very long and is the MAXIMUM file path available to the majority of Microsoft Applications.

ivan Version 3.1.3 Features

This version increases the flexibility that users have when storing their databases in alternative locations.

An ivan database is opened by specifying the database location on the command line when you run ivan. The default installation installs a shortcut which includes the database parameter. On standard installations the shortcut command line would look like: "c:\ivanw\ivanw.exe -d testdb". This would open a database called "testdb" that was stored in the "c:\ivanw" directory.

Many users require their ivan databases to be in locations different from what is set up in the default installation. Ivan has always accepted a file path after the '-d' parameter such as: "c:\ivanw\ivanw.exe -d c:\My Documents\mydb". This would open a database called "mydb" in the users "My Documents" folder.

Previously the pathname for the ivan database and the ivan executable had two constraints which were:

  1. The folders in the pathname had to be less than 8 characters (or specified using the MS Windows/DOS method of trucating names such as MYDOCU~1).
  2. The folders in the pathname could not contain spaces (or once again had to be specified using the MS Windows/DOS method of truncating names).

From this version the folders in a pathname can be longer than 8 characters and they can contain spaces. i.e. previously the example above of "c:\My Documents\mydb" would have failed. Now ivan will work fine no matter where you put your database.

Version of ivan introduced the makeicon.exe tool for making it easier to create a shortcut to an ivan database. If you run the makeicon.exe programme all you need to do is specify the name of the shortcut, the location of ivanw.exe and the location of the database you want to open. Makeicon.exe also allows you to save the shortcut in either the Windows Start Menu or on the Windows Desktop or both. Makeicon.exe also allows you to create a shortcut that will create a log file when ivan is run (Note: if the log option is enabled ivan may operate more slowly especially if it is being loaded over a network such as from a corporate application server). McLachlan Software DO NOT recommend using a log file for normal operation.

If you would like to know how to create a new ivan database then you can either copy the default database (i.e. c:\ivanw\testdb) to a new location and rename it or (if your default database has data in it and you want an empty database) you can look at the following web document.

Questions and answers regarding ivan 3.1.3:

I've created a new database by following the instructions on your web site but my ivan shortcut still opens my old database. How do I create a new shortcut that will open the new database ?
  • Use the makeicon.exe programme which can be found in c:\ivanw (or where ever you installed ivan). It will prompt you for the name of the shortcut and the locations of ivanw.exe and your ivan database.

I've placed my new database in c:\ivanw like in the example on your web site. Can I put the database somewhere else such as d:\My Documents\ivan stuff\mydb ?
  • YES. Either copy the new database to the desired location OR go through the process again but this time create the database in the location you want your database to be in.

I don't understand comments about placing my database in different locations. Why would I want to place my database somewhere different from where the ivan installation put it ?

There are a number of reasons why you may want to do this. They are all associated with backing up your data:

  • Your may like to keep all your data in the same directory such as "My Documents" so that you only have to back up your "My Documents" folder and all your data is backed up.

  • If you work on a network your system administrator may provide a personal drive where you put all your data. This is often done because the network server is regularly backed up but local PCs rarely are. In this case you would want your ivan database to be located on a network drive so that your schedule data is automatically included in the company backups.

  • You may use different computers to access your database. In this case it is likely you will put the database on a network server and just create a shortcut that starts ivan with the correct database location.

ivan Version 3.1 Features

Version 3.0 of ivan was a significant upgrade from the 2.0 series of releases. Since then there have been a number of 3.0.x releases with the latest being 3.0.10.

Version 3.1 represents an effort to simplify the task of installing and using ivan. The result is a smaller distribution, simpler command line options to start up the software, incorporation of the latest bug fixes, faster startup time and some new utilities.

A summary of the benefits of IVAN 3.1 follows in a question and answer style:

I have installed Ivan 3.1.x and there seem to be less files. Am I missing something ?
  • IVAN 3.1 has been rebuilt to encapsulate a number of components that were kept external to the core application. The result is an installation with about 100 less files requiring less hard drive space for installation and significantly faster startup time.

    Although there are less files the functionality is still the same. The functionality represented by the missing files has been restructured and compiled into the ivan application.

I've looked at the properties of the shortcut that was installed with ivan and it missing the "-c xxxx" part that previous versions have required. Will I lose any functionality because if this ?
  • Prior versions ivan produced a log file during execution. The location of the log file was added to the ivan command line in the shortcut properties (see Ivan Command Line Notes or How to create Windows shortcuts to start up ivan). The command line for the default installation of ivan was previously set to: "ivanw.exe -d testdb -c xxxx"

    From version 3.1 and following the log file is optional and the default installation does not provide a log option. In the case of the example above the command line would now be: "ivanw.exe -d testdb". (The 3.2 series of ivan to be released later this year will remove the need to indicate the database on the command line)

  • The log files are quite cryptic and normally only understood by the developers of the software. Further they were only used in the case of fatal errors with the software to try and track down the reasons for failure. Since ivan is fairly stable the need for a log file is very rare.

  • If the log file is not specified ivan will not write log entries to disk. As well as making it easier to create the shortcuts for ivan this should also increase the performance of the software especially when ivan is being run on over a LAN.

  • If users wish a log file they can manually add the -c <directory> parameter to the command line in the ivan shortcut. There is also an additional -log <file name> parameter available (see next item).

  • Users can now specify a -log <file name> parameter on the ivan command line. Whereas previously the -c parameter specified a directory that ivan placed it's logfile in. The -log parameter specifies the name and location of the log file itself. eg. using the old default example an ivan command line could look like this: "ivanw.exe -d testdb -log error.log"

  • Previously when specifying a log directory the directory was always relative to the ivan start directory or had to be at the root level of a drive. The default placed the log directory in the start directory ie. the same directory as ivanw.exe. For some clients this posed problems because their Administrators wished the main application directory to be read only. This has changed and for either log option a full file path is possible.

  • NOTE: The default installation does not use a log parameter. We recommend that users follow this new convention if they choose to setup their own shortcuts. A log file will only be required if you experience a problem operating ivan and are talking to McLachlan Software support staff. In this situation we will be able to guide you through the steps required to produce the log file for that situation.

I previously reported a bug in version X.X.X to McLachlan Software. Has this been fixed in this version ?
  • Version 3.1 includes all bug fixes that we know about to date including the two bugs that were reported for version 3.0.8.

  • If you would like to ask about a specific problem you have had in the past or are currently having contact support at McLachlan Software by phone or e-mail.

I've created a new database. How do I create a shortcut so that ivan opens my new database ?
  • From version ivan has included the makeicon.exe application. This can be used to simplify the task of creating a shortcut for ivan. makeicon.exe is installed in the same directory as ivanw.exe.

    makeicon.exe can be run with command line options or just on it's own. If run on its own then a dialog window is displayed asking for the name of the shortcut, the path to the executable and the path to the database you want to open. There are browse buttons to allow you to browse for the executable file or database path. The dialog contains a check box with the label "Create icon on Desktop" and another with the label "Create Error Log". If "Create icon on Desktop" is ticked then an icon WILL BE CREATED ON THE DESKTOP in addition to another location that you will be prompted for. If "Create Error Log" is ticked then an error log will be added to the shortcut command line. Error logs must be used for any version of ivan prior to 3.1. For any version from 3.1 onward McLachlan Software recommend that you do not create an error log.

    When the user clicks the OK button a shortcut will be created on the desktop if that option was chosen. Also a selection window will be displayed asking you to choose a location for the shortcut. The default is the Start/Programs menu. The user can change this selection and click the OK button to create the shortcut in the selected location OR you may press cancel which will not create a shortcut in any location unless the "Create icon on Desktop" box was checked in which case there only be a shortcut on the desktop.

  • makeicon.exe also allows the use of comand line parameters. This would only be useful to system administrators who wish to automate the task and call makeicon.exe from a script. The command line parameters for makeicon.exe are:
        makeicon.exe [/exec] [/n <name of shortcut>] [/l <shortcut path>] 
                     [/e <executable path>] [/d <database path>] 
                     [/c <log directory> | /log <log file>] [/prompt] 
                     [/nolog] [/desktop]
               /exec - run without diaplaying a dialog box. Use command line
                       options or default values. If /exec is specified and 
                       neither /prompt or /desktop are specified then an icon
                       will still be created on the deaktop.
               /n name - The shortcut will be given this name is run with the 
                         /exec option. Otherwise this will be the initial name
                         that is displayed in the name field of the dialog box.
               /l path - The path indicating where to place the shortcut  
               /e path - The path to the application. This will be used to build
                         the target string if run with the /exec option OR will
                         be the value displayed in the "Ivan Location" field of
                         the dialog box.
               /d path - The path to the database. This will be used to build the
                         target string if run with the /exec option OR will be the
                         value displayed in the "Ivan Database" field of the 
                         dialog box.
               /c directory - The shortcut will be produced with -c directory
                              name at the end of the target string.
               /log filename - The shortcut will be produced with -log file name
                               at the end of the target string.
               /nolog - The shortcut target string will not contain any log
               /prompt - The user will be prompted with tree list for a directory
                         to place the shortcut in. The default is the
                         Start/Programs menu.
               /desktop - An icon will be created on the desktop.