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Chapter 9: Working in a Group

In this session, you create a group worksheet and assign entries to individual users.

Please see the Tutorials Map to check that you have run all necessary previous sessions.

9.1 Overview

With Revolve Enterprise Edition, you can share a worksheet among a group of users, so that they can share the information they gather and their analysis. You do this with:

From time to time, the administrator merges changes from users' local worksheets into the group worksheet.

Even if you are not an administrator, you will need to know how to use a shared worksheet, and it will be useful for you to know something of what the administrator does. So in this session you take the part of both administrator and ordinary group member.

As administrator, you are responsible for creating the project and the group worksheet and for initially populating the group worksheet with the potentially problematic data items, statements, and data files.

9.2 Preparation

This session uses the project you created in the chapter Finding Points of Interest and the worksheet you created in the chapter Populating the Worksheet.

  1. If you have closed Revolve, open it as before.

  2. If you have closed it, open the Order project by selecting it from the "recently used files" list at the bottom of the Project menu.

  3. Open the worksheet by clicking Enterprise > Open worksheet.

If you get part-way through this session and want to restart it, overwrite the current worksheet with the backup worksheet that you made at the end of the previous session:

  1. At the worksheet, click Load Restore from File and select \projects\order\Enterprise\EndofRef.mdb, or whatever name you used.

  2. Click Save Backup to File, and specify Order.mdb as the worksheet into which to save. Click Yes to confirm overwriting.

9.3 Making the Project Shareable

When you make a project shareable, a duplicate copy of the project is created, with the extension .sha, and is stored in a separate folder from the initial project. This copy is called the shadow project. It is accessible only to the administrator.

When the project needs updating, such as to add or delete components, or to reparse the project, the administrator updates the shadow project. This enables the administrator to update the project without interfering with other users, who can continue working on the original project.

To make the project shareable:

  1. Using Windows, create a folder to contain the shadow project. For example, create a directory called shadows within your projects folder.

  2. Click Project > Make Shareable.

  3. Specify the name and folder for the shareable project, such as \projects\shadows\order.sha, and click Save.

  4. Click Project > Make User, to return to working on the original project, which is now shareable and read-only.

9.4 Setting up a Group Worksheet

Having created the worksheet, you now need to make from it a group worksheet, which will be the master worksheet containing everyone's entries. When you create the group worksheet, it will contain all the entries in the worksheet you have open at the time.

To create the group worksheet:

  1. Open the Worksheet by clicking Enterprise > Open Worksheet.

  2. Create a group worksheet as follows:

    1. Click Administration.
    2. Click Promote to group worksheet.
    3. Click Browse and navigate to the folder in which you want to create your group worksheet. We suggest you use the \projects\shadows folder.
    4. Type the name order-group for the new worksheet.
    5. Type your name or userid.
    6. Type a password that will be required to open the group worksheet, then retype it to confirm the password.
    7. Click OK.

    The title of the worksheet is now prefixed with [Group], and its name is order-group.

    Because you created it, you are considered the Administrator of the group worksheet. To remind you that you have opened it as the administrator, (Administrator) is shown in the titlebar next to the name of the worksheet.

9.5 Assigning Group Worksheet Entries to Owners

Having created the group worksheet, you need to create individual worksheets for each of your analysts and assign points of interest for each to work on. Each person will own and have authority and responsibility for their specific entries. Ownership is informational only and is to help you in delegating the group's workload and in resolving conflicts when updating the group worksheet with users' changes.

We suggest splitting up the work by source file, although you can split it up in any way that suits you. Data items in Working-storage copyfiles are likely to be shared by more than one program, so to avoid conflicts each such item should have one owner.

To create individual worksheets:

  1. Click Administration > Create user worksheet.
  2. Click Browse and type Jane Doe in the File name field, then click Save.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Repeat the previous steps to create an individual worksheet for user John Doe.

To assign group worksheet entries to individual users:

  1. Make sure the group worksheet is displayed.

  2. Go to the Data items tab of the worksheet and sort the entries by program, by clicking the header bar of the Location column.

  3. Select all the data items in Order.cbl. These items are all group items (items in the group worksheet), indicated by the yellow flash in the Candidate icon. If there were any local items, you could select those too, and only the group items would be assigned to the new owner.

  4. Right-click on the selection you have made.

  5. Click Assign to owner on the popup menu.

  6. Select JOHN DOE as the name of the person to own these entries. Ensure that Copy items to client worksheet is checked, and click OK.

  7. Now select the worksheet entries in the copyfile mastfd.cpy, and assign these to Jane Doe in the same way as you assigned entries to John Doe.

As the group worksheet Administrator, you can change ownership from one user to another freely. Be careful to select exactly the entries you want to assign, so that you don't accidentally change ownership.

You now have two local worksheets john doe.mdb and jane doe.mdb, as well as the group worksheet order-group.mdb.

9.6 Updating Local Worksheets

In a real life situation, the administrator would now tell each user the filenames and locations of the:

The users then work on their own entries, viewing the group worksheet as necessary.

In this session, you make some changes to John Doe's worksheet and then Jane Doe's worksheet, as if you were John and Jane respectively.

  1. Enable the ability to work with multiple worksheets: click Utilities > Options, then General Transformation and check Allow multiple worksheets for each project.

    Note that we do not recommend enabling this option for your day-to-day project work, as normally Revolve Enterprise Edition keeps track of the correct worksheet to use for each project. In this tutorial, however, we need to enable it so that you can more easily take the roles of two users and an administrator.

  2. Click OK.

  3. Return to working as a user instead of an administrator, by clicking Administration, then clicking Exit administration on the popup menu.

  4. Load the worksheet John Doe.mdb by clicking Enterprise > Open worksheet, then select John Doe.mdb from the list and click OK.

    John Doe's worksheet shows all data items that have been assigned to him as well as all the items in the group worksheet. The group items are indicated by a yellow flash, as shown above.

  5. Display just the entries in this local worksheet and not the group entries. Right-click the ggtgrp00.gif Candidate header bar and click Define filter on the popup menu.

  6. Click the Worksheet tab, then click Hide group worksheet items.

  7. Click OK.

    The worksheet is updated to show only the 17 local items assigned to John Doe.

  8. Change the data types of these entries. For the purpose of this tutorial, select all the entries and change their data type to PRICE, using Select data type.

  9. Now load the worksheet Jane Doe.mdb.

  10. Show only local items by applying a filter on the Worksheet tab as above.

  11. Change the data types of these entries. For purpose of this tutorial, select all the entries and change their data type to SALARY, using Select data type.

Notice that the changes to the local worksheets are automatically saved in the local worksheet. John Doe and Jane Doe don't need to explicitly save them.

9.7 Merging Local Worksheets into the Group Worksheet

To merge the changes from John's and Jane's local worksheets into the group worksheet:

  1. Before merging in users' changes, we strongly recommend backing up the group worksheet in case you decide to restore the previous version. Do this as follows:

  2. Click Administration and click Merge items.

  3. Select John Doe's worksheet.

  4. Click Next.

    Note that Always accept changes from owner is checked. When worksheets are merged, conflicts between categories and data types can occur. For example, the owner of a POI might have assigned it a category of PRICE, whereas the same POI could be assigned UNKNOWN or SALARY in the group worksheet or in another user's worksheet. Checking Always accept changes from owner means that whenever a conflict is encountered, the category or data type assigned by the person designated as the owner of that item is the one that is accepted. If you don't check this box, a dialog box opens whenever a conflict is detected, enabling you as Administrator to decide which category or data type to accept

  5. Click Merge to start merging, then click OK on the message telling you that merging is complete.

  6. Click Back.

  7. Now switch to Jane Doe's worksheet and merge in the changes from that worksheet in the same way. When you have finished, click Exit to close the Merge Worksheet Wizard.

The group worksheet is now up to date with all the users' changes merged in.

9.8 Group Administration Tasks

Creating and maintaining the group worksheet is a major part of effective group working. However, there are some other activities that make the work easier for the individual analysts and that ensure that everyone in the group uses consistent procedures:

For full details see the Revolve Enterprise Edition User's Guide

9.9 Summary

In this session you:

9.10 Before Continuing

If you want to take a break before going on to the next session, you can close the project; or you can close Revolve, with or without closing the project.

Return to the Tutorials Map and choose which session to go on to next.

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