Phone and Skype
Sharing the database over LAN
Open Contacts uses Firebird database server as database engine. By default,
OC uses Firebird embedded which is installed implicitly. Open Contacts is very
To construct sharing the database over LAN, you need to relocate
the files of Open Contacts to different locations
across the network.
Generally the end users run Open Contacts through a shortcut (LNK file) defining the
target dir pointing to OpenContacts.exe and the start-in dir pointing to the
working dir. The files needed can be divided
into 5 groups, as listed below.
A) OpenContacts.exe and other program files
- ActionPlugin directory
B) FDB file
- Default.FDB or any desired FDB file
- Demo.FDB (optional)
C) Firebird database server
- Udfoc.dll should be copied to the udf directory of
the program directory of Firebird
D) Working directory with Main.ini
- Files directory (optional, and can be changed to
other location as defined in Options)
- Data directory (optional, and can be changed to other
location as defined in Main.ini)
- Templates directory
E) Program shortcut
Five groups of files above of launching Open Contacts can stay in the same
computer, or be
installed on different computers over the LAN.
For example, you may install program files on a machine AAA, move default.FDB
to server machine BBB on which Firebird Database server is installed, and move
the content of the working dir to another file server CCC, and then on each
working station, create a program shortcut that pointing to OpenContacts.exe on
machine AAA and the working dir on machine CCC. Main.ini in the working dir
should be modified to point to default.FDB installed on machine BBB.
Of course, depending on your local system engineering practice guided by
security policy, you may have different combination of installing these five
components of launching.
Assuming that you have installed Open Contacts on computer "MyClient1" and
are going to use computer "MyHost" to host the database and linked files.
The files installed on MyClient1 will be used as seed. Here
are the steps:
1. Download and install Firebird database server.
1. Download Firebird for Windows
Firebird is an open source FREEWARE program that can run on Windows, Linux
and Unix. Please visit
for general info about Firebird. It is recommended that you use the latest
production version of Firebird.
2. Install Firebird
Generally, the host machine is
a server machine in your Local Area Network. For example, you may install
Firebird on computer "MyHost".
During the installation, the installation program will ask you whether you
want the database sever to run as a Windows service or Windows application. In
general, you should make it run as a Windows service.
3. Move "udfoc.dll" in computer MyClient1 to directory "udf"
of the program directory of Firebird on MyHost.
4. Make sure that any firewall program
or antivirus program on the host machine allow
Firebird to listen to client requests.
2. Prepare data files on the server
1. Create a secured directory (for example "D:\SecuredData\OC") not
accessible across the network. Only Firebird database server will be allowed
2. Move database file "Default.FDB" from MyClient1 to "D:\SecuredData\OC".
Thus, no client computer should be able to access the database file
directly through networking file sharing, but through Firebird database
3. Create a working directory (for example "D:\WorkData\OCData")
shareable by some users across the network according your local security
policy, and move files of group D
from MyClient1. Please make the files directory
writable by these users. The working directory may be accessed through
something like "\\myhost\SharedOCWorking"
which points to D:\WorkData\OCData.
4. Modify main.ini to make the database settings point to the server
machine as described below.
The INI file contains pointers to to the address book database, as
shown in the example below.
The user name/password pair is used for authentication to the Firebird
databases "default.FDB" and "demo.FDB". Both files are located in "d:\secureddata\ocdata\"
of the host machine "myhost". Thus, Open Contacts knows it should connect to
server "myhost" and talk to the Firebird database server there. Then the
database will process the database file in the host machine's D drive and
authenticate the user name/password pair.
Though file "main.ini" sits as a shareable file on computer "MyHost",
the settings are used by Open Contacts running on computer "MyClient1".
Thus the settings need to tell Open Contacts the host name "myhost".
3. Optionally move program files to the server
If you want all network users share the same copy of Open Contacts
files, you may move the files of group A to a sharable program directory
on the server. For example, the location of the program directory
4. Install shortcut on each of the workstations (client machines)
- Create a shortcut on each work station. The target directory of
the shortcut should point to OpenContacts.exe. For example, in this
example, it is \\myhost\SharedPrograms\OC\OpenContacts.exe. The
Start-in directory should point to the working directory. In this
example, it is "\\myhost\SharedOCWorking"
which points to "D:\WorkData\OCData" on the server.
- Run the shortcut for testing.
- Create or copy the shortcut on other workstations.