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Can databases be merged or split

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  • Can databases be merged or split

    Hi,
    I'm about to assign keywords to a big new set of images. Not sure whether it's smarter to keep these images in a different database than the one I've been using in the past - as they are very different subject matter - or maintain a single database. In that regard, is it feasible to merge ACDSee databases and/or split them?
    Thanks,
    Doug

  • #2
    Managing two (or more) different databases can be done. But last step first because it's the most important thing to know:

    To not foul a db with meta data from images that belong to another db, AC offers a dialogue to exclude folders from a db. There's no option to include a set of folders only. E.g. You can not exclude "d:" and include "d:\images", you have to exclude all sub folders of "d:" except the one you want to be included. There also is no way to exclude certain file types or old files or files by any kind of meta data except the path. Keep this in mind when reading the rest of this post.

    Scenario 1:
    If you have e.g. "d:\images\business" and "d:\images\private" both currently catalogued in a single db and want to split in two separate dbs your the lucky guy:

    In the options (ALT-O) page "Database" you will find the current path of your db. Let say it's "path\default.ini". Now exit AC and in explorer browse this path. Make a copy of "default.ini" (e.g "private.ini") and also make a copy of the folder "default" called "private". The name of the folder must match the name of the ini file. Next open AC again, go to options (ALT-O) page "Database" click "Excluded folders" and exclude "d:\images\private" from your current db (which still is "default.ini"). Then go to "File - Database - Open..." and open the new db called "private.ini". Again go to options (ALT-O) page "Database" click "Excluded folders" and exclude "d:\images\business". To have all files and folders have stringent names, exit AC again, go to your db folder once more and rename the file "default.ini" into "business.ini" and the folder "default" into "business".

    Now you've got to db named "private.ini" and "business.ini". Finally open each db and run database optimization to get rid of meta data for excluded items.

    To switch between both dbs go to "File - Database - Open...". You will also want to go to options (ALT-O) page "Manage Mode" and enable "Show database name in title bar".

    Scenario 2:
    If currently all your private and business images are spread all over the place, e.g. because you've organized them all into a single folder structure like "path\images\year\month\day", then you got lots of work ahead :-)

    First make a backup!!

    I suggest to embed all AC meata data first. Then somehow separate the images into a new folder structure (eg. "path\images\private\year\month\day" and "path\images\business\year\month\day"). How this can be done depends on how you assigned meta data to your images. After this separation you should create two new dbs with proper set ups for excluded folders and then catalogue the files for each db.

    Scenario 3:
    If your file structure is like in scenario 1 but it's a net resource (e.g. "\\server\images" or a mapped drive letter to a resource ) then database optimization isn't an option! So you will most likely want to to embed all meta data and create two new dbs as in scenario 2.


    Just my two cents.

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    • #3
      Emil: You are a wealth of info! Thanks for that comprehensive post, which I need to digest a bit before proceeding.

      Here's a related scenario and question that may help me decide on direction:
      * Let's say I create two DBs as you suggested, e.g. Business and Private.
      * Let's say I embed the metadata as you suggested.
      * If I changed my mind in the future and decided I wanted to consolidate all my images into a single DB. Would that be simple with embedded metadata?

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      • #4
        The easy way:
        You can always move/copy images with embedded AC meta data just as you like and then simply catalogue these items. AC will read the embedded meta data and add it to the db. Beware: Browsing the images is not enough; you must catalogue the images.

        You also can use "Tools - Database - Import - Database..." to import a db into the current db if the db to be imported was made with the same version of AC. This also allows to import a db from a different variant of AC (eg. db from AC Pro 10 into AC Ultimate 10).

        If you want to add a db from an older version, use "Tools - Database - Convert database".

        If you want to import/convert just a portion of a db, open it and let AC show the items to be imported in manage mode. Then select them all items (CTRL-A) and call "Tools - database - Export - Database". In the dialogue, select "Export database Information as text file" and "Include database information for selected items." This will create an XML version of a part of the db that you can import again in another db. If this XML db is from an older version, the convert feature will not work, but you may edit the XML file with a simple text editor and change the version in the first line of the text.

        Database version numbers can be found here. This is a bit outdated: Add '<ACDDB Version="1.16.0">' for the AC Ultimate/Pro 11 (aka ACDSee Photo Studio 2018). The XML file may be imported with "Tools - Database - Import - Database...".

        That's it for now :-)

        [Edit] Opps. I forgot the most important: Imported meta data will of course always replace already existing meta data for the same item!
        Last edited by Emil; 03-18-2018, 03:24 AM.

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