QofBackendProvider_s Struct Reference

#include <qofbackend-p.h>

Detailed Description

The backend_new routine sets the functions that will be used by the backend to perform the actions required by QOF. A basic minimum is session_begin, session_end, load and sync. Any unused functions should be set to NULL. If the backend uses configuration options, backend_new must ensure that these are set to usable defaults before returning. To use configuration options, load_config and get_config must also be defined.

The session_begin() routine gives the backend a second initialization opportunity. It is suggested that the backend check that the URL is syntactically correct, and that it is actually reachable. This is probably(?) a good time to initialize the actual network connection.

The 'ignore_lock' argument indicates whether the single-user lock on the backend should be cleared. The typical GUI sequence leading to this is: (1) GUI attempts to open the backend by calling this routine with FALSE==ignore_lock. (2) If backend error'ed BACKEND_LOCK, then GUI asks user what to do. (3) if user answers 'break & enter' then this routine is called again with TRUE==ignore_lock.

The 'create_if_nonexistent' argument indicates whether this routine should create a new 'database', if it doesn't already exist. For example, for a file-backend, this would create the file, if it didn't already exist. For an SQL backend, this would create the database (the schema) if it didn't already exist. This flag is used to implement the 'SaveAs' GUI, where the user requests to save data to a new backend.

The load() routine should load the minimal set of application data needed for the application to be operable at initial startup. It is assumed that the application will perform a 'run_query()' to obtain any additional data that it needs. For file-based backends, it is acceptable for the backend to return all data at load time; for SQL-based backends, it is acceptable for the backend to return no data.

Thus, for example, the GnuCash postgres backend returned the account tree, all currencies, and the pricedb, as these were needed at startup. It did not have to return any transactions whatsoever, as these were obtained at a later stage when a user opened a register, resulting in a query being sent to the backend.

(Its OK to send over entities at this point, but one should be careful of the network load; also, its possible that whatever is sent is not what the user wanted anyway, which is why its better to wait for the query).

The begin() routine is called when the engine is about to make a change to a data structure. It can provide an advisory lock on data.

The commit() routine commits the changes from the engine to the backend data storage.

The rollback() routine is used to revert changes in the engine and unlock the backend.

If the second user tries to modify an entity that the first user deleted, then the backend should set the error to ERR_BACKEND_MOD_DESTROY from this routine, so that the engine can properly clean up.

The compile_query() method compiles a QOF query object into a backend-specific data structure and returns the compiled query. For an SQL backend, the contents of the query object need to be turned into a corresponding SQL query statement, and sent to the database for evaluation.

The free_query() method frees the data structure returned from compile_query()

The run_query() callback takes a compiled query (generated by compile_query) and runs the query in across the backend, inserting the responses into the engine. The database will return a set of splits and transactions and this callback needs to poke these into the account-group hierarchy held by the query object.

For a network-communications backend, essentially the same is done, except that this routine would convert the query to wire protocol, get an answer from the remote server, and push that into the account-group object.

The returned list of entities can be used to build a local cache of the matching data. This will allow the QOF client to continue functioning even when disconnected from the server: this is because it will have its local cache of data from which to work.

The sync() routine synchronizes the engine contents to the backend. This should done by using version numbers (hack alert -- the engine does not currently contain version numbers). If the engine contents are newer than what is in the backend, the data is stored to the backend. If the engine contents are older, then the engine contents are updated.

Note that this sync operation is only meant to apply to the current contents of the engine. This routine is not intended to be used to fetch entity data from the backend.

File based backends tend to use sync as if it was called dump. Data is written out into the backend, overwriting the previous data. Database backends should implement a more intelligent solution.

The counter() routine increments the named counter and returns the post-incremented value. Returns -1 if there is a problem.

The events_pending() routines should return true if there are external events which need to be processed to bring the engine up to date with the backend.

The process_events() routine should process any events indicated by the events_pending() routine. It should return TRUE if the engine was changed while engine events were suspended.

The last_err member indicates the last error that occurred. It should probably be implemented as an array (actually, a stack) of all the errors that have occurred.

For support of book partitioning, use special "Book" begin_edit() and commit_edit() QOF_ID types.

Call the book begin() at the begining of a book partitioning. A 'partitioning' is the splitting off of a chunk of the current book into a second book by means of a query. Every transaction in that query is to be moved ('transfered') to the second book from the existing book. The argument of this routine is a pointer to the second book, where the results of the query should go.

Cann the book commit() to complete the book partitioning.

After the begin(), there will be a call to run_query(), followed probably by a string of object calls, and completed by commit(). It should be explicitly understood that the results of that run_query() precisely constitute the set of objects that are to be moved between the initial and the new book. This specification can be used by a clever backend to avoid excess data movement between the server and the QOF client, as explained below.

There are several possible ways in which a backend may choose to implement the book splitting process. A 'file-type' backend may choose to ignore this call, and the subsequent query, and simply write out the new book to a file when the commit() call is made. By that point, the engine will have performed all of the nitty-gritty of moving transactions from one book to the other.

A 'database-type' backend has several interesting choices. One simple choice is to simply perform the run_query() as it normally would, and likewise treat the object edits as usual. In this scenario, the commit() is more or less a no-op. This implementation has a drawback, however: the run_query() may cause the transfer of a huge amount of data between the backend and the engine. For a large dataset, this is quite undesirable. In addition, there are risks associated with the loss of network connectivity during the transfer; thus a partition might terminate half-finished, in some indeterminate state, due to network errors. It might be difficult to recover from such errors: the engine does not take any special safety measures during the transfer.

Thus, for a large database, an alternate implementation might be to use the run_query() call as an opportunity to transfer entities between the two books in the database, and not actually return any new data to the engine. In this scenario, the engine will attempt to transfer those entities that it does know about. It does not, however, need to know about all the other entities that also would be transfered over. In this way, a backend could perform a mass transfer of entities between books without having to actually move much (or any) data to the engine.

To support configuration options from the frontend, the backend can be passed a KvpFrame - according to the allowed options for that backend, using load_config(). Configuration can be updated at any point - it is up to the frontend to load the data in time for whatever the backend needs to do. e.g. an option to save a new book in a compressed format need not be loaded until the backend is about to save. If the configuration is updated by the user, the frontend should call load_config again to update the backend.

Backends are responsible for ensuring that any supported configuration options are initialised to usable values. This should be done in the function called from backend_new.

Definition at line 238 of file qofbackend-p.h.

Data Fields

const gchar * provider_name
const gchar * access_method
gboolean partial_book_supported
 Partial QofBook handler.
QofBackend *(* backend_new )(void)
gboolean(* check_data_type )(const gchar *)
 Distinguish two providers with same access method.
void(* provider_free )(QofBackendProvider *)

Field Documentation

const gchar* QofBackendProvider_s::provider_name

Some arbitrary name given for this particular backend provider

Definition at line 241 of file qofbackend-p.h.

const gchar* QofBackendProvider_s::access_method

The access method that this provider provides, for example, file:// http:// postgres:// or sqlite://, but without the :// at the end

Definition at line 247 of file qofbackend-p.h.

gboolean QofBackendProvider_s::partial_book_supported

Partial QofBook handler.

TRUE if the backend handles external references to entities outside this book and can save a QofBook that does not contain any specific QOF objects.

Definition at line 254 of file qofbackend-p.h.

QofBackend*(* QofBackendProvider_s::backend_new)(void)

Return a new, fully initialized backend.

If the backend supports configuration, all configuration options should be initialised to usable values here.

gboolean(* QofBackendProvider_s::check_data_type)(const gchar *)

Distinguish two providers with same access method.

More than 1 backend can be registered under the same access_method, so each one is passed the path to the data (e.g. a file) and should return TRUE only:

  1. if the backend recognises the type as one that it can load and write or
  2. if the path contains no data but can be used (e.g. a new session).

If the backend can cope with more than one type, the backend should not try to store or cache the sub-type for this data. It is sufficient only to return TRUE if any ONE of the supported types match the incoming data. The backend should not assume that returning TRUE will mean that the data will naturally follow.

void(* QofBackendProvider_s::provider_free)(QofBackendProvider *)

Free this structure, unregister this backend handler.

The documentation for this struct was generated from the following file:
Generated on Thu Jan 31 22:50:27 2008 for QOF by  doxygen 1.5.4