Q&A New England Regional Users' Group

in association with

Sesame Associates of New England User Group


Speakq&a.gif (5029 bytes) and Sesame too!


The meeting dates for 2008 are now confirmed.  They will be February 2, May 3, August 2, and November 1. Mark your calendars now.

The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, November 4, 2007, at the Kelley Public Library in Salem NH.

We will have the meeting room from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Getting to the library is very simple. Take Route 93 to exit 2. Bear right off the exit ramp and head East on Main Street, Route 97. You will intersect with Route 28 at about .6 miles. Continue straight across and proceed another .7 miles. Just as you approach the traffic signal, the Kelley Library is on the right side. Use the right hand rear entrance on the lower level and you will be at the conference room. We have over 80 people on our invitation list.

One of our members has had Q&A replaced by corporate dictate despite her pleas.  She has provided me with a copy of Tom Marcellus' great book, Q&A Bible.  The book is intact including the disk and Instant Reference Guide.  Original cost was $39.95 USD and was well worth the cost.  It is now out of print and no longer available.  I will provide to whomever would like to make the Best Offer (Estimated shipping charges=$3.00).  I will try to keep this open for bid over the next month or so.  I will try to keep the status up to date in this field.

Say "Open SESAME"

January 31, 2004:
We are now inSANE.  We had our quarterly meeting and created a new group, SANE for the Sesame Associates of New England User Group.  Thanks to all who submitted suggestions, but the final name was suggested by Alec.

We started at 9:30, and got thrown out at 4:30.  We were so engrossed that we never broke for lunch, never noticed the clock.  We learned a lot!

Watch this space for more details about our first meeting and group using of Sesame.

December 16, 2003:
Sesame has been released!

See details at: http://www.lantica.com

Free Demo download is available at:  http://www.lantica.com/Support/Downloads.html  

April 24, 2003:
Beta testing continues on Sesame.  I have just received the third version of the Beta software.  Each version has been adding new capabilities and responding  to inputs from earlier versions.  It is greatly improved from the first version.  we can now convert existing Q&A databases.  We can do Mass Updates, Import and Export, Save Specs.  The number of new functions is too many to try to list.  These may sound basic, but were not available with the first version.

Again, I am hoping that a number of other beta testers will show up at our next meeting and we can share some of our experiences that will not break any confidences.

November 2, 2002: 
I have had the opportunity to be participating in the beta testing of Sesame since last July.   Because of a confidentiality agreement, it is not possible to discuss any details, but I can state that the process is being done very methodically.  Individual modules are being tested independently to maximize the focus on quality and ease or use.

I have participated in beta testing on a number of other programs, and I am pleased with the interface and response and follow-up that has been happening.  

I am hoping that a number of other beta testers may show up at our next meeting and we can share some of our experiences that will not break any confidences.

The following section is a write up that I submitted to the delphi Lantica Forum on Dec 10, 2001.
I have seen it, and am willing to be patient.

Sesame looks great! Do not think it is vaporware!

On November 3, 2001, the members of the Q&A New England Regional Users Group (QANERUG) were treated to a real time demo of the Sesame product. And we were not disappointed with what we saw.

We have to thank Bill, Erika, Mark, and Alec who all came to New Hampshire to share this with us. Alec was up bright and cheery as usual after a 12 hour, 650 mile drive. We had a room with about 16 people crowded around two laptops, two pc monitors, and a TV monitor connected with some creative uses of pcAnyWhere and PC-to-TV connections.

At no time during the 5 hour demo did we see any failures of the software. We did not hear "we're still working on that", or "this doesn't work yet". We saw working modules that still needed integration. I understand that integrating can be the toughest portion for testing, but I am happy to see where they are.

It has been a long wait, but we were all extremely happy with what we saw. We saw too much to remember and list, but I will try to point out some of those most memorable. I will try to reference comparisons to Q&A and to Access equivalents:

1. Real time conversion from a Q&A database into the Sesame product in 10 seconds! Highlight Q&A source, Click, and start using Sesame. The individual Q&A databases are combined into tree branches (similar to Access tables) in a single container (Access database).

2. Designing a form takes the best from Q&A and the best from Access. You can place objects on your form directly, resizing, formatting, etc. like you can in Access, but as you do this, the object or field is created immediately like it is in Q&A. You do not need to create the object before adding it to the form.

3. One to Many relations are created automatically by using a Hierarchy Tree vs. a flat file (Q&A) or a relational (Access). This simplifies the whole process of doing lookups to other databases (Q&A) or tables (Access).

4. The Lookup Tables in Q&A were extracted and made into separate branches and no programming was needed to make the linkages to the Lookup Tables data, happened automatically.

5. Unlimited views of the data are possible.

6. Many views, Retrieve Specs, Sort Specs, etc. can be unique for each user of the same database. Mary and Bill can appear to have totally different applications and tools, but are really working with the same data source.

7. Retrieving records with complicated conditions is simplified by the use of subsets that allow additional retrievals. This simplifies the Q&A process of using CTL-F7 (Do/DoNOt...All/Any), and overcomes the Access/SQL process of impossible and/or sequential "join"s.

8. Easy manipulation of fonts, formats, and colors on the forms. Ability to do multiple tagging of objects vs. line-by-line.

9. All of the old Q&A formulas, retrieve specs, etc. have not changed. There is no need to learn a new language. You can even have it look like Q&A if you don't want to use any of the newer features.

10. The only drawback that I saw missing is good macro tools to help in the automation of routines. I understand that this may not be available in the first product release.

I think that biggest obstacle that we will be up against is the data model. Q&A users are used to the flat file model and lookups. Access users are used to the relational model and keyword links. Sesame uses the Hierarchal Tree model that is gaining popularity. But for most users, this should not be a problem, because the majority of designs use a One-To-Many and One-To-One structures that the Tree model creates automatically. For more complex needs, users may still need some developers to help create the right model to support Many-To-One and Many-To-Many structures. The nice thing is that Sesame provides the capability to do more complex work where needed, but eliminates a lot of work for the most common needs.

At this point, we could see that most of the modules of Sesame were working. It appears that the current stage of the project is at the integration of the modules. Development was happening the same days we were getting the demo, Erika and Mark were using every available moment to work toward the completion of the product.

Although it is still not ready for any distribution, we were happy to see that the philosophy is to release a product that is as close to "bug-free" that any product can be. I for one, do not want to see another release like Q&A for Windows.

So I am looking forward to Sesame, and will be working with my clients to continue to be patient. And again, I would like to thank Bill, Erika, Mark, and Eric for making a presentation to QANERUG. We are wishing them success so we can ride on their coattails. This presentation is incentive for us to keep holding our quarterly meetings.

Hang in there, you won't be disappointed.

More information about "SESAME" can be obtained by going to the information pages on the Lantica web page.

A link is provided here to assist with Q&A to Sesame Export Conversion process.

These meetings will also be expanded to include ACCESS users.  Meeting notices have been left at local computer establishments inviting users of Microsoft Acess to join our group.  Our main objective is to help one another with our database designs and concerns. 

At this point we have email addresses for over 80 of the QANERUG members. This is a great way to keep down the mailing costs, and to send timely information. Please send your email address to Bob Hansen so that we can expedite the whole process. We still have to do snail-mail to over 30 members!

Don't forget to check out the following Q&A Web pages:

Q&A Files to Download
National Q&A Users' Group.

For information contact
Bob Hansen at
215 South Broadway, Unit #308
Salem, NH 03079
Phone: 603-898-8223
Fax: 603-893-3890

Revised on 02/06/2004