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I talked about Chris21 security access in my last blog, How to Fix a Common Chris21 Error Message. In this blog I focussed on the common ‘form not accessible’ error message and suggested ways to fix it. This is fine for physical files but will not work so well for virtual files.

What’s the difference between a physical file and a virtual file?

If a form in Chris21 has a physical file, then all of the data associated with that form will be stored on its own DAT file. For instance, all of the data entered in the Details (DET) form in Chris21 is stored on the EMDET file.

A virtual file, on the other hand, does not have an associated DAT file. Virtual files are often summary forms in Chris21. For example the Collated History (TCH) form displays a summary list of an employee’s training history, education and licences details. This form gets its information from the Training History (TRH), Education (EDU) and Licences (LIC) forms. There is no physical file or any data dictionary entries for TCH.

How do I set up Chris21 security access for a virtual form?

There is a trick to this. When it comes to Chris21 security access for virtual files you need to ensure that the Forms (SCN) form is also added to your security profile and menu. So, even though you have added TCH to the required security profile and menu, and you have refreshed and/or logged in and out of Chris21, you still won’t have access to TCH without also including SCN.

The reason that SCN is required for security with virtual files is not clear but we can assume it is related to the architecture and programming in Chris21.

The bigger question is: How would a user know about this when they come to set up Chris21 security access for a virtual file? The answer is that most would not know and would therefore spend a lot of time trying to work out what the problem is.

I hope the information in this blog saves you the time and effort should you find that you need to set up security for a virtual file at some time in the future.