Cycle Counting Woes

I was contacted by a company recently who had some questions regarding cycle counts and how to track them. Basically, they had an S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedure) and had been following it to the letter for years, but had no way to track cycle count data.

When I investigated further I found that the only way to export cycle count data was as a .MBK file. What’s an .MBK file you ask? Good question, I had to look it up. That’s the extension for a dBASE IV file. What can the “regular” user open them with? As far as I know, they can’t. The aforementioned company would export these files once a month to their file server and the files just accumulated there. Since they could not open these files, they were manually entering everything into Excel spreadsheets.


This is the screen where cycle counts are exported for permanent record.

When I tried to verify this with Made2Manage support, they indicated that I should use Visual FoxPro to convert them to the Excel format. This isn’t much of a solution since I don’t want to stop what I’m doing every time they perform a cycle count, nor do they want to track me down to do it. M2M’s recommendation is for the user to have VFP installed on their machine so they can do the conversion themselves. This is the point of this article, by the way.

Never give any user access to Visual FoxPro. You’re giving them the keys to the kingdom. They can make any number of catastrophic changes in M2M as well as get your database login and password. In fact, since most M2M installations use the SA account, the user would then have unlimited access to any database on the server.

I’m going to work on a VBA customization to circumvent this .MBK file issue and export the data to a SQL table where it can be accessed through various reporting systems including VFP, Crystal Reports, and SQL Reporting Services.

Stay Tuned.

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