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Initial Setup & Steps

Many clients with larger database want to keep Enviro Data database on SQL Server for performance and safety reasons. To do this you need:

1. A computer to run SQL Server. This could be a regular computer, but a server class machine would be preferred. The computer does not need to be dedicated and it can be used for other things, given significant resources. It could also be an Azure VM with SQL Server.

2. A copy of Microsoft SQL Server. 2016 or later, Standard or higher, would be best, although anything newer than 2012 will work. After some recent bad experiences (poor performance), we do not recommend using SQL Server Express. Although it works for some clients, you may not be able to upgrade your data to the full version. .

3. A copy or the Enviro Data database in SQL Server format. Geotech can migrate your current Enviro Data Access database file(s) to SQL Server  for you, if needed.

4. Client Access Licenses (CALS) for each named user.

The data hierarchy in Enviro Data has four major tables, Sites (projects or facilities), Stations (locations of samples or observations, such as soil borings or monitoring wells), Samples, and Analyses. Enviro Data uses a database feature called Referential Integrity to protect your data, and that means that the hierarchy is strictly enforced. So to add Stations, Samples, and Analyses, you will need to have at least one Site. Here's how to do that.

1. On the EDITOR, in the Import / Edit section, click on Sites.

2. Enter a Site Name and State at the top of the SITES form. All other fields are optional. Click Done on the upper right of the screen when finished.

3. The next data element to enter is Stations. You can type them in, as you did Sites, but often it's easier to import them, especially if you already have them in digital form.

4. Using the template ImportStation8.xls, create an Excel sheet with your station information. ImportStationExample8.xls is an example of a compete stations import file. These two files are placed in the Enviro\Edata8 folder in Windows Explorer when Enviro Data is installed.

You will be asked to enter a code to authenticate the program. You should have received this code when you pruchased Enviro Data. If you do not enter a code you are given 7 days to evaluate the program. If you are evaluating Enviro Data and need more time, you can contact Geotech for a code to extend your evaluation to 30 days at no charge.

During the install, a sample database called EnvDData8.mdb is copied into the program folder. Enviro Data connects to this database by default when it is first opened. You can use this database to take the Tour in both the EDITOR and the VIEWER to learn how to use the program.

Enviro Data uses lookup tables to enforce data consistency, expand codes, and save storage space. These tables are sometimes called Valid Value Lists. Lookups include Station Types, Matrix, Parameters, Units, and many more. Some you will use, and others you may not need. Before starting with a new project you might want to modify the contents of the lookup tables, also called valid value lists, to suit your project. When you create a new database, the lookup tables are brought into the new database from the database you were attached to when you created the new one. For your first database, the lookup tables will be from the sample database provided with the software (EnvDData8.mdb).

You can view the existing lookup values, and modify them as necessary. As you create more databases for different types of projects, these lookup tables can evolve. For each new database, you should use an existing database that will have the most similar lookup table contents, and use that to create the new one.

1. Click Maintain Database in the Setup section of the EDITOR MENU.

2. Click on Lookups Report, and print it if you wish. Then close the report, and the MAINTAIN DATABASE form.

3. On the EDITOR, again  under the Setup section, click on Manage Lookups. This screen shows the lookup tables that you can edit.

4. Click on one of the buttons, such as Sample Matrix, to open the editing form. Modify the values as necessary, and then close the form.

Note that in order to maintain referential integrity in your database, you cannot modify any lookup code that is in use in another table. You are able to modify lookup's description however. For example, is the lookup for Sample Martix has a code of "u" for "Ground Water" is used for an analyese, you cannot change the "u" but you could change the description to "Groundwater" if you so chose. 

Enviro Data Single User is licensed on a per-user basis, meaning that a license is required for each computer on which the software is installed. For a modest additional cost, users in your organization can share your Enviro Data licenses. This is a great way to provide the software to occasional database users at a very low cost. With Concurrent Use licensing, the software can be installed on as many computers as you wish but can only be used concurrently by the number of users that you have purchased Concurrent Use licenses for. This can be setup for the full Enviro Data package and/or the VIEWER only option.

To use Concurrent Use licensing, install the lock file (supplied by Geotech) in a folder (usually on a server) that is visible to all prospective users. This file, GCSLicense.mde, keeps track of how many licenses are available and in use. For a virtual machine (VM) it can be placed in the Enviro folder. For more than one VM, it can be placed on a shared drive. For a SQL back-end, either would be fine.

The program also allows you to “check out” a license so you can use Enviro Data while not connected to the network. Note that until this license is checked back in, it will not be available to any other users. However, the lock file will allow for a fixed number of overuses for emergency situations. If you exceed your licensed usage, both you and Geotech will be notified.

If you have purchased or upgraded to Concurrent Use licensing, contact Geotech technical support if you need help in installing and setting up the lock file.

Enviro Data has a number of tools for reviewing and validating your data, up to and including calculation support for EPA CLP Level III data validation. Contact Geotech for more information.

The data hierarchy in Enviro Data has four major tables, Sites (projects or facilities), Stations (locations of samples or observations, such as soil borings or monitoring wells), Samples, and Analyses. Enviro Data uses a database feature called Referential Integrity to protect your data, and that means that the hierarchy is strictly enforced. So before you can add add Stations, Samples, and Analyses, you will need to have at least one Site. Here's how to do that.

1. On the EDITOR MENU, under the Import / Edit section click on Sites.

2.  Enter a Site Name and a State at the top of the SITES form. All other fields are optional. Click Done on the upper right of the screen when finished.

3. The next data element to enter is Stations. Again, on the EDITOR MENU under the Import / Edit section click on  Stations. You can type them in, as you did Sites, but often it's easier to import them, especially if you already have them in digital form.

4. Using the template ImportStation8.xls, create an Excel sheet with your station information. ImportStationExample8.xls is an example of a compete stations import file. These two files are placed in the Enviro\Edata8 folder in Windows Explorer when Enviro Data is installed.

On rare ocassions, Access forgets what it is supposed to do. One of the results of this is that when you open Enviro Data, you only see the MS Access window as shown below.

MS Access open to the object view.

Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this.Go to File and then Options in the Access Menu. In the Current Database windows (shown below) use the Display Form drop down to select the form needed. Note that the options in the drop down vary depending on the program being used.

For the Viewer choose MainMenu (shown below)
For the Editor choose RunAutoExec
For the 2012 Main Menu choose Startup

Fix Access startup program menu

Read the Getting Started document, take the Tour in both the Editor and Viewer, and read the Documentation. All of these are available on the main screen of both the Editor and Viewer. Also, the Documentation is updated on a regular basis so check back on a regular basis to see if a new version is available. 

Check this Frequently Asked Questions section to see if your questions has already been answered.

Ask Geotech Support for help at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. When asking, make sure to be specific, provide screen shots, and include the version of Enviro Data you are using, 

The following error message may occur when you try to install Enviro Data if you do not have administrative rights on your computer. You will either need to sign on with an Admin account to install or have your IT Department do it  for you. If you have Admin rights and get this message, you may have to right-click the setup program and choose "Run as administrator."

5004 error when installing Enviro Data

After installing Enviro Data on a new computer, close both the Editor and Viewer, then in the Enviro/EData8 folder, find and delete the file named “eKey.lck”. Re-open the Editor or Viewer and the SETUP LICENSE form will open. Use this form to point this computer to the lock file called GCSLicense.mde on your server.

If you cannot locate the license file, using a text editor like Notepad you can open the file GCS.lic in your Enviro Data directory, C:\Enviro\Edata8.  In that file you will find the location of the license file there. However, when doing this be careful not to change anything and close this file without saving it.

Because of a limitation in Microsoft Access, you can only create a database in a folder that has no spaces in the path, and the filename also cannot have spaces either. Once the database has been created,it can be named any valid filename, and placed and used anywhere you wish, but you can't CREATE it with a name like My Database, or in a folder like My Documents.