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Multiple databases; needing to merge into one!

David Betancourt

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Hey Folks, I've run into a spot of trouble here... turns out I've got three difference databases running and I'm totally stupefied!  I need some super-help please!#@+!

Wouldn't have noticed if it wasn't for my last batch of monthly mail order books; big gap in recent title issue numbers that I KNEW I owned and previously cataloged! 

I have the standard 'ComicBase Database.cbdb' with my whole collection.  I really want to keep it at that!

Earlier in 2020 I had a technical issue and the tech staff emailed me a fix/update, but told me to create a new database called 'DBetancourt Comics.cbdb' with instructions to on how to do so.  Didn't question it, and I did so.

Apparently, since that time everything I've catalogued has been 'saving' to this new database.  However, I didn't realize the original was still 'hanging around' so to speak.  I just catalogue and look at values and print some missing issue lists... I don't look for alternate databases!

Now, very happy with my first year with the program, I renewed this past December to Archive Edition with scanner (fantastic little bugger I might add!), but the program update suggested to me a new database name (I swear it did!) i.e.,' DBetancourt Comics 2021.cbdb.'

Now, I'm not up to speed with all (or many) of the technical aspects of this program, so I didn't realize that ComicBase was creating new databases each time.

Therefore, when I noticed the huge gap in recent issue numbers I did some searching around and emailed found multiple databases!  Each with differing amounts of comic data entered.

I asked Pete for help via email on how to merge all the databases into one main database with all the information (i.e., ComicBase Database.cbdb), but have not heard back.  It's been several days.


In addition, Sidekick has been throwing me error messages saying that it isn't able to do its regular backups on the newer databases "I'm guessing" because they are NOT programmed or linked into it?!?

Can one of you kind folks offer a little help here?  I'm in the dark right now, I have new books to enter and well over 17k books already catalogued that took me months to catalogue in this program and that I don't want to lose!


Thanks so very, very much!  Stay safe out there folks!  David in Miami, FL.

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Since you have the Archive Edition, it shouldn't me a major problem, although there might be some minor ones.
You can Export the data from any/all of the databases and Import the data back into the one database you want to keep (note if this is an active database, you don't have to Export from that one).

Some minor issue are you might have some duplicate issue or Qty in Stock higher than expected.
First you want to open each of the databases and run the most recent Update on all of them to get them (mostly) in sync. I say mostly because you might have some Titles/Issues that you own that CB would like to delete but can't.
The new View Unrecognized data to clean these up.

I think theses are the three databases you mentioned:

ComicBase Database.cbdb (this one you want to keep).
DBetancourt Comics.cbdb
DBetancourt Comics 2021.cbdb

Open Each database and run the Update. If the most recent update has already been run, that is fine. Just want them all to be at the same 'level'.

You can use File->Open or File->Recent Databases.
When you open each database, use File->Theme to change the color of each database so you can easily tell them apart (at this point the color you use doesn't matter. Maybe Green for the good one, Yellow and Red for the others.)

After each update when the Content Update window is displayed, click on the View Unrecognized Items (bottom left) like to bring up a list of any Titles and/or Issues that are in the Master Database. Hopefully this will be empty.
If it isn't, find the Titles/Issues and get your owned items moved to the correct locations. Again this is for each database.

Next, as a safety measure, make a copy of all the databases.
You can do this inside CB with File-> Save A Copy
with CB closed, go to the file location where the Databases are stored. This should be C:\Users\<your-logon-id>\Documents\Human Computing\ComicBase Databases.
Copy the three database to some other location. This way is something goes 'horribly wrong', you can just copy a database back to that location and you will be back where you started from.

Next, use File->Export.
When the Export window comes up, Move the fields you want the data for to the right pane 'Fields to Export'.
At a minimum, you need Title, Item #, Condition, and Qty in Stock. You can do there fields such as any of the Custom columns, Grading Note, etc. you may be using. I would not do the 'standard' fields like Artist, Writer, etc. as that will be the the database already.
At the bottom select Export Only Items In Stock, and set Item Separator to TAB (you can use Comma, also. Just do this the same for all the Exports to keep it simple. Don't worry about Include Field Headers.
NOTE: Make sure the Fields you select are in the same order for both Exports (they can be different but it is easier if they aren't).

When ready, click the Export button and select the location and name of the Export files.

Do the Export for two database:
DBetancourt Comics
DBetancourt Comics
(since you want to keep ComicBase Database)

Important!!! You will need to do an Export for Comic Books, Books, and Magazines separately. (if you don't have any of these you can skip it.
So when you do the exports you should have up-to 6 files (2 database, 3 types each).

Next you will Import each file you Exported into your 'real' database.
NOTE: You DID make a backup copy of this database, correct? If not make one now (close CB first).

Open ComicBase Database and use File->Import.
Select one of the Export files (doesn't matter which one you do first).
When the Import window comes up, it should already have the Fields to Import filled in and the Item Seperator set.
If not change it to match what you Exported.
Click the Import button.

Do this for each type for the first database (up to 3 imports).

After this first Import check for any publisher with a name of "Unknown Publisher" These will be ones that didn't find a matching Title to import to. If you synced the Updates and cleaned up any Unrecognized data, you should have any of these.

Do a find where Qty in Stock > 1 (assuming you only have 1 item for each Issue). This will see if there was any items that 'doubled' the Qty in Stock. I am not sure you will find any but it doesn't hurt to check.

When you are satisfied everything looks good, Import the second database export files (up to 3 of them).

Do the same checkout.
Try to check for anything strange (Qty in Stock to large, duplicate issues, "Unknown Publisher".

Hopefully, everything will look fine.

Summarized steps:
Make backup copies.
Export data from the two databases you don't want (Books, Comic Books, and/or Magazines, as needed).
Import one set of files from one database.
Check out results.
Import second set of files from the other database.
Check out results.


Once you have everything back like you want, temporarily, rename the old databases to something without a CBDB extension (this will keep them around if you need them later but CB won't 'see' them).

NOTE: Since you have the backups, even if you mess up any of the above, you can always use them to 'start from the beginning' so this should be a safe process.



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Steven, thank you very much for the great instructions!

Had to follow them a few times to get the 'merges' correct (tricky with the 3 databases), but I eventually got it done.

Just have the one now and it 'appears' as if everything is in place.  My collection's estimated value has stayed the same (within a few $) so everything must be there!

Just one final question... Do I now need to go into SideKick and update the name of the correct 'current' database (ComicBook Database) there in order to have it routinely uploaded to the cloud?

Have been getting some error messages from SideKick, but they disappear too quickly for me to read fully.

Thank very much again Steven!  Your help is truly appreciated!!  David, Miami, FL.

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I am not really a SideKick user but I would think that, yes, you would want to remove all databases except your official one.

Glad you got it fixed. As I mentioned, it is a good idea to set a Theme (at least the color) to something that you like but isn't the default. This can give you a clue that you are NOT in your 'official' database.

And, yes, the process isn't really difficult, just a lot of little steps and being careful you get everything done in the correct order.

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  • 2 years later...

Sorry to open a two year old thread, but I want to do the same thing (I originally divided my entries into five different databases based primarily on publisher).

However, I do not see an "export" command under file.  I'm guessing that it was removed when the program was upgraded from 32 to 64 bit.

Will it work to use Items/Find "My Comics", and copy/paste the results to a spreadsheet and save to CSV (manually including a title row with field names)?  I note that the File/Import command only allows files with the "*.txt" extension, so I'm hoping/guessing that I can save the CSV file as a text file and it'll work the same.

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I am guessing you only have the Express edition. I believe, Export is only available in Pro and Archive editions.

What you are suggesting should work but here are some suggestions.

1) At a minimum, you need Title, Item #, Condition and Qty.

2) if you need more columns, you can use Setup->Columns ti View and move the columns you want until they are next to each other (so you don't have to delete the columns you don't want).

3) If you don't want to do number 2, Paste into a spreadsheet to make it easy to delete columns you don't want.

4a) If you don't need to use a Spreadsheet to delete columns, just paste the data from CB into a text file (i.e. Notepad or the like). The data will be TAB delimited which is what you want.

4b) If you do use a Spreadsheet, don't use 'Save As' Instead, just copy / paste into the text file (this removes the use of " to define text with spaces (which can cause problems).

5) Add the column names as the first line (TAB delimited). Do NOT try to line this up to be over the data if you are doing this in a text file. If you are using a spreadsheet, it is easier to get them where you want. The common names for use are:

Item #
Qty In Stock
Custom Check 1
Custom Check 2
Custom Check 3
Custom Date 1
Custom Date 2
Custom Field 1
Custom Field 2
Custom Field 3
Custom Field 4
For Sale
Grading Notes

(If you have renamed the Custom Fields, you can use the name you gave it in CB)

6) you will have to do this for Comic Books, Books, Magazines and Newspapers as separate Imports (you can combine all the copy/paste data for each Type to do just one Import per Type.

7) I don't know if you plan to use one of the existing databases as the combined repository or if you are creating a new database (which I would recommend in case 'something' goes wrong). Just make sure all databases have been updated to the same Update. This way any added/deleted titles/issues will be in place.

8 ) After the Import, look for any Publisher with a name of 'Unknown Publisher'. These are Titles CB could not find to add the import data to.




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Thanks for the quick reply (on this and my "mass change - cost" question.)  

Yes, I have the Express Edition, which explains the no-export feature.

I will use my largest database as the "base" file (after backing up, of course.)

I've adjusted columns already in setup to view what I want.  For my cost field adjustment task, I'll definitely need either/both Cover and Street Dates.  Am I correct that anything I import in the cost field will override what's already in the database?

And thanks for the reminder about not saving as a CSV.  Forgot that titles might have a comma in them in addition to spaces, so Tab-separated is needed.  (I'm going to use the spreadsheet first to make some of the changes I want, in particular the "cost".)


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