So, what is the Infobase?
First of all, it is a database, but not just any database. It has a very specific structure and it can be created and managed only by 1C:Enterprise. So, you cannot create a SQL server database and then somehow open it with 1C:Enterprise. What you can do, though, is create a 1C:Enterprise infobase with SQL Server on the backend, and then open it with SQL Server tools. It won’t be of much help, though, because the infobase contains a lot of very crypticly named tables and fields. The good news is that you never need to work with the infobase using anything but the Platform.
Second of all, the infobase contains not only the data that users have input into it, but also the entire application. All catalogs, documents, reports, all the source code - all of this live in the same database along with the data. So, when you transfer the infobase elsewhere, it goes with everything included (except for the Platform, of course).
The Platform can store the infobase in its own file format or use one of these database management systems.
Of course, what you see in this list is just the shortcuts to the real infobases. Infobases themselves are on your local disk (like in the case of our Convenience infobase) or inside the database server somewhere in the network or even on the Web. When you create the infobase the Platform automatically creates the shortcut to it, but it does not automatically see all available infobases everywhere. If somebody else has created an infobase, the Platform will need you to point to the specific place where this infobase lives.
File- and DBMS-based infobases
Another important thing to know is that there is a big difference between the 1C file-based infobase and the DBMS-based infobases. The file-based infobase is a perfect fit for a developer’s infobase, but in the 1C:Enterprise mode it cannot support too many concurrent users. 5, may be 10 users working at the same time is about as good as it gets. Anything more that and you will have performance issues.
DBMS-based infobases, on the other hand, are not desperately convenient from the developer’s perspective but the number of users they can handle depends only on the hardware performance. But there is a catch - this mode requires you to use a three-tier architecture, that includes 1C Server and a database server, while the file-based mode is effectively one-tier.
1C:Enterprise and Designer
Now, let’s select the Convenience infobase and look at these two buttons here. If we click 1C:Enterprise we get into the user mode and will work with the data - enter some new Sales documents, and so on. If we click Designer, we get into the development mode where we can build our application - add new types of documents, write some code, etc.
Working with the Designer, we can download the entire infobase to a file or upload it from a file. We can also download and upload only the the application without data, using these menu items.
Let’s try what we just learned. I’m going to download the Convenience infobase to the file and then delete the infobase. Now, let’s recreate it and upload it back. We use Add infobase button when there is already the infobase somewhere which is not our case. I want to create a brand new infobase, so I’m gonna select this option.
At the next step I’m choosing to create an empty infobase, entering the infobase’s name and saying to the Platform that I want the file-based infobase, rather than DBMS-based. Then I’m just accepting the default folder for the infobase files, leaving all the default options as they are, clicking the Finish button, and the new infobase is on the list.
Now, I’m going to run the Designer and restore the infobase from the file. Here we go. My entire application and all the data are back.
Working application and database application
Now let me close the Designer and talk the development and testing cycle for a bit. Our Convenience infobase residential address is this folder. The version of the application living here is called the database application. This is the version the users are working with in 1C:Enterprise mode.
When you open the infobase with the Designer, the Platform grabs the database application and makes its copy in the temporary folder on your local computer. This temporary copy is called the working application.
This is where you develop a newer version of the application - change data structure, write the code, check the syntax, etc.. During this process, you can save the working copy as many times as needed, but it doesn’t go to the infobase yet. If there is unsaved changes in the working application the Platform will show you this star symbol as a reminder. After you save the working application, the star will be replaced with the exclamation mark, indicating, that the working application is not saved to the database yet, which means the users are working with the previous version.
As soon as you’re happy with what you have implemented and want to try and run the app, you need to Update the database application. This will upload the current version of the app to the infobase.