Chapter 1. Getting started

Table of Contents
What your refdb administrator needs to tell you
Creating your configuration files

So now you sit in front of a box that has the refdb clients installed and wonder what you should do next. At first you should do some very simple customizations to make further use as smooth as possible.

What your refdb administrator needs to tell you

refdb uses an external database server to store all sorts of data. In order to read from or to write to a database, the database server wants to know your username and perhaps also a password. These are not necessarily identical with your login name and password (the ones you use to log into your computer), but they could very well be. Your administrator will tell you. For the purposes of this tutorial, we'll assume your database username is "markus" and your database password is "secret".

refdb uses a client/server architecture. You'll be using refdb clients for various tasks. The clients are basically pretty dumb, and they can't do much without asking the server for more information. The server interacts with the database server and has most of the application logic. In order to talk to the application server, the clients need to know where it runs. This can be on the same box, or somewhere else in your network. Your administrator will tell you. In this tutorial we'll assume the server runs on the same box, which is the IP address "" in computer lingo.

refdb can basically use several reference databases. Your administrator has to give you access rights to at least one reference database. He should provide a list of databases that you can access. Let us assume for this tutorial that you will have access to a single database called "refs".

refdb uses a pager to display output which would otherwise scroll off the screen. Pagers allow you to do nifty things, but the most important feature is that you can scroll back and forth. Some pagers like less need to be terminated explicitly (by typing q), others like more terminate automatically as soon as you reach the end of the output. You can use the commands which less and which more to find out which pagers are installed on your system.