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How to Eliminate ASCII DAT Files from Elliott DATA Folder to Improve NTFS Security

Release Date: 12/08/2022
Version: 8.6

In the last decade, we have seen Ransomware attacks on Elliott users that caused a great amount of damage.  Companies without proper backups can be devastated.  Even nationwide organizations with sizeable IT departments are not exempt.  The security vulnerability in Elliott Business Software can be eliminated by implementing proper NTFS security. You can find details in the following KB article:

On the other hand, due to legacy reasons, there are certain ASCII data files that reside in Elliott’s data folder which can still pose a minor security risk.  These ASCII data files are primarily used to store setup and counter information, such as the next order number or invoice number.  You can implement NTFS security protection to guard all Elliott BTR files against unauthorized access, but the ASCII data files are still vulnerable and may be subject to the attack of ransomware.  The damage caused by a ransomware attack on ASCII files is relatively low if you implement the recommended NTFS security. 

Starting with Elliott 8.6, users can now optionally convert all ASCII DAT files to the BTR format to tie up the loose ends related to NTFS security.  This step may also help if you experience duplicate invoice numbers in your system.  Note that you should not run the procedure to convert DAT to BTR until you are using Elliott V8.6 for all your users.  Once you convert, Elliott is no longer backward compatible with prior Elliott versions which require DAT files to work.  Please be aware of the following:
  1. Your database needs to be converted to support alphabetic document numbers first.  Please see 8.5 documentation on how to do that.
  2. If you are using web services, you must use 8.6-specific web services with the proper configuration.
  3. The Vertex interface may not work after the conversion.
  4. F9 users require special procedures.  Please speak to Netcellent.
  5. No Elliott users should be in the system during this conversion.
  6. To convert, use EL860CF.Exe in your <ElliottRoot>\Bin86 folder.  Go to the database tab.  Right click on the company and choose to "change database information" in the popup menu, or click on the Info column icon on the company you wish to convert. See sample screen below:

  7. Click on the conversion check box to convert. See sample screen below:

  8. We suggest you backup your DATA_?? folder before the conversion.  After a successful conversion, you will see two subfolders under the corresponding DATA_?? folder: (1) DAT2BTR -- contains a backup of DAT files that have been converted to BTR; (2) DATSAVE -- contains all other DAT files that have no use in Elliott.  We moved them to DATSAVE just in case you still need them for any reason.
  9. In the DATA_?? folders, if you use Saturn DYO (Design Your Own) feature, you will have TBL files too. They are work files and are moved to the <ElliottRoot>\Log\<CompNo> folder.
Because this is a critical step, please contact Netcellent support if you are not sure how to proceed.


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