What Sapphire is used for…
Sapphire is a lightweight & versatile document-based project & application manager that can be used either as a standalone solution or in conjunction with other project or file management applications.
- Sapphire creates compact, portable database files for groups & subgroups of your project’s source documents, notes, and target products.
- You can also reference folders or executable files, allowing you to quickly launch your project’s workflow applications & utilities as needed.
- A Sapphire file can also reference other Sapphire files, allowing you to nest or link subgroups of documents and applications according to whatever scheme is appropriate for your project.
Building a Sapphire Project File…
When you launch Sapphire from the Dock or from the Finder, a new, blank Project Window is opened. This window can be resized as necessary. Sapphire Projects are created by adding Project Items to the the Item Table located on the left side of the Project Window. Above the table are buttons for adding new Items and for attaching files or folders to each Item if desired.
- Select the “Add a Project Item” button to add a new undefined Item to the table.
- You can optionally (and in most cases will usually) select the “Attach a File or Folder to Open” button in order to connect the new Item to an external file or folder. A standard Open Dialog will allow you to navigate to the object you want to attach.
- No file data or content will be imported or copied into the Sapphire Project Document; only a pathname to the selected file will be attached to the Item record. The original data on disk will remain untouched.
- Attached files can be document files, folders, or executable files such as applications or utilities. If an alias is selected, the path to the original file will be used.
- The resulting pathname will be displayed in the Item Detail panel on the right side of the window.
- Above the pathname display is a button titled “Open Attachment” which, when selected, will open the item as though it had been double-clicked in the Finder. If necessary, the application associated with a selected document will also be launched.
- Adding files or folders as attachments is entirely optional, and the selection for any item can be changed or updated at any time.
- If the referenced file or folder is moved or deleted, the pathname stored in the Sapphire Project File will not be updated automatically. You will have to update the reference explicitly if the target attachment is relocated or deleted.
Adding Notes, Tags, and Other Meta Data…
Once a Project Item has been added, you can add notes, tags, and timestamps for each individual item. Each item’s info can be added or edited either directly in the Item Table or using the Item Detail panel on the right side of the window, and can be added or changed at any time.
- The most significant field for each item is the Item Description, which is required for each entry. This description can be whatever may best indicate the usage or purpose of the selected item. This is the only required field.
- You can optionally enter timestamp information including the date you have added the Item to the Project File, the current date of any modifications, and the due date of the Item. Entries in these fields are automatically formatted (in the detail view) to a long date format with the day of the week for your convenience. Note that these timestamps are not automatically added nor determined by the timestamps applied by the files ystem to any attached document itself, nor are attached documents themselves affected by the dates you enter here. These fields are optional.
- A checkmark flag is available to indicate whether an Item in the Project File is considered ‘complete’; this checkbox appears to the right of the “Due Date” field in the Detail View and to the far left of the Table View.
- An extended field for notes or comments pertaining to the selected Item is also available. In the case of Project Items which are not attached to external files, folders, or applications, this field can be used to conveniently store snippets or draft text within the Project File itself without the hassle of creating or managing external files in the file system. The Project Window can be easily resized to accommodate longer portions of text.
- At the bottom of the Detail View is a button titled “Remove Project Item” which, when selected, will remove the Item and its associated metadata from the Project. Removing a Project Item will not alter or effect any file or document that is attached to that Project Item.
Defining Custom Tags for Project Items…
Like many project management applications you can label Project Items using ready-made Status and Category tags. Rather than having a limited set of pre-defined tags, Sapphire lets you create your own unique tags on a per-project basis.
- To the right of the drop-down menus, selected the “Edit” buttons to bring up a listing of the Status and Category tags. Click the “Add” button at the bottom of the panel to create a new entry, and double-click the new entry to edit it.
- You can add as many entries to each of the menus as needed according to whatever scheme your projects require.
- Your customized entries are unique to each Project File, and can be added or edited at any time.
Documenting & Saving your Project…
In addition to the extended notes that can be added to Project Items, you can document changes to the project using the “Project History” feature.
- Select the “Project History” button at the bottom of the Item Table on the left side of the window. As with the Status and Category tags, to can add dates and comments for any activities in your Project File. As with the user configurable tags, these notations are unique to and preserved within each individual project file.
- Select “Save” or “Save As...” from the File Menu to write the Project information to disk. The data will be saved in XML format with the extension “.sph”, and if necessary this file can be opened and read by any application that can read and edit XML data.These files can be handled as you would any similar document file in the Finder.
Known Issues and Sundry Notes…
- Except for this Help File, there is currently no printing enabled in this version. Future versions will allow printing of the Project Table and formatted reports of user-specified Project Info (to print this Help File, selected the “Gear” Menu in the Toolbar above).
- The ability to define a default set of Status and Category tags for all new Project Files is in development for a future version. For now, a common set of tags has to be manually implemented for each new file.
- The “Completed” flag is currently not searchable.
- Sapphire Project Files are saved with the extension “.sph” and, as Unicode-clean XML files produced by the Cocoa Core Data Framework, can be opened by any application that can read this encoding. Future versions will allow you to choose the file extension in order to facilitate importing these files into applications & utilities that can parse XML and make use of the project data.
- Future versions of this Help Book will be greatly improved…
- 1.0.0 (2008) Initial Release (for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Universal Binary)
- 1.1.0 (December 2008) Redesigned Interface
- 1.1.1 (September 2010)Rebuilt for Mac OS X 10.5/6 (Intel Only)
- 1.1.2 (December 2010) Bugfixes, Added Help Files
- 2.X.X (2012 in development) CSV import/export and printing support plus a variety of added changes.
Sapphire Document Manager v.1.1.2
Design and Development by Geoffrey Alexander
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