Getting Started With Comet

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Comet is a versatile computing environment developed by Signature Systems for business and web applications running on Microsoft Windows. It includes a multi-tasking runtime component and a high-speed database engine. It can run as a standalone system, in a local area network, in a wide area network, and on the Internet. One of Comet’s notable strengths is its remote application processing, which is accomplished with CometAnywhere and/or eComet. Application programming is primarily done in Signature's Internet Basic compiled language. There is also an option to access the Comet File Server from COM-compliant languages such as Visual Basic and C++.

If you are running in a network environment you should install your server first. Once it is all setup, you can install your workstations. Download the Server Install Program, CometServerProductsxxxx.exe, where xxxx is the version number from While you may install it in whatever folder you choose, we recommend C:\Comet Services as you will see references to this folder name elsewhere in our documentation. By default the installation will setup both the Security Server (using a USB Security Token) and the File Server to run as a Windows service. Note the USB Security Token should be installed onto the server and the Comet License file placed in the C:\Comet Services folder.

Download the Comet client software from While you may install it in whatever folder you choose, we recommend C:\Comet on your server as you will see references to this folder name elsewhere in our documentation. The clients will be setup to load the Comet executables from the server.

Download the supporting utilities from and Unzip the REL folder into server folder C:\Comet\REL and the UTL folder into C:\Comet\UTL.

Comet uses a .ini file to define its configuration. You must establish this file before attempting to run Comet for the first time. You can find the layout of this file here: It is recommended that you keep this file in server folder C:\Comet. When you run Comet for the first time it should recognize that the .ini file needs to be processed. It will run SYSGEN. Once this runs successfully, restart Comet and you should see the default start program, QMONITOR.

Access to particular folders and some convenience options may be specifed using the optional QMONITOR Security System. Here is a link to some documentation on how to set that up:

File System and Programming

While the Comet File System handles several file types, the most common data file is the keyed file. Here is some info on Comet Keyed Files:

Internet Basic (IB) will be your primary programming language for Comet. Here's a link to a statement summary: In addition, several enhancements have been added to our current generation product, Comet32, including user-defined procs: IB source files may be any Comet data file type however we strongly recommend using a text file with a ".ibs" (for IB source) extension. This file type can be recognized by the recommended text editor, UltraEdit from IDM Computer Solutions You should purchase the editor directly from IDM. After it is installed, run CometUESetup.exe to add the Comet extensions to UltraEdit. You'll find CometUESetup.exe in your Comet executables folder, C:\Comet.

To write Windows dialog programs for Comet you'll use the optional Comet Windows API. You can download that here: There are 2 components to this library, WDL (the API code library) and DLG (sample programs). You'll need to install into folder C:\Comet\WDL and into C:\Comet\DLG. There's also a third folder of sample programs for some special purpose IB instructions. For this, install into C:\Comet\DMW.


The Report Generator script language can be used for quick reporting on your data. Here's a link to an introduction to its capabilites: The Report Generator programs are included in the UTL folder installed above.

Comet Explorer provides a collection of data file management utilites: You can run it by clicking on the "Comet Explorer" hyperlink on the QMONITOR screen or by running CometEx.

There is also a set of older utilites accessible by clicking the "Utilities" hyperlink in QMONITOR. Note that these utilities have been replaced by Comet Explorer and may not support all the newest Comet features and file types.

XAP for eComet Web Applications

XAP is an optional add-on to your Comet system that provides the capability to write interactive web-based applications that have access to the Comet file system. Here's a link to a tutorial and demo applications:


Comet provides a SQL device that allows you to connect to a MySQL database (remote or local) from within an IB application. It is designed to provide a simple way to access your mySQL data for use within Comet. Here's more info on how to use this device:

COM-compliant access to the File Server

Although most all of your Comet development will be done in IB, there may be an occasion where it is more convenient to write your Comet application in another language such as Visual Basic or C++. The CometLib API provides this capability. You'll find documentation and programming examples here:

Links for more help

The Site Map page is a good place to start a search for additional documentation . For example it's here you'll find information about the Comet PDF and Email Printers, Comet startup-options, and CometAnywhere for remote clients.

We have also started a wiki which may provide additional help:

And of course there's our Support Forum This is supported by the Signature Systems staff and members of the Comet user community. It's a great resource for getting answers to your questions.

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