John's Presentation - November 13th 2000 at DVCUG

On November 13th, John's presentation to the Delaware Valley Computer User Group included a review of DBU from Pro Data, and Surveyor/400 an equivalent product from Linoma software. The utility WRKDBF was not included in this review which although free, John feels it is slow, has too many distracting confirmation screens and has a questionable upgrade path.

John also listed his five favorite tools from TAATOOLS.

Then he showed an old programming trick he has used in applications for years when special sorting requirements were needed. He showed how this trick could be utilized in a program cross-reference similar to Hawkeye cross-reference Utility.

John's presentation lasted 15 minutes.

Linoma's Surveyor/400 did not quite measure up

Most areas of the Linoma GUI Database file utility, behaved poorly was with exporting DDS and was searching within libraries and also searching library's contents not in the User's Liblist. The Linoma software Surveyor was not nearly as fast as the WRKOBJPDM command when listing files within a library. The GUI screens were not intuitive, were hard to navigate, and were very slow. The software locked up several times during the test.

John's suggestion now is to wait until Pro Data (makers of DBU) perfect their own GUI version. Interest in GUI file editors is important for the AS/400 user community to watch. IBM has stated that its GUI tool Operations Navigator will be its future direction, with little development dollars spent on command line interfaces. Thus, 3rd party vendors are being to encouraged to create Add-ins (just like Browser Add-ins and Java based) for Operations Navigator since IBM will concentrate on system management options, not application or data base tools like DBU of Surveyor.

John noted that there is lack of a standard GUI interface for FTP in the AS400 community (preferring the <Norton File Manager's FTP>interface. And though the FTP GUI interface of Linoma is an admirable goal, it falls short of providing the "industry standard" we all need. Long-time DVCUG member Rich Meyer says he has created some user-friendly front-ends to AS400 FTP. (That sounds like something we should encourage Rich to talk about more and have others give it a try.)

In fairness, Rich Meyer heartily endorses the sister product CVTILERPG product from Linoma. So Linoma has proved they can respond to customer's needs.

Functions promised by Linoma

Functions of DBU from Pro Data - the industry standard

2 functions not in Linoma which tip the scale to DBU

Favorite commands from the TAATOOLS library from Jim Sloan.

Then for something new - a data base trick that most people are not aware of - a trick of John's which makes coding the impossible Subfile screen possible. There is an example of Unit-of-measure conversions, and a warehouse name example.

And lastly, this trick can be useful to get all programs called and the programs calling when you have no other tools available. By constructing one of these logicals over the output of DSPPGMREF, you have the essentials you need to quickly understand the impact program changes. You have now grouped together the programs calling the program being modified, and you also see the downstream programs it will call.