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Recent News and Tips

Bob Green Session for Summit Users

Credit unions are gathering in Melbourne Florida Sept 12-14, 2001 to share information on Summit's application package and improve their skills. Bob Green of Robelle will be present to give an afternoon session on IMAGE, Suprtool and improved batch processing. Read one credit union's experiences with Suprtool.


3kworld: Winston Prather and Dave Snow at HPWorld

3kworld provides an easy to digest, bullet-style report on what was communicated by Winston Prather and Dave Snow during their plenary/strategic sessions at HP World 2001.



Convert Leading Spaces to Zeroes

Recently a user asked us how to convert leading spaces in an ASCII 'Numeric' field (i.e., Zoned/Display) into leading zeroes.

You can do it in Suprtool, but there is a trick to it. Click the link above to find out how.


Edit Report Layouts By Row and Column

Every once in awhile I do some consulting to work on various applications for customers. This helps keep perspective on application programming and how customers use our tools in the real world. While changing the layout of a report written in Cobol (with Suprtool doing the data extraction) the customer was changing their mind about the layout of the report.

To help both the customer and myself write the report, I pasted in the current version of the report and edited the report using Qedit for Windows.

What I found really helpful was that by just turning on the View "Ruler Bar" I could easily see the layout and number of spaces for the Header lines.

Once this portion was designed, I could then use the View "Record Numbers" feature to count the number of lines in the report.

Once I had the design done, I could also test the line spacing and layout by printing the report to the screen and cutting and pasting into Qedit for Windows to insure that everything lined up and the Line counts were correct.

I realize that this is very "old school" but there are still some of us who do high volume, good old data processing and printing reports and using this newfangled Qedit for Windows provided a nice trick for this old programmer.



Sync-up Your Master Totals Via Update-From-Table

By Paul Gobes, Technical Support

Suprtool added the Update-From-Table feature in version 4.4.10. You can read about this flexible new option in this NewsWire article.

Many applications keep a running total in the master record of all the detail transactions. You can use the latest feature in Suprtool to easily do this.

The following example reads the D-SALES detail set and summarizes the total sales for each customer.

 >base      store,1,writer
 >get       d-sales
 >sort      cust-account
 >duplicate none keys total sales-total
 >extract   cust-account
 >output    summary,link

 >input summary;list standard;x
 Aug 23, 2001 11:56     


      123                       136193+
     4566                       723309+
 IN=2, OUT=2. CPU-Sec=1. Wall-Sec=1.

Now let's update the master dataset records. Notice the new syntax on the TABLE and the EXTRACT commands.

>table t-sales,cust-account,file,summary,data(st-total-1)
>get   m-customer
>if    $lookup(t-sales,cust-account)
>extract sales-history = &
Finally, here is what the Master set records look like:
 >g m-customer;ext cust-account,sales-history;l;x

 CUST-ACCOUNT   = 4566  SALES-HISTORY   = 723309

 CUST-ACCOUNT   = 123    SALES-HISTORY   = 136193



HPWorld 2001: Photos and News

click for more hpworld pictures

Robelle had a good week at HPWorld and we snapped many pictures. Click the link above to find out about the "Most Fun Booth" and much more.


NewsWire: Ron Reports from 3kworld

Ron Seybold reports the news from HPWorld, as the show is going on.


HPWorld, Thursday August 23, 2001

Winston Prather, General Manager of the hp 3000 division presented the state of the 3000 talk today. High point for the crowd was when he was in the middle of explaining the value of the platform. He leaned over to the podium and click the next slide button on his laptop PowerPoint presentation. All of a sudden the screen was replaced with the notorious Windows Blue Screen of Death. The crowd roared with laughter. Winston joked that he hoped he could give the rest of the talk from memory --- then an arrow moved across the screen reading "the real value of the e3000 is what you don't get with mpe/ix".

Later Winston announced that projects are underway for next year to bring faster PA 8700 processors to the e3000 next year, as well as bundling the secure version of Apache into an upcoming operating system release.

Bob Green of Robelle presented his talk, "Building Better Software", but rewrote it the night before as a comedy routine: Bob's Top Ten Software Tips from the Dark Side. Here are the anti-tips:

10. Promise everything, deliver half with bugs, then charge consulting fees to fix the mess.

9. “Testing Schmesting.”

8. Stifle all attempts to report bugs.

7. Work on the system for at least a year before letting anyone see it.

6. Use your creative writing skills when doing progress reports.

5. Hire as many programmers as you can.

4. Keep the programmers in the deep dark recesses of your office and never let them meet the users.

3. Every Monday, announce your new methodology for the week.

2. “Get ready for the ultimate, super-duper, system to end all systems!”

1. Once it is done, have confidence in yourself -- resist all changes.


3kworld: Robelle is Building a Community

About Robelle and our place in the 3000 community.


HPWorld: News from the Conference Floor

Wednesay, August 22, 2001. 10:45am. The conference is off to a roaring start. The vendor show opens in 15 minutes and Robelle is ready. Adager is here with an interesting booth (picture to follow), Vladimir Volokh of Vesoft is here but, as usual, does not have a booth.

WRQ has new Reflection 9, is working on Reflection 10, Reflection for the Web, and integration software to tie disparate host applications together (such as Siebel and SAP). More importantly WRQ is having a party tomorrow night at The House of Blues.

More news to follow..

2:47PM... lots of people in our booth, we are giving away Robelle slinkies. The Vital-Soft booth is next to ours, as is the MB Foster booth.


Horner Web Site Adds Robelle Headlines

Ron Horner is a consultant who is extreme about the 3000. He loves it. And now he has added the Robelle 3000 news headlines to his web site. Click the link above to see how it looks. This free service syndicates the stories, technical tips, and web links that we publish daily, keeping your web site current and interesting with no work on your part. Set up is easy - just insert one line into your HTML code. Read the How-To instructions.


HPWorld: DISC Offers OdxShare Freeware

As part of a joint presentation on using SQL on TurboImage databases that Ken Nutsford is doing with Terry O'Brien of Dynamic Information Systems (DISC), DISC will be providing a subset of their SQL server technology free to all attendees of the tutorial. The tutorial is 'Practical SQL Access to IMAGE Databases' which is on Friday, August 24th at 2:00pm.


HPWorld: Vital-Soft Demos New Product That Uses Suprtool

John Overton announces the "MatchPoint Replication Suite" which allows you to easily replicate a TurboIMAGE database to an SQL environment for business decision support. Two interesting things about MatchPoint are that it can incrementally update the SQL side as your applications modify the TurboIMAGE side, and it uses Suprtool wherever possible to speed the replication process. See Jon at HPWorld.


3000 Newswire: Ken Paul Starts Consulting Service

After 13 years of providing top-flight support for Adager and the IMAGE database users in the 3000 community, Ken Paul has become an independent consultant offering a variety of services for HP 3000 sites.


HPWorld: Find Robelle at Booth 100

Next week is the annual HPWorld Conference. Click the link above for a map of the trade show floor showing how easy it is to find Robelle (near the doors!).


mySQL: Importing HP e3000 Data

By Neil Armstrong and Aaron Holmes

Recently a friend needed to work with some data in mySQL to test a Web Application. I figured that I could provide some test data from one of our IMAGE databases and use our STExport program (part of the Suprtool product) to move the data over.

mySQL is an Open Source database that is commonly used as the backend database server for many Web applications for a huge number of Linux and Unix platforms as well as Windows machines.

The source and or binaries can be obtained from www.mysql.com or www.sourceforge.net and many other download mirrors around the globe.

In order to get started we decided to build a mySQL database that looked like an Image database, building a simple Master dataset and a single detail dataset. The byte type fields in Image were created as char fields. The I2 or J2 fields were created as int fields. The database resided on a small Windows 98 laptop system.

Having done this, we extracted data from the 3000 database and used default STExport settings to output a file that was comma delimited, with each field enclosed in quotes.

In investigating how to import data into mySQL, we first tried the mySQLImport program, but it didn't seem as robust and we could not figure out how to tell it what delimiters to use.

In looking at the documentation, we thought that the LOAD_FILE command might work, but further investigation showed that this command opens the file and returns the contents as a string. This feature is only used by Text and Blob columns of mySQL.

We finally had success with the LOAD_DATA statement after reading the documentation on the mySQL Website at:

We quickly tried importing the data with the default STExport settings. However, when we looked at the data, some records were not imported correctly. The records seemed to have the data offset by one field. We found the problem to be records with either quotes or commas in the data. Since these were also our delimiters and seperators we changed the Suprtool and STExport commands to the following:
 get m-customer
 out mcust,link
 export in mcust
 export quote none
 export delim "?"
 export out mcustexp
 export exit
We got rid of the quotes surrounding each field by using the Quote None statement and changed the delimiter to a character that we knew did not exist in our data. In our case we chose the Question Mark.

Importing the data into our table then became a single simple command entered from within Mysql Monitor:

 load data infile 'm_customer_file.txt' into table m_customer
 fields terminated by '?';
Once we had the basics down for importing the datasets into the mySQL tables, we could then import the entire database into mySQL.

We were able to check the data using the mySQL admin tools, but for more flexible access we installed some PHP scripts for working with mySQL databases.

Overall, we found it relatively easy with STExport to duplicate our production IMAGE database structure and contents in mySQL. Of course, we did do a little studying in two books:


Apache/iX: Documentation Web Page

Apache is a widely used web server that has been ported to many computing platforms. It is open source, free, reliable and fast. Apache is used to serve up web pages for some of the most famous sites on the internet. Click the link above for the documentation and links needed to install Apache 1.3 on MPE/iX and to get assistance.


HP e3000 Jobs: Amos and Associates

Diane Amos has been a recruiter in the HP field since 1986.


HP World: Things to Do in Chicago

The Interex HPWorld conference is in Chicago starting August 20th, 2001. Follow the link above for links to "things to do in Chicago".


Tech Group University: Fall MPE Classes

The Tech Group University 2001 Fall Semester Catalog and schedule of MPE classes have been published. The catalog now has over 90 MPE related training classes, with over 30 initially on the schedule, including Suprtool and Qedit. Please visit the virtual campus (www.TechGroupMD.com) to see which classes might be right for you.


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HP 3000 Book

HP 3000 Evolution:

Edited by Bob Green of Robelle, from articles written by Robelle, by The 3000 Newswire, and by other experts in the HP 3000 field.

This 300-page book contains the latest information on three important topics:
HP 3000 Tune Up
Migrating a 3000 application.

An essential reference for every desk! Order your copy on-line for US$25.