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Recent News and Tips


MatchCharacter: a QWIN Script

One of the little-know features of Qedit for Windows, almost a secret, is the scripting language. Want a new feature? Just code it yourself!

The MatchCharacter script searches for matching left and right characters like parentheses, square brackets or curly braces. It uses the current selection to determine what to search for: If the selection is a left character, "(", "[" or "{", the script searches forward for the appropriate matching right character, ")", "]" or "}". If found, the script selects the text between the two characters.

For more information on scripting, visit this web page.



Case Study: Suprtool Syncs MPE and HP-UX

Alliant Foodservice, Inc. is one of the nation's largest foodservice distributors, operating a coast-to-coast network of 45 distribution centers, serving restaurant chains and institutions. Alan Wyman is the Programming Manager of the Minneapolis MN distribution center, or "district".

Suprtool is used on both the HP e3000 and on the HP 9000 systems to move data back and forth. Because Suprtool is used on both platforms, Alan can take advantage of Suprtool's proprietary self-describing file format to transfer the data descriptions along with the data. Alliant had tried a comprehensive data replication product to keep the IMAGE and Oracle databases synchronized, but found that it consumed too many system resources. The solution using Suprtool and FTP is extremely efficient and inexpensive.

Click the link above to read the entire case study, including sample Suprtool code.


Robelle Tech: Export for Oracle SQL-Loader

In the November issue of the 3000 NewsWire, our other monthly Robelle Tech column was about an Ecometry site Hammacher Schlemmer that exports data from IMAGE on the 3000 to be imported by Oracle SQL-Loader on Windows NT.


Robelle Tech: Try a new language, PHP

In the November issue of the 3000 NewsWire, our monthly Robelle Tech column was about the PHP scripting language. Click the link above to read the full column on-line.

PHP is an open-source, server-side, cross-platform scripting language that is used to generate dynamic Web pages or to build browser-based applications. The PHP script can be embedded in the HTML page to generate HTML code that is inserted in the Web page at that point, or the PHP script can generate the entire HTML output. One of PHP's strengths is easy database integration. Another is that it runs on many platforms, including Windows, LINUX and HP-UX, and even on MPE/iX: a Web page at invent3k.external.hp.com/~MGR.FETHERS describes an in-progress port by Campbell Fethers and Troy Jendra, including a TurboIMAGE database interface.



Suprtool: Checking Business Rules

The IF command supports arithmetic operations between fields, even fields of different numeric data types. This is useful in checking some of the 'business rules' that most applications have. These rules are usually included in the data entry programs but sometimes 'stuff happens' and the data gets messed up. Here is a simple task that uses this feature to isolate which records are breaking the rule of "Invoice amount = price times quantity".
>base   sales.db,5,reader      {MPE, on HP-UX use >open ..}
>get    d-invoices             {MPE, on HP-UX use >select ..}
>if     price * quantity  < > amount
>list   standard title "Price * Qty not = Amount" device LP

For more data validating techniques, including what to do when you find an error, click the link above.


NewsWire: Homesteading the 3000

From the 3000 NewsWire:

In the few days since HP's surprising announcement about ending its support of the e3000 in five years, a host of companies are coming forward with announcements of their mission to light the system's windows indefinitely. Many of these companies began their business lives with the system, so there's no lack of expertise on hand -- and more than a few could go toe-to-toe with HP's experts on any day. ... Third-party support is one of the traditions for the HP 3000 market — something that customers will be able to rely upon to give them time to decide how their transition will develop.


Qedit and Suprtool Available on invent3k

At the request of Ken Hirsch, who is using invent3k for a Perl interface to Suprtool, we have worked with Mark Bixby, the server manager, to install a copy of our Qedit and Suprtool products on this public access development server. This makes our products available to anyone doing work on invent3k.


NewsWire: Invent3K, Bixby run with business as usual

The 3000 NewsWire has a story about Mark Bixby and HP's open development system:

CSY engineer Mark Bixby, who came to the group with a reputation for porting software to the platform, announced there's no change in the Invent3K Server, the public resource HP opened up earlier this year to assist in porting and development. Bixby said in an Internet posting:

"Today's news regarding the future of the HP e3000 does not change the status of the Invent3K public access machine. We are still accepting registrations for access at http://jazz.external.hp.com/pads/. Attention ISVs -- if you would like to use Invent3K to showcase demo versions of your migration tools, please register at the above URL. "


History of the HP 3000

From Robelle's Encyclopedia for HP Users, comes this history of the HP 3000 and the early days.



Ken Hirsch: Perl Interface to Suprtool

Ken Hirsch's MPE::Suprtool module allows you to easily call Robelle's Suprtool from Perl and pass it commands dynamically. You must, of course, already have Suprtool installed. This Perl module can be downloaded from HP's "invent3k" server where space is made available for 3000-related development projects. For more information on the freeware Perl for the HP 3000, see jazz.external.hp.com/src/hp_freeware/perl/ on HP's Jazz server.


New OpenMPE Discussion Group

Jon Backus announces formation of a new discussion group to "seriously" discuss and review the idea of MPE moving to a "Open Source" model. Topics of discussion will include the idea of a "Linux" style model versus a "Coop" style model. The viability of MPE being maintained by any other group outside of HP. The likelihood of porting MPE to another hardware platform.

The group home: groups.yahoo.com/group/openmpe - for more info: www.techgroupmd.com/OpenMPE.htm


Future of the HP 3000

Today HP announced a five year sunset for the HP 3000 platform. Click the link above for a Robelle announcement about our continuing committment to the 3000 and to assisting you in the future.



Qedit for Windows 5.0.11 Beta

A new "beta", Qedit for Windows 5.0.11, is now available to customers for testing. This version includes the following enhancements:

* Exclusive Access to Text Files

Qedit for Windows can take advantage of the new Set Text Exclusive feature of the Qedit server.

* Cursor Shape in Overwrite Mode

When working in Overwrite mode, the cursor changes from a vertical bar to a block, making it easier to see.

* Open Option in the Directory Dialog Box

Open options on the Open Host and Directory dialog boxes all have mnemonics Alt+x. The Force Unnumbered option is available on the Directory dialog box.

If you wish to take advantage of these features, please contact us.


Host-based Qedit 5.2 Released

Host-based Qedit 5.2 is now released to customers. This version has been through complete testing and is the current production version. It includes the following enhancements:

* Exclusive Access to Text Files

Set Text Exclusive provides better control over text files. When enabled, the original text file is protected from concurrent Qedit access and other applications.

* Enhanced Support for UDC Options

Support for the Recursion and List UDC options has been improved. Both statements can be used anywhere within a UDC.

* Found String Marker

The Find and FindUp commands display a marker pointing to the string starting location.

If you wish to take advantage of these features, please contact us.


November Newsletter from Robelle

The November 2001 issue of Robelle's What's Up DOCumentation newletter is now available. Some of the highlights from this issue:

* Robelle Tech: Learn About XML and Suprtool

The Robelle Tech columns in the October issue of The 3000 NewsWire provide an introduction to XML, with example applications and links to voluminous web training material, and they announce a new feature in Suprtool: exporting to XML format.

* Credit Unions: Robelle's Summit/Spectrum Web Page

Robelle has created a new corner of its web site dedicated to users of SPECTRUM, the industry-leading application solution for credit unions from Summit Information Systems.

Hear from Summit/Suprtool users, read a case study, configure Suprtool for Spectrum, and see examples of two Spectrum jobs converted to use Suprtool. If you are a Summit/Suprtool user, send us your experiences, your converted job streams, your spreadsheet exports, or even your Suprtool enhancement requests to benefit Summit users. Spectrum is a trademark of Summit Information Systems.

* Qedit Favorites Organize Project Files

This article by Neil Armstrong describes the new "Favorites" feature in Qedit for Windows. Neil has found it very useful to organize by project the many disparate number and types of files that he edits, even files on different servers and his local PC.

* Robelle-l : A Discussion on Deleting Duplicates

Robelle-l is a quiet little discussion group where people can post questions about Qedit and Suprtool, and receive answers from other users and the Robelle staff. Recently, there was an interesting discussion on recovering from an error that inadvertently created duplicate records in a detail dataset. Read all about it.

* Some useful and interesting web links:

Labmice.net: win2k resources for IT people
DBTune/SQL: Free Utility
3000-L Mailing List: Suprtool and Powerhouse Data Types
Interview with Alfredo Rego of Adager
The world's largest customer-service solution provider (CSSP)
HP e3000 Case Study: License Mgmt Solution (PDF)

These are just some of the informative articles in this issue. Read the complete issue to learn more!

Browse the HTML issues at
Download the PDF issues at

Hope you enjoy this issue.

Bob Green, President
Robelle Solutions Technology Inc.


CAMUS 2002 Conference: The Power to Leverage

CAMUS (the Computer Applications for Manufacturing Users Society) will hold their 2002 International Conference on May 19-22, 2002 in Denver, Colorado, at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center. This is a group that contains MANMAN users, MK users and MAXCIM users. Their web site is a www.camus.org


Review of Defrag/X

Review by John Burke in the 3000 NewsWire: Lund Performance Solutions’ (LPS) De-Frag/X is nothing less than the Swiss Army knife of disk space management. With at least 24 new commands added to De-Frag/X since I last reviewed the product, it can probably be said that if you do not see what you want, chances are it cannot be done. De-Frag/X gives the HP e3000 system manager the ability to analyze, condense, defragment, balance, clone, erase and fragment disk space, usually online, and surprisingly fast, with minimal impact on the user.


How Robust Is the 3000?

From the Adager web site.


Berkowitz to Berkowitz: Days Between Dates

On Robelle-L yesterday, Leonard_Berkowitz@harvardpilgrim.org asked about Suprtool:

Is there away in Suprtool to compare two dates on a dataset record and come up with the number of days between them?

And then user Mike Berkowitz (no relation, michael@guess.com), replied:

Use the $days function. It converts a date to a Julian day (days since 4713 BCE). Then use subtraction of if statement

>if $days(ship-date) - $days(order-date) > 10


Terminal Emulator for Windows CE Pocket PCs

Minisoft is readying a version of their HP terminal emulator for pocket PCs that run the Windows CE operating system. It will be priced at $99 and include serial, Telnet and NS/VT connectivity. It will not have file transfer capability. It will support HP 700/92 and VT220 emulations, 80- and 132-column screen display, scripting, and keyboard remapping.


HP e3000 Solutions Symposium

Yearly technical training conference: HP e3000 Solutions Symposium, April 3- 6, 2002, San Jose, CA, Hyatt, San Jose. Use source code SS02PE1 to take advantage of the Early Bird specials (save up to $100).


The world's largest customer-service solution provider (CSSP)

Adager has added a section of HP e3000 success stories to their web site. This one is about who uses a site that uses two HP e3000 Business servers for heavy-duty OLTP (OnLine Transaction Processing) ... with up to 5,000 users on one machine and 5,700 users on another. Suggest your own success story.


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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.