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Getting Ready for Year 2000

This paper was prepared by Robelle Solutions Technology Inc. with assistance from other HP 3000 software vendors listed. Our hope is that you will find the information provided helpful as you prepare for January 1, 2000.

The Problem

You have dates with 2 digit years that will not be able to sort or compare properly when they start including dates from the next century. You have checked, and your software tools are 'Year 2000 compliant'. Now you can relax, right? Wrong!

The Solution

Basically, you need to change every program and every file on your system that references these 2 digit years and convert them into 4 digit years. This is a very large project!

Now before you update your resume and decide to switch professions, some of the major HP 3000 tool vendors have joined together to help make this project easier. How? By offering special discounts and a step-by-step guide to help you use the right tool for the task at hand.

The Steps

The Tools

Determine what applications are currently being used

Check with your users and other staff to determine which applications like Payroll, Accounts Payable, G/L etc. are still being used.

Determine what data files each application uses

This would include IMAGE databases, KSAM and flat files. Hopefully you have current documentation that itemizes each of the files that every process in the application uses. Use Doc/3000 to keep all this information in one place and to perform impact analysis. Use D-Day 2000 to determine the cost and length of the Year 2000 project for each application.

Determine which files have 2 digit years

Look at the program source files, scanning them for the following strings "DATE", "DT", "YY", "YEAR", "DAT". Use MPEX, Doc/3000 or Magnet to scan filesets quickly. Also check all the file layouts for non-standard date field names. Look at all 6 character fields as possible dates. Look at a few records of every data file and dataset looking for date fields. Use Qedit for non-binary files and Query for short datasets. For binary files and long datasets use Suprtool.

Determine which programs access these files

Once you've isolated the files and dataset names, scan all your program source files to see which programs reference these files. Again use Doc/3000, Magnet or MPEX to scan filesets. Don't forget to check all production job streams as well. Check how each date field is being used in this file. Is there any manipulation that would need to change? Are there any temporary variables that need new date handling routines? Use SmartDate. If you have multiple versions of the same program source you will need to determine which is the most current version. Use Compare to find the differences.

Create a development environment for making application changes

A project of this size will take a while and require testing as the changes are being made. A copy of all the source, data and programs should be made either on another cpu or another account. Normal development and use of the files will not be affected until the project is complete. Use VCS/3000 for version control of the source files and audit trails of changes.

Correct any invalid dates

You will need to find and fix and invalid dates, e.g. '970644', 'NEVER', '******'. Some sites prefer to do this after expanding the data files. Use Adager, DBGeneral (available 3rd quarter '97) or Suprtool.

Expand the 2 digit years into 4 digit years in the data files

Use Adager or DBGeneral (available 3rd quarter '97) for data and structural changes to databases. Use Ksamutil for structural changes to KSAM files. Use Suprtool for data changes to databases, KSAM or flatfiles.

Convert the programs to handle the new files with wider year fields

Check the length of file is adjusted so that the date fields and any temporary fields used for dates are also expanded. Use Qedit to edit your source files, job streams and 'use' files. Use MPEX to mass recompile your source. If you need new date handling routines, use SmartDate.

Test the programs

Make sure your test data has both 20th and 21st century dates. Check compares and sorted lists.

Test the applications

Check that programs work together, i.e. does program A output a data file that program B reads. Check all files created by one application system and used by other application systems.

Update the production application

When you're completely satisfied with the programs, convert all the production data files and datasets. Then copy all the source and program files back into the production environment. Use VCS/3000 to distribute the changed versions into the production environment.

The Vendors