RE: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-19 Thread Brian Leach
 
When we advise clients on GUI, we always advise a divide and conquer
approach.

It is amazing just how small a percentage of a system actually needs to be
GUItized, once you have partitioned out the business rules, report and
(strange) user menus, admin facilities etc.

Use a regular report designer [AD - mvQuery] to handle the reporting.
Keep the admin stuff on the green screen.
Turn business rules into subroutines and test then from the green screen
first.

Then look at what is left, and employ someone who understands GUI to create
the new front end. You might be surprised how little is left to be reworked,
if you use the right tools. We use uvCase, but we don't sell that outside
the UK so that won't help you! But there are plenty tools around that can.

soapbox moment
 Sticking a few text and combo boxes on a screen is not a GUI. It's a form
with a few text/combo boxes.
 Desiging an effective GUI is a skill that takes time to learn - like any
other computing skill.
 Do employ someone to help you do it.
/soapbox moment

Some lateral thinking can help too:

One of my favourite demos for mvQuery involves running a Command Before to
capture an existing BASIC print job. I have a simple 300 line BASIC program
that executes a print job to HOLD, uses a definition record to strip data
from the job by locating recognized headings/subheadings and stripping text
out at relative x and y offsets, and uses that data to write a number of
records into a work file. I can then use mvQuery to select the work file and
design e.g. a modern looking PDF or an export. None of that is rocket
science, and I can use that technique to redesign a quite number of existing
reports in a matter of minutes - without having to analyze how the original
report was created!

You can do similar things with other tools: it's just takes a little bit of
thinking around the issue.

Brian



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[OT] Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-19 Thread CWNoah2
Well, let's see...  the new car automatically unlocks all the doors when I 
get in (my wife thinks the carjackers'll love that one), I have to stand on the 
brake pedal to get it to start, the window decides for itself to go all the 
way down when I just want it down a crack, and the turning radius sucks. But, 
hey, that's progress. It's new and improved.

Anyway, ignore this as the grumblings of an old codger whose coffee hasn't 
overcome the arthritis yet this morning.  ;^)

Regards,
Charlie Noah

[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
Change to the process flow is many times the impetus to replace a module or
application in the first place.  Change is not always terrible, although
feared. In truth I have found the fear to be more in the hearts of the IT
person who has tweaked the system over the past 15+ years and is insulted
that their masterpiece is being considered a dinosaur ready for replacement.
How dare they! You don't think that way when you replace your car now do
you?  You generally move into a newer improved model that outperforms the
car you left behind.  It may react a little differently, but overall the
performance is better.
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RE: [OT] Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-19 Thread Les Hewkin
And it was YOU that bought it!

m coffee... need more..

Les :-)

-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: 19 April 2004 11:12
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Subject: [OT] Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports


Well, let's see...  the new car automatically unlocks all the doors when I get in (my 
wife thinks the carjackers'll love that one), I have to stand on the 
brake pedal to get it to start, the window decides for itself to go all the way down 
when I just want it down a crack, and the turning radius sucks. But, 
hey, that's progress. It's new and improved.

Anyway, ignore this as the grumblings of an old codger whose coffee hasn't overcome 
the arthritis yet this morning.  ;^)

Regards,
Charlie Noah

[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
Change to the process flow is many times the impetus to replace a module or
application in the first place.  Change is not always terrible, although
feared. In truth I have found the fear to be more in the hearts of the IT
person who has tweaked the system over the past 15+ years and is insulted
that their masterpiece is being considered a dinosaur ready for replacement.
How dare they! You don't think that way when you replace your car now do
you?  You generally move into a newer improved model that outperforms the
car you left behind.  It may react a little differently, but overall the
performance is better.
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Re: can we stop with the pointless displays? was Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-19 Thread Glenn Herbert
I believe I added this option years ago... try using DET.SUP or DET-SUPP.

At 06:29 PM 4/17/2004, you wrote:
In a message dated 4/17/2004 7:35:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 and had to watch the compiler meticulously display those line-by
 line asterisks during compiling.
O speaking of that, thank you that reminds me.
When doing BUILD-INDEX is it really necessary to display an asterisk with
every ten items indexed?  That is consuming more CPU time that doing the 
index!
[IMHO]
   Get rid of it! Out! Vamoosh! Be gone with your evil self!
   I don't find value-added to displaying asterisks.  If you must display
anything, display a counter every thousand 1000 , 2000, 3000 or something 
or base
the display on the apparent speed of the processing.
   Like every 5 seconds display the current count.  That would help and it
should be a very trivial fix.
   Do we have a fix it list yet up on the web site?  Or can we start one? Or
what?
Will
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Re: Drilling cubes was Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-19 Thread FFT2001
In a message dated 4/19/2004 1:34:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time, [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
writes:

 Now, would anyone care to post any experiences on performance of 
 implementing a star schema in a set of normalized U2 files and doing 
 drill down and roll up strictly with LIST, SORT, and its 
 options?  Post 
 numbers, not guesses.


Oooo I feel dirty just reading that.
Why would you normalize U2 files if you're going to use LIST and SORT ?
Isn't that the whole beauty of mv that we don't HAVE To normalize ?

Yes I wrote a system where I could do what Pick historically called cruising and 
double-clutching ... that is link to another record, and drill down into details 
without much effort.

Of course, looking back at my collection of 500 useless utilities, I was the only one 
who figured out how to use it well.  I tried to teach my programmers, but, well 

So you pull up a list of say ORDERS, you select a link field say PART 110192-5 and it 
allows you to see the details of that PART record which then links to SALES.HIST or 
BILL.OF.MATERIAL or VENDOR or whatever.

So you can go down, sideways, backup, go over there, jump here, and return to where 
you started, still in the original list you started with.

The concepts are not horribly trickly, but the implementation is a rhymes with 
switch.

And you have to ensure that your linking fields are all built so the system can 
understand how to get the foreign record from the foreigh key i.e. your Tfile 
translates or TRANS functions have to be present.
Will
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Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-19 Thread astarte00
Which is precisely why I ALWAYS do a project with both ends of the sprectrum being in 
on the decision process (Management  IT).  What good is a system that you bring in 
house only to have it a technical OR Business Solution misfit?  

BTW...although sometime the shoe fits...but why is management ALWAYS made out to be 
technical morons?  Why is IT ALWAYS painted out to have the one and only solution that 
will sustain the company into the years ahead?

Face it...sometimes IT is left in the dark concerning 5-10 year plans so the 
technology can accomodate it, and guess what...IT becomes simply a service function 
when it cannot deliver insightful solutions while taking progress and yes, whimsical 
desires sometimes, into consideration. You become the cog in the wheel who simply 
balks at change, (and funny to find when complaining how clerical staff can't stand 
anything new) the immovable hulk with nary a fresh idea. You have to be able to play 
together in order have the the type of smooth interaction and discussion.  The moment 
either IT or Management takes sides...and refuses to budge..it's dead - and THAT is 
usually when they bring in the dreaded outside IT Director who knows squat and tries 
to replicate where he came from (and with bringing along anyone from the old company 
they can)

Management works for the Board, you work for Management..find a solution where all the 
people in the sandbox are happy..



--
Debster
 In a message dated 4/19/2004 12:51:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
 [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 
  In truth I have found the fear to be more in the hearts of the IT
  person who has tweaked the system over the past 15+ years and is insulted
  that their masterpiece is being considered a dinosaur ready for replacement.
  How dare they! You don't think that way when you replace your car now do
  you?  You generally move into a newer improved model that outperforms the
  car you left behind.  It may react a little differently, 
  but overall the
  performance is better.
 
 But Deb I fear your alternative is a pretty lemon.
 I don't want to trade up my Jeep with cruise control, automatic headlights and 
 anti-lock brakes for a porsche with a stick shift do I?
 
 IT needs to be on-board with any management decisions and then at the meetings 
 they can ask pertinent questions like Can you show us where the Audit logs are 
 kept and can we modify that process to our needs?  Can you show us how easy it 
 is for a user to customize one of these reports you have?  If I have a 
 customer who wants 100 units allocation to them on a continuous basis, how do we 
 set that up in your inventory system?
 
 If IT is relegated to a service function, not a decision function or worse, if a 
 new IT manager who didn't do it that way where I came from appears than 
 you're screwed.  Excuse my French.
 Will
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RE: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-18 Thread Ross Ferris
Embedded responses to (hopefully) add contextual reference


-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
Behalf Of Bruce Nichol
Sent: Sunday, 18 April 2004 3:20 PM
To: U2 Users Discussion List
Subject: Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

Goo'day,

At 10:17 18/04/04, Will replied to:

In a message dated 4/17/2004 4:16:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:


  A key factor that makes CUI non-portable
  to GUI is the embedded Input and Print statements in the code.

I respectfully disagree that this is key.

Aren't we forgetting what Ross (and others) offer in Visage (and
whatever)?   AFIK, Visage offers users a GUI in a TOTAL WINDOWS LOOK AND
FEEL/BROWSER environment, without having to do a total rewrite, but a
rewrite none the less, re-using some portions, perhaps, of existing
code.   Visage seems to be more than a user interface.   It's also
supposedly (sorry, Ross, I've got no experience in Visage) a much less
involved NEW development environment

[Ross Ferris] 
Coming FROM an mv environment, with an existing DB design and application code, I 
think you are right in saying that Viságe is less involved, and simpler than people 
expect.

As you would expect (hope?), it is ALL of the things that you DON'T HAVE TO DO that 
make developing in Viságe fun, and easy - whole swags of code that you don't have to 
write (or copy) to extract information from related files, or to correctly update all 
of the multi-valued items in an association (including the new dict item you added 5 
minutes ago) ... they not only add up, they MULTIPLY the benefits!


Other MV so-called GUI approaches, (AccuTerm and wIntegrate scripts, for
example) are offering the user a GUI with an almost-modern Windows look and
feel, but without the bells and whistles, and are offering a GUI by
applying Band-Aids to existing code.   I really don't think that's a
development environment.I don't think new development is covered by
this approach.

If we were all developing new applications, and we could afford it, I
reckon we would all jump at Visage... Or some such.


[Ross Ferris] 
Please line up  take a number :-)
The key here may be can you afford NOT to use a tool like Visage ! We try  spin EVERY 
new development request into Viságe these days from our green screen client base - 1 
less program we need to convert later, we end up with a nicer look, and the customer 
likes what he sees so much, he is willing to fund conversion of existing screens, so 
the exercise is not only self funding, but profitable !

 
I'd hazard a guess that the cost of new development in Visage, together
with the cost of Visage, would come out less (Ross??) than the cost of
the same level of development to the same level of total user interface
in our known MV Terminal Emulation environs.   The per-user outgoing cost
of a MV TE capable of supporting the TE scripts (as opposed to the cost of
IE6!!) is, IMHO, the crippling factor, here.   Especially in the larger
sites where everybody would be forced into using the GUI-able TE instead
of the lower-cost/freebie ones.


[Ross Ferris] 
That would certainly be the case, especially when you also take into account the 
REDUCTION of DB licences required to support your user population ! (or for existing 
sites the ability to increase the effective user population, without a corresponding 
increase in DB licences).

This is because Viságe uses web technology for data transport, and operates with a 
non-persistent connection model, so you are only connected to the backend database 
to do things like reading records, and executing server code.

Our active dictionary  code reduction techniques mean that you can churn out programs 
in record time. Most people have their first GUI screens operating in under an hour 
(that includes product installation - most of this time is spent setting up 
dictionaries!)


What we're all (all of us software developers, that is) trying to do is
maintain a public acceptance for our EXISTING software.   Sales = Public
Acceptance.Ross is out in front with Visage, right up there with
Windows products, because he's been able to absorb the costs of
development over a period of time, developing Visage and
developing/redeveloping his applications using it as he goes.   OK,  he's
paid more for his version of Visage but he got his version earlier than
the rest of us; he and his people have far more experience with it than the
rest of us; it was written for their express requirements; they know what
its' capabilities are; they know its' shortcomings; they know what's
planned for its' future, and he's selling licences to it to help in
recovering his outlay.   Most of the rest of us are looking at it, at its
cost, at the cost of redeveloping using it, and going with it, or hoping
that the lower initial outlay of providing TE scripts will suffice, or
..

[Ross Ferris] 
If we WERE only developing Viságe for our needs I'd have a very happy

RE: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-18 Thread Ross Ferris


-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
Behalf Of [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Sunday, 18 April 2004 10:18 AM
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Subject: Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

  Then some of the validation (two field
interactions) should be relegated to the On.SUBMIT part of the program,
etc.

FWIW you do NOT want to wait until SUBMIT ! In Visage, as soon as you have all of the 
parts of a multi-part key validation (2 or more) the validation is performed - and of 
course you don't have to write ANY code for this to happen (all part of our active 
code reduction technology :-)

Likewise if you have cascading relationships like :

Pick a Country  the State Box re-populates
Pick a state and the Town Box re-populates
Change the country  the State  Town boxes clear

Are achieved without code . did I mention that we extended the dictionary 
structure, so that this sort of relationship is visible ?

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Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-18 Thread FFT2001
In a message dated 4/18/2004 10:18:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time, [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
writes:

 For example, aligning this back to the original post, rather than attempting to use 
 CR for reporting, I'd simply create a Viságe.BIT cube to give the users free-form 
 enquiry and data exploration facilities into their UV database. In our case we have 
 replaced 300 sales analysis reports currently provided in our R5 system with a 
 single Sales Cube -   and this is one of the facilities that makes Viságe better 
 than 
 AccuTerm !

Warning! Salesman quote!
C'mon Ross :) A dataset that includes 50 fields and I only want to see 6 on my report. 
 So you replace that report with a cube where I (the user) have to figure out exactly 
what I want to see, build the proper query statement, format statement, display 
statement etc and then figure out how to tell the system to remember my statement so 
next time I don't have to THAT all again.

You replaced the 300 reports, with one huge cube where you STILL have users recreating 
(or trying to) their original 300 reports...
   Users don't want to see 50 fields, they want to see the 6 fields they've been 
analyzing for the past 3 years ...
Will
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Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-18 Thread Results
Mark,
   Cubes are a way of displaying data. All those 1NF is the only way 
people discovered that flat data makes doesn't server whole categories 
of users. So they invented cross-linked (usually browser viewable)  
report format where for example:

  
SALES  OVERHEAD
   01/01/04 $1,000,000$657,823

Would be displayed and you can click on the dollar amounts to 'drill 
down' into the details. On that page, you should be able to drill down 
through a detail like 'expenses' to see the details of that value, and 
so on.

   - Charles CB3 Barouch

Mark Johnson wrote:

Not to be out of touch, but what is a Sales Cube. I saw Swordfish and I hope
that itn't it.
Thanks.

- Original Message -
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: U2 Users Discussion List [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 3:20 PM
Subject: Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports
 

In a message dated 4/18/2004 10:18:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
   

[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 

For example, aligning this back to the original post, rather than
 

attempting to use CR for reporting, I'd simply create a Viságe.BIT cube to
give the users free-form enquiry and data exploration facilities into their
UV database. In our case we have replaced 300 sales analysis reports
currently provided in our R5 system with a single Sales Cube -   and this is
one of the facilities that makes Viságe better than
 

AccuTerm !
 

Warning! Salesman quote!
C'mon Ross :) A dataset that includes 50 fields and I only want to see 6
   

on my report.  So you replace that report with a cube where I (the user)
have to figure out exactly what I want to see, build the proper query
statement, format statement, display statement etc and then figure out how
to tell the system to remember my statement so next time I don't have to
THAT all again.
 

You replaced the 300 reports, with one huge cube where you STILL have
   

users recreating (or trying to) their original 300 reports...
 

  Users don't want to see 50 fields, they want to see the 6 fields
   

they've been analyzing for the past 3 years ...
 

Will
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--
Sincerely,
 Charles Barouch
 www.KeyAlly.com
 [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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RE: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-18 Thread Tony Gravagno
[I went on and on and then said]
As an aside, pardon me for being so bold, but it's amazing that the 
providers of these GUI products aren't jumping to pay people 
like me to 
help developers become viable candidates for their products.  There's 
no guarantee that any given site will adopt any given GUI product, if 
any, but unless there are prospects there can be no new 
customers.  It 
seems to me it's worth it to someone to foster redevelopment like 
this.  Well, that's the MV market for ya...

Tony
[Ross Ferris] 
??
Please refer to your email of March 23rd - If things have 
changed I'll get the guys from ACTi to give you a call :-)

My above quote doesn't mean that I necessarily want to do this sort of work.
There are lots of talented people in our market who could use work and it
seems a natural fit to tool providers to contract with third-parties to
facilitate app migration for a host of applications.  Personally, I prefer
to write communications tools and do other high-end tech stuff for MV - if I
never see another line of application code I'll be happy.  However, there is
something cool and rewarding about modularizing old code that will become
the back-end to a GUI thick client, web client, Web Service or Smart Phone.

I'll consider opportunities for myself and other Nebula RD associates as
they present themselves, but I'm not going to gear up to provide
modularization services if the MV market isn't interested.  Fostering
redevelopment means someone must fund projects like this, if not the VAD
then perhaps tool developers who have something to gain from the efforts of
the VAD.

(Really OT here, more for CDP than this forum, sorry.)

Tony

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RE: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-18 Thread Dawn M. Wolthuis
Cube summary: In an MV implementation, a cube might be a file with a
multipart key and each part of the key being a foreign key to another file.
Additionally, instead of virtual fields for summing such numbers as
total-sales-per-salesperson-per-quarter, the cube might actually store these
sums just in case someone wants to see them then they do their online
analytical processing (OLAP), for example.

The most important aspects of a cube are the FACT table (that's the one with
the multipart key), the DIMENSION tables (the ones the foreign keys point
to) and the MEASURES (the values to be summed, counted, etc when slicing and
dicing the data).

RDBMS users often rehost their data in a data mart or warehouse using a
star schema (the name for a fact and dimension table design) so they can
report against the data.  [And as an aside, PICK folks sometimes also port
their data to a relational database so they can then make stars and put in
an OLAP cube so they can then report against it as if it were multivalued
data.  We end up doing that due to a lack of standard reporting solutions
other than the character-based MV query tools.  That's why I promote such
tools as Informer at www.entrinsik.com -- we could bypass a lot of steps if
we don't buy into the relational mistakes -- couldn't resist the soapbox
opportunity, sorry].

--dawn

Dawn M. Wolthuis
Tincat Group, Inc.
www.tincat-group.com

Take and give some delight today.


-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
Behalf Of Mark Johnson
Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 2:49 PM
To: U2 Users Discussion List
Subject: Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

Not to be out of touch, but what is a Sales Cube. I saw Swordfish and I hope
that itn't it.

Thanks.

- Original Message -
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: U2 Users Discussion List [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 3:20 PM
Subject: Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports


 In a message dated 4/18/2004 10:18:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

  For example, aligning this back to the original post, rather than
attempting to use CR for reporting, I'd simply create a Viságe.BIT cube to
give the users free-form enquiry and data exploration facilities into their
UV database. In our case we have replaced 300 sales analysis reports
currently provided in our R5 system with a single Sales Cube -   and this is
one of the facilities that makes Viságe better than
  AccuTerm !

 Warning! Salesman quote!
 C'mon Ross :) A dataset that includes 50 fields and I only want to see 6
on my report.  So you replace that report with a cube where I (the user)
have to figure out exactly what I want to see, build the proper query
statement, format statement, display statement etc and then figure out how
to tell the system to remember my statement so next time I don't have to
THAT all again.

 You replaced the 300 reports, with one huge cube where you STILL have
users recreating (or trying to) their original 300 reports...
Users don't want to see 50 fields, they want to see the 6 fields
they've been analyzing for the past 3 years ...
 Will
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RE: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-18 Thread Ross Ferris
Will,

Yes, we DO persist record locks, so a Visage application can happily co-exist with its 
green screen cohorts.

I know that everyone says that this is impossible with a non-persistent application 
 they are wrong !

Sorry, I'm not going to publish the code here :-)  suffice to say that BECAUSE 
we have had the luxury of time to develop Viságe, we have overcome MANY problems that 
face this type of technology - and this isn't even the most difficult !

Many of our competitors have inherent problems with their approaches that I don't 
think even THEY know they have yet (sorry, I'm not going to give THEM a heads up 
either :-). One day they will go SPLAT, and find that they are going to have to take 
more than a few steps backwards (been there, done that), if not a TOTAL system re-tool 
 'tis the nature of the beast.

As our sales spiel goes, one of the biggest advantages you get with Viságe is all of 
the mistakes we have made along the way. You are left with a distillate that is very 
pure, efficient, and potent :-)

Ross Ferris
Stamina Software
Visage - an Evolution in Software Development


-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
Behalf Of [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Monday, 19 April 2004 5:22 AM
To: U2 Users Discussion List
Subject: Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

In a message dated 4/18/2004 11:23:25 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 That would certainly be the case, especially when you also take into
account the REDUCTION of DB licences required to support your user
population ! (or for existing sites the ability to increase the effective
user population, without a corresponding increase in DB licences).

 This is because Viságe uses web technology for data transport, and
operates with a non-persistent connection model, so you are only
connected to the backend database to do things
 like reading records, and executing server code.

Hold on here amigo.
Are you saying you do not persist record locks?
You know what I mean.
Explain how you do this.
Will
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Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-18 Thread FFT2001
In a message dated 4/18/2004 6:08:53 PM Eastern Daylight Time, [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
writes:

 Sorry, I'm not going to publish the code here :-)  suffice to say that 
 BECAUSE we have had the luxury of time to develop Viságe, we have overcome MANY 
 problems that face this type of technology - and this isn't even the most difficult 
 !

There's a big difference between publish the code and explain how you do this.
So are you also not willing to explain how you do this?
Will
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Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-18 Thread FFT2001
In a message dated 4/18/2004 9:46:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time, [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
writes:

 So YOU, as a developer, would construct a cube with the 6 key fields that the user 
 is interested in. You also get to do things like define an opening view of the 
 information - AND also the query that is used to generate the cube (BTW, did 
 I mention that Visage has a drag'n'drop query facility :-)

I don't think you understood me.  There isn't the user and there isn't 6 key 
fields.  There are 500 reports, some have three fields, some have twelve fields.  The 
entire data set of reports in total utilizes 50 different numeric or date fields.

So no I wouldn't create a cube with 6 fields.  I would create a cube with 50 fields 
and create 500 views into it.. or your software would have to allow users to easily 
create and save their own views.

The point being that it's not a magic bullet.  I or they STILL have to create those 
500 views ...
Will
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RE: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-18 Thread Debster
When a decision is made to replace a module, or an entire application I have
found it IMPOSSIBLE to get a Green Screen Ap even through the door for a
demo.  Business Rules are extremely important, but the wealth of GUI or GUI
like applications on the market make it easy to find one that fits the bill,
or very close to it.  Forget about just plain GUI, browser based is more
often on the hit list. Oftentimes management and users have become so
ingrained in their thinking as to how the business process flow must be,
that they are blind to see an alternate route to the same end result.  How
often have you heard that an application is to be replaced, but they want
the same exact reports that they have been receiving for the past 10 years?
Change to the process flow is many times the impetus to replace a module or
application in the first place.  Change is not always terrible, although
feared. In truth I have found the fear to be more in the hearts of the IT
person who has tweaked the system over the past 15+ years and is insulted
that their masterpiece is being considered a dinosaur ready for replacement.
How dare they! You don't think that way when you replace your car now do
you?  You generally move into a newer improved model that outperforms the
car you left behind.  It may react a little differently, but overall the
performance is better.

The one thing about GUI that management often overlooks is speed entry and
the need for many areas of repetitious to be designed for speed and
utilizing keyboard rather than mouse entry.  Clerical staff on the other
hand accustomed to green screen entry are often afraid that GUI MUST be
slower.  It all depends on the design.

You can hit the bottom line by making it efficient, making it fast,
eliminate keystrokes, and address the  business issues.  It's up to a
creative techie to find the warm and fuzzy comfortable spot with whatever
tools, not be afraid to spread their wings a bit to learn something new, and
expand the horizons of a company by taking them to another level.

Afterall, management may move ahead without the programmer who insists that
green screen is where a system should stay...

-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Behalf Of Tony Gravagno
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 7:15 PM
To: 'U2 Users Discussion List'
Subject: RE: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports


Tough to find a good place for these comments.  There are some interesting
observations to make on the mentality of IT people, business management,
etc..

First, on the concept of if we're going to add a GUI we might as well get
an entirely new app:  The business rules and UI should be considered as
entirely separate entities.  Getting a new app with a GUI does not imply
that you're going to get equal or better business rules.  This concept is
exemplified by Mark's GP client and dozens more like them.  Management must
be educated to separate the idea of the UI from the business rules.

Second, I wince in pain at the concept of IT people looking at a Character
UI and deciding it's deficient, based solely on the asthetic value.  How can
someone decide by the UI whether an app suits business needs?  How does the
simple fact that an app has a Graphical UI make it any more functional than
a Character UI?  What is the trigger in the mind of IT people that leads
from I see a GUI to it must be capable of running our business or all
we need to do is add a couple business rules to this GUI and it will work
for us?  I really think this GUI mentality comes in part from the video
game generation where graphical games are perceived as better than the old
Pong, StarTrek, Zork, Wumpus, and Adventure games (plugh or xyzzy ring
any bells here?)  In all of the rhetoric about separating the UI from the
business rules, somewhere in the minds of IT people is the idea that a
Graphical UI implies better business rules - and graphical database
management tools somehow imply a more sophisticated database.  So while
people sing the praises of Object Orientation and n-tier architectures, in
the big picture they still don't really get it.

Third, and all of this is really related, what confuses me about all of
these failed migrations is that intelligent professionals keep missing
obvious factors of migration, like feature comparisions, business needs
assessments, training, and documentation.  And why do we seldom see basic
auditing to identify problems and keep a project on track - or to put a halt
to migration when critical (and I really mean critical) issues are
identified?  In every one of these failed migrations there is one or more
persons in management pushing forward with some underlying business agenda,
no one wants to openly state that the plans aren't sound, the systems aren't
ready, or that the whole idea is foolhardy - and somehow hundreds of
thousands of dollars get thrown into projects like this with no one in IT to
pull in the reins and say enough is enough, this is FUBAR

Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-18 Thread Clif Oliver
Yeah. Then I'd be accused of shooting the baby with a wet silver bullet.

Seriously folks, this is a good discussion, but it getting a bit off 
topic at times. I would suggest doing what Ross did a few posts ago. 
Rather than go into a long discussion about is a star schema a cube or 
a representation of an n-dimensional super-duper-hyper-pterodactyl 
cube, post some links to areas where those interested in the 
not-necessarily-U2 topic can find further info.

And to ALL the vendors, please remember that if you mention your 
product in the post, you really ought to put [AD] in the subject line.

Now, would anyone care to post any experiences on performance of 
implementing a star schema in a set of normalized U2 files and doing 
drill down and roll up strictly with LIST, SORT, and its options?  Post 
numbers, not guesses.

--

Regards,

Clif

On Apr 18, 2004, at 21:52, Ross Ferris wrote:

You are right - there are no silver bullets, you don't throw the baby 
out with the bath water [I will not go into the sordid history of this 
one], and some degree of effort is required to embrace anything that 
is new

[and I'll exit the thread there before I get spanked by Clif :-]
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RE: Crystal Reports

2004-04-17 Thread Ross Ferris
H,

We spent 3 years developing a product (CrystalLynx) that allowed us to work with 
Crystal - it automatically normalized the data for you, so I think it would be fair 
to say that we used it for a while - and you are right, I don't want to go back (to 
Crystal).

Typical square peg/round hole stuff, because it DIDN'T understand mv all that well - 
or maybe it was just us ! and I surely didn't like ODBC performance (and reliability 
on D3 platforms).

CR is obviously a good product - #1 in it's field, but these days there ARE products 
available that work with mv data in a native format, and give CR a good run for it's 
money !


Ross Ferris
Stamina Software
Visage  an Evolution in Software Development


-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
Behalf Of Mike Randall
Sent: Saturday, 17 April 2004 5:41 AM
To: 'U2 Users Discussion List'
Subject: RE: Crystal Reports

Crystal is indeed a very fine product.  It is a banded report writer with a
multitude of programmability.   Multivalued data is indeed a pain in the
neck.   Normalize the data 1st and you'll find Crystal a joy to use with
output, features and polish that MV can't come close to.  The 'problems'
that your users are facing can be addressed with Crystal code (VB syntax or
Crystal's scripting syntax).  After using it a while, you'll never want to
go back...

Mike R.

-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
Behalf Of Mark Johnson
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 2:51 PM
To: U2 Users Discussion List
Subject: Crystal Reports

One of my clients wants to connect Crystal Reports to their UD database to
apparently give greater access to the data that they sometimes deem as
hidden and only accessable through me.

This client converted to Great Plains 6 weeks ago (SQL based) and their CR
experts were struggling with duplicating some of the more mundane reports
that already exist in UD. A monthly sales tax summary (by jurisdiction)
took
the GP guy 3 days futzing with CR using GP's data.

How much trouble are they going to get in trying to use MV'd data from the
UD system (ODBC) if they have so much trouble with more 'normalized' data.
Everyone seems to think that CR is a magic pill and once attached to a SQL
database, the sophisticated reports simply roll off.

I'm trying to strongly propose a data warehouse concept whereby the day's
sales data gets exported and updated into their prior application for the
sake of the multitude of existing, proven reports in MV. If these guys took
3 days for a simple tax report, how can CR fabricate temporary tables for
the sake of these consolidated sophisticated MV reports?

I'm just interested in hearing of some experiences. This client is too
stubborn to go back from GP and may even disregard their entire MV system
completely. I really have nothing to lose if I insult them.

Thanks in advance.

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RE: Crystal Reports

2004-04-17 Thread Mike Randall
Mark,

I think you've hit it right on the head regarding the dilemma surrounding
MV.   The visual aspect KILLS us.   The MV solutions out there are many and
very good at what they do.  The problem is that most of them look ancient
and lack the GUI glitz and integration ability.

The REAL shame is that the technology to develop full GUI products in our
environment is here.   The story you mentioned of clients migrating to some
other GUI solution only to find it less capable than the MV system is a
recurring nightmare.   I think the solution lies in the hands of the
developers like yourself and the MV organizations that provide solutions.

The tools are there to produce applications on par with anything on the
market.  Web interfaces via tools like Redback. UOJ, .Net PDP, or the java
interfaces are all there to produce great solutions for U2.   There are host
of 4GL tools for our environment like SB+, Visage, Nucleus and others
(apologies for any omissions).   I think the developers, consultants and
solution providers almost have to embrace something other than delivering
character based apps.   If you don't, then get used to clients leaving.

Personally,  I came to this crossroads in the late 90s and decided to learn
the web technologies.  My company is a consulting group specializing in web
development for MV via Redback and now Raining Data's Data Provider.   It
sounds cruel, but it's a case of switch to something or be eaten.

Mike R.
-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
Behalf Of Mark Johnson
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 10:34 AM
To: U2 Users Discussion List
Subject: Re: Crystal Reports

Ross:

Your square peg, round hole analogy is pretty accurate. GP seems to be the
next step for quickbooks users.

The package that they're migrating from is Results from Microdata from the
early 1980's. I still have 4 other clients using Results as well as a
mixture of other Order entry packages/homegrown.

While I can itemize a few shortcomings of Results, it has stood the test of
time because it's still being used. Each of my 4 other Results clients have
taken their copy and evolved it in their own localized versions.

What absolutely impresses me is that none of these 4.5 clients have used
*all* of the originally installed features of Results. They use many and
have added many of their own. But the core design of Results remains true
and someone got it very correct back during its rollout. Add to the fact
that the developers didn't have a 4GL to think of, had 50MB 64K 1Mhz
machines and had to watch the compiler meticulously display those line-by
line asterisks during compiling. Plus, those programs were pretty long as
well, didn't have INCLUDES and didn't have the open CALL concept that
everyone else has. Not to mention the original 32 K record (program) size
file structure.

Only 1 of my Results clients remains on the older MCD box and oddly enough,
he has the 2nd most sophisticated deviations of my 4.5 clients. The others
are either on R90 or UD.

I think the greatest oversight in all of MV is the inability to re-compile
the existing source code to a GUI equivilent. I'm smart enough to realize
how tremendously difficult that would be. But I know that a major reason for
my current dilema with this UD/Results guy going to Great Plains is the
visual aspect of it. People taste with their eyes and most IT 20-something
guys have never seen anything decent on a character-based screen so they
relegate it to the sophistication of command-line DOS. While they have made
an incorrect conclusion, their voices speak loudest. And since they hold the
keys to the contemporary services: email, web sites, network admin etc,
their opinions may carry more weight.

One of my other clients is bouncing back and forth with a proposal of mine
for a $10K new module and the concept of ROI comes into play. How in the
world could this MV-to-GP client justify the ROI on all the extra time and
expense to shift to GP.

Mark Johnson
- Original Message -
From: Ross Ferris [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: U2 Users Discussion List [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 9:31 AM
Subject: RE: Crystal Reports


H,

We spent 3 years developing a product (CrystalLynx) that allowed us to work
with Crystal - it automatically normalized the data for you, so I think it
would be fair to say that we used it for a while - and you are right, I
don't want to go back (to Crystal).

Typical square peg/round hole stuff, because it DIDN'T understand mv all
that well - or maybe it was just us ! and I surely didn't like ODBC
performance (and reliability on D3 platforms).

CR is obviously a good product - #1 in it's field, but these days there ARE
products available that work with mv data in a native format, and give CR a
good run for it's money !


Ross Ferris
Stamina Software
Visage - an Evolution in Software Development


-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
On Behalf

Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-17 Thread Mark Johnson
Maybe I'm not strong enough to convince my clients to begin to integrate GUI
based entities to their MV systems. I have had these discussions with each
of them and I often get the We like things the way they are.

2 of my clients have had their order entry software from around 1977. One in
particular had it initially developed by an outside company and then the 2
owners have been tweaking it until the mid 1990's when i got involved. They
are both a little stubborn for new ideas (which actually is kinda good, MV
wise) so I just keep adding features within the same looking environment. I
even have to follow house rules for the symantics for saving records,
leaving programs etc.

I've added regular and email blasts to their system, automatic faxing,
automatic FTPing, web exporting and a few other modern tricks to their
system. When we upgraded, it had to be on a W2K box to keep the PC
familiarity instead of unix.

I know that many of my clients are at a crossroads that if I were to suggest
some major spending on GUI-for-MV products that the implied new expense may
make a replacement system a little more appealing. If they're going to spend
$10 to $20K on something, why not throw out MV. It's a hard place to be.

Personally, I'm committed to helping them get the best out of their MV
system. I also feel that it's in its twilight and I'm taking some other
routes for revenue generation. I wish I were either at a VAR or at one
end-user so I could plant my feet and really invest for their (our) future.
But being independent, that's probably the way the ball bounces.

Thanks.

- Original Message -
From: Mike Randall [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: 'U2 Users Discussion List' [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 12:08 PM
Subject: RE: Crystal Reports


 Mark,

 I think you've hit it right on the head regarding the dilemma surrounding
 MV.   The visual aspect KILLS us.   The MV solutions out there are many
and
 very good at what they do.  The problem is that most of them look ancient
 and lack the GUI glitz and integration ability.

 The REAL shame is that the technology to develop full GUI products in our
 environment is here.   The story you mentioned of clients migrating to
some
 other GUI solution only to find it less capable than the MV system is a
 recurring nightmare.   I think the solution lies in the hands of the
 developers like yourself and the MV organizations that provide solutions.

 The tools are there to produce applications on par with anything on the
 market.  Web interfaces via tools like Redback. UOJ, .Net PDP, or the java
 interfaces are all there to produce great solutions for U2.   There are
host
 of 4GL tools for our environment like SB+, Visage, Nucleus and others
 (apologies for any omissions).   I think the developers, consultants and
 solution providers almost have to embrace something other than
delivering
 character based apps.   If you don't, then get used to clients leaving.

 Personally,  I came to this crossroads in the late 90s and decided to
learn
 the web technologies.  My company is a consulting group specializing in
web
 development for MV via Redback and now Raining Data's Data Provider.   It
 sounds cruel, but it's a case of switch to something or be eaten.

 Mike R.
 -Original Message-
 From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
 Behalf Of Mark Johnson
 Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 10:34 AM
 To: U2 Users Discussion List
 Subject: Re: Crystal Reports

 Ross:

 Your square peg, round hole analogy is pretty accurate. GP seems to be the
 next step for quickbooks users.

 The package that they're migrating from is Results from Microdata from the
 early 1980's. I still have 4 other clients using Results as well as a
 mixture of other Order entry packages/homegrown.

 While I can itemize a few shortcomings of Results, it has stood the test
of
 time because it's still being used. Each of my 4 other Results clients
have
 taken their copy and evolved it in their own localized versions.

 What absolutely impresses me is that none of these 4.5 clients have used
 *all* of the originally installed features of Results. They use many and
 have added many of their own. But the core design of Results remains true
 and someone got it very correct back during its rollout. Add to the fact
 that the developers didn't have a 4GL to think of, had 50MB 64K 1Mhz
 machines and had to watch the compiler meticulously display those line-by
 line asterisks during compiling. Plus, those programs were pretty long as
 well, didn't have INCLUDES and didn't have the open CALL concept that
 everyone else has. Not to mention the original 32 K record (program) size
 file structure.

 Only 1 of my Results clients remains on the older MCD box and oddly
enough,
 he has the 2nd most sophisticated deviations of my 4.5 clients. The others
 are either on R90 or UD.

 I think the greatest oversight in all of MV is the inability to re-compile
 the existing source code to a GUI equivilent. I'm

RE: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-17 Thread FFT2001
In a message dated 4/17/2004 9:10:12 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:


 The tools are there to produce applications on par with anything on the
 market.  Web interfaces via tools like Redback. UOJ, .Net PDP, or the java
 interfaces are all there to produce great solutions for U2. 

And I would like to mention Accuterm.  I have built several scripts in 
Accuterm that do Gui like functions, and are launced from inside the mv Code.  
Accuterm has the ability to watch for a command that is directed at it and then 
take actions in Windoze.

So for example, one client, has an application where they have to pull up a 
record in an mv screen and then listen to a person speaking (off a MP3 file) 
and then process the record based on that speech.  So my solution was to write 
an accuterm script that launches Windows Media Player to the location specified 
from the mv code.

Another script launches web requests from inside mv code, scraps the 
contents, and presents partial information within an mv application.  All in basically 
a green-screen format, inside an Accuterm window.  But I digress.

My main point was, that the tools are here.  Are you ready to learn how to 
use them?  That's the sticking point.

Will Johnson
Fast Forward Technologies
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Re: can we stop with the pointless displays? was Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-17 Thread FFT2001
In a message dated 4/17/2004 7:35:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:


 and had to watch the compiler meticulously display those line-by
 line asterisks during compiling.

O speaking of that, thank you that reminds me.
When doing BUILD-INDEX is it really necessary to display an asterisk with 
every ten items indexed?  That is consuming more CPU time that doing the index! 
[IMHO]
   Get rid of it! Out! Vamoosh! Be gone with your evil self!
   I don't find value-added to displaying asterisks.  If you must display 
anything, display a counter every thousand 1000 , 2000, 3000 or something or base 
the display on the apparent speed of the processing.
   Like every 5 seconds display the current count.  That would help and it 
should be a very trivial fix.
   Do we have a fix it list yet up on the web site?  Or can we start one? Or 
what?
Will
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RE: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-17 Thread Tony Gravagno
Tough to find a good place for these comments.  There are some interesting
observations to make on the mentality of IT people, business management,
etc..

First, on the concept of if we're going to add a GUI we might as well get
an entirely new app:  The business rules and UI should be considered as
entirely separate entities.  Getting a new app with a GUI does not imply
that you're going to get equal or better business rules.  This concept is
exemplified by Mark's GP client and dozens more like them.  Management must
be educated to separate the idea of the UI from the business rules.

Second, I wince in pain at the concept of IT people looking at a Character
UI and deciding it's deficient, based solely on the asthetic value.  How can
someone decide by the UI whether an app suits business needs?  How does the
simple fact that an app has a Graphical UI make it any more functional than
a Character UI?  What is the trigger in the mind of IT people that leads
from I see a GUI to it must be capable of running our business or all
we need to do is add a couple business rules to this GUI and it will work
for us?  I really think this GUI mentality comes in part from the video
game generation where graphical games are perceived as better than the old
Pong, StarTrek, Zork, Wumpus, and Adventure games (plugh or xyzzy ring
any bells here?)  In all of the rhetoric about separating the UI from the
business rules, somewhere in the minds of IT people is the idea that a
Graphical UI implies better business rules - and graphical database
management tools somehow imply a more sophisticated database.  So while
people sing the praises of Object Orientation and n-tier architectures, in
the big picture they still don't really get it.

Third, and all of this is really related, what confuses me about all of
these failed migrations is that intelligent professionals keep missing
obvious factors of migration, like feature comparisions, business needs
assessments, training, and documentation.  And why do we seldom see basic
auditing to identify problems and keep a project on track - or to put a halt
to migration when critical (and I really mean critical) issues are
identified?  In every one of these failed migrations there is one or more
persons in management pushing forward with some underlying business agenda,
no one wants to openly state that the plans aren't sound, the systems aren't
ready, or that the whole idea is foolhardy - and somehow hundreds of
thousands of dollars get thrown into projects like this with no one in IT to
pull in the reins and say enough is enough, this is FUBAR.

There are answers:
- Upper management should openly listen, if not directly or immediately
heed, the advice of everyone affected by a migration, from end-users to IT
to trading partners and perhaps even stockholders.
- Upper management must insist on detailed advance planning from IT, and get
everyone to try to poke holes in the plan.  Hire a consultant to poke holes
in the plan (similar to hiring a hacker to test your network security).  If
the plan doesn't work, at least everyone had their input.  This is far
better than post-failure finger pointing and I coulda told them it was a
stupid plan comments.  (Yes, that will happen anyway if people ignore the
opportunity to speak up.  Small people love to bask in the failure of
others.)
- Someone needs to be accountable.  It seems the people who drive projects
like this into the ground have the least to lose and many people under them
to blame.

Finally, and back to the topic, about Results and the magic silver bullet
which will lead from CUI to GUI:  It seems we have years to add
functionality to these CUI applications, but no time to prepare them for the
almost inevitable GUI challenge.  A key factor that makes CUI non-portable
to GUI is the embedded Input and Print statements in the code.  Don't wait
for tools to go GUI, prepare your app properly and you'll find many tools
that can then be used to add the GUI.  If developers would take some time to
modularize their code, then migration to GUI using any number of tools can
be a relatively simple, painless, and inexpensive process, compared to
migration from linear/procedural/non-event-oriented spaghetti code.
Pre-emptive modularization may eliminate the need for migration, saving
months to years of aggravation and tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars
in non-recoverable expenses.  And IF migration is to occur, modularization
now can facilitate the process later, allowing a company a smoother exit
strategy rather than a cold-turkey cutoff.  Unfortunately these concepts
have been well known for over a decade but we continue to hear stories where
the code can't be GUItized so management decides to toss the app.

Getting management to buy-in on the time/cost of modularizing an app is
tough.  The value is only perceived when the expense of a GUI or migration
is considered, and that's usually too late.  I think it's important for IT
people to have these 

Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-17 Thread FFT2001
In a message dated 4/17/2004 4:16:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:


 A key factor that makes CUI non-portable
 to GUI is the embedded Input and Print statements in the code.

I respectfully disagree that this is key.
After all event oriented apps also have input statements
I think you mean the key factor is that the programs are not event oriented.  
That is, on a typical GUI form I can click and fill in any field in any 
order, and then I submit the entire form.  In a typical mv app, most programmers 
would write it so the inputs happen in a definite order and there is no way to 
change that order, on the fly.

If programs were rewriten so that the inputs were all seperated from each 
other logically, and could be entered in any order.  (Tab forward, tab back 
between fields, or point and click since mouse clicks are captured by accuterm and 
wintegrate among others).  Then some of the validation (two field 
interactions) should be relegated to the On.SUBMIT part of the program, etc.

If we could code in this fashion, then any app can be GUIized with less 
effort.
Will
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RE: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-17 Thread Mike Randall
I think the point Tony was making was the splitting of the program logic
from the actual screen formatting.   One of the most arduous tasks in
converting to a GUI is the splitting of the screen layout (print statements)
from the business logic in programs.  If your programs have the somewhat
typical [EMAIL PROTECTED] SOMETHING WITH INPUT format, the PRINT@ part has to
be removed as it will be replaced by the GUI.  Applications that have some
type of screen processor are way ahead of the game.  In that scenario, your
code is mostly logic and much easier to link a GUI.   

You do bring up a valid point regarding event driven apps with the concept
of submitting an entire form.  IMO, that depends on the platform and design
choices made by the developer.   For example, using Redback with ASP or ASP.
Net, you can pretty much mimic the field by field validations and processing
of CUI programs (one of the greatest features of .Net is the auto postback).
Of course there are performance considerations/penalties for doing it but
you can do it.   On the flip side, you could also take all the input and
submit it to a server process once.   More efficient but trade-offs in
functionality.

Mike R.

-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
Behalf Of [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 8:18 PM
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Subject: Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

In a message dated 4/17/2004 4:16:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:


 A key factor that makes CUI non-portable
 to GUI is the embedded Input and Print statements in the code.

I respectfully disagree that this is key.
After all event oriented apps also have input statements
I think you mean the key factor is that the programs are not event oriented.

That is, on a typical GUI form I can click and fill in any field in any 
order, and then I submit the entire form.  In a typical mv app, most
programmers 
would write it so the inputs happen in a definite order and there is no way
to 
change that order, on the fly.

If programs were rewriten so that the inputs were all seperated from each 
other logically, and could be entered in any order.  (Tab forward, tab back 
between fields, or point and click since mouse clicks are captured by
accuterm and 
wintegrate among others).  Then some of the validation (two field 
interactions) should be relegated to the On.SUBMIT part of the program, etc.

If we could code in this fashion, then any app can be GUIized with less 
effort.
Will
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RE: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-17 Thread Tony Gravagno
Will wrote:
 A key factor that makes CUI non-portable
 to GUI is the embedded Input and Print statements in the code.

I respectfully disagree that this is key.
After all event oriented apps also have input statements
I think you mean the key factor is that the programs are not 
event oriented.

Mike Randall said:
I think the point Tony was making was the splitting of the 
program logic from the actual screen formatting. 
 ...
You do bring up a valid point regarding event driven apps with 
the concept of submitting an entire form.


You're both right.  Note that my quote was _A_ key factor, not _The_ key
factor.  In my mind I assume that event orientation is possible once code
is modularized, Input statements are replaced with passed-in values, and
Print statements are replaced with returned messages and status data.  You
can have event oriented code with Print/Input statements, which isn't
desirable, at least in MV code destined for a GUI.  You can also have
monolithic procedural code without the Print/Input statements, which could
be the case with screen-at-a-time (3270 style) code.

The bottom line is that a fundamental shift needs to be made in most MV code
before it can be moved to GUI.  Contrary to popular belief this shift
doesn't need to be made all at once.  I have a VAR/client with a 20 year old
app that is being refitted over time to be more modular.  They started their
conscious shift about a year ago and they're now finding all sorts of
benefits to modularization.  They're now at a point where they can start
looking at various GUI-enablement products in our market space.

As an aside, pardon me for being so bold, but it's amazing that the
providers of these GUI products aren't jumping to pay people like me to help
developers become viable candidates for their products.  There's no
guarantee that any given site will adopt any given GUI product, if any, but
unless there are prospects there can be no new customers.  It seems to me
it's worth it to someone to foster redevelopment like this.  Well, that's
the MV market for ya...

Tony

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Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-17 Thread Bruce Nichol
Goo'day,

At 10:17 18/04/04, Will replied to:

In a message dated 4/17/2004 4:16:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 A key factor that makes CUI non-portable
 to GUI is the embedded Input and Print statements in the code.
I respectfully disagree that this is key.
Aren't we forgetting what Ross (and others) offer in Visage (and 
whatever)?   AFIK, Visage offers users a GUI in a TOTAL WINDOWS LOOK AND 
FEEL/BROWSER environment, without having to do a total rewrite, but a 
rewrite none the less, re-using some portions, perhaps, of existing 
code.   Visage seems to be more than a user interface.   It's also 
supposedly (sorry, Ross, I've got no experience in Visage) a much less 
involved NEW development environment

Other MV so-called GUI approaches, (AccuTerm and wIntegrate scripts, for 
example) are offering the user a GUI with an almost-modern Windows look and 
feel, but without the bells and whistles, and are offering a GUI by 
applying Band-Aids to existing code.   I really don't think that's a 
development environment.I don't think new development is covered by 
this approach.

If we were all developing new applications, and we could afford it, I 
reckon we would all jump at Visage... Or some such.

I'd hazard a guess that the cost of new development in Visage, together 
with the cost of Visage, would come out less (Ross??) than the cost of 
the same level of development to the same level of total user interface 
in our known MV Terminal Emulation environs.   The per-user outgoing cost 
of a MV TE capable of supporting the TE scripts (as opposed to the cost of 
IE6!!) is, IMHO, the crippling factor, here.   Especially in the larger 
sites where everybody would be forced into using the GUI-able TE instead 
of the lower-cost/freebie ones.

What we're all (all of us software developers, that is) trying to do is 
maintain a public acceptance for our EXISTING software.   Sales = Public 
Acceptance.Ross is out in front with Visage, right up there with 
Windows products, because he's been able to absorb the costs of 
development over a period of time, developing Visage and 
developing/redeveloping his applications using it as he goes.   OK,  he's 
paid more for his version of Visage but he got his version earlier than 
the rest of us; he and his people have far more experience with it than the 
rest of us; it was written for their express requirements; they know what 
its' capabilities are; they know its' shortcomings; they know what's 
planned for its' future, and he's selling licences to it to help in 
recovering his outlay.   Most of the rest of us are looking at it, at its 
cost, at the cost of redeveloping using it, and going with it, or hoping 
that the lower initial outlay of providing TE scripts will suffice, or ..

At our level of the market, a Windows-driven shareware TE such as NetTerm 
- which offers mouse awarenessand hot-spots (a constant mouse 
position for Y or N outside the TE screen, etc) amongst other 
useable things, coupled with a lightly-rewritten development (basically 
now offering lists of acceptable input for user acceptance, where 
applicable - reducing the guess work) of our existing applications to 
provide a mouse aware  shrink-wrapped version in direct competition to 
the MYOBs,Business Manager, Quicken's, etc, (5 to 20 users) at those sort 
of costs, is where we perceive our future.We don't want to sell 
millions of seats, but, rather,  provide a quality easy to use easy to 
understand product that we can support from wherever we choose to be - and 
make a quid!   OK, we don't have the banks clamouring to provide or accept 
detail in our native file format, but they *do* provide and accept .csv 
and .txt formats, and we have OPENSEQ with READSEQ/WRITESEQ in our quiver, 
so we're competitive

Our biggest problem in the market is the discipline we insist on at 
input. Not the sequence of input, mind you, but not allowing users to 
short cut, or ignore proper audit procedures. After all, we're 
throwing ourselves squarely at the Mums and Dads I only want to 
do.. commercial marketIf we can just convince a few of them 
that they can use the mouse to point at a  selection, or use arrow keys 
to transverse a list of options, or even, at worst, use a keyboard to enter 
something (remapping Tab as Enter has helped!!), and that there is some 
discipline involved ...

With the ..SEQs we also offer the ability to import/export data to/from the 
MV database.   So, any office product, for example, Excel or Word or, God 
forbid, MS Access can be used as a front/back end.  (I appreciate the 
subject is/was Crystal Reports but, frankly, I've never been asked for 
anything other than Excel, Word or MS Access interaction, except, years 
ago, Lotus).   Is it a major problem to write to a file and get your 
office product to pick up and convert that file, compared to direct 
integration?   We don't think so  and nor do our 

Re: GUI from Mv code Re: Crystal Reports

2004-04-17 Thread FFT2001
In a message dated 4/17/2004 10:21:26 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
[EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:


 AFIK, Visage offers users a GUI in a TOTAL WINDOWS LOOK AND 
 FEEL/BROWSER environment, without having to do a total rewrite, but a 
 rewrite none the less, re-using some portions, perhaps, of existing 
 code.   Visage seems to be more than a user interface.   It's also 
 supposedly (sorry, Ross, I've got no experience in Visage) a much less 
 involved NEW development environment
 
 Other MV so-called GUI approaches, (AccuTerm and wIntegrate scripts, for 
 example) are offering the user a GUI with an almost-modern Windows look and 
 feel, but without the bells and whistles, and are offering a GUI by 
 applying Band-Aids to existing code.   I really don't think that's a 
 development environment.I don't think new development is covered by 
 this approach.

What?  How exactly do you get this?
A script is not an almost modern Windows look and feel... it is the look 
and feel.
The script calls windows exectuables underneath it, thats how it works.
If a programmer chooses not to utilize all the various objects and methods 
etc that Accuterm reveals, thats their own choice, not the fault of the product.

I'm not sure exactly how Visage is that much better than Accuterm in that 
regard.
Are you?
Will
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RE: Crystal Reports

2004-04-16 Thread Mike Randall
Crystal is indeed a very fine product.  It is a banded report writer with a
multitude of programmability.   Multivalued data is indeed a pain in the
neck.   Normalize the data 1st and you'll find Crystal a joy to use with
output, features and polish that MV can't come close to.  The 'problems'
that your users are facing can be addressed with Crystal code (VB syntax or
Crystal's scripting syntax).  After using it a while, you'll never want to
go back...

Mike R. 

-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
Behalf Of Mark Johnson
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 2:51 PM
To: U2 Users Discussion List
Subject: Crystal Reports

One of my clients wants to connect Crystal Reports to their UD database to
apparently give greater access to the data that they sometimes deem as
hidden and only accessable through me.

This client converted to Great Plains 6 weeks ago (SQL based) and their CR
experts were struggling with duplicating some of the more mundane reports
that already exist in UD. A monthly sales tax summary (by jurisdiction) took
the GP guy 3 days futzing with CR using GP's data.

How much trouble are they going to get in trying to use MV'd data from the
UD system (ODBC) if they have so much trouble with more 'normalized' data.
Everyone seems to think that CR is a magic pill and once attached to a SQL
database, the sophisticated reports simply roll off.

I'm trying to strongly propose a data warehouse concept whereby the day's
sales data gets exported and updated into their prior application for the
sake of the multitude of existing, proven reports in MV. If these guys took
3 days for a simple tax report, how can CR fabricate temporary tables for
the sake of these consolidated sophisticated MV reports?

I'm just interested in hearing of some experiences. This client is too
stubborn to go back from GP and may even disregard their entire MV system
completely. I really have nothing to lose if I insult them. 

Thanks in advance.

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RE: Crystal Reports

2004-04-16 Thread Tony Gravagno
Mark, it's interesting to see this project unfold, please do keep us up on
events there.

(Ready for some acronym soup?)  Crystal Reports is heavily tied to .NET
these days.  Microsoft has selected CR for integration with Great Plains, so
there is a high level of commitment to the CR/GP/.NET links.  It shouldn't
be a problem to create a middle-tier which interfaces data from both GP and
UD into CR via ADO.NET.ADO.NET is _not_ ADO, which was basically
supposed to be an upgrade to ODBC.  In addition to other things, ADO.NET is
really a data hub which allows you to create a source-independent set of
tables and relations.  The end result is that CR doesn't know or care where
the data is coming from, it comes from an ADO.NET data model.  How you get
the data into ADO.NET is up to you.

My recommendation is to take a look at the Pick Data Provider .NET from
Raining Data, another product which has endorsement from Microsoft.  Pricing
is very reasonable, it's stable, well documented and supported.  Since there
are questions about other interfaces working with U2 from .NET, like RBO's,
UniObjects, UniODBC, etc, it seems reasonable to choose a connectivity
module that was written for the purpose.  Using technology that is endorsed
by Microsoft from end to end should give you some political leverage as
well, since that seems to be a priority with management there.

[Ad] Here at Nebula RD, we can prototype a report on a TM basis, even
going all the way back and forth between GP, MV, and CR.  I honestly have no
idea how long it would take without looking at this closer, but the tools
are available, we have everything here, it's just a matter of connecting the
dots.  (Nebula RD is an authorized Raining Data reseller and MSDN Universal
Developer.)  If you'd like to contract for more specific work, we now have
highly qualified people available to do this sort of work (MS MVP/MSDE
trainer/developers), and we'll be happy to take a back seat and let you get
the glory as projects are completed.

Good luck.
Tony
[EMAIL PROTECTED]
949-380-1668


-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
[mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Mark Johnson
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 11:51 AM
To: U2 Users Discussion List
Subject: Crystal Reports


One of my clients wants to connect Crystal Reports to their UD 
database to apparently give greater access to the data that 
they sometimes deem as hidden and only accessable through me.

This client converted to Great Plains 6 weeks ago (SQL based) 
and their CR experts were struggling with duplicating some of 
the more mundane reports that already exist in UD. A monthly 
sales tax summary (by jurisdiction) took the GP guy 3 days 
futzing with CR using GP's data.

How much trouble are they going to get in trying to use MV'd 
data from the UD system (ODBC) if they have so much trouble 
with more 'normalized' data. Everyone seems to think that CR 
is a magic pill and once attached to a SQL database, the 
sophisticated reports simply roll off.

I'm trying to strongly propose a data warehouse concept 
whereby the day's sales data gets exported and updated into 
their prior application for the sake of the multitude of 
existing, proven reports in MV. If these guys took 3 days for 
a simple tax report, how can CR fabricate temporary tables for 
the sake of these consolidated sophisticated MV reports?

I'm just interested in hearing of some experiences. This 
client is too stubborn to go back from GP and may even 
disregard their entire MV system completely. I really have 
nothing to lose if I insult them. 

Thanks in advance.

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RE: Crystal Reports

2004-04-16 Thread djordan
Take the Lead

If they have SQL Server already, build a mini datawarehouse that you
populate Daily, and then set up the new Report Services of SQL Server
which is a free add on to SQL Server 2000.  In somes ways it has some
better features than Crystal reports.   It gives your system a fresh
face for little work and will keep the MV system in the organisation.

Crystal Reports is a good tool, but when it comes to complex reports, I
can quicker write a Basic Program to achieve the result than a good
Crystal Reports programmer will achieve the results.  The big thing for
you is the user just wants to feel in control of data access and this
can be achieved in a number of ways even if it is a perception.

Regards

David Jordan

-Original Message-
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
On Behalf Of Mark Johnson
Sent: Saturday, 17 April 2004 4:51 AM
To: U2 Users Discussion List
Subject: Crystal Reports


One of my clients wants to connect Crystal Reports to their UD database
to apparently give greater access to the data that they sometimes deem
as hidden and only accessable through me.

This client converted to Great Plains 6 weeks ago (SQL based) and their
CR experts were struggling with duplicating some of the more mundane
reports that already exist in UD. A monthly sales tax summary (by
jurisdiction) took the GP guy 3 days futzing with CR using GP's data.

How much trouble are they going to get in trying to use MV'd data from
the UD system (ODBC) if they have so much trouble with more 'normalized'
data. Everyone seems to think that CR is a magic pill and once attached
to a SQL database, the sophisticated reports simply roll off.

I'm trying to strongly propose a data warehouse concept whereby the
day's sales data gets exported and updated into their prior application
for the sake of the multitude of existing, proven reports in MV. If
these guys took 3 days for a simple tax report, how can CR fabricate
temporary tables for the sake of these consolidated sophisticated MV
reports?

I'm just interested in hearing of some experiences. This client is too
stubborn to go back from GP and may even disregard their entire MV
system completely. I really have nothing to lose if I insult them. 

Thanks in advance.

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