Third Party Watch
Shawn M. Gordon
President of S.M. Gordon & Associates

Ok, off the soap box and back to the gossip. First on my list of new items is the new Software Batch Engine from Quest. At first I thought this may be some sort of dispatcher manager, but what it is, is a stripped down version of Netbase that is designed to let you use something like a 917 strictly for a batch machine, and get the load off of your main online CPU. It gives you shadowing only, and to be honest there are a lot of other reasons to get it beside just moving your batch stuff. If all you ever wanted was the shadowing portion of Netbase, now’s your chance.

Turns out that PeopleSoft is being converted from DB2 to HP Allbase. This should be interesting, I hear that PeopleSoft is a pretty popular Human Resource package. Now that Netbase will shadow Allbase, you will be able to network your HR software all over the planet.

I talked about a product called OPSession some months back, that gave you an MS Windows based interface to your HP 3000 operations. Well version 1.1 is now out and on top of improved functionality and use of function keys there are putting in a full fledged terminal emulator. As a matter of fact, by the time you read this they may even have network support done. They (Cygnet software) also have a new product call OPStape coming out that is an MS Windows based tape librarian for the HP 3000. Currently it interfaces with HP’s STORE/RESTORE and TurboStore. This promises to be a very interesting product, I plan on writing a review for a future issue of Interact.

This next bit is for all you COBOL programmers out there. As everyone should know, COBOL 85 was released 7 years ago and put 90% of the things into COBOL that it desperately needed. Unfortunately not many people actually take advantage of these new constructs. Well I just found out something recently, and it really bugs me that I didn’t know it sooner, but in 1990 an enhancement to the 85 standard was released. I believe it’s called the Intrinsics Functions. HP adopted this on COBOL85XL as of MPE/XL 3.1 and it is available on 3.0 as a patch. The few things that I know about this is that it gives you a whole host of mathematical and date manipulation functions. You have things like Square Root, Sine, Cosine, Sum, Min, Max, Avg, you can even sum the members of an array. The date functions handle four digit years and let you do all sorts of date calculations (about time).
Well finding this out made me think I had died and gone to purgatory, I’m working on a series 70 right now and there is no way I can get these new features. But maybe you can, contact HP to get the 50 odd page manual that describes these functions and start using them. Some day we can get all these C and PASCAL people of our backs because COBOL will be one of the most versatile languages available.

Protos Software Company of Austin Texas and makers of the PROTOS 4GL have added a couple of new enhancements lately. They have now added full support for Omnidex and Superdex. At the time of this writing (December 92) it was still in beta testing, but this should be an exciting enhancement for their customers, especially with HP now supporting 3rd party indexing. They tell me they have some other things in the hopper, but they want to wait a bit before it hits the press.

For those of you who don’t know the president of U.S. Operations for Cognos Corporation, resigned in late 92. He has since been replaced and there has been a bit of a re-org within the company. Hopefully this will impact Cognos in a positive way.

While I’m talking about 4GL companies I should also mention Speedware. They have been offering class’s in Speedware version 6 for free to consultants (you have to pay for materials) recently. This is due to the high demand for consultants in Speedware. It’s always good to see a company thriving like this. I can hardly wait to see their full Client/Server version when it is done.