Why are the column
headings as they are?
How does this product
What does is fix?
How long does it take?
Why are the column headings as they are?
The problem with the column headings arose due to a
limitation in the AS/SET case tool. When a file
is defined using AS/SET, each of its fields must be
based on a reference field. The reference field
provides a generic definition for a similar set of fields
e.g. order number, name, date. When using a reference
field, you are allowed to override its name and text,
but not its column heading. As a result, most
of the column headings are incorrect or insufficiently
descriptive. Older versions of BPCS did not have
this problem because the fields were defined using standard
DDS which allows reference fields to be fully overridden.
How does this product work?
This product works by directly updating the file's
field descriptions rather than generating a new AS/SET
repository or DDS specs. The advantage with this
is that you don't need to recompile anything.
The only attributes which are changed are the fields'
text, column headings, and edit code / edit word.
The information for the change comes from a 'field reference
work file'. This is a separate physical file
which contains the new information for all the fields
in either the version 6.x.xx or 8.0.00 databases.
This file may be modified as required and the Fix re-run
for one or all files.
[For those technically minded, the field descriptions
are stored in an object called a 'format space'.
This is a hidden object of type *FMT. It is not
stored in a library, but 'linked' to a file.
Each file has a format space, sometimes several files
may point to the same format space - this is called
format sharing (discussed further in the downloaded
document). If you want to see a format space
you can do a 'dump object' on a file, i.e. DMPOBJ filename
*FILE , then look for the *FMT object in the spool file.]
What does it fix?
In general the fields text have been left alone
- because they were mostly correct - and the focus was
made on fixing the column headings. Around 80%
of the column headings were changed due them being:
(a) misleading or limited in their description; (b)
inappropriately sized for the fields display length;
or (c) completely mismatched. Where possible,
new column headings have been made to fit within each
fields display length without over-abbreviating.
Edit codes: Numeric fields that had no edit code
were given edit code of L, and numeric fields with decimal
positions having edit code Z were changed to edit code
L. Date fields were given an edit word which will
make them display as e.g. 1998/12/25 and time fields
an edit word to display as e.g. 12:34:56.
How long does it take?
This depends on your machine's size. If you are
running BPCS version 6 then you will probably require
a fairly large box (e.g. models S20, 640, 730 ...).
In this case, to fix a database (all physical and logical
files) typically takes between 3 to 5 minutes as a dedicated
batch job. You can also fix one file at a time
as required. To fix a single file (a physical
plus its logicals) interactively takes less than a second.