DSC products can now reside on either a
WINDOWS based PC or remain on a UNIX server. Likewise, DSC products can be run in a mixed
mode, where applications can be running on both UNIX systems and on WINDOWS PCs
concurrently. DSC customers can now pick their computing environment and
determine the best implementation for their application needs. In conjunction with DSCs
support for ODBC on WINDOWS, the WINDOWS support for all of DSC products
significantly "opens" database applications to a wide computing spectrum.
The enhancements made to
FASTPlus to support
this WINDOWS/UNIX bridge have significant impact on DSC customers. FASTPlus now operates
under WINDOWS with its full complement of utilities and administrative functions, giving
our users the capability to fully duplicate their applications, that previously could only
run under UNIX, on WINDOWS PCs.
And finally, DSC applications can execute on
WINDOWS PCs with a complete Graphical User Interface (GUI). Screens that previously
appeared only on Character Mode devices such as VT100 compatible terminals (or on PCs or
Workstations running VT100 emulation) can now be displayed on PC windows with full
graphical features such as Mouse support, Point and Click operation, and other windows
features which PC users have grown accustomed and expect.
WINDOWS and FASTPLUS
FASTPlus has been enhanced to operate on
WINDOWS PCs. All of the utilities and libraries now fully reside on the PC. The
FASTPlus library can be linked with any PC application, and all FASTPlus functions are available to
the programmer that only existed on UNIX systems in the past. FPADMIN can also reside on
the PC to manage the operation of FASTPlus and maintain any files residing on the PC.
network support has been
significantly enhanced to allow access to files maintained on WINDOWS PCs, as well as on
UNIX systems. Data can easily be accessed across a wide variety of computer systems and PC
networks. FASTPlus recognizes the differences among these computers and PCs, and
automatically provides the application with data that is compatible with each unique
system on which the application resides.
now has an ODBC driver that
operates on a WINDOWS PC. This driver enables PC applications that support ODBC (currently
there are hundreds including most MICROSOFT utility programs) to access and update
FASTPlus files without any program modification or without even reloading. (Refer to the
document FASTPlus ODBC Driver.)
STAND-ALONE WINDOWS APPLICATIONS
The most simple manner in which DSC products
and applications can operate under WINDOWS is as DOS-like programs that operate as single
processes very similarly to UNIX programs. Each DSC product runs in its own window under
MS-DOS. Multiple windows can be invoked with multiple copies of each product running
within its own window. Terminal input and output is handled through native WINDOWS APIs
rather than using a terminal emulation. A new terminal type has been added to DSC
products, which must be assigned to each process. This new terminal type is called WINDOWS
All products can execute in this manner, and
the names and command line options are identical to their UNIX counterparts. Thus, to
execute TELEMATION under WINDOWS, the user need only type:
telem -term WINDOWSNT -user
SYSTEM -campgn ADMIN
This is simply an example of the invocation
process for a WINDOWS based product at the MSDOS prompt level. Of course, this command can
be built into a procedure and executed from the desktop by clicking an Icon or by
selecting it from a menu.
The operation of any DSC product (or
application using database screens) is identical to UNIX. The user navigates through the
product or application using the TAB keys, Function keys, or the ENTER key just as he or
she would if the application were running under UNIX. Therefore, the user interface is
maintained. The WINDOW screen font and colors can be altered in a similar manner as a
terminal under UNIX.
WINDOWS Client with
DSC's customers may now design and execute
programs on WINDOWS PCs that effectively run on multiple PCs in a client/server
environment. DSC provides a client process, which can attach to any other PC (or itself,
for that matter) and execute a process on that PC, that is database client/server enabled.
The WINDOWS client process lets the user
attach to any other WINDOWS based PC by giving the user a list of available networked PCs
on which a database server process is running. When the user selects another networked PC,
the database server starts up a process on the server PC that attaches to the users
client process. The client process and the server process communicate with each other by
sending WINDOWS screens and messages back and forth, as well as WINDOWS screen
information. This is very similar to Block Mode data transmission between intelligent
terminals and UNIX processes. However, the client process has much more functionality and
intelligence than these older devices, and the communication between the client and server
is far more sophisticated.
WINDOWS CLIENT with UNIX SERVER
Another option available to DSC
customers is the ability to run our WINDOWS client on a PC, which communicates with a UNIX
server. In this case, the WINDOWS user simply invokes the client process and attaches to
any UNIX server that has been enabled on the database network. A server program must
reside on this UNIX system, and by initiating the client process on the WINDOWS PC, the
clients will startup a server process on the UNIX system. This is very similar to the
WINDOWS to WINDOWS process.
In this scenario, the database client
process is simply exchanging screen information and messages with the UNIX server process.
However, the WINDOWS client process can perform any number of other functions on its own
such as Cut & Paste, Cursor and Mouse movement, data editing and validation, as well
as other WINDOWS functions such as executing WORD or MSQuery functions independent of the
WINDOWS GRAPHICAL USER
The salient feature of the new WINDOWS
interface to DSC products and applications is its graphical user interface that resides on
the WINDOWS client. This client process accepts and interprets screen and message
information from another server process (residing on the same WINDOWS system, a different
WINDOWS server, or a UNIX server). This GUI client is written in native WINDOWS using
Microsofts WINDOWS libraries. Since it is a true WINDOWS application, this client
program can be modified and enhanced to perform virtually any function that is available
to other WINDOWS products.
Screens that have previously been developed
under UNIX can now be automatically invoked under the WINDOWS client without modification.
By default, protected text on the screen appears as simple WINDOWS text controls, whereas
unprotected or input fields from this same screen will appear as edit controls under
WINDOWS. All of the WINDOWS features and properties of these edit controls are made
available to the WINDOWS client user.
Screen editing has now been transferred to
the WINDOWS client process, so that range checks, field justification, required fields,
and table lookup are now performed on the PC. And this is just the beginning. Future
revisions will incorporate new WINDOWS based functions such as action keys, additional
editing, and menu support.
However, the power of the GUI client will be
fully realized as this client process is customized to include user defined functions and
menus, as well as the direct interface with other PC applications and utility functions.