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DSC Tech Library

Application Development Toolkit Software

Application Development Toolkit This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to Application Development software and products. To develop new or upgrade legacy applications for today’s network environments, the NDK components TRANSACT, FASTPlus, EZTRAN, and THIN CLIENT are required as a minimum. A copy of the THIN CLIENT is required for each PC accessing the final application. The NDK / Server software component can reside on UNIX, LINUX, or a Windows/NT server.

EZTRAN - Application Development Language

EZTRAN replaces traditional programming languages and provides developers with a simple yet powerful programming tool. Although traditional procedural languages such as COBOL, FORTRAN, PL/1, and C are available to users of NDK, EZTRAN has significant advantages over all the previous high level languages. e.g.; Developers never have to be concerned with migration incompatibilities to other platforms when using EZTRAN. (Since compilers vary from platform to platform, the use of EZTRAN completely removes these annoying issues.) An additional advantage using EZTRAN over other programming languages is the fact EZTRAN programs/subroutines do not require its compiled binary be integrated with a “run-time” executable. This simple fact allows developers to test and debug EZTRAN logic instantly, thereby saving significant time in the overall development process. Additionally, unlike traditional methods of developing and testing applications, EZTRAN does not require a production application be restarted for debug purposes. As an example of the significance of the preceding, consider an EZTRAN program that is tested and debugged within a test bed - then installed on a production version on perhaps another machine. If the program/subroutine had been created in another language, the new logic would require the production system be stopped and restarted to take advantage of the enhancement. (Typically the new logic would not be available until the following day!) Of course, even with EZTRAN, there are exceptions to the previous.


TRANSACT’s complete DML has been incorporated into EZTRAN giving developers a full complement of data access and manipulation routines without the constraints associated with programming languages. Programming with EZTRAN is much easier than with other languages. Simple programs can be entered and maintained on a full screen within DSC products. For larger programs, developers can create and maintain EZTRAN programs using a text editor. EZTRAN programs are compiled using a utility which produces clear and concise diagnostic messages. These programs can be either stand-alone or can operate within the entire NDK environment. For example, EZTRAN programs can be EDIT or INIT routines validating information as it is read from a screen. Likewise, EZTRAN programs can be invoked from TRANSACT menus, from TRANSWRITER reports, or even from TRANSPORT systems. EZTRAN programs are automatically “linked” into DSC software. Thus, the maintenance of EZTRAN programs is easy.

EZTRAN is easy to learn and with its use of free-form program input it eliminates many of the mistakes encountered with traditional programming languages. The language is completely integrated with all NDK components. It supports screens, files, menus, formats, and many other elements typically required for application development. Comprehensive programming constructs including various program flow control statements are also supported.

Complete access to the NDK DML (Data Manipulation Library) component also provides developers with robust capabilities to support even the most complex requirements. EZTRAN also contains a wide variety of reserved functions and variables. Other features include;

  • Support of graphics.
  • Special data formatting capability.
  • Complete diagnostic messages during compile.
  • Run-time debugging capability.
  • Portable across a wide range of computer platforms.

Creating EZTRAN Programs

EZTRAN programs can be created using the EZTRAN Program Maintenance function. EZTRAN programs can also be maintained using a standard text editor. Once created, the program is compiled and automatically cataloged within the DSC dictionary.

EZTRAN Program Structure

An EZTRAN source program is a very simple structure. All commands are free form. Programs contain statements for declaring any local or global variables, program control statements, and EZTRAN action commands. By simply selecting a file or by invoking a screen, developers have complete access to the dictionary definitions of the file or screen fields. Program flow statements include IF THEN ELSE logic, WHILE constructs, as well as loop control using the FOR and NEXT operations. EZTRAN action commands include over 150 statements inclusive of the entire DSC DML.