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Appendix B: More Features

This appendix lists some features that may be of interest in addition to the major features described in the chapter Overview. It is not a complete list of the features in NetExpress.

Features included mainly to help you migrate from other COBOL systems are in a second list at the end of this appendix.

Additional software supplied to complement NetExpress is described in the chapter Additional Software.

B.1 Descriptions of Features

Features include both development tools and features for use in your applications.

B.1.1 List of Features

Features are listed alphabetically.

B.1.1.1 Btrieve Interface

The interface to Novell's Btrieve file-handling system enables you to use COBOL file I/O syntax to access Btrieve files. You can use Btrieve files and files in the format native to NetExpress in the same program.

B.1.1.2 Callable File Handler

The Callable File Handler is an interface to NetExpress's file handler enabling you to call it from your program using CALL statements. This gives you low-level control over files of all COBOL organizations, so you can write sophisticated file and database handling programs. You can also use it to access COBOL format files from other languages, such as C or Assembler.

B.1.1.3 Callable Rebuild

Callable Rebuild is an interface to the Rebuild utility so you can call it from your program using CALL statements (see the entry for Rebuild).

B.1.1.4 Callable Sort

The Callable Sort Module is a stand-alone sort routine which enables you to sort and reorder data files. It is faster than the default COBOL sort mechanism. The call interface provides greater flexibility in sorting data and enables you to substitute alternative sort modules.

B.1.1.5 Cbllink

Cbllink is a high-level command-line interface to the system linker. It is normally called automatically for you by your application's project.

B.1.1.6 Client/Server Bindings

Client/Server Bindings provides a standard mechanism for communicating over networks using a variety of protocols. A program written to work with it will work with any of the protocols it supports, simply by interchanging modules.

B.1.1.7 COBOL System Library Routines

The COBOL system library routines are a set of routines you can call from your program, providing many operations not available in the COBOL language itself.

B.1.1.8 Command Prompt

The NetExpress Command Prompt is a command-line session with the NetExpress environment set up. You can run some NetExpress functions from the command prompt. From the Windows Start menu, click Programs, then Micro Focus NetExpress, then NetExpress Command Prompt.

B.1.1.9 Common Gateway Interface (CGI) Support

CGI Support enables you to run programs that conform to the CGI, ISAPI, or NSAPI standard, so that they can be invoked from a remote Web browser to run under the control of Web server software.

B.1.1.10 Embedded HTML

Embedded HTML is a COBOL extension enabling you to write HTML in the Procedure Division of your program so as to create and display a Web page.

B.1.1.11 Fileshare

Fileshare provides rapid network I/O by compressing I/O requests into packets and sending them across network lines, so that the file processing is done on the server that contains the files. It can also link several files into a logical database. You can set up a recovery log when accessing that database, providing a high level of data integrity. It has transaction logging which enables your user to delay writing changes to files until all the information is complete. You can secure these changes with a COMMIT or cancel them with a ROLLBACK.

B.1.1.12 Integrated Preprocessor Support

Integrated Preprocessor Support is an extension to the Compiler. It enables the Compiler to invoke a user-defined language processor to convert non-COBOL syntax to COBOL syntax. When debugging, you see the original source, as it is before statements are altered by the preprocessor.

B.1.1.13 Microsoft Transaction Server Support

Microsoft Transaction Server is a component-based transaction processing system for developing, deploying and managing Internet and intranet applications. You can create Transaction Server components in COBOL using NetExpress.

B.1.1.14 Multithreading

Multithreading enables you to set off several concurrent paths of execution in the same application.

B.1.1.15 National Language Support

National Language Support (NLS) enables your program to adapt itself automatically at run time to the character set, currency symbol, and editing symbols appropriate to your user's country. It ensures correct collation and folding of national (for example, accented) characters, and provides library routines to fetch messages in the appropriate national language from a message file.

B.1.1.16 Object-oriented COBOL Syntax

Object-oriented syntax is a set of extensions to COBOL so that you can use object-oriented (OO) programming. It's supported by the OO Class Library, a set of predefined functions for use from OO programs.

B.1.1.17 Object Request Broker (ORB)

An Object Request Broker (ORB) is the middleware that establishes the client/server relationship between components in a distributed computing environment. When a client calls on the services of a distributed component, the ORB intercepts and processes the call. The client does not need to be aware of where the component is located, the programming language it was written in, the operating system it is running on, or any other aspect that is not a part of the component's interface.

NetExpress supports Orbix, IONA's Implementation of the OMG CORBA standard. A CORBA Wizard for Orbix is included to enable COBOL applications to operate as Orbix Clients and Servers. You can create a new NetExpress Orbix project, or transform an existing NetExpress project into a NetExpress Orbix project.

B.1.1.18 ODBC Drivers

The ODBC drivers enable applications to interface to databases that conform to the Open Database Connectivity standard (ODBC). Some of NetExpress's demonstration programs use them. So do applications created using the Data Access Wizard.

The driver for Microsoft Access databases is supplied to Micro Focus by Microsoft. The others are supplied to Micro Focus by Intersolv.

Note: You are not authorized to sublicense or distribute the ODBC drivers contained in NetExpress to any third parties. If you wish to do so, you must first obtain a license from either Microsoft Corporation or Intersolv, as the case may be. Alternatively, you may require your customers to license such drivers directly.

B.1.1.19 OLE Automation Support

Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) is a feature of Microsoft Windows which enables one application to load and send messages to any other application registered with the operating system as an OLE object. OLE automation support is a feature of NetExpress which enables you to send messages to OLE objects from NetExpress programs and classes.

You use the Class Wizard to generate skeleton Object COBOL classes, including classes that provide OLE automation or Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) support to an application. It also generates any other required files for OLE, such as trigger files, registry files and type library files.

You use the Method Wizard to add skeleton methods to Object COBOL classes. It gives you the opportunity to enter the parameter and return types, whether the method supports MTS, and it adds any type library information required for OLE classes.

B.1.1.20 OpenESQL

OpenESQL is a preprocessor provided with NetExpress which enables you to access ODBC data sources from a COBOL program by embedding SQL statements in your source code.

B.1.1.21 OpenESQL Assistant

The OpenESQL Assistant is a wizard that generate SQL statements for inclusion in your COBOL program.

B.1.1.22 PVCS

PVCS is a popular Source Code Control System (SCCS). It gives multiple users controlled access to source code stored centrally on a server. It stores changes in the form of deltas so that it can re-create successive versions of a file.

B.1.1.23 Rebuild

The Rebuild utility is a tool for maintaining indexed files. You can use it to improve performance by reorganizing keys and data, to give a new key structure to an existing file, to recreate a corrupted index, and to convert sequential and relative files to indexed format. It uses 64-bit addressing, so it can handle big files.

B.1.1.24 Sort Utility

The Sort utility gives you a file-sorting facility which you can call from the operating system prompt. It uses the Callable Sort Module.

B.1.1.25 Source Code Control System Support

The Source Code Control System (SCCS) support enables you to access an SCCS via the menus of the NetExpress IDE when you have a project open. SCCS's that it can be used with are PVCS and MS Visual SourceSafe. A version of PVCS is included in NetExpress.

B.1.1.26 WebSync link

WebSync is a link within the NetExpress help to access a Micro Focus Web server. You can use it to get support, updates, and information on NetExpress.

B.1.1.27 Win32 Native API programming

You can call Windows 95 or Windows NT operating system routines if you want very low-level control.

B.2 Mainly for Migration

The following additional features are included mainly to help migration to NetExpress. The online book Migration Cookbook recommends alternatives to use for new applications.

B.2.1 List of Features

Features are listed alphabetically.

B.2.1.1 COBSQL

COBSQL is an integrated pre-processor designed to work with COBOL precompilers supplied by relational database vendors. It is intended for use with Oracle Pro*COBOL Version 1.8 and Sybase Open Client Embedded SQL/COBOL Version 11.1. You should use COBSQL if you are already using either of these precompilers with an earlier version of a Micro Focus COBOL product and want to migrate your application(s) to NetExpress, or if you are creating applications that will be deployed on UNIX platforms and need to access either Oracle or Sybase relational databases.

For any other type of embedded SQL application development, we recommend that you use OpenESQL.

B.2.1.2 Dialog Editor

Dialog Editor is a screen painter for creating windows and dialog boxes. The same tool is in Micro Focus's Visual Object COBOL V1.0. Applications created using that system can be run and further developed using the Dialog Editor in NetExpress.

B.2.1.3 On-line Help System

The On-line Help system (Hyhelp and Ohbld) is for creating character-mode on-line documentation and displaying it on the screen. It has facilities for extensive navigation around the information. Your programs can call it to present help with a minimal amount of programming. It can produce both character and graphical on-line documentation, and native documentation on Windows.

B.2.1.4 Panels

Panels is an application programming interface (API) that your application can call to use windowing on a character-mode screen. It provides overlapping windows, separate or synchronized updating of text and attributes, scrolling of text in a window, and popup or pulldown menus.

B.2.1.5 Screen and Keyboard Handler (Character Mode)

The Screen and Keyboard Handler, often known as Adis, is a module that provides run-time support for the Enhanced Accept/Display feature, which gives full-screen character mode ACCEPT and DISPLAY verbs using a Screen Section in the Data Division. (Don't confuse this with the extended ACCEPT and DISPLAY for handling Web pages.)

B.2.1.6 Screen and Keyboard Configuration Tools

The screen and keyboard configuration tools (Adiscf and Keybcf) are two utilities for configuring character-mode screen and keyboard handling to your own environment and needs, for example for compatibility with other COBOL systems.

B.2.1.7 Screen Section

The Screen Section is a section in the Data Division where you can define forms for display on a character-mode screen.

B.2.1.8 Windowing Support

Windowing Support consists of COBOL syntax which enables you to draw character-mode lines and boxes on the screen and create virtual windows on a physical screen. The syntax also allows underlying displays to be kept and restored. It is compatible with ACU COBOL.

Copyright © 1998 Micro Focus Limited. All rights reserved.
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