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Chapter 1: Introduction

Animator is a powerful menu-driven tool for debugging your COBOL programs. It is provided as part of the Server Express Development Environment. It displays your source code and your application in windows on the screen, highlighting each line of the source as your program is executed. This process is referred to as animating.

1.1 Animator and Application Development

Animator enables you to debug applications during the various stages of the application development cycle. You can debug:

When you syntax-check a program, an Animator information file is created by default; this contains information required by Animator. This file has the filename extension .idy, and is usually referred to as the .idy file.

You can debug programs and applications using the following methods:

1.1.1 Debugging a Program from Net Express

You can use Net Express to remotely debug programs. This enables you to debug programs that you have developed on a UNIX system using Server Express, or published on a UNIX system using the Net Express UNIX Option. The remote debugging capability is provided in Net Express Version 3. See your Net Express documentation for information on remote debugging.

To use remote debugging you need to start the debug server on your UNIX system. See the section Remote Debugging in the chapter Starting Animator for details.

1.2 Overview of Animator Functions

Animator uses windows to display information about your program during execution, along with the corresponding part of your source code. Animator provides functions that enable you to control the pace at which your program runs, interrupt execution to examine and change data items, alter the sequence of execution or enter COBOL statements for immediate execution before your program continues. These facilities enable you to debug your programs quickly and easily.

1.2.1 Executing the Program

A flexible set of execution functions enables you to execute the code at the speed to suit the problem you are examining. You can Zoom (execute at maximum speed) through code you do not want to see execute, manually Step through each statement or set a convenient automatic execution speed in a problem area.

You can set breakpoints throughout the source code by marking each statement where you want a break to occur or by defining a condition that should give rise to a break. This lets you define exactly when to get manual control of your program when it is executing automatically.

1.2.2 Querying, Monitoring and Changing Data Items

Debugging a program often involves monitoring various data values in order to detect unexpected results. As the values of the data change during program execution, the monitored items are highlighted as they are updated.

You can query a data item in a program and display its contents in either text (ASCII) or hexadecimal format. The contents of the data item can be changed, with immediate effect in subsequent program execution.

1.2.3 Logic Testing

Do functions enable you to execute additional code without having to interrupt your testing session. These COBOL statements can be executed when you enter them, or they can be associated with a statement and executed with that statement. The latter are saved in a file so that they can be incorporated into your source code once you have decided they correct a problem.

Reset functions enable you to bypass code that you do not want to be executed.

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