Release 5.0 enhancements

Here are the more important features of Release 5.0 that are of particular interest to programmers of tableBASE applications and tablesONLINE exit programs:

  1. Migration towards new terminology. To reduce the learning curve for new users, some tableBASE terminology has been refined and modified to promote consistency with prevailing industry standards. Where appropriate, relational terms have been adopted in all descriptions of tabular structures. For example, the term “row” is used rather than “item”. In tablesONLINE/CICS the terms View or View Table replace the earlier term, Field Definition Table (FDT). A new term, Table Object, refers to the named association of a View and a Data Table.
  2. A common interface, TBLBASE, is available for batch, CICS, IMS, and VTS applications. This interface uses an optional new parameter, TB-PARM, as a general communications area and an extended xxxx-COMMAND-AREA parameter to provide greater functionality and flexibility. This interface offers significant performance improvements in CICS over the previous TBASEC interface. TBLBASE also provides date-sensitive processing capabilities.
  3. Copybooks are now provided for all parameters of the API, to be used directly or, in some cases, as templates for developing table-specific parameters.
  4. A new tableBASE command has been added: List Directory (LD) creates a directory listing in a table.
  5. The capabilities of some existing commands have changed (OR, OW, DT, CD, FG, ML). The Open commands, for example, now allow for opening multiple Alternate Indexes against a Data Table (base or primary index table). The Open commands, OR and OW, are now fully compatible with Alternate Indexes. Definition commands DT, CD, and GD now provide for: century digits in dates, identification of a default View for the data, userid of last user to update the table, and user comments. Fetch Generic (FG) now supports table keys which contain asterisks, including binary or packed data. The ML command has been extended to support searching VTS subsystems as well as tableBASE libraries.
  6. Table Access Tracking. A new field is maintained in a table definition to identify the last CICS/batch user to update the table.
  7. Extensions to tablesONLINE/CICS User Exits: New exit points have been included in tablesONLINE to accommodate extensions to command line and row-level processing. Improved access to tablesONLINE system variables in EXITPARM allows for improved monitoring and control of tablesONLINE events. Backward compatibility is supported to allow exits written for earlier releases of tablesONLINE to run in conjunction with new exits written for Release 5.0.
  8. Creation or revision of a View (Field Definition Table) will cause the (optional) automatic generation of a COBOL FD copybook that includes a tableBASE Command Area.
  9. Automated regeneration of Data Tables once their Views have been modified. This facility can be of assistance with the century date conversion of data files.
  10. A new system table, TBOLM2M, is available to support automated many-to-many relationships. This table is used to assign Table Object names to related pairs of View name and Data Table name. In addition, the tracking of data and View combinations is also supported directly. Included with the definition of both data and View, is the option to specify the corresponding View or Data Table.
  11. A new tableBASE library, TBDICLB, is available in CICS as a centralized repository for Views and dictionary-type tables.
  12. TBDRIVC (called DK1TDRVC in V6) and TBDRIVER (called DK1TDRV in V6) command processors have been enhanced. A table name wildcard facility is provided for command processors to allow selected operations on a series of tables. Output from the new List Directory (LD) command in the CICS command processor, TBDRIVC, is scrollable, forward and backward. Maximum row size for TBDRIVx command processors has been extended to 32K. Batch TBDRIVER now accepts a parameter to specify the number of table rows to print. Several restrictions have been removed relating to date-sensitive processing.
  13. Improved library performance. New internal structures improve the performance of directory searches and library management.