These tips were submitted by Dealer Management Services after their successful migration from mvBase to jBASE. Read their customer success story behind their decision to move below! Submitted by Simon Verona Dealer Management Services
Download this zip file of scripts/utilities that presets up the jBASE environment to look more like mvBase (which should resemble D3). jBASE Scripts.zip
Feel free to use as you wish, though we would certainly suggest that the scripts are used as a “learning exercise” rather than a way to set up jBASE – they won’t work in a production environment.
Unzip the file and run the install.bat in the root of the zip file. This will prompt for the emulation type (only has mvBase at the moment) and for a home directory where all accounts will be created!)
It will create a SYSPROG account along with a sysprog login. You should then be able to telnet to localhost (or into the machine by name/ip address) and login as SYSPROG (no password). This will give you a tcl prompt of #.
It builds a SYSTEM file and has created an MD for you.
All the standard jBASE commands work, though the standard jBASE LOGTO command has been overridden.
A CREATE-ACCOUNT verb has been added which should be self explanatory—it even creates a Windows user so that you can login as the account from the telnet login.
Support has been added for T-ONLINE, T-SELECT, SET-TAPEFILE, STARTPTR (this starts a create printer wizard), COMPILE (this does a PortBas, compile and catalog all in one so that it feels more like mvbase).
It was designed so that each account has it’s all object and library directories so you can have two versions of the same program in each account.
You can create q-pointers in the MD just like mvbase and other MV variants.
Dealer Management Services is a small family computer software company supplying in-house computer systems for car dealerships in the UK. Formed in 1997, by father and son team, Norman and Simon Verona, with an initial staffing of just four people, DMS was their second start up company. The Veronas had set up a similar endeavor called “Modems” in the mid-1980’s that had been sold to an American concern, called ADP, in the early 1990’s.
In the early days in the formation of Modems, a lot of hard work and time had been put into finding the correct computer platform for delivering a computer solution for the Motor Trade. A chance encounter introduced Modems to the Adds Mentor operating system and to the MultiValue environment. The search for an operating environment stopped there! Modems built their software product around Mentor and successfully installed over 200 systems in the following 8 years.
During their time with Modems, both Norman and Simon Verona were aware of jBASE. Since 1993, jBASE had been under evaluation culminating in Simon’s final task in 1997—as technical director of ADP—of processing the switch from Reality (ADP’s chosen platform to replace Mentor in 1994) to jBASE. The reason for this migration was to provide flexibility in terms of operating system and future technology.
Upon setting up DMS, the search for an environment was pretty short. jBASE was considered at the time but was discarded mainly due to the perceived complexities of conversion and due to concerns that a higher degree of knowledge of Windows NT would be required than DMS staff had at the time. mvBase was the “new” version of Mentor running on Windows NT. Due to development timescales, the skills of DMS staff, and their familiarity with the Mentor product set, mvBase was chosen as the quickest route to market.
mvBase was a perfect environment for processing the core DMS software, which was all written in standard DataBasic. However, right from day one, DMS found that for integration with anything outside of the MultiValue world, they would have to live with third-party products or wait for mvBASE futureware!
The major shortcoming of mvBase was accessing data from a Windows environment. Use of desktop tools relied on “Liberty”, a third party ODBC driver, while development products, such as Visual Basic, used the mvBase OCX for accessing the mvBase environment.
Both methods were evaluated and discarded: Liberty for price/performance and stability reasons, the OCX for its pure “rawness”. Whilst it did allow access to mvBase from within a Visual Basic application, it relied on a large volume of programming (in both DataBasic and Visual Basic) to do even basic file access! DMS found that a large volume of development time in GUI software and ODBC was spent in writing and debugging “systems” level software to access the mvBase data. This prevented DMS from delivering a lot of additional products that were desired by its customers.
The final nail in the mvBase coffin was when DMS started working on “eDMS ”—an e-commerce link up the DMS databases to the Internet. The aim was to help DMS customers by providing business functionality (e.g. used car look-up, service booking) over the Internet. This proved impractical using mvBase. Fortunately, at about this time, DMS were re-approached by jBASE Software.
Familiarity with the jBASE product made the decision to port from mvBase a quick and easy one. DMS had a desire to “push the frontiers” of the isolated mvBase environment from which it had been enclosed by mvBase. It was time to move to the open environment that jBASE offered. However, in porting to jBASE, DMS expected a steep learning curve and that a lengthy development effort would be required.
As it turned out, the core DMS product was ported—at jBASE’s offices—in a few hours to a fully working level. A few days were spent configuring the jBASE environment to DMS’ requirements. A couple of weeks were spent testing and writing scripts to migrate DMS customers from mvBase to jBASE.
DMS decided that before delivering jBASE to its customer base, it would be useful to be able to deliver—in parallel—some e-commerce technology to showcase the new future direction of the DMS system that could be achieved with jBASE.
Only four weeks later, DMS was able to demonstrate—at a jBASE seminar—a functioning Internet demonstration accessing jBASE data!
Since this point, jBASE has proved nothing less than a revelation. eDMS now consists of a number of products that can be delivered to DMS clients using jBASE. GUI windows functionality is easily developed using jBASE OBjEX that (in comparison to mvBase’s OCX) is nothing less than a fully featured version of DataBasic plug-ins for Visual Basic. DMS can write in Windows, seamlessly integrating with the main DMS application and the underlying jBASE database without worrying about any systems level programming at all!
In short, jBASE has freed DMS from the constraints of the MultiValue world whilst preserving the MultiValue environment for the core business logic. DMS no longer has to worry about whether something can be technically achieved. It is no longer a concern that we may have to wait for any future product set from jBASE in order to accomplish anything.
Existing DMS clients are being actively migrated to jBASE and all new clients are installed with jBASE. In retrospect, taking the “easy route” by utilizing mvBase proved to be an over-cautious route based on the misconception that implementing jBASE would be too complicated. Isn’t hindsight so perfect?
Visit the DMS website at www.dmservices.co.uk.