Project 2000

Century Support Products for CA-IDMS


"Thanks HSL, your Date Converter Software has saved us hundreds of manhours, it was incredibly easy to implement, keeping us from doing any record restructuring. And with the latest release we had no IDMS required application modifications whatsoever, I would think every IDMS site could benefit from your product."

Supervisor Tech Support & Operations
Weber Marketing Systems, Inc.

Editors Note -
I asked Steven for a quote, and he sent five. The one above, and the following four that sounded a little too familiar. . .

Et to Brutus. . .
Forescore and . . .
I pity the poor fool. . .
Thou shalt not. . .

Steven is a very funny man.

The following comments are from Linda Osowetski, MCI Systemhouse Y2K Project Leader, they are paraphrased from a December 17, 1997 positing on the IDMS-L. Do yourself a favor - read the entire letter. Linda has thoroughly studied the IDMS Y2K issues, and has an experts grasp of the problem. Click here to review the entire letter.

The intent of this note is to pass on Y2K information to the IDMS community. There seems to be a lack of knowledge amongst us as to what's currently available in the market for IDMS. Having 12 months of Y2K IDMS experience under our belts, I felt that our team had experience and knowledge which could assist you.

The main issue is whether or not you have to expand to 6-digit dates in an IDMS database. The answer is "NO".

Yes, the information below is my opinion only, but that opinion is backed by the practical experience of our project team which currently stands as 12 dedicated staff. We completed our analysis and estimates in Jun '97 and have been converting code since that time.

I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself so you can make your own judgement as to whether or not the information listed below is credible. My name is Linda Osowetski, Managing Consultant for MCI Systemhouse, currently located in Houston, TX. I have 12+ years of IDMS experience with 6 different clients. I am currently managing a Year 2000 project for one of our clients which commenced in Jan '97 and is on schedule for completion in Dec '98. The project includes 2 IDMS applications totaling 3000 days of effort to become Y2K compliant. These applications use 6-digit dates, meaning 2-digit years, and no, we are not expanding dates.

6-Digit Dates in IDMS Database Records
HSL's Date Converter solution / product does indeed work with CALC and index keys via a DB procedure. We have thoroughly tested the product and have it successfully running in our production environment. The hashing algorithm executed via the DB procedures handles all situations in IDMS where a date is embedded in a key, including indexed sets. The details of the product are provided on HSL's web page - - and every IDMS Y2K person should be reading this. I strongly recommend this product unless your database is very small. The product not only works fantastically, but it is cheap, is backed by excellent support staff, and is very simple to install and support.

. . . . .Again, I strongly recommend that every IDMS shop be familiar with this tool.

NOTE: HSL's Date Converter product also includes common routines for 6-digit date comparisons and determining century (based on your chosen century window of course). These routines are "free" with the Date Converter so why would you code them yourself? (See "Sorting with 6-Digit Dates" for information about HSL's hashing & unhashing routines also available with their Date Converter product.)

Sorting with 6-digit Dates
I'm sure you are all aware that Syncsort's DISKSORT and IBM's DFSSORT both have century windowing features in their latest releases which handle 2-digit year sorts. This should cover all file sorts where the location of the date fields can be identified.

If you have a sort file where the date in the sort key may not always be in the same position (we have this situation in our client's shop), then DISKSORT & DFSSORT will not work. However, there is a viable solution using HSL's hashing & unhashing routines which are available as part of their Date Converter product. These routines use the same logic as the DB procedures which allow 2-digit Y2K years to sort after 2-digit pre-Y2K years.

Our example: "n" extract programs creating "n" files which are all being merged together and fed through a single Syncsort step. The sort key is a 100-byte field. Except for the 1st 22-bytes, the remaining contents of that sort key are different for each merged file and dates can exist anywhere & everywhere in those remaining 78 bytes. (Once sorted, the files are split back into separate files and fed into "n" reporting programs.) We are handling the situation by having the extract programs "hash" the date(s) (using HSL's date hashing routines) prior to writing them to the output file. This allows the single Syncsort step to correctly sort "00" after "99". Then, each of the associated reporting programs "unhash" the date(s) (again, using HSL's routines) prior to writing it to their report / file / etc..

Date Simulation (Online & Batch)
The only product I know of on the market which runs in the IDMS-DC environment is HSL's Date Simulator. It will control date simulation by userid, task code, dbname, dbnode, lterm, and/or DCUF test number. It will also allow specific tasks (such as IDD, ADSC, MAPC, etc.) to be defined as excluded. Very flexible.

NOTE: Tool does not simulate dates retrieved via ACCEPT STATISTICS (& it shouldn't) as this date is used by the IDMS journals. NOTE: Vendors of other Date Simulators have tried to tell me that they can handle IDMS by controlling it at the CV level. This is NOT acceptable as this will corrupt your journal files!

Linda Osowetski
MCI Systemhouse
Houston, TX

"We have installed the HSL Date Converter on 4 production records. We have not had any problems. The product was easy to install and the HSL support was excellent."

Duane "Nick" Nickel
Development Support Manager
Kansas State University

We have completed our Year 2000 programming for our manufacturing applications (Purchasing, Production, Inventory, Planning, Accounting) in October 1997. We are extremely satisfied with this product. Without the HSL Date Converter, we were looking at August 1998 for a final Production install date. As the Y2K Project Leader for this area, it is a great relief to be done and in final testing.

We used the Date Converter on 34 database records. We originally planned to add two extra bytes to every date field. Using the Project 2000 Date Converter we estimated a 40% reduction in the hours of programming and testing. We had originally estimated the DBA effort to re-structure the data base at 600 hours. Using the Date Converter the DBA effort was virtually eliminated. We also saved the cost of additional DASD. Unfortunately we had started our programming effort before we discovered the Project 2000 Date Converter. Our savings would have been greater if we would have acquired the Date Converter prior to programming. We have not seen any significant increase in CPU time.

Using the Project 2000 Date Converter we completed the project much earlier than originally planned, for several reasons :

  1. Fewer programs were modified - we only had to touch certain types of code (compares/using/return)
  2. The programs that we did have to modify, the changes were simple. We used HSL supplied code to plug in for consistant code changes.
  3. Testing was simplified partly because data 'stores' and 'modifies' were handled by the Schema rather than through code changes.

In addition the risk to the corporation was reduced because we completed the project early, reduced the number of programs that needed to be changed, and reduced the chance of data corruption.

This Project 2000 Date Converter is a time-saving solution to the Year 2000 problem. The HSL staff has been an exceptional group of people to work with. They delivered solid software that installed easily and worked as advertised. We have always received a friendly, knowledgeable and immediate response to any of our inquiries. Feel free to use me for any future referrals regarding your software and your company.

Mary Ware
St. Paul, Minnesota

Editors Note - Ecolab is a CAS customer. They had started converting the programs for field expansion in February 1997. Using the expansion methodology, the target completion date was estimated to be August 1998. In July 1997, Ecolab licensed the Project 2000 Date Converter, and stopped re-structuring the database. Three months later the conversion effort was complete. Their savings would have been significantly higher had they not initially started the re-structuring effort.

If you are thinking about re-structuring - STOP!

If you have started re-structuring - STOP!

"We are using the HSL Date Converter. We have installed it on 7 of our data base records so far. We have experienced no degradation in access time on our data base. We also use the subroutines that come with it for date comparison and conversion. We are running CAS 1.1, IDMS 12.0, and MVS. This product is easy to install, well documented and well supported. I recommend it."

Larry Pienta
Williams International
Walled Lake, MI

"We are running CA-CAS 1.3 manufacturing and financial applications under IDMS 12.01. Our operating system is VM/CMS and we do about 60K transactions a day.

We installed the HSL DATE CONVERTER product into 68 of our production records back in November 1997. The overhead of calling the HSL database procedures is minimal and hardly measurable. The product works as advertised and I would highly recommend this product to anyone facing the Y2K conversion under IDMS."

Jerry Frohlich
Boulder, CO

Click here to read about the Project 2000 Date Converter and other Y2K tools.

Click here to return to the Project 2000 Typical Solutions page.

Click here to return to the Project 2000 page.

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Hybrid Systems Ltd., Inc.
200 University Park Drive
Edwardsville, IL 62025

E-mail: HSL