Let’s continue on the history of the Cobol program we use as ERP. We were using a Novell Netware net, with a central server holding the .dat files (data files in Cobol), where the others PC of the company arrive to catch the data they need. All this PC, 3 or 4 at that moment, use the same program version, some of them has disable features (you can think this something like privileges). All worked fine.
With the Novell net RM-Cobol by its own deals the registry blocking. If someone try to modify, or even read, a register that is been modified or read by other user a little ascii windows appears:
Registry blocked by other terminal.
All as predicted in the FILE-CONTROL of the INPUT-OUTPUT SECTION:
SELECT FCLIDI ASSIGN TO RANDOM, FCLIDI-DAT; ORGANIZATION INDEXED; ACCESS DYNAMIC; RECORD KEYCLD; FILE STATUS IS STAT-FCLIDI.
And the DECLARATIVES of the PROCEDURE DIVISION.
In the case of blocking (a remote idea today), i.e. we deal with more than 4.000 diferent articles, your parter is near. Just ask him/her if he has finished and to go away of the register.
Then the Windows NT net arrives to scene. How ? Simple. We needed a new accounting software becasue the old just became short for us. We contact to a Microsoft Partner and make as a good offer (I will not give names). They told us that to go on with the new program we needed a new server, with Windows NT running so the old PC’s, running MS-DOS, needed to switch to Windows95. Althought I have never understand why the need of some of these changes, we did. In fact the old/new Windows server (a 400 Mhz Pentium II) has been running to us for 15 years, until, 2 years ago I decided to change to a new Windows XP acting as file server (a second hand IBM).
As I explained in one of the first post, the accounting software has always made me a clear idea about I don’t want for the ERP software.
Another loose, besides the money, was the registry blocking. With the NT RM-Cobol version we have doesn’t detect the blockings and sometimes the program jumps the shell because the concurrency of writting. Why didn’t we buy other RM-Cobol runtime ? I don’t know. Inmediatly the coder that has been developing all the features my father asked put a serie of controls at application level to avoid registry collisions. For example, you can’t modify any registry if someone is modifing any register, you can’t make a credit note if someone is listing the delivery notes (or modifing any costumer data), and so on.
With this bloking at application level the phone calls between the user are not strange. Call to warehouse “Please, go away from listing application.”
Seriously, the Microsoft Parter wasn’t our parter, or they also wanted to sell us their ERP/CRM software. I’m sure they tried.
Anyway, our beloved Cobol program stands in the company. No one thinks about throwing away a personal featured software that only is able to do the think it was designed for: the ERP of our company. At that time is also able to be connected with the accounting software, so, despite the blockings is stronger than ever. In a qualified hands, the callings between users are strange because we leave the application we know that acts blocking quickly. Let’s say manual pooling
Three years later I began to work full time in the company. I was also finishing my studies at the University.