MetaSuite 8.1.2 includes among other the following new functionalities:

Common changes

  • .NET look and feel used for the GUI applications.
  • Support for Windows.
    The following Windows operating systems are supported:
    • Windows XP.
    • Windows Vista.
    • Windows 7.
  • Undo feature.
    • Single-level undo feature at field level (Pressing Esc while editing returns the initial value).
  • Improved file path handling.
    • Unknown or inaccessible folders, referred to by the INI manager, can be replaced “on the fly” at the moment these paths are used.
  • “File change” monitoring.
    • The configuration files and the model being edited are monitored for external changes. If such a change is detected, the file can be reloaded, or the change can be ignored. A setting is provided to specify whether this choice is pre-defined or to be made by the user.
  • Association.
    • MetaStore Manager is associated with MDL files. It will open these files from a windows shell (explorer). MetaStore Manager is also associated with CBL, CPY, PCB, XSD and other collectable types.
    • MetaMap is associated with MSM files.
  • Migration of the MetaStore repository. This repository is not upgraded. If previous data is needed, it can be transferred using the MDL import/export as the MDL format has not changed.
  • HELP functionality.
    • Improved input validation: warning and error icons at the right of the input field. Further explanation is provided by means of a tooltip.

INI Manager

  • General
    • Improved arrangement of the INI Manager GUI: MetaStore Manager Settings, MetaMap Manager Settings, ...
    • When the INI file changes, other running MetaSuite applications automatically prompt a message asking for the reload of the modified INI file.
  • Data profiles
    • Every field type that is collected by MetaStore Manager has to be described. In version 7, this description was done within the MC_TYPES.INI file. This file had to be changed by means of a text editor. In version 8.1. this file can be opened using the new “profiles” functionality in the INI Manager.
  • Default Folders
    • File name casing of MDL and MSM files can be set.
    • Default folders can be used in a folder name: <Ins>, <Gen> and <Doc> can be used.
    • Macros can be used for indicating the paths of the default folders:
      • <Ins> = the MetaSuite installation path of the client or stand-alone installation.
      • <Exe> = the MetaSuite installation path of the server or stand-alone installation.
      • <Doc> = the folder “%My Documents%\MetaSuite”
      • <Gen> = the generator name, indicated in the MetaMap Manager settings, or, if this name is not defined, the generator for which one is generating in MetaMap Manager.
  • MetaStore Manager Settings
    • The version number of a collected or imported file can be set by means of a setting within the “INI Manager”.
    • Field uniqueness enforced on Group Field, Record or File level.
    • New option to collect or not to collect ‘FILLER’ fields.
    • New option to handle the file version when collecting a file that exists already in the MetaStore Dictionary..
    • New option to handle the file version when importing a file that exists already in the MetaStore Dictionary.
  • MetaMap Manager Settings
    • New option that indicates whether the suggestion list for the structured editor should be opened automatically or not.
    • New option that indicates whether to use Visual Styles or not in Windows Vista or Windows Seven.
    • New option that indicates whether the suggestion list should be put on the left hand side or on the right hand side of the structured editor.
    • The export of SQL-type target files can be arranged differently.
      In the previous version, numeric fields were compressed (packed). Now a flag can be set or unset in order to change that behavior.
    • In the previous version, Null settings were not exported. Now a flag can be set or unset in order to change that behavior

MetaStore Manager

  • General
    • New docking functionality (DockPanelSuite 2.2 - mimics the VisualStudio.NET docking, giving more workspace flexibility than in the previous versions).
    • MSBSTORE (MetaStore batch utility):
      • The utility has been extended with collect capabilities.
      • The INI file can be used as a parameter in order to limit the number of parameters in the MSBSTORE command.
  • Field Property Changes
    • Field property “DBNAME” is changed into “NULL” for all data types, except for ADABAS and IMS fields.
    • The “Advanced” tab has been removed. Instead, two frames have been created on the Technical tab: the “Standard” field properties and “content-related” field properties.
    • New field attributes. These attributes are controllable using the context menus in the tree navigator and record field grid:
      • Auto Position: The position value can be (re)calculated automatically.
      • Auto Size (applies to files, records and fields): The object size can be calculated as a sum of the sizes of all its subfields. This flag is enabled by default for all new fields and records.
      • Auto Layout (function, context menu): Enables auto positioning for all subfields, and auto sizing for the selected parent.
      • The “Redefined” flag: Declares that the field has the same offset as one or more other fields. Setting this flag will ensure that the redefining field will follow the redefined field’s starting position (or offset).
    • Field name uniqueness.
      During the collection of a file description, version 8.1 enforces unique field names in:
      • Files,
      • Records (all fields in the record), or
      • Group fields.
      The default is “all fields in the record are unique”. This value can be changed in the INI Manager.
  • XML and XSD.
    • XML files, records and fields have new XML-related properties such as Attribute or Group flags, “XPATH”, “Format Mask” and “XML declaration”.
    • XSD source collect is improved:
      • automatic record level detection.
      • collection of the new properties during the XSD collect.
  • Unicode support.
    • New field type: National. This field type can contain Unicode strings or Unicode Date fields.
    • New field type: Printed Numeric National. This field is the Unicode variant of the field type “Printed Numeric”.
    • Virtual decimal separators are allowed in the edit mask.
    • Collecting National items: GROUP-USAGE National and PICTURE N can be collected.
    • Numeric national items automatically get a pre-defined edit mask.

MetaMap Manager

  • General
    • New docking mechanism: gives more workspace flexibility than in the previous versions.
    • New models (MSM) are saved in readable XML format.
    • External array keys can be overridden by the sort keys (Access keys enhancement).
    • Auto position and auto size features added for work fields.
    • Source and target files can be moved up and down.
  • Tree Structure for All Objects
    A common tree structure has been implemented in version 8.1 for all types of interfaces and objects.
    • Interfaces:
      • MetaMap Tree View
      • Matching Wizard
      • Mapping Wizard
    • Objects:
      • Source files
      • Target files (more than one level of subfields is now allowed)
      • Workfields (more than one level of subfields is now allowed)
    The possibility to remove all subfields of a target file or work field structure has been added. All actions (Open properties, Remove object, ...) can be performed from within the different interfaces.
  • Unicode.
    • The COBOL type “NATIONAL” can be collected from copybooks and be used in the generated COBOL. NATIONAL is a subset of UTF-16, restricted to 2 bytes.
    • The data type “Printed Numeric National” is now supported for Unicode fields that contain numeric content.
    • The property “CCSID” is supported on MetaSuite level, File level, Record level and Field level.
    • Lower level objects inherit the CCSID property from the higher level objects.
  • Messages and Errors.
    • Errors in command procedures are detected on load and marked in the tree view.
    • Syntax errors will be displayed in the yellow area underneath the structured editor window.
  • Structured Editor
    • Object Usage Tracking:
      • Fields, records and files can be referred to on different locations.
      • When the object name changes, or the object is deleted, messages will be shown for all affected locations.
    • When pointing at a field or other object, the full object description is displayed in the yellow area underneath the structured editor window.
    • Validation while typing:
      • In order to facilitate the editing process, the objects that can be selected from the tree window will be displayed in boldface. Tree navigator context hint for valid click-inserts.
      • - The command window is constantly updated while editing.
    • Live correctness check, following the user’s modifications.
    • On-the-fly casing corrections of reserved words.
    • Look-ahead parser selection by using the arrow keys and the TAB button.
    • Support of all new generator functions, such as SUBSTRING, REPLACE, LENGTH, SYSTEM-FUNCTION ….
    • PUT target-record is a synonymous for PUT (target-record).
    • Improved FUNCTION statement.
    • External Arrays can be accessed randomly.
  • Mapping
    • "Live" lists:
      • The mapping wizard not only shows the mappings, but also the current relations between source and target fields.
      • Data changes in other forms are reflected immediately.
    • The complete file tree is displayed for mapping, not only the top level fields.
    • When the mapping is done by means of a formula, a mapping line is shown as well.
    • Mappings from within procedures can displayed.
    • On-the-fly mappings (target fields using a data source property) can be displayed.
    • Mappings overview available.
  • Procedures
    • New type of program procedure: “Read-Write-Cycle”.
      This procedure will be executed every read-write-cycle of the main stream, between the sourcefile input and the targetfile detail procedures.
    • New type of sourcefile procedure: “First Contact”.
      This procedure will be executed when the first valid source record is read.
    • Sourcefile procedure name change: FILE INITIAL has been changed into INITIAL SORT.
      If the source file is not sorted, this procedure will be executed only once for backward compatibility reasons.

Generator Manager

  • General.
    • SQL dialects DB2_NT, DB2_Unix, DB2_2 have been renamed to DB2_LUW.
    • New environment: IBM COBOL on Windows (RDZ).
    • Internal calls:
      The runtime modules can be called by means of an internal COBOL call. This means that the runtime modules can be part of the generated source, and will be compiled together with the main program.
    • SQL quote setting:
      The QUOTE setting in COBOL and in the SQL statements in the COBOL source might differ. Therefor a new parameter was developed: SQL-QUOTE.
    • The generator (msbgen.exe) can be called with full path names.
    • The number of fields has been increased to 3650.
    • The MIL commands have been adapted in order to display and alter the new generated settings, such as SQL-QUOTE, COBOL call type, CCSID.
  • Multiple Group Level Support.
    • Target files
    • Work fields
    • Source files (already available in previous versions)
  • Unicode and Foreign Character Set Support.
    • Field types NATIONAL and PRN-NATIONAL are supported. PRN-NATIONAL can be used to store numeric values. NATIONAL can be used for Unicode character strings and Unicode date fields.
    • The INI file contains the default CCSIDs for Character fields and Unicode fields.
    • SQL dialects DB2_NT, DB2_Unix, DB2_2 have been renamed to DB2_LUW.
    • Files, records and fields have a CCSID property.
    • CCSIDs of higher level fields will be distributed among the lower level fields, if they themselves do not have the CCSID property set.
    • The CCSID of a field is tested against the field type.
    • When assigning a field to another field, the CCSIDs and field types are checked. If they do not match, a conversion will be performed automatically:
      • Unicode to non-Unicode.
      • Non-Unicode to Unicode.
      • Character fields or Unicode fields with CCSID 1 to the same field type, with CCSID 2.
    • Some functions are supported on Unicode fields, as well as the matching of Unicode fields with non-Unicode fields. For more details, refer to the next section.
  • New or Improved Functions.
    • The function INSTRING returns the position of a substring within a string.
    • The function LENGTH returns the length of a string without the trailing spaces.
    • The function SUBSTRING has been improved: the parameters “position” and “size” can be single-occurring numeric fields, and the size parameter can be omitted.
    • The function REPLACE replaces the content of a field. Two formats are supported:
      • Replacement of a search-string within a string.
      • Replacement of the content of a string on a fixed position.
    • The function REPLACEALL replaces all occurrences of a search string within a string.
    • COBOL Functions can be called.
      All COBOL system functions can be used.
    • New function MANUAL-INPUT.
      This function asks input from the console, and stores this input in a work or target field.
    • Test-related features:
      Some obfuscation functions have been developed to enable the creation of test files. These obfuscation functions can be called by means of the new SYSTEM-FUNCTION command.
    • The SYSTEM-FUNCTION and USER-FUNCTION commands facilitate the creation of new functionalities for the MetaSuite generator. SYSTEM-FUNCTION commands are developed by IKAN. USER-FUNCTION commands can be developed by the customer.
  • External Arrays.
    • Support of dynamic (sort) keys.
    • Random access.
  • Standard File Support.
    • Record sequential or line sequential target files:
      The user can choose if he wants to use the default sequential file type on the system that he is generating for, or if he wants to specify the sequential file type explicitly.
    • Fixed or variable target files:
      The record format (Fixed/Variable) is taken in account when generating.
    • Support of multi-record delimited source files.
  • Source XML Support
    • The use of XPATH is supported.
    • Structures (“records”) within the XML file can be defined by means of the XPATH.
    • The read-and-release behavior of the XML “records” can be triggered by means of the MetaSuite file path.
    • XML-NAME support: the field name can differ from the XML node name.
    • CDATA support: MetaSuite can read CDATA properties.
  • Target XML support.
    • XML files can be produced by means of the target type XML.
    • Newly supported parameters: XML-DECLARATION, XPATH, XML-TYPE, XML-NAME.
    • Within a single target file, several XML records can be put, one nested within another, following the XPATH specifications.
  • MetaSuite Template Language.
    • Use of local and global variables.
    • New DUMP commands.
    • Improved handling of string variables.
    • New MTL system functions on source files, source records, target files and target records.
    • New system fields.
  • Control Table Improvements.
    • Source code-control table (GENCTL): new entry for miscellaneous procedures.
    • Target code-control table (OUTCTL): new entries for miscellaneous procedures, miscellaneous working storage and miscellaneous linkage code.
    • Code-control tables can contain MTL instructions.

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