Hewlett-Packard Co’s TurboImage database management system proved to be a tough nut to implement in a beta-test at BASF Belgium, which was designed to test the ease of conversion between a Sybase Inc application and the Hewlett-Packard Allbase and TurboImage databases using development tools from Amsterdam-based Uniface International BV. Alain Hick, data processing manager for […]
Hewlett-Packard Co’s TurboImage database management system proved to be a tough nut to implement in a beta-test at BASF Belgium, which was designed to test the ease of conversion between a Sybase Inc application and the Hewlett-Packard Allbase and TurboImage databases using development tools from Amsterdam-based Uniface International BV. Alain Hick, data processing manager for BASF Belgium in Brussels, says his staff have been using Uniface’s client-server application development tools for its Sybase marketing and sales application on the HP 9000 since 1989. As Uniface was getting ready last year to launch new versions of its tools, Hewlett-Packard headquarters asked them to beta-test the new Allbase and TurboImage versions of Uniface by converting its application to Allbase on the HP 9000 and HP 3000 and to TurboImage on the HP 3000. After the test, which ran from September to November, Hick sent his largely positive findings back to Hewlett-Packard and Uniface. The application can be converted between the 9000 and 3000 machines running Allbase without big problems, and the performance is just about the same; there’s only about a 5% difference from the Sybase application, says Hick. The glitch came in trying to convert to TurboImage. Passing to TurboImage, we had some problems caused by TurboImage’s completely different structure. We had to split the database in two and rewrite the database access. It was 10% faster, but it wasn’t any longer the same application, Hick said. Normally, he explained, Uniface does the conversion work between two different databases. To the Uniface 4GL, it’s just another database, but TurboImage remains too different for Uniface to make the adaptation, Hick said. In the initial version of the TurboImage Uniface driver, Richard Irwin, managing director of Abingdon, Oxfordshire-based Richard Irwin Associates Ltd, which helped write the database drivers for Uniface, explains: Our attitude was that people would want access to legacy data [in TurboImage], but that they would choose a relational database structure.
Third party indexes
He adds that the new release of the TurboImage driver enables the developer to integrate third-party indexes into Uniface. BASF Belgium, which also runs TurboImage applications on an HP 3000, undertook the beta testing with the idea to regroup all of its applications on just HP 3000s, because it’s too expensive to have both HP 9000s and HP 3000s, Hick said. As a result of the crisis in the chemical industry, however, the project, which would have involved the installation of HP 3000s at two remote sites, has been suspended, says Hick. He says users at those sites continue to access remotely the HP 9000s and HP 3000s at the central office. BASF Belgium has not, however, given up the idea of extending its use of Uniface. Instead of the more ambitious application porting scheme, Hick says the company is planning to use Uniface to construct an interface between its existing HP9000 Sybase and HP3000 TurboImage applications to enable data exchange. There is no problem in using Uniface to transfer data between TurboImage and other databases, he said. Production versions of Uniface tools for the MPE environment (Allbase, TurboImage and KSAM) came out at the end of last year.