>How to generate a pdf (for example) without requiring any printed output


Firstly, I must thank Bryan Shumsky (RevUS) for the content of this posting, as it was provided to us as part of a support discussion.

In the SET_PRINTER “INIT” call, there are up to 9 parameters (in addition to the “INIT” parameter itself). It is therefore possible to have both OIPI and OIPI.NET generate output to a file without user interaction by setting the following values:

  • In the first parameter, field 3 should be set to “6”, and field 4 set to the name of the pdf file that you wish to generate
  • In the fifth parameter, field 1, value 3 should be set to “1”
  • In the fifth parameter, field 1, value 4 should be set to “3”

For example:

PARAM1 = “”
PARAM1 = “6”

PARAM5 = “”
PARAM5 = “1”
PARAM5 = “3”

CALL SET_PRINTER(“INIT”, PARAM1, “”, “”, “”, PARAM5, “”, “”, “”, “”)

This should be all you need to specify. However, you might check the on-line docs for the INIT call, to make sure the other (default) values are appropriate.

>A word of caution when first working with WebOI.

>Please be aware that certain files in WebOI have been created using the Universal Driver and as such it is necessary for you to be running the ‘Universal Driver Client’ when you begin working with the tool. This has recently come to light as many developers are still running an older driver (e.g. the 2.1 driver) for DEP and compatibility reasons.

Running WebOI with an older driver can result in an error message reading “XXXXXX is not a valid Databasee (sic). Processes have not been created.” In this error message XXXXXX is the name of your database. In addition, when attempting to log into WebOI (/localhost/weboi/oecgi.exe/inet_weboi) you might be presented with a Invalid User or Password message window.

Sprezzatura do have a utility that will alter the header record to be the same as the 2.1 header AND move the links around. However, this utility should be used with caution and in consultation with Sprezzatura Support at the present time. This is because the program currently fails to adjust the skip pointers in Group 0, if the file has any. It is unlikely that this will be an issue and the Sprezzatura guys are working on a patch as I post this article. More information about this free utility can be found in SENL volume 4 issue 4.

>OpenInsight 9.x Upgrade Process

>Over the last week or so I have been discussing the procedure for upgrading development and deployed systems to the new Network User license with my colleagues in the USA. As a result, Bob has just added a new knowledge base article that covers the OpenInsight 9.x process.

Please contact your usual Revelation representative if you have any further questions with regards to upgrading your systems.

>"Some of IT’s greatest mistakes result from the unquestioning adoption of the latest fad", Martin Butler.

>As further reports from the mainstream IT sector continue to paint a gloomy picture, budget cuts and canned projects seem the order of the day – especially where those project’s budgets are in the millions.

It is therefore refreshing to read yet another article from Martin Butler (www.computing.co.uk) on the subject of IT decision makers following the herd and investing in technologies that ‘seem to be the best idea’ – just because other people are doing so. Martin’s full article. can be read at http://www.computing.co.uk/computing/comment/2234814/leaders-resist-herd-mentality-4430810.

As more and more articles questioning the buying and decision making process find their way into the press, maybe business leaders will begin to think twice about jumping with the herd. As someone that offers a fully integrated application development toolset that enables flexible applications to be built that also supports existing business processes – I can only hope.

Those of you in the MultiValue community that are faced with a prospect that is intent on following the herd, might find the following useful as well. www.denverpost.com ran an article on the 14th January this year regarding the demise of Shane Co. Part of the article reads “The final blow to the company was a point-of-sale and inventory management system purchased from business-software giant SAP for $8 million to $10 million, which ended up costing $36 million and took three times as long to implement. In the meantime, because it did not work entirely, the system did not provide accurate inventory numbers. . . .”

A little bird tells me that the abbreviated back story is that the Shane Co. ran software in the early 1980’s on Prime Information and this was later ported to Universe in 1988. The Shane Co. spent many years developing and extending the applications in BASIC to meet the changing business needs and as a result, the software ran their business successfully over many, many years. Management made the decision to go the SAP route from Universe and the result, as they say, was catastrophic – the full story can be read at http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_11446814/.

For those of you not in the know, Prime and Universe MultiValue technologies which are very similar to Revelation’s ARev and OpenInsight. Needless to say, Revelation also have anecdotes of clients following the herd and spending millions in so called mainstream technologies to replace ARev and OpenInsight systems, only to find those projects fail and OpenInsight continues to help the business trade profitably.

Did you know – RList statements

You can capture the results of a Rlist statement into a variable.

Subroutine RList_Tip(Void)
Declare Function Exec_Rlist
cmd = “LIST BOOKS BY @ID F1 F2 F3”
type = “OI”
dFlag = 0 ; * debug flag
rslt = Exec_Rlist(cmd,”EXECUTE”,type,dFlag)

RSLT will be a field-mark-delimited list of the output. Note that there may be some other spurious characters that you might want to strip out.

New OpenInsight 9.0 Example Application

Well, I have finally bitten the bullet and version 1.0.1 of my PSS Media Library OpenInsight version 9 examples application is now ready for anyone who wants the initial copy.

As many of you will know, my technical ability is limited at best, but OpenInsight 9.0 has enabled me to take this fact finding project right through to deployment stage – something I really did not think would be possible for someone with my skills. It just goes to show how far OpenInsight has come in recent years.

The application is designed to enable users to manage a photograph collection by defining disks records, image records and then assigning those images to one or more disks. The application has a relatively consistent look, but it mixes ideas including basic windows, tab controls, hierarchical list boxes, MDI and various styles of OIPI reports, amongst other things.

The no-code NSIS installation routine (from Nullsoft) includes all of the source code so OpenInsight developers can easily drop in their 9.0 development license file and dive into the reports, windows, event handlers and stored procedures. The installation also includes a full developer’s briefing detailing the various features and also a user guide for anyone wanting to use the application more seriously.

Please simply drop me an email should wish to receive a copy of the application.

Click here for a youtube video presentation of the application.

>One hit upgrades.

>Several of you have requested one hit upgrades to jump from an older version of OpenInsight to version 9.0 in one step.

Revelation have no current plans to provide a one step upgrade to version 9.0, but I do have a couple of ‘Unofficial’ upgrades that can take you from version 4.1.3 to 7.2.2 or from 4.1.3 to 8.0.6 in one step. I also understand that these can be used by people on a version in between the from and to versions noted above.

Whilst these originate from Revelation US, they are ‘Unofficial’ upgrades and they should be used with care. In addition, adequate post upgrade testing should be carried out when using these upgrades. Obviously, the recommended upgrade path remains to download and install each upgrade and patch individually, however this can be an onerous job for anyone on 4.1.3 or an early version 7.0 release.

You will still need to submit your engine to Revelation via the WORKS area to install these upgrades, especially the later as it will need the new 5×5 installation key from Revelation.

Please email me if you wish to request one of these upgrades. I will need confirmation of which of the two files you want and I will need to verify your WORKS status with Revelation if you are not one of my direct clients.

>Reminder – SRP’s Form Fixer

>The release of version 9.0 is certainly proving popular, not least amongst those of you still running older versions of OpenInsight. I have therefore had a request that a link to SRP’s Form Fixer be added to the blog. So here it is

SRP Form Fixer
“Beginning with OpenInsight 7.0, changes were introduced to the Form Designer and Presentation Server that improved the way forms can be displayed. This included support for extended 3D styles, XP themes, and the correct preservation of the client size. However, forms created in older versions of OpenInsight, including earlier 32-bit releases, usually have visual anomalies until they are manually corrected or recompiled with newer Form Designers. For large applications this can be an enormous chore. The SRP Form Fixer was created to resolve this issue in seconds rather than hours.” – From SRP’s web site.

>Alternative OI9.0 Upgrade download site

>Owing to a high level of interest in the OpenInsight 9.0 release resulting in an unusually high load on http://www.revelation.com/ and a large number of people current downloading the 9.0 upgrade, Revelation have received reports that in some overseas locations the download time is unacceptable.

I am pleased to say that with Sprezzatura’s help and the kind permission of one of their clients, we now have a fast download option for people in the EMEA region. Testing shows downloads of the upgrade file to be less that two minutes.

Please click here to go straight to the local download.

Don’t forget that you will still need to request an installation key from Revelation through the usual method – Go to the OI9.0 upgrade page on the US web site and submit the form. It is now automated, so you should get your installation key within a few minutes of submitting the form.

>OpenInsight version 9.0 is released!


I am pleased to announce the commercial release of OpenInsight version 9.0, the latest version of Revelation’s Windows Application Development Toolset. This new version includes new tools and enhancements designed to deliver more features to end-users, whilst further reducing development times for developers.

With companies facing a new year with the challenge of getting more from their development teams and with ever decreasing budgets, we expect this new version to be welcomed by existing OpenInsight developers and other developers looking for a more flexible and economical solution to their current toolsets.

Over 4,000 entity enhancements this is a major release, which also features:

  • A brand new IDE
    The new IDE has been completely written using the OpenInsight toolkit and it sees yet another part of the product written in itself. The IDE can be launched through a command switch added to your shortcut (/IDE=1). This uses the CFG_RTI_IDE record to launch the new IDE, launching the old one if no switch is set. Furthermore, this feature is exposed to developers, so setting /IDE=2 and including a second field in CFG_RTI_IDE enables developers to launch an alternative window. It goes without saying that the system expects to launch a window.
    OIPI.NET is a brand new print engine for OpenInsight. The old ‘classic’ OIPI print engine is still available and either can be selected by changing the CFG_OIPI record in the SYSENV file. Setting the value to VSPRINTER will run the ‘classic’ OIPI print engine, whilst setting VSPRINTER2 will run the new OIPI.NET version.

    The new print engine provides users with navigable thumbnails within the print preview window, which sports a brand new interface with more ‘Save As’ options on the report and the ability to Search or Copy the previewed output.

    One of the best new features is the ability to use the new SET_PRINTER messages for INPUT fields. These messages enable end-users to add data to an OIPI report prior to it being printed.

    Additional enhancements include a TEXT FILE option that will now create text for a complete document including addtables and textxy data (pictures will not be included in the text file). An environmental option has been added for default path users and the handling of shading polygons has been greatly enhanced.

  • Report Builder Security and Multi-Column Support
    The Report builder now has the ability to print two or more columns on a page and field level security has been added to the environment settings. This enables excluded fields to be removed from the report builder options and they will not show as blanks in list commands.
  • WebOI
    WebOI is a brand new web publishing tool to OpenInsight. It can be launched from the System Monitor using ‘EXEC WEBOI’ or from the new IDE using the link towards the lower left of the window.

    WebOI can take an existing OpenInsight form and convert the events into a single commuter module so that the form runs in a more modern and efficient way, with both full screen and handheld options. Following a simple conversion involving just a few mouse clicks, the form is ready to run using OECGI or OCGI2 as fully Web2.0 compliant AJAX driven web solution. The templates are fully configurable and, out of the box, they include full navigation, record save, etc. In addition, there is a massive help facility and online development mode.

    The release includes a comprehensive WebOI Quick Start Guide using IIS6 and I am currently writing a version for those of us running Vista and who wish to use IIS7 – yes OECGI and OECGI2 work under IIS7 🙂

  • Bravo Dashboard
    The Sierra Bravo Dashboard is one of the most flexible and powerful dashboard development tools available. Revelation are proud to deliver Sierra Bravo’s business intelligence to the OpenInsight community as part of the version 9.0 release. The release includes a sample application and a dedicated Quick Start Guide.
  • A brand new System Editor++
    The new System Editor includes fast, accurate colour coding with the ability to collapse code sections and show line numbers. It also supports the opening and editing of OS files and performs colour coding on HTML and Javascript tags.One of the nicest new features is the syntax assistance tips for Basic+ keywords, functions and subroutines.
  • The ability to create upgrade SETUP.EXE files within the RDK
    The RDK now includes a new tab that enables developers to quickly and easily create a single setup.exe file containing all of their application components for an upgrade. This makes the installation of upgrades much easier for end users and provides them with a familiar experience.
  • The ability to manipulate individual Edit Table cells
    There have been numerous enhancements to the Edit Table control in version 9.0. These include the ability to feature multiline cells, combo box and check box processing for individual cells, rows and columns.

    Revelation have also added a new Send_Message function for manipulating an edit table. This now enables developers to:

    – Set and retrieve the style for an entire column, row or cell.
    – Create a button within an edit table cell. Clicking the button
    will raise the tables OPTIONS event.
    – Include a drop down type of combo box within edit table cells.

    The CLEAR_TABLE command has also been enhanced to rebuild any indexes on the file.

I hope that you enjoy OpenInsight version 9.0 as much as I have enjoyed using the beta versions to build my new examples application. OpenInsight WORKS subscribers can download the new version from the WORKS area on http://www.revelation.com/. Please contact your usual Revelation representative if you are not a WORKS subscriber and wish to gain access to OpenInsight version 9.0.